Introduce Yourself

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    • #23589

      FEEL FREE TO READ IN THIS CLOSED TOPIC. There is a second introduction thread that is closed as well. We have moved to Introduce Yourself #3 for posting introductions now.

      HUGS to all of you,!  From, Sheri McGregor

    • #23594

      Hi everyone, it’s been a while since I’ve been here. Things have gotten worse, and trying to find the positives.

      • #29865

        I am new to this site. Seeking help on help getting past my 18 year old sons estrangement from me. What started as what I thought was parental alienation now has manifested into estrangement. I have my daughter and he chose to live with his Dad. I have not had much access to him in three years. He was such a sweet loving boy. Many court cases later trying to gain access to my son as the Father kept all contact minimal and never unsupervised and I always gave up before court thinking we could solve any issues on our own. He just graduated from high school and it was heartbreaking as he named his new step mom as his Mother is all his biographies. I was there at graduation and he would not speak or even look my way. Now I have received a letter from their attorney requesting no contact via phone Facebook mail etc. or any physical contact unless he does so first. ( which will never happen) I don’t know what I did wrong ? The last email I received after one of his last ball games what’s that I am dead to him and he is asking his step mother to adopt him. He still has a relationship with my daughter but refuses to have anything to do with me or his grandmothers from both sides. His Dad has even alienated his Mother. I am at a lost. I mourn for him and ache for his presents. The innocent little boy I raised is gone and now acts like a monster. I am currently engaged and July fiancé has said either I get over this or we are done. I don’t know how to? I can’t talk to any family because they are tired of hearing my pity party. Any suggestions? I am at my wits end. How can I make it stop hurting.

      • #40106

        BrokenHearted76 – Welcome to the forum! I know this isn’t a club that anyone wants to be a part of, but believe that you are in good company. There are so many wonderful people here who will wrap you up and let you say all of the things you truly need to say to get well again.

        I feel for you that your son doesn’t acknowledge the value that you have in his life as his mother. Despite what he says or does, you have given him a gift that no one else in this world can. You have given him the gift of life and that is something that will never change no matter who he wants to list on a piece of paper. Whether or not he chooses to recognize you for that gift, you can acknowledge it and know that it is the most precious, wonderful thing that can be done.
        You have made it possible for that young man to have a life full of promise and success. That is a gift no one can take from you. I fully believe that no one can denigrate that, not even your son.
        My oldest daughter has decided that I am not worthy to hold a place of value in her life and I am also learning to detach with love. (Much easier said than done!)

        I am glad you are here to take comfort and be part of this journey with us. You are worth and valued. Sometimes we need others to help us remember that too!

        Much Love!

      • #37869

        Hello everybody
        i am Rose of Beauty -new here .i feel so much at peace after having found this wonderful blessed site
        its been two years since my only son has been estranged from me.its been a very sad time for my husband too as he is disabled all we want is a few words from him but that is not to be
        looking forward to feeling peaceful in this safe harbour where we wont be judged -and can go to pieces
        thank you

      • #38437


        I just joined and glad to have found this support system.

      • #58849

        Welcome. This is a good place to start realizing you are not alone. I just been here a couple days.
        I just want to say hi to you.
        Stay strong.

      • #43729

        Hi. I’m new, and glad to be here. This is the very first time I have actually written in a forum, so this is all very new to me.
        My story goes way back but I will start with the latest estrangement, my second adult daughter (to whom I was as close to as any mother could be).
        I am still numb from what happened…. it was, right before Christmas. A nightly phone call from her as she was driving home from work. I was mad because she had not called all day to inquire about her step father, who had just broken his arm. The first thing out of her mouth was a sarcastic “how is Gimpy”. (THAT was the straw on that broke the camels back… to speak). I let into her over the phone asking why she hadn’t picked up the phone all day. She went into auto-defense mode, and started (over-the-top yelling and screaming at me ….. on and on she went…. I couldn’t get a word in edge-wise. It escalated…. she basically told me how horrible I was… called me terrible names (which I can’t repeat)….. I was F R O Z EN . I couldn’t BELIEVE what spewed out of her mouth. Finally, I hung up. And apparently went into a fog….
        My husband told me the other day she had tried several times the next day to call, but I don’t remember it !!!! I haven’t talked to her ever since. ….. I can’t. I won’t.

        The days after that, I felt relief. I think she was abusing me (?) and I didn’t even realize it. I did EVERYTHING for that girl, and sadly, I think that was the problem. You see, I had 2 girls, (have) (?) … their Dad died from cancer many years ago, and I think I tried my best to be the best Mom I could possibly be. …. I have been estranged from my oldest daughter for approximately 10 years. My youngest, always was there for me, through thick and thin. But now we are estranged too. ….
        I was blaming myself, but now, through therapy, have come to realize it is not me. I have been nothing but a good mother, always there for them, and my grandchildren. But it seems I was taken advantage of. Used. Stepping back and looking at all I did, (considering I have a chronic pain nerve disorder ) for them, (painting the grandkids rooms… babysat… taken them to appointments… hosted all holidays….cooked for them ….cleaned for them….taken care of their pets….etc…). and at first it was a relief to get my life back, but now I feel shattered…..

        I’m sorry, I started crying. I rambled. I just want to find myself again because I have given so much, basically. I want me again. Am I being selfish????

      • #43947

        Hi, Lunaria – I am estranged from my son (he’s my only child). Something you said in your post really reverberated with me. It was when you mentioned abuse, and that you did everything for your daughter. I know how you feel – and guess what? I have been seeing a therapist about my situation, and she said my son was being abusive! And it’s true! I mean, who treats a loving parent like that!

        I am glad you have realized you have been a GOOD mother, and undeserving of such disrespect. I’ve been a good mother, too; I know exactly how you feel. Stay strong. Take care.

      • #53976

        Hi everyone. I have 5 daughters who range in age from 25 to 3. I love them all with all my heart. Growing up, I was a single mom most of their childhood and struggled but always did my best. My third daughter is pregnant with her first child (which will be my second grand daughter). She has a very manipulative and jealous step mother in law who spends all her time trying to make my daughter have no relationships with anyone else (so she can monopolize her time and the new baby). Needless to say, it has worked. My daughter recently yelled at me for crocheting a hat stating I only made it because this MIL bought a similar one (that I was not aware of). She claims I am doing too much just to show off and we had such a fight that she now states she won’t see me or let me see the grandbaby ever. I got very upset as I did not see why she was so angry and told her I would take her to court for visitation because all I care about is seeing and loving my family. She flipped and hasn’t spoken to me in 4 days. My heart is broken and I feel like this may not be fixable. I am so glad I found this forum and hope to find peace here.

    • #23606

      Dear Gigi38
      Welcome back to our safe place. Our little group is truly a close one and has given me so much hope for my own happiness.
      We are all good listeners and there is so much wisdom here. Let us begin to help you focus on the positives.

      I really like your profile picture! I truly hope you find the peace and healing you need here with us again.

      A hug if needed,

      Sunflower 🙂

    • #23603

      Welcome back Gigi38! So sorry things have gotten worse for you. This forum will enlighten you. We’re all here for you. Hugs, Annie

    • #23646

      Hello. I’m The Sheep Report. I’m new here. I have three adult children and am estranged from two of them. My ex-husband may or may not have contributed to turning the two clunkers against me. I live alone now and I cannot believe how badly so many things have turned out.

      I am not sure how much information we are supposed to share here, so I will leave it at that for now. Thank you for making me feel welcome.

    • #23653

      Welcome back, Gigi38, we all feel your pain and are here for you. My name is Kama, and I have been on here for awhile, intermittently. I’m very busy with school and work, but at the same time I keep in touch so the pain of my ED’s estrangement doesn’t eat me up. This is the best place to be ever for our pain, these people have saved my sanity!

    • #23664

      Hi Gigi… i’m very new to this whole thing so I don’t have a lot to offer but I can tell you that there are some amazing moms on this site. I have only one child and we adopted him when he was two days old. He was the light of our lives and we shared everything together. When he was 24 he married a girl that has somehow in the past 2 years convinced him that we were bad parents. I’m in such shock that he would even listen to her malarkey, but he has. Just before Christmas he told us he wanted no further contact. I was lucky enough to come across Sheri’s book in January and at that moment I knew that there were others just like me. I can’t tell you what a comfort that is. I’m still in the crying stage and the disbelief but I’m beginning to find a little anger mixed in there too, which my therapist tells me is good. The weekends are hardest for me because I’ve convinced myself that if he were to reach out it would be on the weekend when he’s not working or going to school. I check my phone about a billion times a day looking for a text message and then go to bed Sunday night feeling exhausted and start the whole cycle over again Monday morning. But check this out….It’s 1:40 PM where I am and I’m proud to say I haven’t looked at my phone yet today so listening to all of these women really does make a difference. I’m very sorry you are in a bad place right now. I liken this site to an old comfortable pair of slippers. When I’m tired and beat down I slip into my favorite slippers and feel warm and cozy and at home again. I think you’ll find that here. I know I do.

      • #25191

        I am new here too…and same thing happened to me….I was so very close to my son…we were best friends…I home schooled him so we were always together…we had many great times…..and then this woman who has now become his “wife”….I say it like that because she refused to have a real marriage ceremony…they had a production ..that did not include a marriage license or a pastor etc….so I don’t really even consider it a real marriage but they do….sorry to digress…anyway after she got a hold of my son she has spent the past 3 years brainwashing him every single day to hate me…..and to find fault with anything I ever did in this life….it is heartbreaking…she has basically shredded my entire life….all I worked for with my son to have happy memories she has destroyed….poisoning his mind again me… is horrible…..I hate her so much and now I am even starting to hate my son for allowing her to do this to us……

    • #23691

      Hi everyone I been here silent for some time and finally felt strong enough to make a few posts.
      I am so happy to be able to learn from you all.

      This thing of estrangement is a serious villan of the heart.

      Peace wishes this weekend to all


    • #23706

      Hi I too have been silent here for some time and finally felt strong enough yesterday to reply to a post and share my experience, just incase it’s helpful.

      I have learnt a lot too and it has been a great comfort to read so many posts which are very similar to my heartbreaking experience.

      Best Wishes to you all


    • #23745

      Hello Everyone,
      I am CallieBelle. I have been visiting the site since October 2015. That was when my daughter decided she no longer needed me in her life. I do have a wonderful husband and two other spectacular children. I know it seems to some that because I still have them, I should be fine. Truth is I am not sure that is the case. I feel lucky to have them, but sometimes it makes things more complicated. I walk a tight rope, trying not to make them feel like their support is not enough and knowing that while it a tremendous help, I still miss my ED and the 5 grandchildren she has taken away from me. (Actually one was born after the estrangement, so I have never met her) Like some others on here, I feel my SIL is behind this estrangement because he cannot handle any situation where he is not the complete center of attention. He hated it when his children wanted to sit by Grandma or take a walk with Grandpa. A fishing outing to a local park caused all of the children to get in trouble because they were not staying right by their father’s side. (Even though my ED went on the walk with us and her children).
      I visit the site more than I speak, but I have told my story on here and it is archived under my name, if anyone new wants to read what I have had to say. I truly feel for everyone here and understand the pain. I am here for you.

      • #32913

        Hi CallieBelle
        I am new to this site and I am so happy to be here. As I was reading your post I thought about what you said that some think you should be alright because you have your other children in your life. How wrong that is of some to think that way. Its like losing a child to that great enemy “DEATH” When you lose a child to death people unthinkingly say things like oh you can have others, or time heals all wounds… no it doesn’t, it may be less painful but that loss is always there. You will feel that forever and that empty space in your heart will always be there. Hugs to you

    • #23791

      Hello  I’m new to this site. Have been estranged from my 33 year old son (only child) for a little over a year. Ever since he met and became serious with a very insecure, jealous and unhappy woman. It seemed like she couldn’t tolerate him loving anyone other than her or her kids or her family. I never dreamed it would or could last this long! I found Sheri’s book and then this website and it has already been a comfort to me. I am lucky that my ex DIL has joint custody of my only grandchild and I get to see him regularly. It’s heartbreaking that everything we had has been twisted into something bad. My joy in giving little gifts was twisted into “trying to buy his love”. (I didn’t know I had to do that! I thought I already had it for the last 33 years). Any attempt at reasoning fell on deaf ears and “you’re just defending yourself” and “it’s all about YOU” He’s closed all the doors one by one. No texts or calls – he changed his phone number. Unfriended me on Facebook. Moved to a different city. I’m still shocked that he didn’t leave even one way open. I miss him every day. I’m hoping I can find answers – ways to deal and move on, as well as help and give support and encouragement to others here. Thank you!

      • #45580

        Hi, I found this site a few years ago and read Sheri’s Book. She was right.

        Not a day goes by that i don’t think of my estranged son and pray for the granddaughters i have not met. It is hard to stop wracking my brain in trying to figure out how to fix this situation or what I said or did that caused it. I know that I can not do a thing to fix this. My last email to him was a general apology for whatever mistakes we made in raising him (he has 2 fantastically loving siblings that he is also distant with). I only send him love and prayers. I put our relationship in his lap. At least he isn’t verbally cruel.
        He has also alienated my side of the family even though he was extremely close to his grandmother. It’s heartbreaking, I don’t know how he can live with himself…knowing the pain he inflicts on his family.
        I guess I/we was hoping for a reasonable explanation, he is a lawyer, I would hope he could do that. This marriage has hurt all the family members, mainly because He has changed from a caring christian who was raised around 3 sets of grandparents in a loving family to a distant fearful isolated husband. He has actually asked everyone for prayers.. for what? For his wife to suddenly change?
        I believe she is threatening him somehow..noone can visit them without being invited. SOOO STRANGE. Ever since HE got married to an insecure only child who had no friends (so many red flags) he has changed and has also become fearful.
        They hide their children from the world. The worst of it is..I love children and work with pre-school children. They can’t even respect that in me.
        The last time I saw Him and his wife and baby was at the Christening 3 years ago. She wouldn’t let me hold the baby which i respected her wishes. I apologized for unintentionally hurting her and told her i loved her and she snapped back, as if rehearsed, “I don’t accept that!, you intentionally hurt me!” No one know what she was talking about. I was so shocked i left. My husband and I raised 3 children who are intelligent and caring individuals, it’s so absurd for a daughter in law to be so disrespectful. I don’t think I ever had a conversation with her, even when I helped plan the wedding and baby shower. My son and i did it all.
        I find it interesting that some children that have been given so much love and attention (first born) can twist words and actions and become so ungrateful..maybe since they know we will always be there when they fall? I wouldn’t dream of treating my mother or in-law so horribly..even though they weren’t always supportive and loving.. Everything is so twisted.
        How can we warn other parents of this?
        I do talk to my friends and ask them to share what has happened to me to their teens. For people that know me…it saddens them too.
        My new husband and i moved away, closer to my other children. We have a new life, yet i morn for the loss and pray that God will protect them. Focus on the good.
        I would love to see this topic discussed openly from the pulpit and other forums.
        yikes I ramble…i don’t talk about this much. Thank God for this forum.
        Bless you all, we bring children into the world but they are not ours. Let them go.

    • #23881

      Hi, I’m new here & have attempted twice to post a msg. I wasn’t sure if I should “respond” (like I think I’m doing with this topic <?>) or try to start a new topic, and I have attempted to respond to another one, but it seems after I hit the “submit” button, my post just disappears and there’s no sign that I wrote anything.

      If somebody sees this and could please respond to tell me if/what I’m doing wrong, I’d appreciate it so much. I’ve been living in grief due to my 2 children’s shunning, with a few brief periods of reprieve, for almost 16 years, and man… I NEED you all! I’ve been so lonely for so long. They’ve shunned my husband, too, but it doesn’t seem to bother him that much. He can shrug it off, but I can’t. I especially have deep grief over the loss of relationship with my 6 grandchildren. So… OK, instead of going on and on about it, I’ll just try submitting this and hope it works this time.

      Thank you to everyone here willing to share your hearts and hurts.

    • #23962

      I just had the same experience as spacedin. I posted my intro and it is not here.

    • #23846

      I only just found you all here yesterday, & immediately signed up. I’ve been going through a roller coaster of rejection by both my children, a son and a daughter, for going on 16 years now. It may actually be longer, b/c although I don’t know what all was said and “decided” about what a horrible mother I was, I do know the talking about it began at least 6 months before it was acted on. If it helps those of you who understand this phenomenon on a deeper level, I was also the “family scapegoat” of 5 children when growing up, and that family of origin had much input to share with my children on why they were “justified” in finding me so loathsome. I only learned in the last few years that I have a mild case of Asperger’s Syndrome, which explains largely why I had such difficulty “getting it” since childhood, as well as being a great target for scapegoating. Now it seems my children have taken over for my parents & siblings.

      Anyway, I would have given anything to have this forum back at the beginning of this ordeal. I thought I was one of very few parents, or mothers in particular, who had given their all for their children since they were born only to be rejected in their adulthood. I still don’t know what is exactly wrong, b/c I’ve never been told specifically what I did to deserve this. It has devastated me, left me mostly heartbroken (I have 6 grandchildren I rarely get to see as well), and often hopeless. Sometimes I think there is a ray of hope, only to have the rejection pick up again a few months later. Most of all at this point I grieve the loss of relationship with my grandchildren. For whatever reason, they’ve always adored my husband and me whenever we’ve been allowed to be with them. Despite the Asperger’s, I adore children, and would be happy to dote on my grandchildren.

      So, I guess I could run on & on with this intro, and really do have other things I must get done in the next few days, but I am looking forward so much to getting to know the other rejected parents here, and to be able to share with you. I could also say I’ve come a long way from the beginning with a grief so sharp and raw that I used to be unable to do anything but push my head hard into the side of the mattress and scream out the pain. Now it’s more of a deep ache that never quite goes away. I know many/most/all of you understand that pain. Thanks for being here.

    • #23989

      Hello to everyone,
      I am new here also and chime in from time to time. I feel all of your pain and am so sorry for you all. It is so awesome that we found each other so we don’t feel so alone. All of you stories touch me and my heart aches for you all.

      I too am the family scapegoat and my narcissist mother basically stole my son and made him the golden boy. The limited contact I have had with my son over the last 18 months have been nothing but painful. Like many of you, the most painful thing is not being able to see the grandchildren. I have 22 month old I had in my life for first 6 months of her life and a 2 month old I have never met.

      Also , it is my DIL who insists on this estrangement and my own parents enable her.

      You can check out my story in further detail under my name, as I will read yours.

      I am so glad we can be hear for each other .

      We don’t deserve this and hopefully we can learn and grow from this pain.

    • #24042

      Hi everyone. I am new here also and am so thankful for all of you. I am so sorry for everyone’s pain and feel like I have found kindred spirits here. My husband and I have been estranged from our eldest son (and now our two grandchildren) for four years. We’ve experienced the gamer of emotions and are fed up with the behaviors, games, lies, and passive/aggressive actions of our spoiled, hard-hearted ES. Enough is enough. Everyone here has made me feel so welcome and I feel that I am truly among dear friends.

    • #24116

      Hi everyone

      I too am the family scapegoat and my narcissist mother basically stole my daughter and made her the golden child. I found this wonderful new home after researching narcissistic mothers etc and learned what had been going on and why my daughter and I were having such a bad time. It got to a point where I knew I had to do something I tried to get ED and I counselling but my narc mother told ED she was okay and did not need to be fixed! That ED did not need to listen to me. Imagine a 14 year old telling you 42 that she does not need to be listened to OR RESPECTED.

      I should have never allowed my mom to watch her when she was young. I should have found a baby sitter. Oh well should have etc lalala

      So she is now in a nursing home around 400 lbs and deserves every bit of it I feel now. I seen her this last Monday and now after seeing her look like that its obvious she was never mother material she had no love for me and she even called me my daughers name! Its sick.

      My daugher is now exactly like her and there is no way I want anything to do with a second
      narcissist especially when its my own flesh and blood her dad and her and EXACTLY ALIKE
      I watched her while she was at home using both of these young men who liked her. I had to at one point tell her that she had better tell the one she was not going to go to the show with the one or I was going to tell one of them what was going on. She is not a honest heart.

      She is 24 and just came back to the state I have lived in since birth and she was born here too.
      She had kept me totally out of the birth of this 19 month old she texted me 20 days ago for the first time in over 10 months. Her calling today was the first time we had spoke since Jan 2015 and she hung up on me during that phone call too.

      I think at this time I do not want to engage with her any more until she can get a hold of her self and speak to me respectfully and not hang up just cause she does not want to hear what is being said.
      She wants to bounce herself around as a adult she should at least act like one.

      Love ya thanks for letting me share

      • #24423

        Hello all,
        I’m sad to say that I am joining your club. My 21 daughter has decided that I don’t belong in her life anymore. Overall, it’s been years of difficulty between us but it came to a head recently over decision to reconcile with her addict BF. And so it seems, it will continue like this indefinitely. I’m heartbroken. I’m scared.

    • #24133

      I just saw this morning (up at 2:15 a.m. & unable to sleep again. So I came straight to this forum, even though I have a bunch of other paperwork to get done & in the mail tomorrow. I’m thinking I’m learning to take care of my emotional/psychological needs first, even when I’m pushing a deadline. In fact, maybe even more than when I’m pushing a deadline.

      Seeing the posts here this morning makes me want to answer every person who later added to this topic. I still haven’t learned how to start a new one yet, but that’s OK.

      So, for Gigi38 – I am SO sorry to see you say things have gotten worse! I know it seems impossible for any of it to get worse, but it horribly happens anyway. I sometimes feel my children are almost “curious” in a way. They want to see how far they can go with this until I reach my breaking point. Although, I believe I HAVE reached it plenty of times, with several breakdowns – (way more than enough times.) Maybe they want to see if I can be pushed to commit suicide?

      SunflowersDay – Thank you for your quote: “Let us begin to help you focus on the positives.” I’m just again “relearning” the importance of this. Even if it seems hard, or even impossible at times, we need to do that! I’m remembering the things I learned in years past about the devastation of “ruminating” on the bad things, often thinking that if I figure something out, I’ll be able to “say just the right thing” next time. But in reality, ruminating on the bad things done to you is the same as reliving it again & again, along with all the feelings of hurt and rejection. The last thing we need to do is keep experiencing that hurt repeatedly just by dwelling on it. I want to “just believe!” that by working on myself and seeking God’s will on everything, else, it will get better! Sometimes, considering all that’s been said & done, that seems more ridiculous than “positive thinking,” but at least I’ll have happier days in the meantime, and I do think changes in our own (often denied) problems could be a surprise to our children and cause changes in their thinking, too. That is, if they ever allow themselves to observe their new, improved Mom & Dad, huh?

      TheSheepReport – Hi to you, too, SheepReport. The best thing about this forum is that we all have been there and know exactly how painful it is. So, I hope to see more posts from you as we go along.

      360Mountain – I used to want to adopt a few child… so badly! I wonder if we had, would he/she have gone the same way as my bio-children? Anyway, your pain is described so well, I can feel the rawness of it alongside my own.
      CallieBelle – I was amazed to read what you had to say about your S-i-L. My daughter meeting her now long-time husband was right about the time things began to go awry. I know for a fact that much of the shunning is done to please him. It’s ironic, because the way I feel (a bit more forgiving than my husband), I would have been a “totally awesome, man” mother-in-law. in fact, my son & his wife along with our now estranged daughter, had a loving relationship until she met the man she ended up marrying, and it all went to the trash heap when my daughter’s then-new boyfriend entered the scene. I don’t blame everything on him, though. My children have chosen this path, and have gone along with some really evil (imo) behavior on their own.

      butterfly099 – Welcome to you, too. i’m not even sure how i’m doing this is the correct way, but I felt compelled to write here when I couldn’t sleep. It’s now 3:46 a.m. & I still can’t relax enough to sleep.

      Mostly, I’m intrigued by what you wrote about being the family scapegoat. I know for a fact that allowing my children to have so much time with my narcissistic mother and mother-in-law both, that there’s no doubt it contributed greatly to the way they diss me now. In fact, I think that by allowing the verbal abuse to go on, often right in front of me, I was “teaching” my children, in a way, to believe it’s OK to keep doing that.

      I’m curious how many of us here identify with being the family scapegoat. In my case with 4 siblings who could do no wrong, there’s no doubt about it. Maybe a survey would show it?

      Betternow – An you, another family scapegoat. When we grow up that way, we learn to expect to be treated badly, even while being baffled and outraged by it. It’s too deep in us if we’ve been raised that way. We truly do have “kick me” signs on our foreheads. And isn’t it something that we can be in denial for some time, but when we realize how spoiled and immature our estranged children are being, we’re able to see our formerly “perfect” children for the hard-hearted, mean-spirited people they are? (at least to us.) Yet even then, our unconditional love never ends, but increases. it’s learning how to balance that with the cruelty being shoved in our faces.

      Finally, to 4nature – Another family scapegoat? There’s definitely a pattern here with that. I want to study psych. in college, maybe even working for a degree in it (gotta do something with all the time I don’t have with my grandchildren.) And, I want to focus or specialize in family scapegoating and the phenomenon we’ve all experienced here with being rejected by those we love the most. I hope to be able to do something in my “elder” years to help others, especially children, who are being scapegoated. I think there’s a real need there, because too many of these children seem to grow up with an iron-clad bad self-image, telling us that all we deserve is to be abused. Like a dog being kicked all the time, after a while we learn to believe we deserve it. Even when we can logically think it out and know that we haven’t “deserved” any such thing, it’s so deeply imbedded that many of us need professional help to get beyond it.

      Another of my griefs, leading to my determination to learn and do all I can to reach out to him, is seeing our 7-yr-old grandson, a middle child of 3, being scapegoated to a point of sheer absurdity by both my daughter and her husband. It’s amost like they have no more empathy for him than they do for me. I know he’s going to grow up with a lot of baggage. I even considered calling children’s services about it, but I knew !) they know how to put on a near-perfect act for outsiders; 2) they’e surrounded themselves w/like-minded friends who would have their backs and lie for them, even though many of them have also observed this behavior; 3) they’d probably just assume it was me who called, even if I asked to remain anonymous; 4) I really do think they could put on a great-enough act for anybody sent to investigate them, that it wouldn’t be believed anyway & 5) my grandson is so young still, and so intimidated by his big bear of a father & my daughter who takes his side & view on everything, that I’m afraid *he’d* be afraid to tell the truth. I know I kept my bruises & welts hidden when I was a child.

      Sorry for so long. This is an early-morning rampage, I guess. I just feel so close to so many (all!) of you, I wish we could get together in person and just hug on each other. Blessings to you all.

    • #24152

      Spacedin (and others who may need this),

      To make your own new topic:

      * On the main page where all the topics are listed, scroll to the bottom
      * You’ll see where you can add a topic name, a note, and a submit button

      Voila! New topic started

    • #24241

      Hi everyone. I found this site in late 2014 and it was my savings grace at the time and at times still is. Loved Sheri’s book and suggest all read it. Helps put a lot in perspective.

      I have 5 children and am totally estranged from 3 and have an on and off relationship with 2. Been going on for decades. These two tend to waiver between looking for a fight or being loving. I take it as it comes and avoid fights now.

      Estrangement happened over decades and yes I say my mother who was a narcissist (viewed in hindsight) who sided with my ex at separation and was part of the initial rejection. Problem with mummy dear was that she only wanted one child and I was number two. Over the years added to that was the favourite sister who ended up the bulk of my parents estates and really enjoyed being the only child, once she got rid of me too.

      If there was talk of “rejected parents” decades ago I could have handled it all differently. Maybe with some let go earlier and without as much damage as they tried to cause to me.

      What I have learned the hard way was

      Not to have an argument with a child who contacted me to have an argument.
      View the estrangement as a result of a child’s decision not mine
      Be there whenever there is contact in a positive way without bringing up the past (though acting this way as been a result of Sheri’s website and book and therefore more recent response)
      Never give money or fall for the hard luck story. Offer suggestions as to how they can improve their own problems
      Respect estranged child’s decision but not take on board or personally suffer because of their often cruel and destructive reasons for wanting to be estranged
      Find, live and enjoy my own life
      Realise that it is not only me having this experience and it is not only my children to wanted to be estranged.
      Don’t expect too much of a relationship with grandchildren. Funny how an EC tends to be so negative than grandchildren as they grow up only hear or believe the negatives about you, not the positives
      Accepting that where an EC has hatred in their heart towards one or more parents, that the grandchildren can be raised with hatred in their own hearts as well and life for them it not that good. Or they do not have the qualities to have their own life go well.
      Be careful of grandchildren nearing adulthood or being young adults and reaching out for often it can be a way they have of trying to get back at their own parents (our EC’s)
      Try not to get caught up in “I was a good parent and therefore what is happening means I must be bad” We all do our best as parents and care enough to be hurt by rejection. It does not mean we were good parents, or have become or are seen as bad parent. We as parents where all doing our best.
      Once the relationship between ourselves and our EC’s has broken, there is no clear path to fixing it. Hope may be useful at times, but common sense needs to prevail.
      One of my favourite sayings for decades has been that are children are on loan to us. From the day of their birth each day they take one more step away from us. Our role as parents is to assist our children learn their strengths and weaknesses and transition into their own adult life. The difficulty each of us face on this website is that instead of a transition, there is a nasty jolt, and one that we do not expect. Let go anyway. If our client are unable to move into adult hood and keep us in their lives then they are learning on their own, the hard way. It is their own journeys now and not ours.
      More importantly, though the estrangement for us has been painful apart from allowing our selves to grieve at the time, do not get lost in the grief. Remember the good times whilst our children were growing up, but not enough to bring down our own shields against the next possible nasty EC attack. Our memories are our own but not one shared by ec’s.
      Our role as parents does change as our children get older. Once the children leave the nest is it time for the next stage of our own lives, loving caring and being with those who bring joy and happiness into our worlds.

    • #24512

      Hi all, Muppet here. My alternative name is Muppet, named after my sweet terrier who rescued me in August and who has given me all her love. She was estranged from her sister and a mom who adopted her and lived with for 2 years. She was delivered to me and my family in an abrupt exchange in a pet store. We are now partners in healing- she came to us for a reason.
      I’m relatively new to this group, but like so many others, I receive so much support from everyone here and my thoughts are gradually becoming more positive. Healing, I am told, is not a linear process. So many ups and downs, and just when you feel like you’ve got it, you lose it and have to start over. Like so many here, this has been going on for years and years. My ED has sided with her dad and his family and her in-laws. I don’t think I ever measured up to her. I just had a family of one, a struggling single mom. We weren’t powerful or prestigious in any way. I think she gravitated to the bigger, more stable side of the family. And eventually, felt her life would be better without me. But thanks to Sheri and the wonderful, empathetic, caring moms on this site, I experience more and more peace and happiness as the days go by. Welcome.

    • #24591

      Hi my name is Ruby13 and I have been estranged from my youngest daughter for nearly 2 years. I have four children and have just found this support group. Can I say firstly that I was so surprised that others are struggling with this sadness, I really thought I was alone and I am heartfelt sorry that it turns out there are so many of us.
      I now know that my problems go back to when I left my children’s’ father. Whatever happened between us as a married couple and there was some degree of violence on my husbands side, I can be adult enough to understand that we both moved on and were both happier in our second marriages. In my second marriage I took my three children, two girls and a boy to live with my husband and his son visited every second weekend. We had the usual ups and downs that all families experience but there was a deep and abiding love. All children agree that there was never any doubt that they knew they were loved and they all acknowledge they feel they had a privileged upbringing.
      Problems really arose when my youngest daughter moved in with her boyfriend and began planning her wedding. They had begun smoking a lot of cannabis, but I cannot be sure how much influence that had on the situation. My husband and I travelled to spend a weekend with my daughter with the intention of shopping for her wedding dress. When we went shopping, she pulled me aside in the street to tell me that she had already been shopping with her mother in law to be and an old friend of mine. My response to my daughter was that I told her I could not believe she had gone without me. I was upset but I went into the shop and paid for her wedding dress. It was so expensive I paid in instalments over the next six months.
      That evening there was a dinner to say goodbye to our sons who were going to Australia. My daughter was aggressive all evening and at one point I found her outside the venue running me down to her fiancées family. I walked along the road to phone my sister because I felt so shaky and in any event it was her birthday. I was so isolated that evening that I left. My daughter also embarrassed my husband by screaming at him in front of everyone. After that evening we were told we were not welcome at her wedding. Her mother in law and father in law to be told my daughter that both my husband and I would always be welcome in their home. Eventually my daughter contacted me to say I could go to her wedding but my husband could not, I said I could not do that to my husband who had always been very good to all the children. It did occur to ask her why and if she had some hidden reason for this. My daughter has said that there was nothing of that nature behind this request just that she wanted her own father at her wedding and didn’t trust them together. I tried to convince her that no one would dream of upsetting her day in any way but she would not relent.
      My son and my husbands son attended her wedding and had hoped that she would relent but she did not. Our sons took the decision after the wedding to tell their sister they think she is a deluded sibling and didn’t want anything to do with her. I have tried unsuccessfully to get them to reconcile. My elder daughter is very kind to me and keeps good relationships with everyone. We do not speak of it so that she does not feel compromised. It is very hard for everyone because there are now subjects to be avoided where once upon a time we could talk about anything. It has changed the shape of the family for everyone and it makes me feel guilty and sad that I can’t put that right for everyone. it has been nearly two years and I still cry everyday but try to hide it because I am sure my husband is fed up with a sad wife. He also has his own pain for losing a child that, although was not his biological child, he loved dearly. My husband and I have variously written, visited, texted, phoned, sent gifts and everything is rejected.
      I know I have to re-frame my normal for everyone’s sake but I am struggling to do that. I am frightened to give up and frightened to try. I’m scared and unsure now of most things. I know that parenting is the hardest job in the world and have said to my daughter several times that I am sure I did not get everything right and when she became a parent she might understand that. She knows I love her and I have to get to a place where I can accept that she is happier without me in her life.
      My poor family, my other children, my husband, sister, brother, cousins, nephews, nieces and friends have been so supportive but I don’t think anyone except you guys can understand the madness that comes with this situation.
      I have read so much today that has already helped. I have unfollowed people on social media, not because I dislike them, but to make sure I see less that makes me sad. I am in awe of all of you that you are functioning and so supportive of each other and I hope that if My story resonates with someone and if they feel less alone then one good thing emerges from this madness and it might seem less like madness.

      • #24762

        Hi Ruby13 and Welcome!

        I hope you will continue to find strength and support from this group of wise ladies and gentlemen. This group has guided me through some very dark times and I am forever grateful for them. Please know that we understand your pain, your heartache, your disbelief, your fear, and all the other feelings you may have.

        I promise you that with time, you are going to be able to move forward in a happy and productive way. You won’t cry every day. You will sleep again. You will feel productive. And your brain will have more space for the things that make you feel good.

        In the meantime, I can relate to every single word you said. So much of our stories are the same.

        Hang on. Hang in. Stay here with us and let us help.


    • #24600

      Welcome, Ruby13.

      You’ve done a thorough notation that gets at how complex and strange these situations can be. I wrote Done With The Crying and founded the forum for just the reasons you discuss, and it’s kind of you to consider others’ feelings when you are hurting. Thank you!

      You mentioned the shape of your family. There’s an exercise about that in the book…and you’re right about reframing this. But heck…no need to do it alone. There are kind, caring people here to help.

      Again, you are welcome here!

      Sheri McGregor

    • #24485

      Hi, I’ve been visiting this site for over a year and have been reading Sheri’s book, all of which has been a great help getting back to a place of peace in my life.

      We have been estranged from our oldest son and 2 grandkids for 2 years, although there were problems prior to that, thanks to a DIL who rewrote our ES’s growing up years and brainwashed him into believing that it’s perfectly acceptable to kick your parents out of your life for no good reason. I take that back – they think they have good reasons, but when asked to explain, they can’t come up with anything that makes any sense.

      As so many others have said, it helps to know you’re not the only one going through this. I come here whenever I’m remembering things or questioning how to handle situations that come up. And that’s what’s so hard about all of this – it’s never-ending. Just when your think you’re doing OK, here comes some form of brief contact that stirs everything up again. Not to mention birthdays and holidays.

      Thank you to everyone who shares on here. You’re all truly a blessing.

      • #39397

        Dear Wren62,
        I feel like I am in the same boat. We are estranged from our eldest son after marrying our DIL. DIL has made a point of cutting out anyone who doesn’t agree with her, including her own father and her fathers family.

        I just reached the end of my rope last week when they had their first baby. We were told to not call or text. We live several states away, but my heart was broken. I am done waiting to have a relationship that he doesn’t value. I’m done waiting for a call. I’m done trying to form any type of relationship with my DIL. This is all very fresh for me, I have the book, but I’m doing all she says not to. I’m isolating, rolling over every memory I have asking how did this go so wrong.

        My son is reaching out to my husbands side of the family, probably to tell them how horrible I am. They are eating it up. We never told them all the. Trouble he’s put us through, so they wouldn’t think badly of him or his wife. It feels as if he’s picking a team to fight against us. Now, I dread seeing them, who knows what he’s told them!

        It’s nice to know people are out there. This is my third post, and I haven’t heard back from anyone. Is ther a trick to navigating this site?

      • #39410


        Welcome to the”club.”

        Please post in the other threads and you’ll get replies. This introduction thread is so long, when you reply in here, people can see from the main page that you’re the last poster, but when they click through, it’s hard to find you. That’s because when you “reply” directly to an individual post, it nests your post with the one you reply to. In the shorter topic threads, the posts don’t get lost among all the others.

        Please join the new topics!

        Sorry you must be here, but glad you found us.

        Sheri McGregor

    • #24610
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Dear Wren62 and Ruby13, welcome! Although I am very sorry you are in the horrors of estrangement. At this point, getting and giving support to each other is all we have. So many here have stories of meanness from their EC. Yet so many also have seized the day and taken back their power and forged a new life. Things don’t always go as we planned, and good parents can have hateful adult children. Hope you will post to the main postings in the body of the forum and share with us, gripe with us, and move forward with us. Blessings to you both.

    • #24697

      Hi All, I too am new to the site and am relieved to know its not just me.My ED and I have had a strained relationship for about 18mnths , prior to this we had been very close.
      It came to a head a couple of weeks ago when her and partner and bub were staying with us while looking for suitable accomodation .She was clearly only here because she had to be, which was ok as we were only trying to help them out.I was hoping it would be a time of healing for her and I
      Then one day when I was tidying up, I found something she had written about me saying my very way of being was repulsive to her.Something broke in me at that point and I thought I cannot keep doing this. They left a few days later but not before she gave me another serve about how awful I am.
      At this stage I am happy to not have contact, as I can’t keep putting myself in the firing line

      Its great to have this space because my husband and son don’t want to hear about it anymore , which I understand.Also looking forward to reading Sheri’s book for some tips and guidance.

    • #25001

      Hi, I am new. Sorry this is a long story. Three weeks ago, while talking with our 40 year old daughter on the phone. She suddenly stated that she was going to go out into the woods and blow our her brains. And hung up the phone. Tried to call her back, and finally called the State Police to go check on her.

      Of course, she has twisted all of this that I have embarrassed her and her family. And blocked me from all contact, even with her two older boys that we took care until the oldest was 10. Than the accusations started, I am telling everyone I know that she is suicidal, that I never told her that she did anything right, we manipulated both her and the boys. that I punched her in the face. that I am psycho, and have hurt her and the children. Oh, and they have filed a report with the state police on me. And if I come near them I will be treat like a criminal.

      This is her third marriage, we have paid for 2 divorces, moved her 10 times, bailed her out of some many spots, paid bills, had her and the two older boys (from second marriage) live with us for 1 year. Encouraged her to get her degree and not get messed up with another man for awhile. And before her divorce papers were in the court system, she was pregnant to her current husband.

      I feel like a complete failure, after everything we did or thought we did. To get this in return. It makes no sense. Now they want to move and take the older boys away from their Dad.

      Thanks for listening.

    • #24893

      Hi everyone,

      I am happy to have found this place where I can share my sorrow and pain, and look for comfort and healing. I share my sadness with only my closest friends, as I do not feel like getting a beat down from others who would say ” it’s your raised did fix it you’re the mom…you must have done something to cause this..”
      as I am sure others have been subject to comments like this. So here’s my story:

      I am homeless and I will be 61 in July. When the market crashed in 2006, I was a casualty as I worked in the real estate industry, and things did not recover in my region of the US. SInce that time I have struggled to survive but managed to; I never asked my kids for one red cent. Currently, I am a live in care provider for an elderly man, and work a side job on top of this but I am trying to make it. My 2 adult kids ages S2B 38 & 32, are college educated high income and homes of their own. Younger one married 4 years and older one engaged ( so I heard) and neither knows where I am and do not care, either.

      I rasied them as a single parent following the big D from an X who was a deadbeat, uninvolved selfish and spoiled, and died at age 43. I took excellent care of both of them, always putting them first, and making sure they had opportunities in education, etc. They also went to Hawaii almost every year. My parenting skills are not in question, and associates will say that I was an excellent caring parent and cannot imagine how the kids could be so cruel and hateful toward me.

      Older daughter has never once invited me to her home as a guest. Ever. She has gone years and years without contacting me, only to pop up suddenly, as she did on Xmas sending a IM via facebook ” whats your address “. No hello-hi, how are you-I love you.and I miss you” Only a one liner “whats your address” and so I asked why she wants my address, and her response was to say ” OH, never mind.. I knew it was a mistake to contact you ” to which I asked her to please leave me alone and not to contact me anymore. I told her she was cruel and disrespectful and very hurtful, and she launched into another attack on me as a human. She mocked my homelessness and said that she would be looking out for me among the crowds of homeless drug addled losers for my face in the crowd. That was it for me. She has also threatened to call the police and file a harrassment complaint against me if I try to contact her! I made it clear to her to leave me alone in this life.
      Daughter #2, when presented with my homeless situation, not only did nothing to help me find a room to rent or a place to live, but blamed me for my situation, saying ” you should have planned for this 20 years ago ” to which I replied that 20 years ago I was raising her as a single parent. She and my SIL did not help me move my possessions out of apartment when the building got sold and lease terminated. They took the valuable stuff and sold it, claiming I owed them $ for a phone bill, which was BS they took the valuable stuff and left me to fend for myself with a deformed spine, scoliosis and osteo-arthritis. Thankfully, a friend helped me and others took me in until I could affrd to rent a room. I have not heard from my daughter or SIL in over 2 years now, except to be sent emails that I am crazy mentally ill and to blame for my homelessness.
      I have asked both of these daughters to please leave me alone from this point forward.. I am done being abused and horribly mis treated by 2 selfish uncaring narcissistic daughters who care more about their living room couch that the loving mother who bore them, loved them and raised them alone. The cold bhard truth is they would rather I did not exist. The utter cold heartedness ius mind boggling.
      I am finding out that I am far from alone.

    • #25011


      Are posts moderated for approval ? Wondering why my intro has not appeared yet.

    • #25088

      dear movingonwithmylife,
      Yes. Posts are moderated to avoid spammers and sploggers, etc. Additionally, there is a third step to the registration process. I ask people to send a note via the contact form with their actual name and a couple sentences about their situation. I didn’t see one from you. I then will respond with a note about a few group guidelines.

      I decided to go ahead and post your note but please do contact me with that information (privately via the contact form …in the about section of this website)


      Sheri McGregor

    • #25125

      Thank you for replying, and I did send that required information to you a few minutes ago. I will not allow myself to be disrespected and made to feel that I have no value to my adult daughters. I did not raise them to be selfish and uncaring, but they have chosed to embrace this corporate mentality of ‘ survival of the fittest ” and ” problems ? Blame yourself”. They see me as an embarrassment and a liability. Youngest actually told me to take out long time care insurance, even tho I cuuld hardly put gas into my car. I never took a dime from them. They did not offer to let me move in with them until I could find my own place. Now I am banished and sad but OK. I plan to have a great rest of my life.

    • #25281

      I would like to introduce myself but first I want to thank all of those before me. Scrolling down and reading all the intros, how surprising to recognize so many parts of my own story. It has taken me a long time to get here and it feels like a tremendous gift to be able to connect with people in the same predicament that I find myself in.
      Several people mention being the “scapegoat” of the family during their own childhood, and many reference a kind of learned way, perhaps, from other family members that it is ok to cut us off or be-little us? And that our child is heavily influenced by their significant other. And that there has been parental alienation towards me from their father. All of this applies.
      In a nutshell, for me: of the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, and the courage to change the things I can, it is the wisdom to know the difference that so often eludes me when it comes to my kids.
      As painful as it is to suddenly be so hated by my son who had been so close to me, sometimes I think the guilt I have about moving on is worse!
      For instance, I delighted in my grandsons and found them fascinating and dear. Yet, knowing that my son would consider it treason if I were to develop friendships with other small children prevents me from attempting it; even though I long for this connection and feel that not only would it be healing for me, but potentially for a child as well. I suspect he already resents that I am still close to my older son and grandson.
      Two times we spoke on the phone in the last two years and both times he told me: I never said you couldn’t see them (his sons). But how can I see them?? I send them cards and packages but never get any response, he and his wife don’t send me pictures of them or let us chat via phone. So it is this problem of feeling damned if I do and damned if I don’t that prevents me from having peace in my mind and heart.
      There is scarcely a moment in my waking life or my dreams that my son is not on my mind. It is all a huge tangle. My goal is that he comes back to me not because I want him to, but because he wants to, for his own sake.
      My solace and consolation is that he is healthy, his children are healthy, his wife loves him, and he has a good job and good friends. So many women I know have sons who are addicts, or in prison, or dead. It is eerie to me that a high percentage of my close friends have lost their sons to fatal car accidents or sudden illness, another whose son was killed in Iraq, and yet another whose son committed suicide.
      My sympathy for them reminds me how blessed I am that my son is alive and well. It’s somewhat babyish of me to make myself sick over him not loving me, that is why I am trying so hard to be well.
      It just hurts a lot.
      I’m super grateful to be part of the rejected parents community. Thank you.

    • #25389

      Dear Mother, queenofcups,

      I am pretty new too and not sure if it is “OK” to respond here in intro or not, but I felt so compelled by your saying, “It’s somewhat babyish of me to make myself sick over him not loving me.” I had to respond. First, I am so sorry you are being treated this way. This is agony worse than divorce, much worse. My heart resonates to the anguish of thinking yourself babyish for being in tormented anguish, and believing even for a moment you don’t deserve respect and love from your son.

      First, you deserve to have respect as a humane being. Second, you deserve respect as a mother. Third, most certainly, you deserve love as a mother. Our children would not be here without the sacrifice of ourselves, our bodies, our time, our money, our youth, opportunities, often our health and appearance. Our love for them cost us plenty, yet we gave it and would have all our lives without even thinking about it, because of our love for them. The only thing stopping us now, is them!

      You deserve love as a mother because it is wholly unnatural not to have it. Unless a mom has actually sold her children into sex trafficking, tortured them physically and or mentally deliberately, (things like being poor and divorced do not qualify, although they are torturous for all in many ways), she deserves love and respect and has every right to expect it, period. You are not undeserving, your son’s attitude and behavior is deplorable and his choice, his flaw, not yours. It is wrong, a violation of nature and good moral sense as a human being.

      Personally, if I had known that this would be the outcome of my having children as indeed it is to varying degrees, running on, with a few ups and extreme downs, miserably for years (my two are in their 30s) I would resoundingly have not had any children. I certainly expected mine to grow up and function on their own, but not to abandon me in any way and justify it in their own heads ever. I would have died for them. I gave everything I had for them. I fully, naturally anticipated, it never crossed my mind otherwise, that I would continue be loved by them as I certainly seemed to be, and respected and moreover automatically forgiven as I forgave my parents and children for being human.

      I honored my parents (keeping my gripes to my self pretty much), increasing in understanding and grace toward them as I grew up and older and wiser. I gave honor and love, not dumping them because they had problems and my childhood was not all peaches and cream. Mind you, my parents got a lot right in spite of PTSD from war and mental health chemical imbalances, but much was lacking. So what? There is no perfect. It is not a reasonable disqualifier for receiving respect, love, honor. (It may actually be more of a qualifier, considering how much harder it was for my parents to function after all that life dished them). Closeness may vary ( something to be worked on maybe even in therapy) but love, respect and honor, no.

      Where is the adult recognition of our struggles as fellow human beings as they too experience being an adult with all it’s stress, and where is the resulting compassion? What is so seriously wrong with these kids that they expect perfection and think they do not owe us if they decide one day, that we are flawed. The flaws I am thinking of here are not big criminal activities but regular human imperfection. I have never met a human who was not flawed, It is not a valid excuse in most cases (some sadly it is). This is an extremely unhealthy trend in our society, leading me to say I would not have had them had I known. For indeed, they must be in agony themselves in order to fly in the face of nature it’s self and I would never have wanted to have a child to live a life of agony.

      One more time precious heart, queenofcups and all of us here. We deserve love and respect from our kids, whether we get it or not. We have a right to be hurt, puzzled, stunned, bleed emotionally and more. You don’t stab someone and expect them to whistle Dixie. But thankfully, this site and some others, exist where other aching Moms and Dads are sharing their stories, lifting each other up, helping us to regain our bearing and steady our feet as we proceed to recover from the shock of a lifetime. Yes, queenofcups, you will come to smile again and mean it. On occasion, I even laugh and feel joy, between the tears. We are all here to care and help each other get there. Welcome, you have found a refuge.

      caring, idenitfying

      • #25491

        @woundedheart: I so can relate to your post. You are spot on, and not alone. I am currently networking with the head of a foundation helping the homeless and hungry, and she has relayed stories about women being turned away by their own adult kids and family for daring to be homeless and in need. I don’t get it. I would not turn a homeless dog or cat away, let alone my own mom/dad/sibling and I once took in a pregnant and homeless woman into my home to help her. Her daughter said I saved her life. She was married but hubby took a lover and told her to get an abortion.
        He threw her out of a moving vehicle, and nothing was done about this. Terrible!

        My friends re my family. My 2 adult daughters will someday realize that love was all that mattered. Not their new SUV or vacation. They rejected what was taught to them, in favor of a celebration of their entitlements. Karma will visit them.

        Yes, this is a shocking silent epidemic: unload 9the liabilities and to ease their own guilt, blame mom for not making better choices, assuming she even had one.

        My daughter scolded me for not remarrying ! In other words, I should have looked for a meal ticket. She was not raised like that, either. We are not responsible for the values choices our adult kids make.

    • #25430

      woundedheart – Thank you for your post. My son – whom I haven’t spoken to in about 1/12 years – really threw me for a loop when he told me that I didn’t deserve respect “just because I’m his mother” and that respect is EARNED. His then-girlfriend (now engaged) has filled him with such BALONEY. I agree with you that I DID EARN respect by being his mother for over 30 years and doing everything you mentioned. Of course, having a conversation with him – and her – was ME trying to be calm and sensible and THEM screaming and accusing me of “defending myself.” Their reasons and answers are ridiculous. It’s almost laughable. But it hurts too much to laugh. I used my retirement money to help him and his first wife (with whom I am on good terms with – it’s the only way I’d see my grandson) when he didn’t work for over a year. I’m a gift-giver (like MY mom) – and find joy in seeing something for someone I love and buying it or making it – for the pure joy of getting to see them smile and be pleased. Yet all my $$ and gifts were reduced to “you can’t buy someone’s love”. Wow! I wish he would told me that several years ago when I put food on their table, gave gas money, rent money, etc.

      How did this woman – mean, hateful, insecure – turn him and make him believe all this baloney? That’s what I don’t get. He KNOWS what I’ve done for him – how can he really believe these things? How can he look himself in the mirror – and turn everything I’ve ever done, to crap? Talking to them – and I mean calm and serious – is like talking to children who cover their ears and say “blah blah blah – I can’t hear you.” How could he have convinced himself of her hateful view of things?

      I told him that she would one day make sure that all the people he loved would no longer be in his life. His friends – and then me – were the first ones to go. His father – my ex- lives across the country so he’s not a threat to her – he’s far enough away. Now I can see it happening to my 7 year old grandson. The things he confides to me (that my son’s girlfriend says to him) – even if I take with a grain of salt – are still horrible and mean. And my son turns a deaf ear. I’m afraid for my grandson – he deserves LOVE and caring parents and step parents. I don’t know what to do – except shower him with all the love I have and try to help him make sense of what that woman says and does. He is not physically in danger – I don’t believe she would ever hit him. But he puts up with mean barbs and comparisons to her own two young children.

      Anyway, I am sorry to go on so long about this. I just wanted to say thank you for your kind and inspiring words.


    • #25432

      Spot ON woundedheart. Beautifully written. Hope to hear more wisdom from
      you in the future.

    • #25294
      AvatarStanding Tall

      I am the newest member of this club (that no one wants to be a part of). My daughter, who is a senior in high school, exited her life on January 19, 2017. We don’t know where she is but believe she is still in the area, but because she is 18 years old the police will not help us. She has cut out ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE…not just us (myself, her dad and brother) but EVERYONE and EVERYTHING in her life EXCEPT her boyfriend of 5 months and his family. We have asked then pleaded for their help and they have ignored us. We NEVER saw this coming….no fights,, no drugs, no disrespect. She is kind, courteous, a good employee, a great student with a 3.3 GPA who earned 2 scholarships to the colleges of her choice. We are devastated beyond words….not just for us, but for her. The choices she is making without realizing, due to her immaturity/age, and the life long impact they will have. I am just not sure what to do next…doing nothing feels like I am giving up on her. The thoughts, images, memories, etc of her seem to invade my every waking moment and my dreams too.

      I am grateful for this site and for the internet so I don’t feel so alone. The shame, my husband and I feel, is great. Although we know that we have been good…not perfect, but good parents..we feel like we need to defend and/or isolate ourselves so we don’t have to answer the questions or possibly face the reality. As I research estranged adult children.. in desperation for help, answers, etc. I was truly shocked by the statistics of this silent epidemic. Thanks for reading/listening.

    • #25492

      Hi, I’m so glad I found this group. I never knew such a thing existed, until my partner suggested I Google it. So here I am and I have him to thank.

      I don’t even know where to begin, it is very complex, and stems back to my raising my children since 2000, when I left their father. For the purpose of this intro, I will just say that my two oldest kids, 26 (daughter) and 24 (son) have abandoned me, and will only tell me that I “know” why, and until I apologize they want nothing to do with me. Well, I honestly don’t “know” why; I’ve admitted to some poor behaviour on my part over the years, and have been accountable for not always coping well also, while stuggling through anxiety, depression, and BPD traits, and molestation. I didn’t always do the best I could, I wasn’t always thinking clearly, and have suffered alot of personal pain. I do not have a relationship with my adoptive mother either, but she knows why I do not. My estranged children side with her on everything…she has money. My youngest daughter who is 20 sees past it, and loves me unconditionally, even though her father and her have been estranged for many years, and she and I have also had many issues… our bond is strong. She lives at my adoptive mothers, and hates it….tells me how awful my mother treats her and such. She has been asked to move out. Her siblings have nothing to do with her either, and haven’t really, for years since my youngest struggles with an eating disorder and mental health issues. It’s a very, very sad situation, as all of you on this forum are all too aware…the sadness, the hollow that never fills. My oldest daugher did not allow me to see her during her pregnancy 5 years ago (and will not allow me to see my granddaughter now even after we had such a bond for the past few years), as she thought I was doing hard drugs (which I was not). We ultimately reconciled that issue and actually became the best of friends for a good couple of years, and my granddaughter is the apple of my eye.

      It has been about 8 months now since my son and she along with my granddaughter moved away from my house, and will not contact me. I have since moved to the city, about 45 min away. It would be so sweet for them to actually tell me what I did so wrong, why they consider me such a horrible mother, outside of what I already know I did, or didn’t do, which certainly does not deem such treatment. They were always cared for, never neglected, and they are cherished. I’m tired of pushing my way into their lives anymore, only to get the door slammed on me.

      I haven’t even touched on everything in this intro but this is in a nutshell. I appreciate any and all of you who take the time to read, and offer support. Sincerely grateful to be here, thank you Sheri.

    • #25493

      New to this forum, I have on and off been estranged from my 23 year old son since he met his girlfriend three years ago, they have had my grandson together and a granddaaughter on the way, there has been less and less contact over the years with my son and when there has been any contact it has always been an unpleasant experience.
      The first mothers day this year that my son didn’t bother, just a “happy Mothers Day” on a text nothing else, no x ,no hi mum ,no nothing, but his fiancee got a celebration of being the best mum in the world to my grandson , all over social media ! not that I mind that but it just hurts when he seems to have disowned me!!, finding my emotions and life very hard at the moment.
      But glad this forum is here,
      Thank you and good wishes to you all fellow parents that is going through the same thing.

    • #25505


      Thank you for caring and identifying and all you said kind of surprised me! Very sweet of you to remind me of those true things.
      It goes back to the divorce, nearly 17 years now, but I felt like an old car he scrapped, not good enough to sell, only selvage. My attorney told me divorce is a lesson in letting go. The letting go has just never seemed to stop. The whole thing was devastating and humiliating and I have never been the same since. My life is divided into the before and after.
      Children learn from what we do, not what we say. Especially since they were boys, I think they learned it was ok to dis-respect me from him, even dis-own me.
      I think that’s why it doesn’t seem so horrible to the kids, because they went thru their parents divorce.
      My parents were not perfect either but we grew closer and and closer thru my adult years, I didn’t hold blame in my heart because I understood they were doing the best they could.
      Is it a silent epidemic? I feel like other families seem to stick together even with all their problems.

    • #25552

      Hi, I am new to the group and really this is a tough… My son age 26 and wife of 4 years has decided that they need time away from me so that I can work on being nice to the daughter n law. This all started once she said I do… I was very supportive of the marriage as she had lived in our home since the age of 17 while finishing school. Soon after the marriage approximately 10 months she walked out of the marriage. My son was devastated and came to me for comfort, I was heart broken that he had to feel this pain and he said she cheated before the marriage and he continued with the wedding as he forgave her. Soon after about 6 months she wanted him back and he was definitely not wanting any part of that, so she came to me. I urged him to give it one last shot since she had a 3 day cruise planned and if it doesn’t work out then be finished. He went and they got back together and I was so happy for them. Then my son told me that she has bipolar and an eating disorder and times are really hard for him. Well soon the distance came as she would have excuses as why she could not attend dinner outings and soon my son stated that he would not be able to attend as he is standing beside her in this as I am mean to her.
      I do not believe that I am mean I am maybe to honest…
      Example… me … ” Let’s go out for a boat ride on the pontoon for a sunset cruise” her… “I can’t my ovaries hurt” me… Eye roll
      To my Son ” You can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan” Her ” I contribute to the household to.” Me ” Silence
      My son and I have always had a very close relationship as with my other son all of us would get together for dinner at least twice a month including their father and now we can not even get a text or a phone call answered.
      The last text he answered stated that they need more time from me. I asked my son what could I have done so bad that he would just disown me and he stated “This has nothing to do with me
      I’ve never done anything to him, it’s that it is very sad that I cannot understand that I don’t know how to treat people.”
      I text he ” Nice wedge that you have put between us!
      And texted both of them ” I will not bother you 2 with request to see you anymore as it is heartbreaking. Hopefully one day you will call. Love Mom

      Now Where from here? Feeling lost!

    • #26048

      My daughter left 6 years ago. She has not communicated at all except for an email stating that I was not her mother any more. She has left siblings and other family members. The pain is devestating.

    • #26075

      Such Hateful words. “I was not her Mother any more. Such damage in those7 words.
      All of us on this forum can feel that devastating pain you feel. As Mothers when
      we first held our babies did we ever think that we would someday be kicked
      out of our adult children’s lives. Shunning is about the most hateful and mean
      thing that can happen to someone. To think our own children CAN DO IT and
      go on with their lives is just mind blowing. My ED has children I wonder what
      the future holds for her. My Grandchildren have witnessed their Mothers actions
      towards me. Someday ED may know the pain I lived with.

    • #26055

      Let me introduce myself. I am new to the site and have read the book “Done With The Crying” which I find very helpful in dealing with estranged adult children. It is very realistic and provides tools for moving on with our lives, remaining hopeful but accepting that for today our estranged adult children are not in our lives and acceptance that they may not come back.
      There are support groups for every problem people have and there doesn’t appear to be any support groups for parents dealing with the heartbreak of estrangement. There are support groups for people dealing with substance abuse, loss of spouse, parents, children but there doesn’t appear any support for those of us who have estranged adult children.
      The pain is very real and we stay in silence for fear of judgment. If a person’s child dies, there is closure and there is an outpouring of sympathy. In our case, there is no closure because there’s always hope of reconciliation and there is harsh judgment. We are also filled with shame, guilt and remorse. The holidays, people pushing strollers, places we’ve been to with our children are all constant reminders of the loss.
      A year ago when my adult son and adult daughter chose to keep me out of their lives and estrange themselves from me and not allow visitation or phone calls with my grandchildren, I isolated and was angry and jealous of those who had children and those who had children. I could not bring myself to talk to them when they were talking about their grown children and their grandchildren. No one understands and I feel so alone. I must have googled Parents of Estranged Adult Children and I found the book, “Done With The Crying” and I began reading it immediately. I’m still angry, I’m still sad but I do not allow those feelings to get in the way of other people’s children, grandchildren and their happiness. It’s a year later and today I am able to ask people about their children and their grandchildren. I am able to look at their pictures as well. But the sadness hits me around the holidays, when I am alone or when I go places where I took my children. I try and keep as busy as I can and I volunteer at a soup kitchen once a week. I thought about how many couples or single people I know who do not have children of their own and have fostered relationships with their nieces and nephews. I am an only child and that is not an option. I have been fortunate enough to meet a young man who is just a couple of years older than my oldest estranged son. He and his wife have a young son one year younger than my grandson and very similar in looks. He and his wife graciously included me in their Thanksgiving where I was surrounded by over a dozen children. This past weekend my friend and his wife included me in their son’s birthday party and while I thought of my own children and numerous birthday parties I had taken them to, I also am grateful I had the opportunity to be included with these children, their parents, their grandparents and other relatives.
      I was feeling real blue because Easter is coming up and I want nothing more than to color Easter eggs with him and just the other day I received an invitation from a church I visited to volunteer for their Easter Egg Hunt and so I did. I will surround myself with children and help out with the Easter Hunt. I will miss my own grandson but I will also be able to participate in the joy of numerous children.

    • #26171

      I would really like to thank all of you responsible for this website. I have been suffering unimaginable pains, both on a mental as well as a physical plane for about 31/2 years since my daughter chose quite suddenly to slowly distance herself from me. To this day, I do not know what happened. Previous to this time period, our relationship, although not the best, was a fairly good one with me visiting her (and her family of husband and two children) from time to time with everyone seeming to have a good time.

      About three and a half years ago, I became quite sick physically and did need to depend on our phone calls to get through the day. She was commiserative and spoke to me with concern. In fear of my ill health, I exposed a certain amount of my dependance on her, to her. It was very soon after this that she began to not call me, sometimes not even picking up the phone when I called her.
      To make my predictable story short, it has been getting slowly worse with her never contacting me herself now. If I call, she usually does not pick up. Messages are sometimes answered, sometimes not.

      My health became worse with my doctors telling me that stress and anxiety were the cause of most of my ill health. I did not know how to improve this. I tried meditation, listening to inspiring talks and so on.
      However, I can see now that it is only the passage of time and trying to remember a time when I too had some self respect that I am now slowly getting out of this thick fog of misery that this situation has caused me. Now, I do not call her.

      I was so very happy to find this website and read about others who are also going through similar situations. It helps so much. Thank you.

      • #26288

        Welcome Aware Human,

        I hope this group will help you and that your health will improve as a result of being in contact with other humans in similar situations. You are not alone. Check in as often as you need. This is a safe place.


    • #26182

      howdy (((((((((sheri mcgregor n’ all the rest here))))))))) …
      my thanks for all you do here

      ordered “Done With The Crying” yesterday

      been on this estrangement path for a little over four years… our only daughter went NO contact (from her brother and the rest of the family) about three years ago now

      my thanks and hope

      • #26289

        Howdy indigoCOOL,

        There is lots of hope here. Glad to have you on board with us. Four years is a long time. I’m thinking you will have quite a bit of wisdom to share.


      • #26641

        getting better all the time and how are you (((((((((dear Healingheart))))))))) … ?

        thank ((((((you)))))) for the welcome here!

        “honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom” -Thomas Jefferson

        guess you could say after addressing our only daughter about one too many lies … she decided the truth was too much to handle and closed that chapter and decided to go no contact.

        it is also written … “love is a gift” “Respect is earned by both parent and child” “… and there is no Commandment that says, “Thou shalt love thy children on their terms.” “Unconditional Love is Unconventional Bulls**t.”

        “…When you blame and criticize others, you are avoiding some truth about yourself…”-Deepak Chopra

        “The highest form of wisdom is kindness”

        there is a lot of that wisdom and kindness here @ this site and forum!!!

        thanks again


    • #26235

      Hello! My daughter stopped talking to me a year ago. Needless to say, it’s been a tough year as I don’t know why. She’s done this twice before. The difference being her husband would call after a few months wondering what was wrong and there she’d be like nothing happened. One time, a few weeks after my brother had died of a heart attack, she called and wanted to go shopping. Feeling drained and still grieving, I told her I didn’t feel up to it..she hung up on me and didn’t speak to me for 3 months..until her hubby called. One of the problems is every time she’s done this, I’ve let it slide, never said a word about it, was just happy to have her back. It’s different now as she’s divorced and hubby isn’t there to ‘fix’ it for her.

      I was very depressed over the summer and did speak to someone about what I was going through. I was told that I was being manipulated and bullied. Through this interaction I realized that yes, I was at fault in a way. I didn’t set boundaries with her, I accepted her disrespect in order to keep the peace. I was widowed when she was only 3 and it was tough being a single mom. I wasn’t the perfect parent, but are there actually perfect parents? I don’t know any.

      I was advised to send her a letter telling her exactly what I felt. I wrote that she was not to manipulate me anymore or use her children as manipulation tools, as she was doing that. That she had to accept the fact that I have a life outside of her, and how I lived it was not going to be according to her ‘script’ of how I should. That the choice of estrangement was hers and it would be up to her to realize our relationship would probably never be the same because of her choice.

      After being depressed, the anger set in. I’m at a point right now, that even though I miss her, I don’t know if I am ready, or even if I want to talk to her. I have days when I feel the pain and then the next day, I feel..nothing.

      Thank you for this site. For months I’ve felt strange admitting to myself that my daughter and I are ‘estranged’. Days when I don’t feel normal for not wanting to contact her in any way. What kind of mother am I to not want to contact my daughter? I hope not too left of normal…

      • #26290

        Welcome Darkstar,

        Yes. Admitting estrangement is strange. Living estrangement is strange. We have all asked the same question? what kind of mother am I to not want contact with my daughter?

        Here, at this forum, you are considered normal!!!!!!

        I look forward to learning from you and hearing more about you.


    • #26306

      Welcome Darkstar,

      I am fairly new hear also. I am also at the point that I don’t know if I want contact with my es. Over the last 18 months, I allowed him to control our relationship and it has been very one sided for many years before. I guess the last straw for me was when his son was born 3 months ago and I was sent a text the day and a picture and a name, but DIL says I can’t meet him. The last time I saw my son in December and he brought my 19 month granddaughter whom I only saw 3 times since the estrangement he told my husband and I that we don’t get to see them often because we are not a priority and that we would not be able to see the new grandson because my DIL is breastfeeding and she will not see us. My son’s bio dad walked out when I was 5 months pregnant and did not see him for 8 years but he is allowed to do or say anything and accepted and sees them often. I met my now husband when he was a year old and he was his Dad in every way.

      Darkstar, many of us do not want contact anymore. Some of our ec or partners have personality disorders or have abused us. I for one believe we have to protect ourselves. I have learned you have to trust your instincts and do what is best for you. You are definitely normal here.

      Sorry you had to join our group, but glad you found us and are here.

    • #26315

      I am so glad I found this forum, I have been beside myself the last couple of months, My son who is 23 has been drifting from me for about three years, he has always been hard to understand , but as a mum we were close, I just understood him, he left home at about 18 and then met a girl three years ago and has now had a baby with her, My grandchild I hardly ever see , and when I did I feel that they made it as awkward as possible for me, My son fell out with me two years ago for 10 months, blocking me , abusing me on phone etc…. then we got back together about year ago , since then my grandchild has been born and another one due, his girlfriend has always wanted to alienate me from my son and grandchild, and now i think she has won, although I know my son is’nt blameless either, they have been ignoring my calls and texts for a few months now, and blocked me on social media , I am trying to move on with my life without my son in it, so much more has happened that I haven’t wrote here, thank you for reading this

      • #26368

        Welcome susan01

        I am also fairly new to this forum but have found it to be a real help in the struggle to understand our new life after experiencing the cruelty of our children.

        It is a different and difficult new life to understand at first but with each small step toward independence and freedom, it becomes a little bit easier.
        It is necessary to remain positive and NEVER to balme ourselves for the strange behaviors of our children. Their behavior only says volumes about them and not about us.

        Hope to hear lots more from you…

    • #26676

      I´m in the same sad situation as most of you. I have had no contact with my younger son for 2,5 years now. He has asked us – me and my husband (his father) to let him live his life without any contact from our side. He does not want to have any contact with his older brother either… In the beginning we honored his wishes, but then we sent Christmas, birthday card, some cards from our holiday trips but we hear nothing from his side. He has blocked us from FB and we do not know his telephone number…

      In the very beginning this was a shock to me, I simply had no idea that anything like this could ever happen. I though that after a couple months he will calm down and contact us.

      But this is now real life and it has also partly ruined my relationship with my father and younger brother, as they seem to have some kind of regular contact with him. Somehow I´m happy that he has not cut off all the contacts to his family, but same time it is very hard for me to meet my father and brother, as I feel ashamed and I have a feeling that they judge me as a mother because my son does not want to have any contact with me, it is so unnatural.

      I´m really happy that I found this web-site as this issue is very poorly known where I live. I always thought that we were a good parents as we enjoyed the life with the kids, we did a lot together, traveled on holidays, and they had hobbies they wanted. We we always there for them.

      I live now day by day, there has been better and very painful periods. I had red a lot of books, trying to understand this what happened and I have to say that there is now a positive progress. I have accepted what happened as there is nothing I could do. Just continue sending cards… I do not wait anything to happen any more.

      Life goes on, I focus on the life of my own,to all the good things I have with my husband and the family we still have left.

      This what happened has also positive consequences, I have learned a lot of my self, I´m much stronger person as I used to be. This awareness has enormous effect on my whole life, both in privat and working life. I happier and very sad the same time – strange, isn´t it??

    • #26713

      Welcome to all,

      I am fairly new here too. Motherforever your comment resonates with me too. I have learned a lot about myself. My therapist calls it crisis opportunity. I am much stronger and know a lot more about myself. I am also happier and very sad at the same time. It is strange, but I am so glad to know that you feel this way. I can now say I deserve happiness in the mist of this sad estrangement.

      Susan01, I am sorry for your pain, but glad you found us. It does make it so difficult when grandchildren are involved. I was the caretaker for granddaughter until 6 months old. She just turned 2 and I have not seen her in 5 months and I had a new grandson born in 4 months ago that I have never met. My DIL is in charge and wants nothing to do with us, but like you said my son is not blameless and has treated us poorly through out the years.

      Wishing you all peace and happiness

    • #27607

      Hi all! I am so thankful I found this community. I have been bewildered for months. We have always been close to our older son, able to sit down and talk and help him solve problems growing up. No issue with his getting married and moving away to his wife’s hometown. My husband and I have always tried to be supportive and accepted his wife into our family. But over the months, less communication, more criticism, more sarcasm on their part. Then a walk out from our home during a holiday visit and no communication since except for a email from him stating that he doesn’t want a relationship with us unless we change our ways. I responded back willing to talk and since then to now, nothing. No response to gifts, emails, phone calls and messages. Nothing from his wife. My husband has said stop, no more attempts and we have to get real.
      I have a friend whose health deteriorated over time, probably from a broken heart because her younger son broke off with her after he married and moved away. I cried a bit over these months but no more.
      I have read a lot of stories and realize that this is not so unusual in families these days.
      My husband and I are recently retired, professional work. I am a good ” listener” and would love to hear from others how they are coping, especially approaching the long term. Even if we hear from them, there is an issue of trust now.
      Thanks so much for reading this!

    • #27609

      Welcome Pixiehair1967,
      I joined a few months ago and this forum has helped greatly. It helps me feel better that I can post and listen to people who have experienced this. My ES and DIL decided 18 months ago that they want nothing to do with my husband or I. I retired to help take care of my granddaughter and did not follow the 8 page manual and she wanted me to limit breast milk to baby, so it did not work out. They begged me to retire early to take care of her, but we were banned when she was 6 months old. I begged, sent gifts, apologized for anything I did to offend them, but my son told me it would probably take him 2 to 3 years to get over it. He did let me see her a couple of times after about 6 months of total estrangement, but I had to meet him at a restaurant and he came a few times very briefly to my home. I live 5 minutes away. Not allowed to see her 1st or 2nd, Birthday, Christmas ,Easter etc. Basically we were taking the crumbs he would give. DIL will not talk or see us. Offered mediation and counseling. They don’t want it. The last straw emotionally for us was when our grandson was born 4 months ago and we were not told until the day after and we have not been allowed to see him at all or my granddaughter for 5 months. We have really went through the grieving process since than and thought we were done. He recently called and wants to meet at a dinner all of a sudden. He says he will bring the babies. I told him we need to sit down and talk first. At this point, like you said, I don’t trust him and he would have to earn our trust again.

      I am truly sorry for you loss and really don’t know how we cope with this long term for now. I try to take it day by day or moment to moment. Counseling has helped and I try to take good care of myself and meditate. I also try to look at what I have. A terrific husband, a loving son, good friends and extended family. Enjoy your retirement. I am sure you earned it. Keep posting and reading.

      Hugs and please take care of yourself

    • #27628

      Hello, I have long been looking for a positive support system to deal with the loss of my only son. He was my one and only miracle as was never able to have other children. It has been three years of pain and heartache.

      I chose my screen name as we are all warriors in this situation. We fight everyday to make the decision to get out of bed and live our lives.

      People want me to be MAD and I have to tell them I am not mad I am devastated and my heart hurts all of the time.

      The last time I saw my son was during his spring break from college. He made a surprise visit, do to his laundry, to say hello. We talked about his classes, had a nice dinner and said our goodbyes with a hug and a kiss. I also noticed it looked like he needed new shoes so I offered to buy him some the next time we saw each other. I called the next week to see how his new classes were going and if he wanted us to come down to see him and buy those new shoes. I didn’t get a response so I texted him, he has always been bad at returning phone calls, to see how he was doing. What I received was the beginning of this nightmare I have been going through. It told me not to contact him, that he would contact me when he was ready. I was so surprised and hurt. What I would like you to know if my son has been suicidal before so I was frantic to find out what was going on. I called his girlfriend and left a message, I call a friend who he had given me permission to contact if I was scared he might hurt himself. The friend call him and he indicated he was OK, I did not ask for any additional information as I wanted him to have a “safe zone”. His GF got back to me and indicated she knew I needed answers, but felt it was his place to tell me. I respected this and honored this, again he needed a “safe zone”. I received a text’ed the next day telling me to leave his loved ones alone.

      I was then sitting at home that following Saturday by myself and a police officer showed up at my door. I freaked out and feel to the ground. He was not there regarding my son, but checking around the neighborhood regarding other issues. He advised me to have a safety check done by the police in the college town. They did, he was fine, he was mad,I was able to breath.

      Everyone wanted to blame the GF, the EX, but neither of them would fit the bill for this situation to have occurred.

      I have been on some strong medications and in counseling, both of these help, but I don’t expect the pain to every go away, I find the tears and depression get farther and farther apart. My employer has been wonderful and I am on FMLA so if I am having a bad time I can go home and take care of myself. PLEASE REMEMBER TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

      I have found while looking on this page, understanding of the situation, support, and advise. Some of the advise I have read on this page is also advice I have received within the counseling sessions I attend. I have started to read the book “Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children” and again the advise or view points are also similar to those I have done on my own or with the wisdom of my counselor. This all makes me cry and feel better at the same time.

      People have asked me what I did and I do not take responsibility for this estrangement. I was not a perfect Mom, but I was a devoted Mother.

      Things I have done to take care of myself:
      -The first Christmas we went away.
      -talk to others even if they are not going through this often they know others how are or have had this situation within their families.
      -I had projects, painting, crafts with a friend
      -I have a friend who keeps me company on his birthday
      -I stay away from holiday/family together’s IF I am having a difficult day and I let them know so there is no guessing as to why I am not there.
      -For my Mom’s 80th birthday we rented a large house for all of the family, my husband and I stayed in a hotel so we could leave when I needed too.
      -The second round of holidays I participated and when asked how I was doing “I am where I am expected to be”.
      -The third year, we got a tree, I hosted Thanksgiving and broke down after his Birthday.
      -I give me permission to feel the pain, to talk and to check out if needed.

      Thank you for listening to my pain. I hope someone will find strength in my voice as I expect to find strength from other voices on this forum.

      It is so hard to not end with my name.

      • #27658

        Dear Warrior,

        I am so sorry to read your story. It makes me sad and shake my head in disbelief. I just do not understand how our children can be so heartless, so self-centered. Welcome to our group and please know that you are not alone. We all relate to your pain….to the torturous emptiness you have experienced. Check in here regularly. Write often. It helps. You are a warrior. We area ll warriors. And we are all survivors.


    • #27635

      Wow – I see such a common approach towards the parents. Almost as if there is an underground book out there on how to dump your parents. Why can’t we just sit down with them, talk it out and get on with life together? Life is just too short. A friend was complaining about his DIL who reaches out to him, includes him in their life. I told him bluntly to appreciate her, SHE INCLUDES YOU!

    • #27627

      Hello, I am Crystal vision, and I am grateful that this site exists. I have two adult children who have estranged themselves from me. I’ll never know why. I try to live from day to day. They will not let me contact them; I don’t know their addresses or phone numbers. They stay in touch with their elderly grandfather who won’t tell me any of their contact information. I am confused; I was not a bad parent. This has taken a toll on my soul.

    • #27691

      cystalvision : They stay in touch with their elderly grandfather who won’t tell me any of their contact information.

      If I live to be 100 I will never understand such people or how they can be so sure they are right in believing what they are told ……………

    • #27795

      I am blessed to be part of this group, but also sad with the realization that I am not alone. I am a nurse and college professor who left an abusive marriage after 24 years. At the time my children were 13 and 20. My 20-year-old son was away at school and my daughter wanted to stay with her dad. I did everything wrong, I listened to the family who told me not to go to court, I didn’t legally fight for visitation and I didn’t legally fight for custody. I was told “the kids will come around, give it time” When I realized that 2 years had passed, my daughter was 15 and my lawyer told me the judge will listen to what she wants, no use in going to court.
      My kids were not encouraged by anyone to maintain contact with me, they just wanted the kids to keep talking to them. Instead of doing what was right for the kids, they were selfish. My ex told me “Your relationship with the kids isn’t my problem, I have an even better relationship with them now”.
      So here we are 7 years later, my son hasn’t talked to me in over 4 years, my daughter asks for money and things for college, but we never have any other interactions.
      I’ve mourned the loss of two children, who have told me I am dead to them. I had cancer in the midst of all of this, and they told me to just die, it would be easier. They have cut off my side of the family from contact as well. The grandmother they once loved, visited and spent time with is very sad about the loss of her grandkids.
      The outside world says “just call them, go to see them, ……etc, etc.” but they don’t know the feeling of rejection. At some point you have stop the torture. I tell this story about how it feels to be rejected….. “You walk up to a friend and he punches you in the face, you bow your head, walk away and you try again later. He punches you again. This cycle gets repeated many times. At what point do you stop walking up to that friend to save yourself?” I hit that point about 3 years ago. I will never give up the need to have a positive relationship with my children, but I no longer allow myself to be punched. I am strong. I am mentally and emotionally healthy and I am a mom. Thanks for welcoming me.

    • #27866

      AnimalLover here! I have been struggling with the loss of my adopted daughter for over 10 years. She had major issues when she was with us, but my heart has a hole shaped like her that just can’t be filled. I am thrilled that she is happy and doing well, but I don’t know how to handle the fact that she interacts with siblings and extended family but hates her dad and me. That is where I get really hung up. Social media is also a curse and a blessing. I am trying to not let her loss affect the other relationships in my life.
      Yes I DO love animals! If I had life to do all over again, it would be more about the animals!

    • #28001

      Hi everyone – It’s sad that there has to be a site such as this, but I’m glad I found it. My 30s son has decided that I am a narcissistic mother, and said that it would be best for him if we cut contact. I should have seen it coming for a while, actually, because things haven’t been great for a number of years. I have really tried to ‘be’ everything he wanted me to be so that we could have a good relationship but in the end it was just too hard. No matter what I did or said was still wrong, and he thought nothing of ringing me to tell me that I shouldn’t have done or said this or that for which I always apologised, thinking ‘Ok, that’s fine. I’ll remember that in future,’ but there was always something else to add to the list. It just became too much when he started saying that his partner had also noticed things, but I had no memory of the things he was accusing me of saying or doing. It was always a bit twisted, and I actually wondered about my mentality. My husband had heard the conversations which my son had twisted, and he backed my version up. He then realised what was going on. I told him my son that there was nothing else I could to in order to foster this relationship, and that I had done all I could. It was his turn to make an effort, as it seemed that the effort was all mine. His response was to block my email address after sending a pretty awful email, then sending all the information he could on narcissistic mothers to his sisters, telling them that it would be best for them to see me (and my mother) for what we actually are, and how much this information was helping him. My husband (his step-dad – the only person he wants to talk to now) visited him and said that we agree to cut contact, and that it was best for all of us.

      He had a really close relationship with my mother for many years, but she stood up to him once, and he didn’t like it. His sisters have also had a gutsful of his bullying ways, and have been very supportive towards me. It’s tragic to have a family so dysfunctional, but this is just how it is. We have been estranged before, and the only way we could reconcile was if I apologised for my past wrong-doings (real and imagined) which I did. But I seem to spend my entire life apologising to him, and I was actually thinking I was going mental. My counsellor had me read ‘gas-lighting’ which made so much sense to me, as this is what my son has been doing for many years.

      I have been so sad since it happened – up and down each day. I say to my friends, ‘Don’t hug me, I’ll cry’, as I’m on the verge the whole time. Keeping busy helps, and I’ve been practising mindfulness. It’s so hard to stop the ‘what if’ thoughts, and looking back in his childhood to see ‘where I went wrong’ or what I could have done differently, but I really think now, that I couldn’t have prevented this from happening. He was always a difficult child. I remember the flats we cleaned, the girlfriends we collected from an overnight stay in the cells, the money we lent, the stuff we bought them to help them on their way, but all of that just makes me sad, so I try and say ‘Thanks, mind, for that memory’, and I move on.

      My sister asked me if it was a relief, and I have to say yes. No more excusing for his behaviour, his not turning up to family things, his rudeness. No more worry that he will ring and tell me off for something. No more excusing myself for being myself. I’m actually ok. People like me. I have friends, my daughters think I’m ok; I have my own business, and I’m in demand for my skills. My dogs love me. My husband loves me. I grow awesome vegetables and fruit which I give away to neighbours. I’m actually an ok person worth loving.

      Thanks for reading

    • #28068

      Dotty I read your story and I’m so sorry, sorry for all of us on here that we have to belong to such an odd world. I will never understand our EC. Never.

      • #30052

        Hi Ann – thanks for your reply. I have just finished Sheri’s book, and have found it very helpful. Since my son decided to cut us off, my husband (his step-dad, and the one he said he would communicate with only) let him know that my mother has moved into a rest home. He replied saying he wasn’t interested in any family updates. I was so cut up again, but since that time things have been ok. My girls are so much closer, and they have been off-loading so much about how scared they were of their brother; how much of a bully he was; and how I always excused his behaviour because ‘he couldn’t help it’. It has all come out with so many tears. I felt so ashamed of myself for putting my girls through this, but it seems that my son has a personality defect of some kind, that makes him act like a big tough guy, and bully those around him. I used to worry about his fiance, but I think she is tarnished with the same brush.

        I really have put so many of Sheri’s practices in place, and I love the idea of ‘mindfulness’. It has certainly helped.

        I’m currently undergoing testing for my second bout of breast cancer after being clear for 13 years, and the last few chapters of Sheri’s book regarding making some kind of plan if this ever happened has been very helpful. Feel so much stronger and in control, and that my life is no longer on hold because my son decided that I am no longer wanted in his life.

    • #28373

      Hello everyone, I’m a mom of two adult sons. One who is “with” me and one who is “against” me. I was married to their father for twenty years, and left him about six years ago. Their father was abusive and a sociopath. I fear my oldest son is the same way. I m a recovered alcoholic. I drank to cope for many years. I have been sober for the better part of ten years. Two years ago, my oldest son wrote me off. He told me to leave my current relationship and to start drinking again and move away from my town, or m=he would not be in my life. It was always his fathers goal to see me dead. He has now enlisted my son to help him being he can’t hurt me anymore. My youngest son lives me my new husband and I. He is a dear and we are very close.

    • #28420

      I’m new to this site. I didn’t know there was such a site until I started reading Sheri’s book. I have a son and daughter with whom I’m estranged from. My son cut off all ties from his family in the late 90s. He has not spoken to any of us since then. My children’s father and I divorced many years ago and he and his sister were teens. Their dad walked out on us. My ex was never close to either of his children so I didnt feel like my son took it all that hard but maybe he did. He’s never wanted to discuss it. My daughter who is the youngest and I seemed to have a pretty good relationship for years. She’s married and I get along great with my SIL but about 7 years ago the ex came back into our daughter’s life and she has been hateful toward me since. There have been many occasions where she would shut me and the silence would last until I called and begged her to reconcile. She has never once said “I’m sorry”. Its always my fault. As time goes on the silence between us lasts longer and longer until I make that move to try to reconcile. The last time was in 2015 and she sent an email stating that she didn’t need me in her life anymore. She had her dad now and he is successful and makes very good money. She says I have nothing to offer her and he does. I clearly see what turns her head. I have always been close to the grandchildren but with each visit ( I always had to do the visiting), even the grandkids were turning colder toward me and had very little to do with me. Well I have been in a lot of pain since 2015. Its daily. It hurts. I have decided just lately that I will not do anymore begging. I have been disrespected and verbally and emotionally abused by her enough. I would hope that one day she will want me back in their lives but until then, I am not going to contact her at all. I’m thankful I have found a wonderful site where I can share my pain because I suffer with this in silence because I’m afraid that I will be judged and rejected by even more people if they know that my own children have cut me out of their lives. It’s too painful and embarrassing to share with people who know me.

    • #28656

      Hi everyone. I am new here. Lots of estrangement on my moms side of the family. She and I never really have had a great relationship. I vowed I would with my children. Well, somehow my mom got in my eldest daughter’s life and has turned her against me. I have been shunned by my entire family. I am sure many stories are the same and I don’t need to go into great detail. My daughter last spoke to me on Christmas 2016. Refused to allow me to speak to me 2 yr old granddaughter. She was pregnant at the time with a boy. She blocked my phone number and all social media. I am not sure when my grandson was born. For some reason, as of late, I have been thinking how do you do this to a person? And how do you come back from it? How do I allow her back in my life always wondering will she do this to me again. I don’t know if she will ever come back. Am i just trying to cover my sorrow and writing a story that may never happen? I don’t know. Thank you for listening. I am sure i didn’t write anything near as cohesive as I would like to have done. I have 2 teen daughters that I try to be present for and a marriage on the rocks. I am mess…Frenchie

    • #28670

      I am sorry for your pain, but glad you found us. I have learned so much in the last few months and do not feel so alone. You will see a lot of similarities in our situations. My situation is much like yours. My narcissistic mother made my son the golden child, the son she never had and he was allowed to treat my family terribly. I too am shunned by the entire family. My therapist told me I am the family scapegoat. I just learned this at 50. I knew there was something seriously wrong the way my family treated me but I had no name for it. Please look into the scapegoat, because it helped me understand it is them and not me.
      I have been estranged from son for 18 months ago and in the beginning I was begging, apologizing for things I did not do etc. But like you, now I am not sure I would welcome him back, so your feelings are justified. We do not deserve to be treated like this. I am sorry you are also dealing with marriage struggles with two teenagers.
      Wishing you some peace and sending hugs

    • #28907

      Hello and greetings from New Zealand.
      What a lovely site of comfort to brokenhearted Mothers and Fathers of much loved estranged children.
      My husband of 55 years and I have 5 adult children… 2 daughters estranged themselves from (me primarily) and then my husband due to his loyalty, support and of me.
      It has been 17 years.
      Initially I thought I would die from a heart attack. I am sure that probably all parents on this sight can identify with that sense of desperation…
      I have now accepted , and can make no false promises to others who are hurting , that we can live happily ever after. But I can say that it is possible for the indescribable hurt to somehow evolve into a peaceful and (almost) contented life.
      My own heart is softer for the anguish of estrangement . I take pleasure in simple things I wasn’t aware of before. I also hope that I am kinder to others from my own loss.
      The humiliation of hostile daughters is now gone…. I have found there are so many of us today who need the smile of our understanding and kindness that brings hope to another hurting soul.
      Thank you and blessings to all on this lovely sight…..

    • #28962

      Canada here, linda74. We are truly a global group of estranged parent here. Glad you found this site, and I hope you post in the forum, where you’ll find the stories of those of us who have been estranged from our adult children. Everyone’s story is different but has the same underlying spectre of estrangement where the feelings are the same. I look forward to meeting you in the forum.


    • #29039

      Hello to all,
      This is my first post here.

      My husband and I lost a child many years ago. She physically passed on. Years later, I now have a daughter whom I’ve lost through estrangement.

      It has been about three months since our daughter told my husband that she is cutting me out of her life. My husband was pretty mad at her. The reasons she mentioned didn’t make any sense. Most important, she has turned to shunning to solve her problems instead of communicating to work out an issue.

      I am so grateful for everyone here. I hope that I can be of help, but I know for now I am new to this and am still in a sort of shock.

      Best wishes to all,

    • #29175

      I am new to this forum so please bear with me if I go on for too long or should I not be coherent. I moved far away from home after completion of my studies. All was good and I had a fab time living! In my late twenties I became pregnant with my then boyfriend …. To cut a long story short I brought my daughter up as a single parent..Growing up she was very keen to establish a relationship with her father and was successful in that. He always supported us financially but did not always show understanding when difficulties arose. My daughter did not do very well at school and it soon became apparent that she had special needs. I was in denial for a very long time and tried what I could to remedy the situation. Worse was to come as she was constantly bullied….I tried all I could to support her. She was never invited for sleepovers, parties etc…I was her mum and her friend. We moved to an area with good schools, so she was not attacked physically however the emotional bullying did not stop. When she became older she started to bully me…I am aware that this can become a pattern. I then managed to enrol her into a theatre school where she could study amongst students with similar profiles. She then was keen to move out and her father financed her room in a shared house. This is when the real separation started …The first time I visited her there was a picture of her dad and none of me…..this shook me to the bone. I wasn’t invited to her 18th birthday party…I know she wanted to keep the two parties me and my ex separate…but somehow she and her did not even spend breakfast or lunch together on her big day. There was a power point presentation picture of me …! Since she moved out she rarely comes here. I am slowly letting go however events etc. pop up, hope rises and I get caught out. The night after I dream of the closeness we had when she was a baby or young child….She was also careless in her relationship with her dad and he has suffered too …but he has a new family…. There is much more to tell …Thank you for your attention -T.

    • #29220

      I am new to the forum and I am looking for advice. I have two adult sons, 44 and 42. One lives east coast the other west coast. They keep in touch. I am thankful they are close. I am I in Texas. My oldest son has been semi estranged from me for about 3 years. They are both completely estranged now since December. I wrote a letter after Christmas telling them what I expected being the mother of sons. Not wanting gifts, cards, which never received anyway but hearing from them about fun thing their children did or jokes or interesting things that happened in their life. I normally only heard from them when I sent gifts.
      Their responses were hateful texts and emails that I was threatening their sobriety and one that I had abused him mentally when he was a child ? Neither would speak to me and has not to this day. So I can not communicate to sort this misunderstanding out, one accuses me of being an addict and says he will not talk to me until I go to AA and have proof of it. My therapist of three years says I am chronically depressed with codependency characteristics having lived with my PTSD Vietnam vet husband.
      My advice. I have tried to remain in contact with my grandchildren in writing. Sending friendly cards, jelly beans at Easter. No responses. I sent two cards recently to two grandsons who were graduating from one kindergarten and 5th grade. I ask them to let me know when their celebrations would be because I would like to help them celebrate be recognizing their accomplishments. I have heard nothing. My therapist and I have agreed it is time to stop the giving. To stop recognizing their birthdays and celebrations. That my children must realize that they have been selfish and my giving over the years should be met with communication and healing or no realationships are possible. Has anyone else met this decision and what outcomes have you realized? It is painful! 😪

    • #29234

      Theodora, no quick and easy fixes, but letting your feelings be heard, even to anonymous strangers, at least for me, was the first step toward lifting the pain and loneliness of estrangement.

      You sound like a very kind person, and have been a mom that devoted your life to your daughter. The added attention and work in raising a special needs child by yourself, I cannot imagine.

      No worries about going on too long. I’ve written a number of short novels on this forum. I hope you will read through old posts, and if you need and want to, continue to reach out on the forum. Our stories may be different, but our hearts feel the same.

      Peace ✌ and Love 💞 and Hugs 💓


    • #29259
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      RDB, welcome to this forum and how painful your story sounds. Please consider posting down in the main forum, I think you’ll get many replies. You asked for advice about whether or not to contact your GC via mail because you get no replies. Many parents here have the same experience. Everyone handles it a bit differently. It sounds like your ES (estranged sons) have falsely dumped on you recently so that makes me think its time to change things. If your ES have requested that you not contact the GC, then stop. My personal belief is we are often seen as weak when we give, give, give, especially if the receiver is nasty or hateful acting towards us. My own situation is varied as far as giving holiday or birthday gifts to the EC (estranged children). Depends on whether or not I get birthday, Christmas or Mother’s Day acknowledgement as to whether or not they get a birthday or holiday gift or just a card. No GC yet for me but others on the forum do varied things as per the GC. One thing to consider is whether or not the EC even give the gift or card to the children from us. And another thing to consider is how much hope do you put into these cards that you’ll get a response and then how much depression do you feel when there is no response?

      What I would encourage you to do is focus on yourself and your own emotion healing — whether emotional or physical, takes time and energy. When we are other focused, we ignore us and our needs. That might be the co-dependent part you wrote about. Many blessings to you, please stay here and post on others questions down below. Sheri’s book has some good exercises in each chapter to help us move forward. We can’t change others but we can change our thinking, our perspective. Your experiences bring value to others on this forum.

    • #29262

      i am a newbie to this forum! so grateful to have a place to go when i feel nobody will understand, which is often. my ED is 27, and i have not heard from or seen her in over 2 years. i have 3 other grown children, 2 of whom speak to my ED. it has changed my relationship with them-i feel like i am being judged and then they report back to her of my imperfections, which are vast! i am human! i spent so much of my life trying to be a devoted and loving mother…i am grieving my hopes and dreams for this child that may never be actualized. she makes up stories about things in her past that never happened…i feel abused and bullied by her. i have loving relationships with my husband and other 3 children…but this is a topic that we avoid….the elephant is always present. i am aware my daughter is struggling with mental illness and/or drug addiction. i would be interested if anyone else has similar issues..i know she deep down does not want me to see her like this and has made up stories about me in her mind to validate her rejection of me. thank you for your time and compassion in advance..cottagebythesea

    • #29265

      Post to the forum, what you have posted here, others will respond to your posting. So much of what you describe is very typical of a chosen estrangement but also of the possibility of drugs. My daughter went through a period of years doing drugs. She became pregnant and cleaned out her system, admirably so. But during this period, she couldn’t face me, didn’t want to face me, blamed me for everything from soup to nuts. I’ve also been involved in sibling relationships which lead to the blaming of me as the mother. I’m not sure how you handle that other than in a straight forward manner pointing out that if there is an issue, it’s more mature to speak to the person directly than to go behind their back.

    • #29266

      HI! I am also new here. I have read what many others have written and it is truly sad that so many people are going through this and many for so long.
      For me, this has been building for awhile but the final break happened about two months ago. Since it is so recent, my wounds are very fresh. My emotions are all over the place. One minute, I feel very angry, then suddenly I am very sad. Occasionally, I am in disbelief and feel this might end, but then logic takes over and I know that it won’t. It is a true roller coaster of emotions.
      In my case, the issues are with my ES and my DIL. They informed us that we have used up our ‘parent card’. I did not know that expired! It certainly never did with my parents or in-laws.
      My ES has reluctantly admitted that we were good parents, yet he wants no more contact with us. That is very painful and, of course, losing contact with our two beautiful young grandchildren is extremely hard.
      I am lucky that I have a good relationship with my husband and we are supporting each other through this. We also have another son and have good relations with him and his wife.
      A while back we booked a trip in which we will spend a lot of time in nature. We are leaving soon and hope that will help us to, at least, cope with this initial pain.
      Thank you for listening. I am glad that I found this forum. kochi

    • #29305

      Welcome MsAnne, Theodora, RDB, CBS and Kochi,
      I am so sorry for your pain, but glad you have found this site and Sherr’s book. I’ve been here about 6 months and estranged from son for 18 months. This site has helped me realize that I am not alone and that I don’t deserve the treatment from my ES and DIL. I finally realize that healthy minds would want to work on fixing this. I pleaded, apologized and tried everything to fix this, but realize I cannot do it alone. The hardest thing for me is not having contact with two year old granddaughter and never meeting 5 month old grandson. Luckily I have a terrific husband of 25 years and a loving son and his girlfriend in my life.
      I agree with yellow Rose, that we sometimes give and give and receive nothing back and they see us as week. I no longer send cards etc, because I get no reply. We have to focus on ourselves.
      So many wise woman on this forum and I have learned a lot from everyone of them.
      Please keep posting and reading. Blessings to you all

      • #30217

        Thank you butterfly 099.
        Your words help. It is said that so often the grandchildren are kept from us and our EC clearly know that this causes a lot of pain.
        Having a place to turn to for support is a great help.

    • #29384

      Hi, This is my first time to post. Not even sure I’m doing it right. My I.D. is Bluebutterfly. I just finished reading the book, and found it to be very helpful. I’m grateful to find that I am not alone in my pain and suffering. My story began about 5 years ago with verbal/emotional abuse that came out of the blue. As time went by, the abuse increased. The grandchildren are used as pawns to control, and hurt me. The oldest grandchild has turned against me, the others are young enough they enjoy being with me. Recently, a turn of events has caused all contact with my grandchildren to be cut off which I feared for years would eventually happen.

      I am trying he heal myself, and come to a place of acceptance and peace. Some days are better than others. Sometimes I feel that this kind of loss is even worst than the death of a loved one, because there is no closure or finality to it.

    • #29411

      Hi bluebutterfly,
      I am butterfly099 and I am so sorry you had to join this group, but glad you found us. It is so sad when grandchildren are involved and used as pawns. I have a 26 month old granddaughter and a 5 month old grandson I have never met. I have not seen granddaughter for 6 months.

      This site and Sheri’s book helped me understand that I do not deserve this or the abuse I have endured. I guess I am lucky in that my grandkids don’t know me, so they aren’t sensing a loss. Its so sad for all of us.

      It is a roller coaster of emotions, but I am starting to find peace and acceptance. Like you said, some days are better than others, but there is no closure, unfortunately.

      Hugs and blessings

    • #29420

      Hello everyone! I’m new here and very happy I’ve found a place to share the pain of having an estranged adult daughter. I’m not sure how much I can share so I’ll just start with this for now. I think I feel better just knowing there are others who understand. Thanks so much.

    • #29758

      Hi everyone… Like all of you I’m aching, sad, lonely and baffled…
      My husband was a public school teacher, and after our Daughter was born-suggested she be homeschooled- I did my research, and agreed…we were really a happy Family Unit, until he got a part time job with the wrong type of person-That was the beginning of the end… my only Brother passed of colan cancer, 11/1/03…from Jan to April of 2004, he was drinking, staying out until two or three a.m….. our Daughter was 9 at the time… Memorial Day Weekend he bought a motorcycle, supposedly on a payment plan, and announced he wanted a divorce in front of our Daughter while she was having her lunch… Stunned… at first I just didn’t know what to say..17 years of taking care of Everything, inside and outside the home, while homeschooling our Daughter..Alcohol seeped from his sweaty pores, it was if his blood was alcohol.. my Daughter began to beg him… I tried to reason with him not to throw our Family away for what ‘looked like greener grass, on the other side of the fence’…but his mind was made up…he left us- I had a scheduled Family Dr. appointment and he was also a Friend as well as we went to Church with his Family- he told me he saw my Husband at a state park, about 100!miles away for a whole weekend with a girl young enough to be his daughter…
      court came, and was a joke- because he was a public school teacher and the judge was female, she allowed him to plead the 5th on everything… needless to say- he didn’t pay child support or alimony, which together was $ 1200.00- with his part time job, he was making 85,000.00…every month, I had to go to the court house and garnish his check for child support… then in aug., 2005, there was a knock at the door- I was served- we had 10 days to evacuate our home. As ORDERED from the Judge to pay The a House Payment…he didn’t….I had 10 days to pack 17 years of a life up… meanwhile my mother decided to ‘leave’ my Father, after 54 years of marriage- Life as we knew it was over.
      I started at 130 pounds-I’m a slim build , 5’7- so I was proud of myself for that- by the time I got things packed, driven trip after trip, an hour away, where my father was…I was 95 pounds…our last day leaving the only Home she’d ever known…after I closed the front door, we both fell to our knees and just cried…
      I somehow managed to pull us both up, get us to the packed van, waiting for us with our two dogs, and four cats…it was so sad-
      FF to 2008, I gained some weight, back to 124-living in a house that my father owned..I was taking an online course for Medical Billing and Decoding.. straight A’s too… I was so elated… Our phone rang and it was my Father- saying we need to come over, he needed to ‘talk to us’- we gathered our things and drove over-
      And he just came out and said D____ has been killed in a motercycle accident and he was alone- he’d been missing for ten days in 100 degree heat and rain- and no one called us…
      I just stared at him-again… just stunned- I held my Daughter who said nothing.. it was awful..
      We’d lost him all over again…
      FF to 2013-my mother hadn’t spoken to me since she left my Father, because in ‘her mind’ I took his side…and maybe I did…But I did try many times to reach out to her, and my daughter did as well….she rejected us….it’s a shame it had to be like that- but she had my older sister, who had talked her in to leaving my Father..October 2013, my Father just ‘matter of factly’ tells me that my mother has a brain tumor, and my ‘blood sister’ will be coming to get her in the middle of winter the beginning of December to take her to Tulsa…….I wanted to see my mother. I wanted to talk to my mother… but I was told she didn’t want to see me…
      December came, and she was taken in very cold weather, which she.couldnt stand- to Tulsa….I sent her a card on December 11,2013, made a picture of what I wrote- December 23, 2013, 3:15 a.m., my Father calls me to tell me she’s gone…
      My Daughter was due to Graduate High School the following May..
      I couldn’t tell you ANYTHING that I did, thought, or accomplished from Dec.23,2013 to The end of May 2014…
      My Daughter took a year off- we took road trips etc., we weren’t just Mother and Daughter…we were best Friends…she started College the Fall of 2015, as an Art Major- got a part time job at Cracker Barrel-then everything really spiraled- she met a ‘boy’ 10 years older than her- no goals no aspirations-
      the First 2 weeks of knowing him, his parents offered her an all expense paid trip to Disney world-I told her no way- at Christmas, the Mother gave her a $100.00 purse, I asked her to return it, and she wouldn’t… no offense to anyone is intended here/ These people are Catholic Puerto Rican’s, and rich in their a Faith- that’s fine… but they were bribing my daughter, because their son had just got out of a relationship with a boy… His Father was very ashamed of this- ( my Brother was Gay, that’s NOT my issue) They were bribing a 20 year old vulnerable young Fatherless girl to ‘ban the rumors’, and keep their almost 30 year old son at home. She began spending more and more time with him until it threatened her school and job… she quit the job. So her summer would be free With this loser- she slept everyday until 1:00-, up for 5 min., left, didn’t come home until 1:00 or two in the morning- 7 days/ 7 nights a week- fall came, school started- she began skipping classes…we argued a lot… I had to record it to show how hostile and aggressive she’d become- this boy told her, CONVINCED her that I was going to harm her- 2 weeks before her 21 birthday she announced she was going to stay 2night at a hotel with him.(she was a virgin) have no idea anymore..and she was quitting school to work in fast food with the boy…
      Needless to say I flipped out.. she just causally walked out of the house… I had the locks changed- she’d broken one of the locks anyway- the third day – she didn’t bother to come home u too 1in the morning- I had some of her things on the porch- she was shop to go to my Fathers house, so maybe he could talk with her… she went to the Boys house- and has been there ever since…7 months- all through her birthday, my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas on and on…Nothing…Mothers Day…nothing.
      I See on FB, she is now in FL- they are taking her to ALL the amusement Parks- it seems she’s been bought and paid for… the boy is a grill cook, video gamer, comic book reader, lives with mom and dad, 31 years old…
      I live in a small town where ALL I hear is, ‘Well she’s 21’
      YES I know that! I’m not wrong about what these people have done… There aren’t any groups or things I can volunteer for here it’s too small – they don’t know how to organize functions..
      I apologize for the length of this- just.better to get it all out, instead of bits and pieces…Hoping to find some Emotional Support…

    • #29805
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Welcome, and I am very sorry to hear your story, we can feel the pain. Hopefully, something will resonate with you in the forum below. Feel free to post any questions or needs you might have in that forum below. We are glad you are hear and hopefully we all will move forward to better and better together.

      • #29870

        Hello and thank you and welcome. I have been estranged from my oldest son most recently for the last six months. The estrangement has been off and on since he was 16. His father encouraged and supported my son in the estrangement. He came back 14 months later a “changed young man” or so I thought. I was so overjoyed that my first born had returned only to discover a year later that it was only because he needed me to co sign a line of credit for him so he could buy a new car. I stupidly feel for his story…I was thrilled he was back in my life and he had a job and promised to make the payments so it was fine right? WRONG. Three months later I got the call from the bank indicating that payment had not been made and they were taking the funds from my account. When I confronted him about not paying he verbally abused me and left once again for another year or so. Then once again the knock on the door. “I’m so sorry mom please give me another chance”. I couldn’t say no. I was so grateful he was back. This didn’t last long and I sought therapy for my repeated acts of allowing him to manipulate and use and deceive me. This was very good for me and I was starting to move forward. Then I heard through his younger brother that he bought a brand new vehicle (he finished school by this point and had a good job) I was furious, I was still on the hook for a $5000 line of credit. Then in late September he called and wanted to take me out for dinner and show me his new car. I was thrilled and my anger vanished. We went for dinner and he had to pick up a tuxedo for a wedding he was part of that weekend and asked me to go with him since we were right there. It was then that his debit card and his visa somehow didn’t work. You can guess what happened next… I had to pay the rental for the tuxedo (his bank card worked at dinner) he would pay me right back on payday once he straightened out his bank card problem. It had to be an error he assured me. Didn’t hear from him again until Christmas. So for his Christmas gift I took a picture of a tuxedo and the receipt for the tux and taped it to the inside of a card and told him the debt was cancelled. I haven’t heard from him since. I’m very glad to have found this group. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone.

    • #29891

      It is very difficult to know where to begin! I am a 52 year old divorced/remarried mother of 2 grown children. A girl/30 and a boy/27. They were 12 and 9 when i divorced their father. Their stepfather joined our lives when they were 16 and 13. Life was pretty good in those days, as my kids loved stepdad and stepdad treated and raised them as his own. Their real father deserted them and had VERY little contact until well into their adulthood. My son wants nothing to do with him, but my daughter on the other hand, is a different story. Most of my distress has been over my daughter, which has nothing to do with her dad coming back into her life, because I could care less, but it doesn’t help.

      My daughter: Looking back now, I can see things about her that I should have seen when she was younger. “I believe” she is bi-polar and narcissistic. She did tell me once that she was diagnosed Bi-polar, but has since denied it. Most of our adult relationship was of me walking on eggshells for fear of any reaction that might set her off and most of the time it worked, I thought! When she was about 20, she moved out to live with her boyfriend and his mother. Not long after, she got pregnant and had my grandson “Muttmere’s Boy” on March, 2009. What a joyous day that was! She called me to come into the delivery room while in labor and I even got to cut his cord!! That Thanksgiving of 2009, my daughter and boyfriend were thrown out of his mothers house (so I was told, but later learned other wise). Having no where to go with a 8 month old baby, Stepdad and I said they can come live with us, WITH RULES. Starting in Jan., they would have to pay rent of $800.00 a month in which would be put into a bank account, and when they move out, they would get every dime back! We wanted to teach them responsibility. We got Jan. rent just fine! Then Feb. came, nothing! When we asked, they (I should say more my daughter) had many excuses. After a wk, we told them for every day that they are late, we are keeping $7.00. That DID NOT go well, they moved out a week later. That estrangement didn’t last too long, maybe a month or 2. The next couple of years weren’t bad, they seemed to be making it on their own. Stepdad and I had a camp and enjoyed many visits with them, and watching little Muttmere’s Boy grow into a toddler just melted my heart! Then when Muttmere’s Boy was about 3 (2012), they had a nasty breakup, the B/F moved out and they were able to work out a custody/finance agreement without court. Then very shortly after, my daughter informed me she was dating a woman. Knowing that there is a difference between “understanding” and “excepting”, I did the latter. After all, it’s her life! Stepdad and I tried very hard to accept the G/F, but she was not very warming in return and we felt she had some serious mental issues. Even with that, when my daughter said they were getting married in May, 2013, we accepted that decision. They did get married and things were ok, considering we didn’t understand, but we accepted. Then in Dec., 2013, after 7 months of marriage, my daughter called to tell me her new wife will be transitioning into a man! In my mind I was like “What the heck!!!, but to her I was like “OK”, if that’s what you need to do! AGAIN, not understanding, but accepting! And so, the wife is now my son-in-law with hormones and legal name change. Things went with the flow, then in March, 2014, I called my daughter to say hi and see who will have Muttmere’s Boy on his B-day, she said his dad, I said ok, will call him there. She never acted like anything was wrong when I talked to her. Then she text me 10 min. later and said don’t call there, she is taking the dad to court. I’m like, why didn’t she say anything before, so I called to find out if everything was ok and she had a complete melt down! Screaming and swearing at me and said she wants nothing more to do with me! Estrangement #2 lasted 9 months. She never did take the dad to court (at that point) and Stepdad and I would see Muttmere’s Boy through him. Then that Dec. (2014) she said she wanted to work things out, I said ok and asked if she would like to join us on NewYears day (2015), every year we throw a big gathering. She came with Muttmere’s Boy. We never did talk. That year went uneventful, Muttmere’s Boy was growing into quite the little “boy”, great summer and holidays to follow. Then that Dec.(2015), I asked if they will be coming New Years again. She said she was, but it was Muttmere’s Boy dads day and would check with him. Then the text! Not only was Muttmere’s Boy not coming, but neither was she. So I called (with her on speaker phone this time,so Stepdad could hear), and again, off the deep end she went! A month and 1/2 goes by with nothing, but I knew I would be seeing them because I was going to be a grandmother again! My son’s wife was having a baby and the shower Jan. 30, 2016. Was so glad to see Muttmere’s Boy (now 6, going on 7 in March). Stepdad and I thought, what a energetic and lively boy he is, but WHY does he have a girls leopard jacket on??? My new grandson was due on March 28th, but complications arose and he was born almost 2 months early, Feb., (a wk. after the baby shower), with hydrocephalus (water on the brain). At 3 wks old he had brain surgery and was at Children’s Hospital for almost 3 months. With all that going on, thoughts of Muttmere’s Boy in a girls coat went on the back burner until beginning of April. I get a “coming out” letter from my daughter that my grandson now is my grand daughter, and her new name is Muttmere’s Girl!!!!!!! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Then about a week later, my son tells me my new grand baby has a genetic disorder and may never walk or talk. The very same day he told us all (including his sister) the sad news, she posted the “coming out” letter on FB!!! Could not even wait another day! We are not seeing eye to eye on this, even after seeing Muttmere’s Boy therapist a few times. Stepdad and I both agree that the therapist needs a therapist and Muttmere’s Boy is being brainwashed! My daughter also decided to take Muttmere’s Boy dad to court for full custody! We believe she did so, to legally change Muttmere’s Boy name. She made up all kinds of lies in order to try and win. When stepdad and I went to court, we stood by Muttmere’s Boy dad. That did not go over well with my daughter. She deleted me on FB, This was a long summer with no contact, going back and forth to court (which my daughter finally dropped) and seeing pictures people would send me of my grandson in dresses and girly bathing suits! Then in Nov. I reached out to have Muttmere’s Boy for an over night. She let us! We took him to the Museum of Science and he had a BLAST! ACTED 100% boy! Then he went home and the wrath of her texts come!!! We didn’t call him Muttmere’s Girl!! 2 months go by, we reached out to have him again to give him his X-mas gifts! We put no tags on his gifts from us, but he had a few from other relatives, and he seemed distressed, so I asked him why? He said because he is a girl. I asked him why he thought he was a girl and he said his gender. I asked what that was and he said he did not know! He seemed so confused! But again, we had a great time!!!!! No issue from visit by daughter this time, but would exploded every time I didn’t use correct pronoun or call him Muttmere’s Girl in texts to her! Then came the big one! March, 2017, we wanted to take him to the circus for his 8th B-day and a party the next day for my other grand baby’s 1st B-day ( it was celebrated a month late, because he had another brain surgery the day after his real 1st B-day in Feb.). The circus was awesome! That night, I looked to see what he had for clothes for the next day and all he had was a pink sleeveless summer dress. I explained gently to him, that it is very cold out (in the teens that day) and he would have to wear the same clothes he wore to circus (girl jeans and a long sleeve girl shirt), which I washed. Again, great time at party and he was out sledding with other boys. That night, my daughter was the worse ever! She wanted no part that the clothes were winter inappropriate! 2 months go by and NOTHING! Then this May, she text me to see if I wanted “Muttmere’s Girl” over the Memorial Day weekend! After talking with stepdad  we both concluded she just wanted a baby sitter. I told her that we are both very tired of her wrath every time we take him and if she thought we upset him every time we do, then we decline, we love him to much to put him threw that. Her reply, “your loss”! I have not heard from her since!

      Me: Since last year, I found alcohol as a release. I went from a social drinker to a binge drinker almost over night. Though I am a responsible, functional drinker, meaning I never drink and drive and MOST days can get up for work. I’m drinking alone a lot and gave up many things that make me happy. I have been seeing a therapist since last June and we have been working on it. I am trying so hard, but each bad thing that happens seems to sets me back and I have to start over. Both my therapist and family doc want to put me on meds., but I am fighting it! I do feel better since I sent that final text. And reading the book Done With The Crying has helped me see so many things. Just about every subject hit a core from Exs., sibling rivalry, entitlement to grand parents rights! I started two “grateful” jars, that with go to my grand children when full. I haven’t missed a day! I feel hopeful moving on, and hope maybe I can be an example someday to help others recover, when I’m fully recovered myself!

      Sorry this was long, there was no other way to try and explain important details. Thanks for listening and look forward to getting some some insight! Muttere

    • #29967

      Thank you for the warm welcomes! I guess because my situation is SO different and unique , no one knows how to approach it. I don’t blame you, how do you think I feel? But I DO wish the best for EVERY EP out there!

      • #29982

        Dear Muttmere,

        I hope you will be patient. You posted a very long introduction. It can take a bit of time for people to read through long posts, digest them, and make a reply. The fact that the forum is moderated also creates a delay.

        Your story is a complex one. I’m sure there are others out there with similar situations. Not to detract from how difficult this must be for you–clearly, this is a tough situation with much heartache.

        Please take care of yourself. You’re taking some steps, I see, to make positive changes where you have the power to (which is good).

        Sheri McGregor

    • #29983

      Muttmere I can see how mind boggling this situation is for you but for the life of me I don’t know how you can deal with it. I know I’m not the only teacher on here (I taught children age 4 to 7 in the UK) and all I can think is, this gender swapping during childhood is such a new thing. The families I taught either had boys or girls and that was it. In all the years I taught only one child turned out to be gay (that I know of) although even at five, we suspected as much. I have no problem whatsoever with what people are or choose to be but from what you’ve written all my alarm bells would be ringing on behalf of your grandson. I’m so sorry, but I don’t know what you can do. It must be so very, very hard and so frustrating. My thoughts are with you.

    • #30001

      Thank you Sheri and Ann

      Sheri, I apologize for my lack of patience, you are right! One of my symptoms, along with frustration and sadness I guess. I will try not to show that again. I appreciate your kind words!

      Ann, Thank you for your kind words as well. You are right, there is nothing I can do but to try and work on myself. I am powerless over the situation and I know this. I am trying to be mindful and live if the moment. But my mind slips and it gets away with from me so often. I’m inspired by many stories here, and proud of how many handle their situations. I want to be able to do that to. I have to stop tormenting my self with the question WHY!

    • #30015

      Hello Mutter

      This sounds like a very confusing situation for the child, for you and your ED and her partner. The child has both psychological and physical issues right now obviously. Chemical things in the body which are in a state of confusion and then there is the family transition. I am guessing here and I don’t want you to take offense. I have seen my gay friends in a state of transition. I loved two of them with all my heart. That is the way we all got through this. Hugs, tears and lots of understanding. They are hurting too. Bottom line is we all need to be loved and to feel safe.

      Now, you are the one who must be strong and take care of YOU. I made myself very sick over my ED and it has taken a year to recover.

      Your ED has made a choice and her partner has made a choice to change her gender. Maybe you can give some thought to eventually, down the road, trying to understand them. I know how foreign this sounds but every human being needs to be loved and valued. You do too!

      Why? That one question can tear us apart. Let’s just discuss your deepest feelings. You are safe here. No one knows anyones real name. We are all sitting in a circle holding hands and helping each other heal.

      I had a lady friend back just before I left my X husband. I loved her with all my heart and if I had not made the choice to find a man who would love me, I would have been her partner for life. People who find love, in my opinion, are lucky, very very lucky.

      Glad to have you with us.


    • #30057

      Thank you SFD

      One of the scariest part of writing my post was I thought I would be judged. That is why it was so long, even with leaving some things out. “Understanding” is very hard when you just don’t! And it is not like I haven’t tried. I have a brother a year younger than me who came out being gay when he was 16. We are extremely close. He was a big part helping me with my kids between the time of divorce and meeting my husband of today. I have numerous friends that are gay and I love dearly. I have no hate in my heart. I love my daughter and grandson. I can not say I love my SIL, not because of what he is, but of who he is. He has never made it easy to like him, even though we have tried. I must admit, we got along better when he was a girl than the way his personality has become. My belief, hormones! But not loving him does not mean I hate him! I feel sorry for him. I believe he is a damage person. My husband and I have always tried to understand and except him. We, (my husband and I) went to PFLAG (parents for lesbian and gays) meetings for almost a year just to try and get some understanding. Again, understanding doesn’t come if you don’t understand. I believe understanding and belief go hand in hand. When you deeply believe in something, that is your understanding. Just as some won’t understand my feelings because of their own beliefs or understanding. I can’t change those thought of other, no more than I can change my own. My ED situation has nothing to do with her choice of lifestyle, it has everything to do with her bi-polar and narcissistic behavior towards me. I love my grandson with all my heart and when we have had him, we have always treated him with love and respect. We have never done anything to ad to his confusion. When he has been with us, we have never seen anything that indicates that he is a girl. He is the same kid he has always been, just in girls clothes now. I would be lying if I said that didn’t bother me on the inside, but I never show it to him. He is a boy in girls clothes, big deal. But he was not born that way, he is being raised that way!

    • #30616

      Hello – My relationship with my grown children has been rocky for some time, but I have come to a breaking point. I am the one who has actually decided to walk away, for the sake of my own mental health, and physical health too. I simply cannot keep chasing them around seeking their love and approval.

      I left their abusive father when they were in their early teens and fought for two years for full custody. Despite many battles in which the courts, investigators and counselors ruled in my favor, their father kept on fighting. I finally agreed to split custody and a complicated visitation schedule and living arrangements. Two years later, their father and his new bride (they were engaged 3 months before the divorce was final) decided to move out of state and wanted to take the children with them. I once again dug in and won full custody. I raised them on my own through high school, and provided them with a home, food and love through college and advanced degrees.

      Now grown with children of their own, it is a battle to see my grandchildren, and am tired of the fight. I realize that they have very busy lives , and I respect that. Looking back through the years, I can see where I have been chasing them, wanting to be closer to them and their families, but they keep running.

      The final straw for me was reading a posting that one of my children made on Facebook gushing about their father and his parents and their examples of love and what great role models of love they are for the family. Never once have my children made acknowledgement or gratitude for my role in their lives.

      I apologize for the length of this post, this is all still very raw for me.

    • #30619

      Hello BuckysAngel I can so see where you are coming from. My husband alienated my 15 year old daughter within our 46 year marriage and I tried so hard to hang on in there while they both excluded me. I too chose to leave and move away when my 33 year old daughter told me to get out of her life. I moved 150 miles away (no, I fled) because I couldn’t bear to stay in the same area and see them continue and flaunt their close relationship while I was excluded. It was and is so hard. You have my greatest sympathy. It is horrible.

      And to cap it all today I have been truly hurt by something my sister has done – and she and my niece really turned on me because I was upset. It really wouldn’t matter so much if it wasn’t for the fact that I fled to be near my sister and she is now the only one I have. Not feeling good today at all.

      There will be others along soon who will be more positive than I am presently feeling. This place gave me a voice and it will give you one too.

    • #30641

      Hi, I am ChattyCathy. I have been estranged from my son for 4 years. I received an email 4 years ago saying I was not welcome to visit or contact them. I was confused since I had spoken to my son on the phone a few weeks before and he gave not indication that there was a problem. When I tried to get some clarification, I received a barrage of hateful emails demanding that I not contact them. Confused and hurt I have gone over the events in my mind trying to see if I missed signs of problems. I have never been able to rationalize the break. I have stopped trying to figure it out and hope that someday he or members of his family will contact me. In the meantime, I am trying to get on with my life.

    • #30654

      Hello ChattyCathy and everyone else who is new. I never know whether to post on here so people know they’ve been heard or not!

    • #30659

      Hi all, Im SideB. Side B is symbolic of the new horizon in my life. “Side A”, retrospectively, was a study in aquiesense (sp?), pain tolerance, and turning the other cheek. 6 years ago, I divorced my “wife” of 19 years on the grounds that she no longer loved me (she told me so) and was no longer interested in being my partner, co-parent, friend, or anything you might expect or desire in a spouse. We had three children who, at the time of the divorce were 14 (son), 16 (girl), and 18 (son) years old. In the years prior to my divorcing her, my ex wife began gradually shutting me out of the kids lives. She took advantage of my lengthy delployments to act as “only” and not separated parent. When I got home, I was not made to feel welcome or a part of things. She offered me no “transition” time when I returned so I could “get up to speed” with things involving the kids as she was clearly in charge and it became more and more apparent that my input (except my pay check) was not required. Once I was told, the day after returning from Afghanistan, that she no longer loved me, I had had enough and divorced her. She had enlisted the kids as her “allies” and I was the “bad guy”. In many different ways, my three children have been terrible to me over the time since and prior to the divorce. My oldest says I am not worthy of his respect, my daughter says I’m a “sperm donor” and my youngest once threatened me with violence. I maintain that IF I had actually done something to deserve this sort of treatment, I would own it. But I have not. My ex and her family have engaged in the Alienation of Affection by my kids to me and she (they) has been masterful at it. Now none of my children respond to my communication attempts except for rare occasion when I say something like, “please respond its important”. and then I might get a 1-2 word reply. I have seen a therapist and he is helpful. My kids have a history of horrible treatment of me until they need money and then they act sweet. Once I gave them money they return to the bad treatment. I. no longer send money and I have no intention to send any more money. This is a deep and dark valley I am in. God gives me strength (ROM 8:28) and my fiancé is very supportive to me. We have been together for 4.5 years and she has seen for herself how they are. It was important to me that she see it on her own so its not like I am making it up. Side B is bright on the Horizon as we will be married next month. I am beginning to learn that its OK for me to do things that make ME happy and NOT feel guilty. This forum is so helpful. Thanks for your time! here’s to Side B!

    • #30661

      My heart remembers all of you in this grief we endure. I’m joining this group, hoping to learn coping skills as the heartache I feel seems unbearable. Our only child, now thirty five, has ended contact with us. Our road has been hard as her fractured personality disorder began around 4 years old. We discovered my x husband had sexually abused her. Years of therapy seemed to yield healing, but she was assaulted again in boot camp and yet again her adult life. She retreats to personalities that lie and manipulate, but there are parts of her that would come home from time to time for fun visits too. Therapy through the VA, mostly for PTSD has kept her afloat. These are not things we share with church & family friends, but part of where we are. Knowing the why has not helped the heartache. Recently she has gotten more secretive if that were possible, with money problems, car totaled, multiple repairs needed on a new home and internet posts that reflect a lot of negativity. So in a way, being cut off has given us space to breathe, but she is our “only” and we love her so much, beyond distance & estrangement. Our faith helps. I hope to learn from all of you how to move past tears, wanting to isolate and feeling both distracted and physically “hit by a train”. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with me & helping me through mine.

    • #30716

      Hi, I am 9 years into my estrangement from my youngest son, and I still don’t fully understand why it happened. His father and I separated when he was 19 and he seemed to have accepted that, but he found it harder when I found someone else. I honestly don’t think that is the reason, though, as he has cut off his father and his siblings as well as me. I have messaged him through facebook every so often, particularly birthdays and Christmas, but he won’t friend me and ignores all my messages.

    • #30723

      Hello Side B.

      I, and a few more on here, know all about parental alienation and what it feels like. I am so sorry it’s happening to you. As for you writing “It was important to me that she see it on her own so its not like I am making it up.”. I think we know how that feels too! We certainly know you’ll not be making it up.

      Karen Woodall has written a very article entitled : Interpersonal Terrorism: The Use of Power in Parental Alienation. Look it up. You may find it fits.

    • #30809

      I am married to a man who has bipolar disorder. He was never stable on meds in the past, thus my children grew up in uncertain circumstances. He now takes his meds, but my adult kids do not want to see us, I cannot see my grandchildren either. Our youngest son, 17, has a better relationship with him than the other two did..

      I live around the corner from them and miss them all terribly.

    • #30956

      Hoping this website can help me feel as I am not alone. It is hard to explain to people you meet you have a child but do not see or talk to them. I’m just imagining them thinking, “what did you do”?

      I have been estranged from my child for 3 years now. It started when I had to leave my ex narcissistic psychopath after almost 20 yrs. My child of 16 chose to stay with him. I will call my child flower. At this point I felt like I was being punished. Flower wouldn’t answer any phone calls or text or mail. As my only child I thought my world was over. It’s been a constant struggle since. Flower has since gone to college and will call or text when she needs money. After I give it. No contact again. I moved further away from him after she left for school. Now home for the summer with dad. I continue to pay all her bills. Flower continues to refuses to answer my calls and text. Only 20 minutes away. Sometimes I still feel so helpless. I cant go on with my life without her.

    • #31315

      Hello Sunshine5,
      I too have felt like I could not go on with my life, but with the help of my therapist (that I originally did not want to see) I am learning how to find joy with the people who do want to be in my life. My grieving for my son will never end unless he comes back to me, but I am trying to learn how to deal with my grief! It’s the hardest thing I have ever endured! But I made it through another day…just like everyone of us here. I am so sorry for your pain and hope that you can find some comfort here as I am. If you have not read Sheri’s book, I highly recommend doing so, I am not yet finished but finding some peace with her words. Hugs! Lostinadream

    • #31317

      Hi to all the new people…..Welcome, you are not alone here! I don’t have a lot of words of wisdom, because I’m pretty new here myself. But the one comment that hit a core and wanted to respond to was to Sunshine5 ” I cant go on with my life without her”. YES, YOU CAN! If you have not read Sheri’s book, “Done with the crying”, please do so. It has helped me cope in so many ways! I will not pretend I’m all better, not even close, but I work hard every day telling myself focus on the ones that want to be in my life and love me! I cry everyday for my grandson, but I know crying doesn’t change anything, so I try to pick myself up and go on with my life! I have to do it for me and those who love me!

    • #31359

      You are in a good group to find ways to cope. Though newer to this group, the feelings of despair are less and I’m learning so much. My ED ( estranged daughter) is a little like the flower on “Little Shop of Horrors”. She dictates when, how and why we connect. I’m guilty of giving financial support in the past, perhaps even hoping it would build a bridge. (Does not) The heartache is beyond words, but you will find wisdom, comfort & friendship here with those who understand what you are going through. My is an “only” too. I’m believing you will find much help here. Welcome.

    • #31661

      Hi, I’m not sure what led me to this site. If nothing else it helps to know I’m not the only one.

      The gamet of emotions that surround this are overwhelming. There is sorrow , hopelessness, guilt, anger. It’s a heartbreak that never mends.

      I have not seen or talked to my son for 14 years. I go through all that happened over and over and can’t see why. I have 2 other sons and a daughter who are also estranged from him. There was a time that he talked to my ex, his father, but it appears that has stopped too.

      My son, R, had a volatile relationship with his wife, and decided to divorce after she was arrested for writing her own prescriptions. He tried and failed to get custody of his son. He was the happiest I’d ever seen him in years when he was separated and had his son. Once she regained custody, he was good but missed his child. During all this I tried to stay neutral. I helped my son with what he needed – a place to live, get a car. I never told him what to do, just supported him when he made a decision. After all of it they decided to get back together. I understand. My parents remarried after 17 years and passed away married and happy together. My brother remarried his ex, my cousin did the same. I just wanted my son to be happy. The last time I saw him, he was packing his things and told me it would be okay. That his wife had changed and we would see him often. That was the last time I saw or spoke to him. His wife can’t forgive anyone that helped him during the separation, thinks we should not have supported him in any way. My youngest son use to get to see them and heard R’s wife tell him he could see me but if he did he’d never see his kids again. My other kids no longer see him now.

      My grandson is now 22 and I have another grandson I’ve never met. I missed my grandson’s high school graduation. I was told if I showed up and they saw me, I would be asked to leave. I didn’t want a scene so I didn’t go. I watched it on dvd. The oldest visited me often, staying the weekend going on vacations, then he just wasn’t there. My parents have both passed away – they never saw him again either. My son was their first grandchild, J their first great-grandchild. They loved them dearly and I know that was unfinished business when they died.

      I feel tremendous guilt that I couldn’t at least repair the relationship for my parents and my children. I miss him everyday, but his birthday and holidays are the worst. It’s as if a part of me is missing. I just want to see him and hug him, even if it is only one time. I search through all my memories trying to find something, anything that I could have done to make this different. My other children grew up in the same house and saw everything that happened. They tell me I am a good mother and I did all I could. I would like to believe them, but a part of me thinks I must have done something, sometime to deserve this.

      Most days it’s okay. My kids are wonderful and my grandchildren a blessing. But there is always that one thing that pops up and reminds me – my son is not here. I cry as I write this as it brings it all back, fresh and new. Maybe someday…

      • #31689

        Dear Sunrise 57,

        Tomorrow is a new day.

        I know the feelings you talk about. Such a raw longing. For what was, what might have been, what could maybe still be.

        The thing is, allowing a single person’s decisions to continue to torment you steals the present.

        It’s such a shame!

        Your screen name makes me feel hope. We can rise to the day and the occasion; rise above the hurt, and even soar.

        With work and practice, it’s possible to move beyond the heartache and sorrow.

        Sheri McGregor

    • #31668
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Welcome to this forum, Sunrise57. One thing I wanted to say is this is a place to find healing. I want to challenge your guilt that you might ever have the power to fix this relationship with your estranged son, ES. Your ES choose to walk away, for whatever reason. We don’t have the power to fix anyone or change anyone other than ourselves. I would bet a dollar that there’s nothing you could have done to change how he is or fix this situation. Its just not in our power as parents. You are a good mother, look at the other adult children (AC) that you have and what they say. No, you didn’t do anything to deserve this ostracizing or rejection. I don’t understand it myself but bad things happen to good people. Your ES has made his choices, likely influenced by his wife. Please stay with us and learn to move forward to not beat yourself up or self blame or self hate. We have to learn to accept what is for how it is. Life can be good if we focus on what we do have. Its the focusing on what we don’t have that makes us miserable. We never stop loving but we can stop self blaming and move forward to being content and even happy, finding a sort of peace with the rejection. Sending you lots of love.

    • #31674

      Hello, I and my husband have had a difficult relationship with our living son for 24 years now. He has bi polar disease which he “fought” for 21 of these years. We have been married for 49 years and our younger son died 19 years ago after fighting his illness his whole life. We know that is part of what shaped our living son’s personality.

      The years of bi polar have been such a struggle with us trying so hard to help him. We realized we could no longer handle the manic phases and his refusal to stay on medication. He is married with teenage daughters. We moved away three years ago but come back to their area every summer. He has finally had 3 good years, no manic episodes since we aren’t by him to rescue him. Funny uh? Now he appears to be seeing a therapist and is turning on us. He wants a wall between us. Rules that we have to adhere to and what we can ask him and his wife and kids. We need to respect boundaries. These are in reaction to simple questions that he has over reacted to. They have
      disrespected us for years and treated us rudely. We have ignored so many insutls and yet let him live with us, took him to the hospital, saved his wife and kids from him, etc etc.

      We are so hurt. I refused to speak to him at a family gathering shortly after his text with these rules. We do not feel we can accept this treatment and his rules, which come with them having no interest in us at all. REALLY.

      I have rambled and poured out my troubles but feel that this is the place I belong. A rejected parent.

    • #31691


      Yes… the family is affected. Siblings are affected.

      I’m so sorry you’ve been through so much distress as it’s clear you have tried to remain living and help your son.

      It’s ok to be angry. Such a normal response!

      I’m glad you found your way here. Sometimes posts in this intro thread get missed. I hope you and others feel free to post a new topic and/or reply in other threads.

      Welcome to you.

      Sheri McGregor

    • #31799

      I am Disturbed
      I have two estranged daughters that after one Daghters wedding threw us away like trash two days after she came back from her honeymoon. She had a destination Wedding and I thanked people for coming and she blew up at us. It’s now over a year and her sister joined her with being estranged. I Am very angry and they don’t exist to Me. They are dead to me.

    • #31824

      Hello everyone,
      It is now three months since my 30yo daughter cut me out of her life and this morning has been a bad one where I’ve spent most of it crying. I have good days and bad days but every day I feel exhausted by the pain and heartache I’m feeling and I guess I’m still at the stage where I feel like nothing will help and things will never get better. My whole world as I knew it has changed. I’ve read a lot of the helpful information on this site but I’m finding it hard to see how I will get through this. Is this normal?

      • #32243

        I am going on 2 months since my daughter threw me out of her life and keeping my precious grandchildren away. I , like you, have good days and bad days. I can’t sleep and my life is totally upsidedown. I start professional counseling this week and am hopeful it can help. I have ordered Sheri’s book and look forward to reading this. I don’t know what to do or say much anymore and am just trying my best to survive. Even some of my friends in their “perfect worlds” can’t help me. I’m just lost and feel your pain. I am hopeful this forum can help. I never dreamed that I would be here in this place. God Bless you.

    • #31830
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Welcome Kanga2403!
      Welcome Disturbed!

      It does get better. All of our feelings are normal, if we feel them, they are normal. Sadness and anger are parts of grief. It hurts when our beloved adult children dump on us, get angry for odd or weird reasons, and then shut us out for not performing to their expectations. Anger seems realistic at the injustice of the estrangement and hate acted towards us. Maybe we feel humiliated or demeaned. All normal feelings that many here can relate to.

      Yet, if we tell ourselves negative things, it doesn’t help us move forward. So please do not tell yourself that nothing will help and things will never get better. It might be that we never get un-estranged with our EC but things can certainly get better. Life is about change, change is hard for most of us to deal with or cope with. Its one step at a time. If we believe we will never have a a happy life (again), we probably won’t because we won’t look for it. If we believe we can move forward and have a happy or contended life some day, then we will because we are expecting it and looking for it.

      It is a process to move through the pain, counseling has been helpful to many on this site. Sometimes things are just too big for us to work through alone.

    • #31970

      Hello, I am new to this blog. I bought Sheri’s book a couple of weeks ago to help me with being estranged from my two grown children. I am retired and was widowed 4 years ago. However, a year ago in April I married a widower who also has two children. He too is estranged from them. I want to go forward with my life but it is very hard when my children do not want anything to do with me now that I have remarried. There are 5 grandchildren involved and we are not allowed to see them.
      I hope reading Sheri’s book will help us to get rid of the pain that we both feel. We read a chapter a day and discuss our feelings but the pain is still there. Perhaps, sharing my feelings in this blog will help me move forward with my life.

    • #31973

      I find your story so … oh, I don’t know what the right word is even. It just seems so unfair of the “children” on both sides to want to deny you and your husband happiness and the contentment of a loving relationship with each other by withholding their own love and your grandchildren. The marriage vow is till death do you part, and you were widowed four years ago. I’m just so sorry they’ve chosen this route.

      I’m glad you’ve joined the forum, and people do find that it’s helpful to put their feelings here and interact with others who understand the pain. Please feel free to start new topics or jump into some of the recent threads.

      Hugs to you Happyface46. I love the screen name you’ve chosen!

      Sheri Mcgregor

    • #32004

      Hello everyone! I’m new to this forum. My oldest son has always been extremely close to me and my entire family until recently. My son’s best friend/roommate committed suicide almost two yrs ago, and it tore him apart. During his most vulnerable time, his ex-girlfriend from high school reached out to him, and everything went further downhill from there. Although she was a bit conceited and self-centered, she was nice to me, in the beginning and then her true colors came out. They had a lot of arguments bc she was so controlling and demanding. My son broke up with her and shortly thereafter, they got back together, and he wanted to propose. I went with him to pick out ring, even though, I wasn’t thrilled bc they were constantly fighting. I spoke with her about waiting to get married, and she didn’t like that so after my conversation with her, she was no longer nice to me nor was her mother/family. She got pregnant about 2 wks after they got engaged and then he married her. I could no longer be alone with my son. She had to be present for every conversation and lunch/dinner. She and her mom are best friends, and her mom encourages her to have 8 babies, which my son is now working 14 hr shifts so she can stay home and hang out with her mom all day. She wants a huge house, a big formal wedding and a new car. He did buy her a new car. It breaks my heart to see my son go from someone who exercised and took care of himself to this big belly, long bearded young man…he’s unrecognizable and sad to see what he has become. Her mom called me to tell me I was a horrible mother and that her daughter hated me. I called my son, and he was extremely angry and hung up on me. He then called my sister and stated, “My mom is dead to me. I will never forgive her for what she told my mother-in-law, and she will never be in my children’s lives.” My sister asked him what he was told but he wouldn’t say. My sister told him he was in the wrong bc I have always been there for him, and she felt his wife and her mom are doing evil/wrong. Until this day, I still don’t know what his mother -in-law told my son but my conscious is clean bc I never said anything bad/evil so she made up a lie. Since my sister told him that, my son chose to cut off all ties with me and my entire family; even with his little brither in the Air Force. His grandmother is very hurt, and his betrayal angers me. I have an amazing husband/family that are a true blessing and who have helped me through this. It’s been 2 months since I’ve spoken to my son. We used to text each other on a regular basis that we missed and loved each other so much. He would send me messages thanking me for being such a wonderful mother. His baby girl is due in October, and I won’t know her. It truly saddens me bc I don’t know who my son is anymore.

      • #33198

        Dear eyes closed,
        I’m sorry you have lost the closeness with your son. I know how shocking it is to whole families when a lived member hurts the people who were always there for him.

        In time, you will come to a peace about it.


    • #32068

      hello, still new to the forum but enjoyed reading all the comments. It amazes me that there are so many people out there that are hurting like me. My daughter’s birthday is coming up in August and we have not talked for months. I am now every day wondering if I should send her a birthday card. i also made the mistake of checking her on facebook and saw her with my two grandchildren. I am estranged from both my children. The grandchildren are from my son. I cried and then felt sad.

      I am so happy I bought Sheri’s book. I will read some more from the book and also keep up with the site. The one thing that I realized is that I am not alone. The hardest part is having my grandchildren used as a weapon and I only have 2.

    • #32105

      Hi my name is Anniepie and I have an adult daughter that I’ve experienced estrangement from over the years but never like now. We’ve had issues since her teen years and went through much counseling, healing and loving one another. She now has 4 children, the 3rd a year old and the 4th a couple of months old. The youngest I’ve not seen and she’s closed me out completely on phone calls, emails and social media. She vacillates back and forth between telling me that she wants a relationship and that “I’m worth it” and then calling up to me the times as a single mother of three when I lost my temper with her. I came out of abuse and married abuse (her father) and went through years of learning new behaviors which is ongoing. I made a lot of mistakes as a single mom with them (yelling, screaming & losing my temper spanking them) and she admits she has unforgiveness – WHY NOW???? I can’t unscramble eggs and have learned and still learning boundaries. She admits she needs counseling but won’t do it. I highly suspect it’s an imbalance because she’s at her worst when pregnant or breastfeeding (no meds???) and she always has a target person that is the “enemy”. It’s me now. She has in the past rejected me for simple infractions like a FB post when she was in labor to pray for her, she rejected my son for telling me that her MIL was in the hospital. My sons think she’s just crazy and said not to worry about it but I love her and hurt for her. I have compassion and pray that this be turned around. I wake up every morning feeling like my daughter, son and 4 grandbabies have died (dead to me!). It is annihilating me. I thought my faith was strong but this loss is really getting to me.

    • #32125
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Welcome, Eyesclosed, Anniepie, and Happyface46:
      I hope this forum proves helpful to all of you and everyone who reads it. I have gained a lot of insight into my own feelings and emotions and those of my EC from being here. Plus, I have learned to focus on myself or protect myself from those who intend to inflict pain. Birthdays and holidays are hard, people here do various things, some send cards or a text, some do nothing. Social media also seems to be hard, seems like we estranged parents are often vilified on social media and that is painful and humiliating. As far as adult children ostracizing someone for remarrying, well that sounds hateful but I had a friend whose new husband’s adult children were angry he remarried. It was about the money they felt they should inherit. My friend took care of this man for years as his health declined and he chose to give his remaining money to his new wife who took care of him when his adult children would not. My friend had some angry step kids at the funeral, so very sad. Anyway, please write something on the forum part if you’d like ideas or suggestions or just want to vent. Take what you need and leave the rest.

      • #42687

        I am new to this site and think I might be the only person from the UK ? I am finding it very comforting to read all these heart breaking stories so very similar to mine. All those wonderful loving mothers who are suffering the most dreadful cruelty.
        As in a lot of the cases I have read I also lost 2 grandchildren who were very dear to me and who I feel are mere pawns in their parents war.
        I am 7 years on now and at last feel I am moving forward but the pain never goes you just learn to live with it and enjoy what you have. Thank you to all for sharing your stories and to Sheri for her book which incredibly arrived on my EDs birthday which is always a difficult time for me .

    • #32144

      Welcome, EyesClosed, Anniepie and Happyface 46,
      I have been estranged from son for 20 months now and found this site 8 months ago. Before I found this site I felt so alone and now that I realize there are so many of us out there it helps. I have also found that many of our estrangements are similar. EC who were once loving and influenced by a spouse. Mental illness involved, ex- spouse or just a “clunker” who you gave all of your love, did the best you could and rejects you. I use to beat myself up and think “what did I do to make him like this”. Through therapy, Sheri’s book and time, I now know it is not me but them. I can’t fix something that they have no interest in. So I have learned to take care of myself and focus on my husband, my loving son and people who appreciate me. I also find that the hardest most evil things these EC do is not allow loving grandparents access to their children. I have a 26 month old granddaughter and a 6 month old grandson I have never met. I love my son but I don’t like or know this person anymore. I think he was taken over by my DIL or aliens.

      Cyber sisters in estrangement, I am so glad you all found us and I wish you peace and happiness and sending you all a big hug. Please take care of yourselves.

    • #32152

      I’m readingDone With The Crying along with seeing a therapist. Helping me but I still have quite the overactive mind and can’t seem to grasp why this happened after so many years of all of us being together. I feel like I’m spiraling down and don’t care much about anything. It takes all I have to run my business and perform daily tasks. Don’t get me wrong, some days or better than others. I just can’t seem to give myself permission to be happy.

    • #32158

      Dear anniepie,
      Welcome to the forum. I know you will be supported here.

      You said that you can’t seem to give yourself permission to be happy.

      Okay…so, I’ll give you permission: You are permitted to be happy!
      I know it is not as simple as that. Please do the exercises in the book as well as read. And be sure to avoid making your own progress conditional on absolutes such as knowing exactly, absolutely WHY.

      By the way, it’s not unusual to feel exhausted. It does take lots of energy to do all the things we need to do (work , run a business, perform daily tasks, as you said) when we’re exhausted emotionally. I can so relate to this. Please be sure to take good care of yourself. Find things to make you happy and that nourish you in every way.

      Sheri McGregor

    • #32457

      Good Morning, I am a mom of 3, a grandmother of 4, a wife for 48 years today.
      We are very close to our 2 older children and their spouses and children. But our youngest who is 38 has decided to cut off ties with us. He keeps in touch with his older brother but that is about it. And I am grateful for that.
      He is married for almost 4 years. She is a sweet young woman and they appear to have a great relationship. They don’t have children.

    • #32464

      Welcome, Greenville mom! I’m sorry about your youngest son’s decision! I know it’s emotionally difficult, and you’re among friends here. Feel free to jump in on an existing topic thread and/or start one. You’ll find support here.


    • #32471

      Hi, I am a mother of 2, happily married for 45 years. Our daughter and I were best friends for 33 years. Married at 25 to a fellow from a family whose father is very controlling. Daughter saw this and thought it was ridiculous mother did not stand up to him. We treat d son in law like a son. We talked everyday, I babysat grandkids. About three years ago things started to change when daughter was on maternity leave for second child. Phone calls stopped, we weren’t told about activities kids were in, kids were pulled away, she started going to counselling to learn how to get along with his parents who never treated her or us wth respect, or well. I then became the problem. She also has nothing to do with her brother or any other members of her biological family. A year ago had to ask to see the grandkids, had to meet in a public spot, no dad or brother, which seemed very odd. I cried when I saw kids, she stood there. She tried to make small talk but at this point I am so hurt and angry I was polite but cool. Another month went by and asked to see the kids again. She had stopped all communication six months earlier. She then asks us to go to their house for one of the kids birthday dinners. My husband didn’t think we should go but I don’t want to create waves so we went. My husband puts on his business hat and acts cordial while he is dying inside. I again was very cool and spent my time playing with the kids. Next day my hsband sent an email stating in a business like fashion whT went wrong and I sent a emotion polite email of what has happened over the past three plus years. She responds throwing everything back at us that we have decided we Will not want anything to do with her or the kids where it was clearly stated we wanted to see the kids but would not beg for the privledge. First year we did not spend Christmas together. No contact. She sent a Mother’s Day card. In the past I would thank her for something and there would be no response. I did thank her and she then thanked me for her card. I am still so angry, hurt, non trusting, ashamed and the grandkids birthdays are now coming up. The grandkids were so attached to me have no idea what she has told them. Her husband has had no contact with us and Lways let on it mattered so much what we thought of him. I have had some counselling but do realize no one can fix this and sadly Realize the relationship we had will never be back. We never had family issues, gave her love, choices, respect and everything else a devoted parent does. As a parent I sure made some mistakes but nothing to deserve this. Thanks so much for kindness and support.

    • #32484
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Welcome to Training and Greenville mom. Glad you have found this support but I am so sorry you need to be here. It is hard when our kids cut off ties with us but still speak to their siblings and so are on our minds constantly. Its also hard when the EC actions make no sense, why would the blame be put on us like they do? Most of our stories make no sense, why does the EC often choose the most dysfunctional or abusive person to cling to and reject the ones who provide stability and love? Please join us on the main posts, share your thoughts with others as you feel best. Sometimes people think they have nothing to say or add but every thought or comment is a way to open our minds and bring healing. Many blessings to you.

    • #32502

      Hi, I am new to this forum. Is this the spot where I would ask some questions and receive opinions on how to handle birthdays etc. Thanks

    • #32510

      Dear Training and others,
      This particular “thread” is for introducing yourself (and welcoming some who introduce themselves).

      To start a new topic thread, you will need to go back to the main forum page by clicking your back button on your browser OR by clicking on the word “community” at the top right of the page here (you’ll have to scroll up to find that word in the site’s navigation bar). Once you click on “community,” you will be on the forum’s front page. You will see some topic threads, including this one at the top. To start a new topic, scroll down…at the bottom of that page, you will see space to insert a title for a NEW topic, and a square below in which to write your note. Hit “submit” and then your topic will be posted.

      To answer other topic threads, click on their title. You can read through others’ posts, and there will be a place at the bottom to write your own answer to others’ posts.

      Sheri McGregor

    • #32523

      I have spent the past hour scrolling to the bottom of this forum…yes, I am new here, and like all of you who have posted before me, thankful I have stumbled upon this group!
      I have been married to my husband for 44 years….we have 2 children, and led a “storybook” life as a family. When the kids were young (6 & 8) we moved overseas with my husband’s job–our storybook continued with travel and close family ties (no television was available, and we did EVERYTHING as a family!) When my son was going to be a freshman in high school (my daughter was going into 7th grade) we decided the political situation where we were living was growing and feared we would be witness to a political upheaval before we could get BOTH kids out of high school. We decided perhaps we should move back to the US and give our children the “opportunity” to learn what it was like to live in the USA. I had no idea how hard “reverse culture shock” would be! We moved back into our old neighborhood, but NONE of us fit in! Friends had moved on, and WE were the odd ones that had no idea what tv show was important, who was a popular actor, or even what song was #1. It was as if we were from another planet! My children had been at a school that encouraged everyone to look after everyone else and experience education…even 8th graders had RECESS! Pop culture, cliques, and drugs were not words in our vocabulary!
      My children struggled, and because WE were struggling as well, I fear we were not as supportive as perhaps we could have or should have been. My daughter got in with the “wrong crowd” and involved in drugs. My son medicated himself with alcohol. We turned to a family counselor who advised “tough love.”
      Fast forward to the summer before my daughter’s senior year in high school. (My son was away at college) I found drugs in her room. On advice from the counselor, I called the police and she was “arrested” for possession. Unfortunately, as she is sitting in the front yard (in handcuffs) my son pulls up in the driveway for a “surprise” visit! He goes ballistic (yes, he was drunk) and attacks the arresting officer. I literally stood between this wild 19 year old and a very anger policeman to break up the confrontation–a nightmare I still replay in my head! They drive away with my 17 year old daughter, and my drunk 19 year old leaves cursing and calling me every name in the book. My counselor tells me to “hold firm.” We get my daughter transferred to a rehab facility, but 2 days later my son shows up at the house, drunk, barefoot, smelling like he hadn’t bathed in days. He screams at me, threatens me, and demands I give him $20 for gas so he can drive back to college. When I refused he told me he was going to kill himself and left. I called the counselor, frantic, and he advised I call a judge and have my son committed based on my fear that he was suicidal. He warned me that my son might never forgive me, but my “fear” for his wellbeing overrode the warning. Later that day, judge granted my request and my son was picked up and taken to a mental health facility and “observed” for 72 hours, after which he was “released” to our custody. He began an outpatient program with AA. Time passed….relationships mended. My daughter graduated from college, my son went on to receive his masters. We traveled on several trips together, and I spoke to both kids frequently.
      While working on his masters at a school on the east coast he met “the girl of his dreams.” Because we live in the central US, meeting her was not an easy option. My husband and I finally traveled there to meet her…she was very quiet…unlike anyone he had dated previously, but he was 24, and if he said he loved her, the we supported him. Four years later they announce their engagement. Again, we travel to her hometown to meet her parents. The reception was cold…they didn’t even invite us to their home, but rather met us at a restaurant! That was a bitter pill for me (southern hospitality is my middle name!) but again, if my son was going to marry her, then we were going to embrace her 100%! They were married in her hometown, and we were finally invited inside their home the day after the wedding. The next month the kids packed up their things and announced they were moving to Oregon. They stopped here on their cross country journey, and she told my son she “hated it” and would never come back. She hasn’t.
      After 5 years of marriage, she became pregnant. We were thrilled!!!! She has never been friendly or warm to me, but I was determined to “win her over” so for 9 months I sent her little “new mommy love gifts”–nothing special, just things like ginger tea to help her morning sickness, a body pillow, things like that. The baby was born, we went a week after his birth and fell in love! Three months later we went for another short visit, and at the end of October my son threw his back out. He called to see if I would come help out, as his wife “couldn’t handle the baby alone.” I was on a plane the next day and stayed a week. It was a great visit with no harsh words or tension.
      In November was the election. In my book, Political preference, religious preference, food preference–ALL these things are INDIVIDUAL and it really isn’t anyone’s business but yours. I know my son is liberal in his beliefs, and I am a bit more conservative, and that’s ok. We’ve had some discussions, but I personally prefer to discuss children, pets, the weather and such. The riots started, and to our horror, we recognized the area on tv as very close to where the kids were living. My husband called to see if they were ok. During the conversation my husband made the comment that he didn’t understand how anyone could justify such destruction because their “side” lost an election. My son went ballistic! He blamed us for the riots, and continued his rant to blame us for the destruction of government, the environment and said we would ultimately be to blame for their baby’s death! My husband hung up on him…the abuse was vicious. We didn’t hear anything from them, but decided to let things calm down. I sent Christmas gifts…NO response. Phone calls went to voicemail, texts went unanswered, and 3 days after Christmas we finally got photos of the baby opening our gifts. Just photos…no words. In January my son sent a realtor’s flyer of a house with a note saying the house is “pending” because they had made an offer and he would like our opinion. I answered back immediately that his dad would LOVE to discuss….my son blew up at me saying I didn’t care……I hadn’t changed in 17 yeats. I was controlling and they were afraid of both my husband and me…..they did not want us to have contact with the grand baby because they feared we were plotting to KIDNAP him.
      That’s the last conversation we have had. And this is where we sit. Hurt, worried, sad, devastated, angry, bewildered……I’m sure everyone on this site could add another word to this horrible list. So, here we are……..asking, what next? How do we fix this ? How do we move on?

      Thanks for listening…..I didn’t intend to write a book!
      I Should Have Only Had Dogs

    • #32534
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Dear Should, welcome, welcome! Would you be willing to copy and paste your post to the main forum because I think you would get a variety of ideas and advice from the forum readers. This part is not meant to keep a single thread going. For me, I don’t think you as the parents can fix a son who is viciously verbally abusive and over politics, too! I don’t think you did anything wrong in raising them, but I hear a lot of guilt on your part and wondering if you did anything wrong, taking the blame. I think if you put this in the main forum, people would tell you the same thing. As far as what next?, the answer is to move forward to a ‘new’ life, a happy life, without walking on eggshells with hateful people. Its sounds very toxic around your son. You and your husband did your best raising them and every parent makes some mistakes, we all did, no parent escapes mistakes. Sending you hugs and many blessings.

      Sheri wrote this on the post above yours if you are’t sure how to write a new thread that others can focus on and answer — and give you some love and support! “To start a new topic thread, you will need to go back to the main forum page by clicking your back button on your browser OR by clicking on the word “community” at the top right of the page here (you’ll have to scroll up to find that word in the site’s navigation bar). Once you click on “community,” you will be on the forum’s front page. You will see some topic threads, including this one at the top. To start a new topic, scroll down…at the bottom of that page, you will see space to insert a title for a NEW topic, and a square below in which to write your note. Hit “submit” and then your topic will be posted. To answer other topic threads, click on their title. You can read through others’ posts, and there will be a place at the bottom to write your own answer to others’ posts.”

    • #32603


      I am new to this site, but very glad that I found it. I have only one child and she hates me. This isn’t a new problem. She is 36 yrs. and it started when she was in high school. I could blame her Dad and his wife for badmouthing me when she went to visit with them out of state; but, the truth of the matter is I just don’t know. It really came to a head when in 2013, I lost my job and could not find a new one. I even tried to apply to clean dog kennels and was rejected. I’m educated but older. My daughter didn’t want to have anything to do with me. I was going through all my savings to pay bills and lost everything. She refused my calls and would not even ask me if I had food, a place to live, etc.

      I am fine now and working, but I still don’t hear from her. The last time I heard from her in 2013, she told me it was inconvenient for me to be in her life at the moment.

      I have read many of your posts and I empathize with all of you. I am so very glad that I found this site as I have been dealing with this “phenomenon” for about 20 years.

    • #32652

      Hello Brknhrtd,
      I am sorry for your pain! I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that you have been estranged from her for 20 years! I am at 2 years and feels like an eternity! I guess you are proof that we can get through it, even though it feels like we won’t! Glad you found the forum too, it helps a little to know we are not alone. Because I feel very much alone even with the rest of my family! Hugs to you! Lost

    • #32742

      Hello everyone,

      I’m 89messages, so called because that’s the number of vile messages my youngest daughter left on my answer machine in the space of three weeks. I’m 72 and live in the UK. I have three daughters, D,C and S, aged 53, 52 and 50 respectively. I have been estranged from C on and off since her early teens. I have not seen or heard from her for about 14 years. I still love the memory of her but don’t miss the person she was when I last spoke to her.

      My youngest daughter, S had an “episode” about 7 years ago when she phoned myself and my eldest daughter D all night, one horrible message after the other. I think alcohol played a big part in this. It took 3 months for her to “come round”. Although things weren’t quite the same at first we became very close again. It remained that way until February of this year.

      To be fair, she had a lot on her plate. 18 months previous to this she had open heart surgery. She was on a very low income. She also suffered from depression but couldn’t take medication for it because of her heart condition. She was in a disastrous relationship for 11 years with a man who took over her house and she lived in one small room on the top floor of the house. She was infatuated with him but he just used her for free rent and paid nothing towards utility bills etc. Her daughter SDC left home to attend university in another town and she missed her a lot although they were in regular contact by phone and SDC came home when she could.

      On top of that she had a uterine fibroid the size of a full term pregnancy. She was due to have a full hysterectomy to get rid of the fibroid. I supported her all the way though her heart op and the op she was about to have. I went to stay with her to help her prepare for the op. Previous to that I noticed that she was behaving and talking out of character at times. I put it down to the stress she was under. To cut a long story short she kept talking/shouting at me for 22 hours and I finally had to walk out when she accused me of something that I can’t bring myself to think about. I know that she smoked a lot of weed and I am sure this has made her paranoid and given her false memories.

      At first I coped very well even though she reported me to the police. The police realised straight away that she was having an “episode” as they put it. Among other things S was saying that I was controlling her TV and was spying her all round the house even though I live miles away.

      I’m sorry if this is a long intro. Like all of you, I have so much to say but nobody other than those going through this will understand. It’s 04:20am here in the UK and I still haven’t been ableto sleep yet so I’m going to bed yet again.

      Thanks for listening, best wishes from 89messages (I’m hoping the 90th message will be a nice one!)

      • #33199

        Dear 89,

        Your optimistic attitude is very evident despite your distress! I’m so sorry for your troubles.

        I, too, hope if you received a 90th that it was kind!

        Hugs to you. I hope your daughter will get the help she obviously needs …

        Sheri McGregor

    • #32773

      Hi. I am struggling with an estrangement of my oldest daughter. She has not spoken to me in 5 years. I keep hoping with every day that goes by that my heart will stop aching but it doesn’t. I have 4 children and divorced their father 8 years ago. I was in such a depression at that time that I moved home to another state to get my feet underneath me. I had endured years and years of emotional abuse and I felt at the time of our divorce that I had no worth, and that the kids didn’t need me. I moved away for a year, but came back on the year mark. My kids came to visit me 3 times during that year, and I went down to see them as well. My kids were 14, 12, 10, 7 when I left. My oldest was forced to take care of the other kids and would often call my crying that they wouldn’t listen to her. When I came back, I fought for joint custody, but since I divorced a divorce attorney, he made it financially impossible to win that fight. I settled with every other weekend. I ached for my lost time as a mother. While married, I was an at-home mom and devoted every second to my children. It seems that 16 years of my life have been completely forgotten by my children. My daughter started to get frosty with me 7 years ago. She told me once when she came over that there was “nothing about [me] that impressed her.” She would be very sassy and disrespectful referring to her step mother as her parent. (My ex remarried 9 months after our divorce). I went to a counselor and the counselor told me that I should let my daughter know that I understood if she didn’t want to come over anymore- and that I was giving her an option, because clearly she was miserable being over at my home. I wish to this day that I hadn’t followed that counselor’s advice. I wonder if my daughter misunderstood what I was offering her. That was 5 1/2 years ago. She spoke to me briefly on the phone at times after that. When she turned 18 she agreed to come over for her birthday. She asked me to make her favorite chicken dish and then brought over some jeans she asked me to hem. That was the last time she spoke to me – because I hemmed the jeans that night. A month later, I remember seeing her at her track meet when and hollering at her. She turned to see who called her name, and when she saw it was me she turned her head without acknowledging me. She didn’t acknowledge me at her High School graduation. I gave her a gift that the other kids took over to the house but she didn’t acknowledge it. During that first year of estrangement I sent letters, emails and texts asking her to forgive me. Each time I received a scathing letter back from my ex telling me I was harassing our daughter. Back in 2012 when she was up at college I was driving through the town and texted her asking if I could come by to see her. Again, I received a scathing text back from the ex. She left to serve a religious mission for 18 months a little bit after that. I sent her a written letter and I finally received one back from her. It stated, that she appreciated my support but asked that I not contact her while she is serving a mission. I struggled with what was right after this. I heard from her finally that she didn’t want to be contacted, but would she resent me later in life if I didn’t? I decided to send only birthday and Christmas cards to her. I did send her flowers when she returned after 18 months.
      I have run into her only once since then and I told her she looked beautiful but she did not respond. I have continued to send either a card or small gift at Christmas or her birthday because I don’t feel right as a mother to not acknowledge my daughter on those special days. But my heart aches. I don’t know why. I assume she’s upset over the divorce. Her mind may have been poisoned by the ex. Years ago, she told the kids when they asked her why she won’t forgive me, that she HAS forgiven me [of what I don’t know] but she CHOOSES to not have me in her life.

    • #32805
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Floorboard74, Thank you for sharing your pain. I think your description of your heart aching is a good one, sounds reasonable to me. This is not the life you planned and you had the best intentions. Not one parent does things perfectly in this life. It sounds a lot like perhaps your ex has poisoned the well with your ED by his abusive demands on her to be the little mother. It sounds like he is very controlling, and not in a good loving way. It sounds like your ED’s sassiness was her only way of telling you about her pain. Parental alienation is real and can cause the child to doubt and maybe even not like the other parent. I don’t think that your children have forgotten how good a mother you were/are but parental alienation reinforces the doubts and fears and bashes the other parent so that the children may feel it is not safe to love that parent (you). The intention is to pull the other parent and children away from each other and damage the relationship forever. Many on this forum, including myself, are victims of parental alienation. I hope you are in therapy to learn to cope and understand your situation and to be able to move forward because you have value and worth in this world. Somewhere you won’t be blamed for going against the Bible or religious teachings by trying to escape the marital abuse of the husband. My own opinion is that if our children ask not to be contacted by us, it breaks a boundary to keep pushing against their wishes. In other words, doing as they ask or want is respecting their boundaries. I would guess your ex did not respect boundaries so you know how yucky this feels. Knowing another person can be trusted to respect boundaries is a good basis for a healthy relationship. I think this might be a good question for the main post as my opinion is only my opinion. Welcome here and I hope you find peace.

    • #33068

      Hello, I’m new to this. My son is 18. He’s a very smart kid. Starting college in 4 weeks. We have always been pretty close. Half way through the summer he quit his job. Wanted to hang out, have fun before going to college. It was great having him around so much. Then 3 1/2 weeks ago, out of the blue he gave me a letter. It was strange. He asked how old he really was, said he had just overheard me talking to his brother, saying mean things. Not true. His brother told him he was tripping. He left that night. He went to my mom’s house. The next day he told me my husband was manipulating all of us. (My husband, his father is so laid back). He blocked my calls. I would go to my mom’s, he would walk out. If I followed, he literally ran from me. He said he would go to counseling with me. I got an appointment.. he changed his mind. I haven’t spoken to him in over 3 weeks. I know that’s not long.. but I’m afraid if we don’t fix this before he leaves for college, I won’t have any contact. He’s so angry. He cut all my plants in my garden. I try to convince my mom to stop treating him like a wounded child. He’s not. He’s a very strong minded person. I’ve been a good mother. I don’t know what to do

    • #33077
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Heather, I am so sorry for your pain. You’ve come to a good place to find support and healing. Your story matches so much of what our ES (estranged son) was doing at the same age. Our ES also quit his job to have freedom and was out of control behavioral wise. We later found out there was substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) and mental illness involved. Our ES (my step son) got mad that we had rules he didn’t agree with and moved out of our house in the middle of the night straight into his Aunt’s loving arms. Of course, the truth is this ES of ours had problems all through high school, and his father ignored them until they blew up. Our ES was rescued by his Aunt with the full indulgence of husband’s parents. We went to counseling 2-3x with ES but he only spewed venom and refused to take responsibility. I would suggest you and your husband get counseling, if husband is not boy’s father, involve the father also. Go to therapy for you. I suspect this will be a long road if your ES is like our ES. You will need support and guidance during this roller coaster ride. Be careful that the counselor doesn’t just blame the parents, this is very old school thinking and will only increase your guilt and shame. Our first counselor pointed out the lack of consequences my husband provided for this ES but also said ES had major issues and pointed out what we were dealing with that we were too emotional to look at squarely. Our ES did poorly in college and had many black out episodes with police involved which the extended family hid from us, then a drunk driving arrest that was a slap on his wrist. Our ES was super angry and always blaming us (he’s the victim of his terrible family, etc.). He never told us the truth about his problems but he left his Facebook page open on the family computer a few years later and we read his private messages and figure out what was going on (drugs, alcohol, mental illness, and other incidents). Our ES got counseling and medication in college but later rejected medications and so remains chaotic and angry. Feel free to post more in the main portion of the forum if you’d like support and or suggestions from other people. I’ll be thinking about you and sending love your way.

    • #33167

      I joined this group last year while My Oldest Son chose to stop communicating with me. I’m not sure whether I ever did introduce my self or not. I relocated alittle over two years ago to be close to my Son, His wife and My Two Grandsons after My Mother passed away.
      My life has been a mess since then due to my Son’s intense marital problems with his wife who is extremely self centered, immature and a Drama Queen. I actually really loved her, but I guess I really didn’t know her until I relocated.
      My son would not communicate with me for about 3 mos, we reconciled somewhat. Their issues continued On and Off, and My son has chosen again to not communicate with me. We haven’t really talked in almost 3 mos.
      My son and I were friends and very close. This situation he has found himself in and the influence his wife has over him has ruined any semblance of a family unit I was hoping to have. My dreams have been crushed and am feeling very sad and alone.
      I am trying very hard to just Leg Go of this but am having a terrible time of it.

    • #33188
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Welcome again, Iamsweetjak, and I am sorry this move didn’t work out well for you. Other people have posted on here similar things where the move to be closer to the adult child turns out to be a nightmare. Makes me think perhaps just knowing the adult child and grandchildren is not enough when the adult child is a problem or is married to a problem, rather we need activities and other friends and something that makes our heart sing about this new location. Did you move to be closer to the estranged son, or another son? Are you living in their house or on your own? One thing I would say to anyone is that sometimes things just don’t work out. Its okay to move and then realize it was a bad move and then move again. Yes, moving again is an option for you. No one needs to be involved in an adult child’s marital spats or either caught in the middle between warring parties. And those people who love to create drama just drain us all. I think it sounds hard that you are on and off again communication with this son. Please consider counseling to help you move forward. Perhaps living in an adult retirement community if you are older than 55 would help you forge a sense of community with like minded people, or friends. My extended family is very drama filled and problematic and it definitely disturbs my life, causes me stress which is unhealthy for anyone. And its okay to change one’s mind and move again or find something new. I would not talk about any future plans with this estranged son until you are ready to go, signed up, packed up and its a done deal. You don’t need him to try to change your mind or have the wife get dramatic to pull attention away from you and onto her. Perhaps think of this as an opportunity to move into the new iamsweetjak, to do what you find wonderful instead of justing doing something because it is easy to move to be near an adult child. Does this make sense? Now you get to choose where to go and what to do, whatever pleases your heart. Life is short. Do something good for iamsweetjak. And stay here and share with us.

    • #33439

      Hi I’m Einnov. I have been estranged from my Son, his partner and 2 GC for 4 months so early days as yet. My problem is my son’s partner is a narcissist, very controlling and over the past 8 years they have been together she has turned him into someone I hardly recognise. You cannot have normal family life with a narcissist in the mix. I’m just hoping he will detached himself from her one day. My son and I were very close before he met her but he has bit by bit become distanced from me. It is heart breaking but if I try with them I know he will upset me again as he is totally under her control. Weather it’s missed placed love or fear of her I can’t say but the result is the same. This woman from hell has thrown her own parents to the wall and will not let them meet her 2 daughters. It seems she throw them to the wall when she got into a relationship with my son. She didn’t need them anymore she had a new victim to exploit and my poor son was devoured with gusto. I know her mum has been very ill but she won’t have anything to do with her. Her mum has tried many times to make up but she just plays with this poor woman’s emotions. I will not give her that opportunity to do the same with me. She is very evil. She is visiting my neighbour every week and parks her car right across the road from my house just to try to upset me. I’m not rising to this intimidation it is so telling of her mind state. His own dad and second wife will only meet them in cafés to ensure they keep her at arms length.

      I’m just grateful I have a loving husband who supports me. He is my second husband not my son’s dad. He was married to a narcissist and she robbed him of his 2 daughters so I take his advice on dealing with this woman from hell. Also I have a great mum in law who for many years was in my shoes, not seeing her son, but eventually she got her son back (my now husband). So I am hoping I will get mine back one day.

      Love to all the suffering Mums and Dads..

    • #33450

      Hello all. Incredibly Blessed to have found the book/this site, etc–and yet wishing none of us were in this situation….

      I’ve read much of the book and many of ya’ll stories….and its all too eerily familiar to my own.
      Have wanted family my whole life–as an adoptee, as an adoptee in a dysfunctional adopted fam AND as a mom of my ‘miracle baby’…who, after I primarily raised alone–began distancing himself from me at around age 13 when he chose to forge a bond with stepdad(who found a newer, younger model after 10+ yrs of marriage….great male role model….).
      He’s now pushing 30…. and I’m just done with all the efforts/expense of trying to re-connect with the one being I’ve loved since before his birth– I’m not willing to bang my head against a concrete wall any longer. Over the years I spent so much time/energy trying to find creative, “acceptable” ways to re-connect and cried way too many tears. Truth is, I’m pretty sure he became a stranger by choice when he turned 18. Now, 10 years later, I finally am accepting being rejected because I’m worth MORE than a vague text once every 6 months or so. I’ll love him forever and hope/pray a miracle happens and he chooses to be back in my life, but I’m done chasing and ready to focus on just ME– and knowing that there is a strong chance he chooses never to re-connect–that’s HIS issue, not mine.

      It helps immensely knowing that all here who understand what I’m going thru due to personal experience are now my ‘family’ and I’m very thankful. Blessings to all.

    • #33469

      Hello. This is my first time on this forum, and I confess I am unsure of what I might gain from my participation here. I don’t want to simply bemoan my fate, and discuss how what I can do to feel better about all of this. I am in no way ready to give up hoping that my family can become whole again.

      Right now, my husband and I are completely heartbroken, and don’t know what we can do to resolve this estrangement with our daughter, our only child. Although we are confused and hurt and even angry, we are also extremely worried and scared for her well-being and mental health.

      I had dinner with her a few weeks ago which disintegrated into her becoming angry with me, saying some harsh words and then storming out of the restaurant. Up until that point, we had been talking and even laughing a bit. She was complaining about a lot of different things, and I was really letting her vent. I must have made some comment that set her off, and after yelling that I always have to make everything about myself, she bolted. I tried to find her but couldn’t, and ended up driving home in despair.

      Since that time, she has sent emails and texts that are accusatory and pointedly mean, meant to wound. The majority of her words have been directed towards me, and she specifically refers to how I emotionally abused her by screaming at her for no reason on a daily basis, when she was a teenager, at least 15 years ago. She has included her father in some of the tirades as well, but they haven’t been as harsh, and she keeps returning to the damage I inflicted upon her, how adversely my abuse has warped her view of real love or healthy relationships.

      While I admit we had some huge blow-ups during her teens, they upset me as well, and to be honest I stupidly thought they were part of normal teen girl vs. mother conflicts. She says I was cruel and belittled her, and that I am still mean and sarcastic towards her to this day. If I had been as horrible of a mother to her as she remembers, I would have thought my husband would have called children’s services on me or had me put away somewhere.

      After the disastrous dinner, I sent her an apology, saying I would have listened to what she had wanted to say, and begging for another chance to get together and talk. She wrote back that I had used up all my chances and would not give me any more, that she knew I’d never change. The thing of it is, I didn’t KNOW I was being given chances or using them up. There is so much more that she has said that I feel as though I am bleeding out slowly. My husband has continued to try to keep some sort of line of communication open with texts, but hasn’t heard back for about a week. She told him in one of her last emails she could imagine reconciling with him, but would never be le to reconcile with me.

      I am lost and my heart is in shards. We will never stop loving her, no matter what she says. We cannot imagine our life without her in it.

    • #33475

      Hello everyone, I have to admit that i was surfing the web a couple of weeks ago entering keywords into google, such as, “my son has not had contact with us ….” and in the search result came out the word “Estranged”. The word jumped off the page and stabbed me into the heart. Was that what this really was? Did he really choose to estrange himself from us? He has not been home for 6+ years. Did not respond to my letter. He has ignored my calls, pm’s, texts, all the social media venus. He deleted his dad from those venus. He will call his two younger sisters (one more than the other) on occassion to, “check in” according to them. But they are only angered and saddened with his reactions/statements and comments. They are hurting and he refuses to see their pain as well. They both have a daughter (they are both 6 now) and he has seen one 4 times and the other 2 times in their lifetime. They are brutially honest with him about their own feelings about his choice to refuse any contact with us, only for him to minimize their feelings and insult them with his narcacistic views of “how THEY feel”. He turned 30 this year. My only son, my first child, turned 30. My heart ached on his birthday so much so I couldn’t subject myself to another rejection from him on the day he entered our lives 30 years earlier, so as much as my heart wanted too, I did not wish him a “Happy Birthday” as I have done every year since he was born. My youngest daughter caught this choice I made and was very supportive as she has become accepting of his actions in the grieving cycle and has no expectations from him. Does that make me a terrible mother, not wishing your own child a “happy birthday” and telling him how important he is to us (me) and especially how happy we were this day when he joined our family? Does it make me a terrible mother if I was to tell you a couple of months ago, I was still feeling very angry with him, not just for my hurt, but for his sisters and their hurt that he has taken from them and their young daughters the chance to be a “whole family” again even if just for a Holiday. As are their own childhood memories with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins….and that anger manifested more and more over about a years time, I actually told a friend, “I cannot tell you that if he was to come to the door today that I wouldn’t open it, hug him and slam the door shut on him”. Bad mother? There is, I believe, a “learned behavior” that he learned from other family member s on both maternal and paternal side of the family. I call it the “out of sight out of mind syndrome”. I have a sister that has all but estranged herself from her sisters and parents. She contacts us on her time but has not the time for us if we contact her. This has been her behavior since we were teenagers. My son has always dealt with conflict with the appearance of denial. I struggled with him as a teenager with this. If he were honest with you if asked, he would tell you, “I can still my mom,’ how ever you may be trying to deny there is a problem, DOES NOT mean that problem isn’t there nor will you be able to deny that problem away’ ,, My last post on social media to try to reach out him was 7 months ago saying:
      There is a common misconception…… time does NOT heal ALL wounds, …..After enough time passes…..It can and likely will only create new ones. That was exactly what my heart was feeling. Knowing my son enough..knowing his previous actions, words and narcasistic behavior. I know the more time that passes the less likely he will ever come back to us because he would feel “awkward” (a word he would use often). And now, my fear has been validated..two weeks ago he told his sister when she asked him to “just call moms phone”, he said, “NOPE, not happening and after all this time what would I say, it would be too awkward”.
      So now that it has a name, “estranged”, now what? Honestly it hurt more to give it a name and think I know why. It DOES means HE really did CHOOSE to do this and HE desires NOT to change that behavior. This is how you all were brought to me, because it has a name and many many (many more than I ever dreamed of) more are hurting the same as we are. So now I (we) ask you, what do I (we) do now?

    • #33497
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Welcome to Broken67, 02Btranquil, illmakeit, and Einnov56! I am glad you found this forum, and please know that we all walk different paths. There is not one way or one common thread of hope or pain. Some of us have had enough and are ready to move forward and some of us are in the middle, trying to struggle to find a way out. Some of us still try to appease or change the adult children and some have given up. A lot of us feel guilt and shame and just plain rejection. It his a parent hard to be rejected. Many of us here have uncaring adult children who we never see and others have pain inflicting adult children who seem to just want to hurt us. With some, its mental illness or substance abuse. With others, its maybe just plain unknown or makes no sense. Feel free to post your responses in the main part of the forum, every idea helps someone else. Also, feel free to write something more in an individual post in the main forum if you want ideas, suggestions, or even advice. I wish you all much success on the road to recovery for our own mental and emotional wellness.

      • #33533

        Hi Yellow Rose. Many thanks for you welcome note. Yes we all have our own strories to tell of this heartbreaking estragement, but it is wonderful to be able to share our stories with others who can really understand the pain we all feel. I will read all I can to try and make some sense of this awful situation I find myself in and I am sure this website will be of great comfort to me. I will also get a copy of Sheri’s book.

        Very best wishes..

    • #33580

      Hi all:

      I am new to the forum. I have three children– two biological and one step-daughter. My husband passed away six years ago in a car accident. We had a difficult marriage for 21 years as he was an alcoholic. My step-daughter and I are friendly, but not close. My daughter lives two hours away and is just now beginning to deal with her dad’s death, but she is in contact with me– just very busy working to support herself. My son and I had been very close as he was growing up, and suddenly over the summer he cut off contact with me. He is in his first long term relationship with a young woman who has called my relationship with him “disgusting.” He has emailed me long, angry messages about everything I did wrong as a mother and threatens to block my emails and phone messages if I try to contact him. I think he is angry about losing his dad, and the closeness of our relationship is making it hard for him to become independent. He has said he feels responsible for me even though I am very independent. Any support in this difficult time is appreciated– Thank you!

    • #33582


      I don’t know where to begin. My two boys now men have not spoken to me in 3 years. I believe my ex husband had started the alienation years before that by badmouthing and telling my kids false lies about me ironically he was the abuser and narcissist in the relationship. Today is my sons 20 th birthday he graduated from high school and I was not ” allowed” to go I didn’t understand why or how this happened. We all were so close I left their father bc he was an alcohol abuser. He threatened to do this to me to ruin my relationships with my boys I didn’t think it would really happen. I feel like the abuser or the EVIL has won. I have a strong faith in god but their are dark days where my heart aches so much. Like today his birthday I’m making him a cake anyway I’ll put 20 candles on it and send him my love. Thanks for listening. God bless

    • #33598

      Hi Pumpkin. I’m feel for you today on your ES birthday. It was my ES birthday last month this was the first BD he has had and not spent some of the day with me. It’s special days like these that you’re really hurt. I know what it is like to cross swords with a narcissist, in my case my son’s partner. She has turn him away from me and we where very close too once. I also feel the evil one has won (for now..!), but remember this is not the end of the story for all I have learnt about narcs is they always lose in the end. Your son is only 20 there is time for him to see his father for what he is and I’m hoping my son will wake up to his partner one day.

      Special love to you today…

    • #33606

      Welcome to all the new members of the forum. Glad you found us even though none of us want to be here. Come over to the forum and make a new posting or join in on the conversations already going on. You’ll find lots of support and helpful tips in navigating this horrible thing called Estrangement.


    • #33608

      A big thank you to rparents for taking the time to register me while taking care of life and family too; I appreciate it!

      I’ve been officially estranged from our oldest son for just under 2 years, but it was in the works for about 3 – 4 years prior. It’s been 4 years since I’ve actually seen him. We were a happy family of 5, and things were good until he went off to college and at the beginning of his sophomore year, met his now-wife. We thought we were welcoming and loving to her (she was our son’s first “real” girlfriend), but we were always doing something wrong. We weren’t invited to the wedding, although her family was. Visits never happened because there was always some last minute excuse was found why they couldn’t make it or it was a bad time for us to come. For the most part, whenever I talked to him, I felt he would love to see us, but then after “checking with her schedule,” invariably, some reason was found that visits couldn’t happen. Little by little, his phone calls, emails, texts, grew increasingly fewer. One day, I called to ask about what he wanted us to do with some of his things and he pretty much just said he couldn’t talk to us any longer until it felt “safe” to do so. He also said it was about him, and not us.

      I know that he quit his (good) job because she wanted to attend an overseas university to get her masters. I know this because he stopped paying on his student loans which we cosigned for, so if he has a job over there, it doesn’t pay nearly as well. He cut off every person in our extended family, and I fail to see how his cousins could have caused him any harm.

      Long story short, I’m over my initial shock and grief, but estrangement is still a difficult road to walk. It’s very odd having to explain – or not – to people who know him and even people who don’t that he doesn’t have anything to do with us. I’m learning to take care of me, but that doesn’t mean that all the emotions don’t rear their ugly heads on occasion. I’m looking forward to connecting with others who are in the same boat. It’s sad that we’re in this situation, but it’s so wonderful to have people who also understand!

    • #33624

      Hi C-Hope. Welcome, I am new also and as you I am eternally grateful to Sheri for setting up this Website and for all the parents supporting each other. I’m just learning my way round the site and have been amazed at the help it is giving me, so glad I found it. My son is also under the influence of his partner and won’t hear a word said about her even when it’s absolutley true.. I’ts good to know I’m not going mad or a bad person as made out to be and that other parents are affected by AC’s other halves.
      Best wishes

      • #33634

        Thank you Einnov56! I’m glad (but not glad) to know I’m not the only one who feels that their AC’s other half is a big part of the problem. I really think the reason our son doesn’t talk to anyone in the whole family is that he knows someone will call him on his perception of us as supposedly bad parents. His wife has a lot of issues with her family and I think uses our son, for lack of a better word, to make herself feel special and loved. I’m not in the relationship so I don’t know for sure, but just like any parent gets nervous around friends that are bad influences, my husband and our other two kids didn’t think the girlfriend/wife was a great choice for him.

        I’m just sorry that any of us are in this position. Looking around on the internet and reading some of the posts here, I almost feel that estrangement is epidemic. I’m just baffled that even though we made parenting mistakes, none were beyond “normal,” yet for whatever mistakes we made, we’ve been relegated to the trash heap. I’m just shaking my head that it got to this point. Thank you again for your warm welcome!

    • #33663

      I am new to this site and my story is long and complex, so this is the abridged version! I have been estranged from my son for 12 years. In his teens suffered severe mental health issues and was eventually sectioned for 3 months under the mental health act. During the period before and after he was very unwell be we struggled to work out what behaviour was ‘mad’ and what was ‘bad’ and i still don’t really. He stopped speaking to me regularly when he was 17 and i have not seen him at all for the last 4 years.
      From what I hear from his father and sister, he has found his niche in life and although still a challenge to be around, is holding his own working and living with his girlfriend.
      I have run the range of possible emotional from disbelief, hope, anger, relief and back again. The anger has largely dissipated and I have reflected on my part of it it all. I really don’t know what i wish for the future, with regards to him.

    • #33732

      Hi there. I stumbled upon your forum while grasping for any words of wisdom from anyone who might be going through the same thing that I am. I cannot believe how many parents are dealing with the same issues! Where have we gone wrong with our children from this generation?

      My 30 year old son and his wife have totally shut me out of their lives…along with my three grandson’s lives. I feel like I have a huge hole in my heart and not sure how to go on like this. Besides untrue stories about his childhood, they will not talk to me about anything, so I really I have no idea what the underlying issue is. I have tried everything I can think of to get answers from them, but I get nothing. I cry daily because I miss them so much!

      Has anyone gone to counseling for this? If so, did you find it helpful? I have been thinking about trying to find someone to talk to, but not even sure where to start.

      I feel so embarrassed for people to know what is going on. I feel that people automatically assume that I am/was a bad Mother. While I know I have made mistakes in the past 30 years, I believe that I did the best I could as a single Mom raising a son with no help financially or in any other way from his father. I always worked two jobs, sometimes three to make ends meet, which kept me away from him a lot. I was blessed with parents who were able to keep him while worked.

      I thought we had a very close relationship, until he met a girl. They have three gorgeous boys that I adore so much! They have been the sunshine in my life since the day they were born. They spend a lot of weekends at my house and we always had a great time. They cried when they had to leave.

      All that has changed. I have “lost my privileges” and can no longer see them. Now that my son is 30, suddenly he wants nothing to do with me because “I have never been there for him and never did anything for him”…his words. My Mother, sister, brother and long time friends all have tried to talk to him, telling him these things are not true. He truly believes what he has made up in his own head and will not even talk about it. They have bad mouthed me to these young boys and said that I don’t have time for them. I hate to think what must be going through my grandson’s minds.

      Please know that I am not tooting my own horn, but I have lived my entire adult life for my son. Everything decision I made was for his best interest! I wanted to give him all the things that two parents could give because I did not want him to feel cheated out of anything. So to hear these words from him now, totally breaks my heart.

      I have gone to their house, texted, called and get absolutely nothing. They said if I go to their house again, they will call the police for harassment. I feel betrayed, shunned, unloved and mistreated. I have done nothing to deserve this and feel like I am going crazy. Did I give him too much growing up and now he feels entitled? It hurts so much to hear how he truly feels about me. Where did this come from? How do you just stop loving someone? How am I supposed to go with my life with a huge piece missing?

      Thank you for letting me vent. I hope that I might some help for those of you who have gone through this already.

    • #33759

      Hi Hismom. Your are very welcome here. I’m quite new myself and still very upset my 28yrs son has abandoned me. He is my only C and 2GDs so I know how you are feeling believe me. There are lots of words of wisdom to be found on this site that will comfort you I’m sure. You are not alone and many of us here have felt and still feel how you have described in your post. There is no shame in abandonment and we are not bad mothers. I hope you find some peace from this heartbreaking abandonment. You still have ones who love you so take strength and talk to the ones you trust.

      Love and Hugs to you…

    • #34023

      Hi, I found this site a couple of months ago, and have been looking at all your posts. Brought back memories.

      A little about me. I’ve nudged into my 6th decade, very surprising, because I don’t feel like it inside, but it sure shows on the outside! Worked most of my life, got a degree late in life. Single, and happy with that.

      I had 2 sons, aged 39 & 36 now. Let’s just say I was naive and trusting when I got married. It lasted 16 years, and my ex always said that if I ever left he’d make sure the kids would hate me.

      Well, target achieved! I haven’t seen them since I can’t remember exactly, about 10 years or so now.

      As mothers do, I kept all their school reports, birth certificates, photos, and would get them out every now and then and have a good cry.

      I was on the periphery of my ex’s family as mine were in the UK, and me living in Australia. I am now very close to my ex-sister in law. She would give me news every now and then, but she didn’t want to be the meat in the sandwich, as it were; which I quite understood and respected.

      I went through all the stages of grief, I guess. I wanted to see them, see what they were doing, angry that they were fine! Early up the eldest one would ring me when his father wasn’t around. I would gladly accept whatever crumb fell from the table!

      Two years back I got a call from my sister in law to say that the eldest wanted to call or email me, as the school his 5 year old daughter started at school and wanted pictures of the parents at that age. This upset me, the thought of talking to him after all this time; it was a shock. So I said she could give him an email address of mine, a spare one!

      He wrote, all sheepish, explaining what he wanted. He knew I would keep those photos, but it never stopped him from denying he had a mother!

      So, of course, I scanned and sent the photos he requested. He said thanks, I said that I could send more, and he said OK, so I did. I asked if he ever saw his brother, and he said no, but I know that’s a lie, as he works with him! Then he turned into his father, saying that I never loved him, etc. His father had the same trait, all nice til he got what he wanted.

      I said that’s what mothers do, they are the keepers of the family history; taking photos of their first day at school, etc. I said that’s what his wife will be doing. He never replied, and I didn’t really expect him to.

      So, back to nothing. But I decided to cut myself loose. I think I did a good job – they both have good, well paying jobs, can read & write, have families, are buying houses, have never been in trouble with the police.

      So, even though they both live a suburb or two away, I never see them. They don’t care about me, that’s fine. I don’t really care about them. I don’t know what I would do if we walked up to one another in the street, probably walk past. That might seem harsh, but I was treated badly by their father, and they are not going to do it to me!

    • #34041

      Hi CreativeSoul. Welcome and thank you for sharing your story of E with us. You will find lots of support if needed from the parents here (I know I have). I’m only 6 mths into my E with my 28 yrs son and 2 GD’s so still trying to sort things out in my head but getting stronger. It’s helpful for me to read how parents have learnt to live with this E for many years as I believe I will have too unfortunately as my ES’s wife rules and does not want me around. Your ex sounds like a real piece of work, how these people can live with themselves for turning children against their parent is beyond me. My husband’s ex did that with his 2D’s and my DILFH is doing it to me too. So wicked.

      Best wishes x

    • #34044
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Welcome, creative soul! Thank you for sharing your story. You sound like you have a positive attitude. Its ironic how these EC turn everything into an argument or something ugly to say to us, like you never loved him. I have to say that takes some nerve of him. As hard as it is to hear, you know this is his way of negating you. He needed something and didn’t like having to ask so made it an opportunity to be a poop head. So many of us here have experienced the same type of stuff. My husband calls it “no good deed goes unpunished.” I like your spunk and spirit of self care in putting your own needs for self respect first. Please feel free to share and write in response to what others write. Its good to meet you!

    • #34087

      Hi, everyone. I see no way to post other than to reply to the initial post…so here goes.

      I am Emuna. I chose that name because it is Hebrew for “faith”. I am a woman of faith and I believe that, some day, our son will be restored to us.

      I am not sure what happened. As parents, we were struggling and certainly had our faults, but when we made him leave due to persistent bad behaviour, he cut us off completely. He calls another woman we know “mom” and her husband “dad” and identifies them as mom and dad to others.

      I have already gone through the stage of trying to figure it out and of where we went wrong. Sure, there are other choices we could have made, but in our situation, I don’t know they would have made any difference. We did the best we could in the situation and, at some point, he needs to grow up and recognize that ALL of us have a part to play in this and he has fault in this, too.

      We have offered several times to sit down with him and another person to talk things through when he is ready.

      I am at peace, although it was hard coming and took awhile. Just the other day, we watched a bunch of family videos on my YT channel. There were some sweet times in them and it reaffirmed to us that a) it was not all bad and b) we did do some things right.

      We know of kids who had it harder and yet they did not manipulate their parents and then reject them completely when they finally had enough.

      We are not sure, but we are wondering if he might have some touches of high functioning autism or a trace of bi-polar? Probably not. He just may be one of those kids who ends up maturing the hard way. He started out mature for his age and very likeable. Something changed.

      We will continue to pray for him. Thankfully, he moves in circles where we know folks so we do get word about how he is doing. We are torn, though. On the one hand it feels like they are rescuing him instead of allowing him to hit bottom and, hopefully, wake up. On the other hand, we have prayed for good people to be in his life who can help him mature and, hopefully, help him find his way back home.

      So, we just keep on living our own lives. Our home is peaceful and so much less stressful now that the chaos it out of the house. We are grateful for that. It was not our idea of how to enter empty nesting, but we are not going to allow him to keep us from enjoying our empty nest. 🙂

      I think that is about it. I am off the computer more and more so I cannot say how often I will be here, but I have the notifications turned on, so I should know when someone replies/posts?

      I searched before for bereavement groups for estranged children and could not find any. When I searched on just estranged children, I believe that is how I found this group. It came at a time when I was in one of my low spots. They do sometimes come — times when I just need to know someone understands what I am going through.

      One last thing. I hate it when I tell someone about the estrangement and I get “Oh, my child did that. They will be back.” The words and the tone both come across as them saying it is no big deal. Well, to this mother who was grieving, it WAS a big deal. I am very careful who I share with now. Plus, no one can say for sure that my son will come back. There are kids who don’t. So, that kind of comment comes across as being unhelpful and even almost callous — as if I should not be hurting or concerned!

      The pain was very real and, even now, I can have my moments. But at least now they are rare. It has been over a year and a half and it took the better part of that time to get to where I am now on this. I cannot emphasize enough how much my understanding of my Creator has helped me through this. But I will leave it there for now. (Not here to preach…just sharing my own experience and what is helping me.)


    • #34261

      Hi, Emuna. I think everyone has had those moments – did I handle this properly, what could I have done better?

      One thing my eldest son always used to do to me was to mention an event, and say to me, “Do you remember that”? I have had some health problems and losing some memories was part of that. So I would say, “No, I dont’ remember that”.

      He would get all upset, and say, “You don’t remember my childhood”! I was amazed by that thinking. I would say to him, “Do you remember when I used to take you to the hospital in the middle of the night because you couldn’t breathe from asthma”? He’d say no. So I ended up saying, “Well, your memories are yours, they are not mine”! And then he’d get mad!

      But it’s true, what your perception and remembrances were are obviously different to theirs. Maybe they’ll figure that out when they have children.

      • #34612

        Thanks, Creative Soul. Yeah, how can we not question? Try to find some reason for all of this? I have found peace in the midst of it, thankfully.

    • #34955

      Hi, Thanks for adding me. I’ve felt so many emotions since I lost my two sons 3 years ago and having no-one who gets it has been so painful. The book is fantastic and I now feel ready to move past the grief and get on with my life, without them, I wanted to give up hope but everyone tells you not to, now I know it’s okay that I do . I have no family close (1000km away and you can’t just drive there – fly or drive/ferry). I left my abusive husband, the boys sided with him – guess I was so good at covering it, they didn’t see it. I also had no idea that emotional abuse was domestic violence either. I left with nothing but the clothes on my back, no car,no money. Spent 6 months in emergency accommodation with some very shady people, I was terrified. The divorce was tough, and he threw every dirty trick at me to punish/destroy me. I attempted suicide as I couldn’t cope and i’m extremely lucky to still be here – wow I’m strong now! (but my strength comes with a huge price, I keep everyone at a distance). Everything I said and did he was able to twist and use to his advantage, you can’t defend yourself if they wont talk to you, that hurts – how can they believe even the tiniest portion of the lies they were fed (17 and 18 yo at the time), surely they know me! So here I am getting stronger everyday. Now I just need to break down those walls I’ve built and trust that I am a good person, I’m not a horrible unloveable bad mother. I am worthy of a happy love filled life. My door will always be open for them but will take a lot to get past the hurt (and anger)

    • #34963

      Welcome CanberraMum,

      I’ll keep this quick… I’m so sorry that you have found yourself in need of support such as this–and I’m proud to say that you’ve come to the best support forum for this subject there is. People moving forward, finding happiness, despite what’s occurred. (Thank you for the kind words about my book, as well. I’m grateful to be able to help other parents.)

      Please feel free to jump into other topic threads as well as start your own topic (if you go back to the main forum entry page, accessed from the navigation bar by clicking ON community–not the pull down–you can scroll to the bottom of that entry page and there is space to title and write your own topic).

      Hugs to you and all the parents of estranged adult children,

      Sheri McGregor

    • #34964

      Hi everyone!
      I’m new here & new at being estranged from my son.

      My son has taken me off his facebook and hasn’t spoken to me since April of this year. It breaks my heart because I love my son & don’t understand why this is happen. I have no support because no one I know is going through this. I’m also ashamed, guilty and embarrassed…I’m regularly trying to play out in my head what i did and how I can make it better.

      Here’s my story.

      I had my son at age 19 & got help from a group home as far as finding work, going back to school and a safe place to live. The father on my son was abusive, cheated on me (had 6 other children after me with different females). His dad would say he wanted to be a part of my sons life but never followed through. No child support either. After years of giving him chances and seeing how disappointed my son was becoming I said no more to his dad. Either you are in or out.

      By the time my son was about 13 his father tried slithering his way back after years of no contact(still no support or anything – total deadbeat). I said ok fine one more chance, my son is old enough you don’t have to do any of the parenting “work”. I said that to make is easier for him to be apart of his son’s life. So I told my son and he got mad at me (understandable). My son told me how much he hated his dad and he wasn’t his dad. He is a bastard child. My son was very clear on how much it hurt him. My son was very angry at me, I apologized and said never again and I will let him (my son decide).

      Years go by and everything is pretty good. My son was going to a private school at the time, we traveled together and we very close. Looking back I think I was too much of a friend than a parent…..I didn’t have boundaries. My son’s pain was my pain so i did what I could to spoil him. I wanted him to feel loved. I was abused myself so I tried very hard to break the cycle.

      Fast forward my son turns 18. He has a good job & goals but hangs out with people that aren’t so healthy. Starts getting into cannabis use…though I’m not against it in small amounts and /or medical use. Things are pretty good still.

      I decided since my son seemed to be doing ok I would help find him an apartment and a roomie (was an old elementary school friend of mine).I live my son all of the furniture so he didn’t have to worry about struggling too much. He had a good job but not a high paying job because he was starting at the bottom & his work wouldn’t let him take his mechanic apprenticeship…they tried keeping him as a tire tech.

      I decided to move & start my life as an empty nester and let me son start his life as an adult. After about 1.5years on his own his roomie flakes out and can’t pay the rent. Economy is bad so I start paying for 1/2 and eventually move back in with my son. Thats when things went bad.

      When I moved back I saw a side of my son that I didn’t recognize. He would drink til he was puking on the floor, hung out with a friend who got a dui. By this time he is now is full contact with his dad and spending time with him. (son is now 22) I told him its his chose and I will support his decision. I text his dad and told him he better not hurt him. All of a sudden his dad is his best friend who can do no wrong. My son told me he loves his dad and never said he hated his dad ever(fully lying). He’s gotten drunk and cried he’s a bastard child. All I can do is listen and tell him I love him so much. His pain hurts me…..its not fair what he went through.

      He lost his phone during a pub crawl and went into my rogers account without asking and bought himself a new phone (stole – didn’t ask or even tell me). I found out because I got a heavy bill i couldn’t pay. My son got mad at me, twisted it around telling me I didn’t pay the bill, I’m trying to screw him over. In attemps to mend out relationship I saved some money and thought I’d give him the best Christmas ever and took him to Germany and Ambsterdam and thats when I saw he cannot handle drinking. He got really drunk one night and called me a b*tch (on vacation). By this point I’m hurt, frustrated and actually really angry at him. He’s passing out on the train and I see his text message to his dad telling him how much he loves him and how I’m f*cking him over. I’m in complete shock.

      We get back from vacation and things continue to be bad. He won’t help clean up around the house unless I get mad, he won’t even take showers. He just wants to work, play video games, drink and hang out with bad influences. I try to assert my boundaries but its too late. My son continues to lie and twist things around. I’ve had enough and ask him to find a place to move & that I would help him. He refuses all help and won’t even take his bed…states he will do it all on his own. Says he’s going to change his name and hide.

      I take him to dinner after a little while. We sit there there, I try to talk but he gives me one word answers, won’t look at me (stares at the pub tv). I ask him how his dad is doing and he bluntly says “My dad is great, I love spending time with him. He doesn’t yell at me”. Then tells me he found a room and board place. Dinner is done and my son drives away, no thank you, no how are you too…nothing.

      Mother’s day passes no fb message, birthday passes no message and this is when I start to think my son really hates me. Every single day I’m in tears because how can I not be? I blame myself and feel so guilty. How can my son hate me so much. We used to be so close, 2 peas in a pod. It’s like his dad is the hero and I’m the enemy. Oh and his dad to this dad tells me he’s paid child support. I don’t understand why he tells me that when i have never gotten a dime. I asked his dad to give me a case number, a reference phone number, contact dad where the payments were sent. He gets mad at me and tells me to figure it out. I tell him for 18 years I have looked into it and never resecieved a payment. The reason why I mention this is because if he is trying to convince me I can only imagine the things he is telling my son. My son was also drinking and riving which he said he only had one drink & I told his dad and his response was “And* is 21(at the time)what do you expect me to do” I said “nothing at all because you have never done nothing and never will”.

      Its now been 6 months since I have spoken to my son & its hurts. I’m in a 12 step program trying to get help because I need to be healthy but that is my son and I’m worried for him. I don’t think his dad has changed and will brain wash him. I believe his dad has narcissistic disorder and it’s going to really affect my son.

      I would love some feedback thank you

    • #34968

      I’m a mom with two children. I am estranged from my son. My daughter still lives at home. I have always put my children first. When they were little my husband worked late so I did everything for them. I worked as a teacher and when I came home I helped them with homework, made them dinner and all the other necessary chorus. My husband and I spent every weekend with them. We took them everywhere. We did all kinds of kid activities. We also took them on vacations.

      My son is now married with a baby. I don’t see him or my first grandchild. It’s breaking my heart how I’m missing out on spending family time with them. He still talks to my husband but usually when he needs something.

      This situation is consuming me. I’m thankful I still have my daughter. She is also estranged from her brother and niece.

      I am happy to be part of the forum. I thank Sheri for her book. It is helping me cope day by day.

    • #34969
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Welcome to CanberraMum and Crane Wing, I’d like to welcome you both and give just a little information. Both of your stories sound so familiar, both in my own life and others on the main forum. We give and we give and it becomes too much and not accepted or welcomed. The drug or alcohol use becomes a monster and we no longer recognize our EC. The other parent who encourages or pushes parental estrangement. I hope you find respite here. We truly understand. And CraneWing, congrats on going to a 12 step program. I had to learn to focus on myself and stop making my life about rescuing my substance abuser. It takes time but its worth it. We can’t change other people, only ourselves and we deserve emotional wellness. Hope to hear from you both on the main forum. Sharing, even if its a sentence or two, helps everyone. Sending you both big hugs.

    • #34975

      Welcome CraneWing and teacher16,

      You’re very welcome here, and you will find understanding and care!

      I’m on travel and will not be very active the next few days. Thankfully Yellow Rose and other moms are here with their kindness and wisdom.

      My friends, anybody I have missed personally welcoming, now or in the future, thank you for understanding. I just can’t keep up! Again, lots of great wisdom here among the beautiful people!

      Sheri McGregor

    • #34992

      Hi everyone,
      For the past year my life has seemed like a movie I am watching . I just can’t believe it is really happening. After a devastating breakup our adult son left to start a new chapter in his life in a neighboring state. When he left he was emotionally down due to his breakup but our relationship seemed to be in tact. He promised to call when he got settled but he did not contact us and he has severed all communication ties, changing his phone number and email. We were able to find out where he worked because he used a mutual friend as a reference. On his 30th birthday , six months after he left, my husband and I went to see him. When he saw us in the parking lot of his employment he turned away walked to his vehicle and drove away. No words, nothing. A piece of me has died and even though I get up everyday and try live my life there are very few seconds that go by when I don’t think of him and wonder why.
      I am thankful I found this forum and Sheri’s book. Thank you all for your wisdom and messages of hope.

    • #35002
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Hi Teacher16, I am sorry you are consumed with the pain of being ignored by your son. I hope this forum allows you to move forward and create a good life. Yes, there can be a good life that doesn’t revolve around our kids. I can hear how you were a good mother, a loving mother. Even those of us who were “perfect” parents can children decide to reject us or want more time away from us and where we don’t get to see the grandkids. You are among like companions here and I hope this forum can lift that all consuming pain for you. Many blessings.

      Wow, Buffy, that is devastating. There is at least one other parent on here with a story about a son who just up and moved away and ceased contact. I am very sorry. I do think that there is still life waiting for you. Are you getting counseling or therapy? I think this is a special grief you may not understand ever but having help to figure out how to move forward would be good. Feel free to share your story or ask questions in the main forum. I am glad you are here with us, let’s heal together.

    • #35217

      Hi I’m a heartbroken mum, my previously kind 19 year old son went over to South Korea in the summer break to meet a girl he had met online. He stayed 10 weeks keeping me updated with emails and pictures. 2 days before he was due to fly back he sent me a message saying could he borrow some money as she was coming back with him for 8 weeks, this so totally out of the blue. I didn’t have the money at such short notice but he texted back a couple of hours later to say that it didn’t matter they had managed to get the money from her dad. I spent the next 2 days in a whirlwind trying to get things ready buying a few more things I thought might make her feel welcome.

      I arrived at the airport to pick them up and waited over an hour after the flight landed. No sign of them. I got a text from my son saying they had been held in immigration. 2 hours later I got another text from him saying that there was a change of plan and she would be staying 6 months, another shock. Only a minute later I got a call from immigration asking me all sorts of questions I didn’t know the answer to but tried as best as I could for my son. 30 minutes later I get a text from him to say they are through and waiting in arrivals.

      I went into the arrivals lounge and saw my son, then I saw her. She was a 40+ year old woman, I had no idea. I had assumed she was the same age as my son he had never said otherwise. Nevertheless I hugged and welcomed them and drive them both to our home. The rest of the family, my husband and sons 2 of 3 siblings welcomed her with open arms to. We made her feel as welcome as possible but no one mentioned the elephant in the room, her age. For the next 2 weeks we tried to show them a good time, taking them out paying for trips to London. I can’t think of a thing we did to make them uncomfortable, she however seemed to change, she started going moody not leaving her room.

      After 2 weeks and a day I went off to work as usual and when I returned home they had gone, everything taken from his room, no phone call no text to say where they had gone. I tried calling 3 times but on the third attempt his phone was switched off. Then I get a call from the lettings agent asking for a copy of my drivers license so they could release the keys for the house him and 3 other friends had rented for their second year of university. At least I knew where they had gone.

      I tried texting a couple more times the following day but nothing, then an hour later I got this text from him:

      “Please stop.. I wake up to 100s of missed calls and messages. We have come to ….already like I said. I don’t want us to stay there anymore. You always think of ….as a burden to me when it is completely the opposite. When I was in Korea, her family treat me so well and helped me a lot, even with money too. I couldn’t see the same with my family. But I think she tried so hard to be nice for everyone. She even had to keep spending lots of her money on me because I had none. I just thank her for everything. But I disappointed her a lot again, about myself with my family, while she was staying with us. I asked her to stay with me and promised that I and my family can care for her. But I just made her upset, as much as she wanted to leave me soon. It made me so sad. But I still truly do love her and want to stay with ….for my life. I am just very thankful for what she does for me so I didn’t let her go. Now I truly realised how I just was a baby. So from now on, I will try to grow more as an adult for myself and her. I don’t want to be treat like a baby.. I can take care of myself and she can help me if I ever need it. I don’t want you to be hovering over my shoulder all the time.

      I am in ….for uni now, I don’t want constant messages like that. Please just trust me with what I am doing. I am not stupid, I want to get a good degree for my own future and want to live independently. I will never learn if you keep trying to help me through everything. You don’t understand how frustrating it is for me.

      Now I am with …..because I love her and we want to be together. I trust her and she has always been trying hard for me so why won’t you let me do the same? I didn’t want to tell you because I know that you will not respect my decisions and because you don’t trust me at all, actually me and …..are married and intend to live our lives together. That is why I want her to stay with me so much and why we have done this. We did not act recklessly, we have thought things through and have planned for our future a lot. I am really sad that I can’t even feel comfortable enough with my own family to share it… I don’t want to talk to anybody for now because I know you will not support me. All I ask is that you can understand me and accept that I want to move forward with my life. I am sorry that it so sudden. But it is that way because I have been overly sheltered in the past. I still love you guys and want to show you how I can be successful. I understand that you are family and just want to help. But if you really want to help me now then just trust me and stop treating me like a baby. I have good intentions for my life and I am completely aware and ready for responsibilities. You probably imagine a bad future for me now. But you know I have always wanted to be successful for myself. I don’t need you to tell me about it.

      For now, I want to study hard and get my degree so I can get a working visa in Korea. I really want experience with real life before that time so that I won’t run into trouble later. Please understand me. I don’t want to talk so please can you all stop calling me. I promise to make a good life for myself, you really don’t need to worry. I love you. You will see me as an adult with my life”.

      We drove to his university house to speak to him, he was so cold, we spent over 2 hours there trying to get him to open up to us but all he did was hurt me with his words.

      Since then there has been 1 word responses to my texts, then last week I asked him if we could meet up for his birthday at the end of October but no response, now I know he had blocked my number as texts will not send anymore. I feel a broken woman. I I am reading Sheri’s book which is helpful but I have no real friends I can open up to. I’ve spent my life being a wife and mother my social life on hold, I’m trying to do the things Sheri recommends but without friends it’s difficult. I’m spending nearly every moment crying 😢

    • #35216

      Hi I’m a heartbroken mum, my previously kind 19 year old son went over to South Korea in the summer break to meet a girl he had met online. He stayed 10 weeks keeping me updated with emails and pictures. 2 days before he was due to fly back he sent me a message saying could he borrow some money as she was coming back with him for 8 weeks, this so totally out of the blue. I didn’t have the money at such short notice but he texted back a couple of hours later to say that it didn’t matter they had managed to get the money from her dad. I spent the next 2 days in a whirlwind trying to get things ready buying a few more things I thought might make her feel welcome.

      I arrived at the airport to pick them up and waited over an hour after the flight landed. No sign of them. I got a text from my son saying they had been held in immigration. 2 hours later I got another text from him saying that there was a change of plan and she would be staying 6 months, another shock. Only a minute later I got a call from immigration asking me all sorts of questions I didn’t know the answer to but tried as best as I could for my son. 30 minutes later I get a text from him to say they are through and waiting in arrivals.

      I went into the arrivals lounge and saw my son, then I saw her. She was a 40+ year old woman, I had no idea. I had assumed she was the same age as my son he had never said otherwise. Nevertheless I hugged and welcomed them and drive them both to our home. The rest of the family, my husband and sons 2 of 3 siblings welcomed her with open arms to. We made her feel as welcome as possible but no one mentioned the elephant in the room, her age. For the next 2 weeks we tried to show them a good time, taking them out paying for trips to London. I can’t think of a thing we did to make them uncomfortable, she however seemed to change, she started going moody not leaving her room.

      After 2 weeks and a day I went off to work as usual and when I returned home they had gone, everything taken from his room, no phone call no text to say where they had gone. I tried calling 3 times but on the third attempt his phone was switched off. Then I get a call from the lettings agent asking for a copy of my drivers license so they could release the keys for the house him and 3 other friends had rented for their second year of university. At least I knew where they had gone.

      I tried texting a couple more times the following day but nothing, then an hour later I got this text from him:

      “Please stop.. I wake up to 100s of missed calls and messages. We have come to ….already like I said. I don’t want us to stay there anymore. You always think of ….as a burden to me when it is completely the opposite. When I was in Korea, her family treat me so well and helped me a lot, even with money too. I couldn’t see the same with my family. But I think she tried so hard to be nice for everyone. She even had to keep spending lots of her money on me because I had none. I just thank her for everything. But I disappointed her a lot again, about myself with my family, while she was staying with us. I asked her to stay with me and promised that I and my family can care for her. But I just made her upset, as much as she wanted to leave me soon. It made me so sad. But I still truly do love her and want to stay with ….for my life. I am just very thankful for what she does for me so I didn’t let her go. Now I truly realised how I just was a baby. So from now on, I will try to grow more as an adult for myself and her. I don’t want to be treat like a baby.. I can take care of myself and she can help me if I ever need it. I don’t want you to be hovering over my shoulder all the time.

      I am in ….for uni now, I don’t want constant messages like that. Please just trust me with what I am doing. I am not stupid, I want to get a good degree for my own future and want to live independently. I will never learn if you keep trying to help me through everything. You don’t understand how frustrating it is for me.

      Now I am with …..because I love her and we want to be together. I trust her and she has always been trying hard for me so why won’t you let me do the same? I didn’t want to tell you because I know that you will not respect my decisions and because you don’t trust me at all, actually me and …..are married and intend to live our lives together. That is why I want her to stay with me so much and why we have done this. We did not act recklessly, we have thought things through and have planned for our future a lot. I am really sad that I can’t even feel comfortable enough with my own family to share it… I don’t want to talk to anybody for now because I know you will not support me. All I ask is that you can understand me and accept that I want to move forward with my life. I am sorry that it so sudden. But it is that way because I have been overly sheltered in the past. I still love you guys and want to show you how I can be successful. I understand that you are family and just want to help. But if you really want to help me now then just trust me and stop treating me like a baby. I have good intentions for my life and I am completely aware and ready for responsibilities. You probably imagine a bad future for me now. But you know I have always wanted to be successful for myself. I don’t need you to tell me about it.

      For now, I want to study hard and get my degree so I can get a working visa in Korea. I really want experience with real life before that time so that I won’t run into trouble later. Please understand me. I don’t want to talk so please can you all stop calling me. I promise to make a good life for myself, you really don’t need to worry. I love you. You will see me as an adult with my life”.

      We drove to his university house to speak to him, he was so cold, we spent over 2 hours there trying to get him to open up to us but all he did was hurt me with his words.

      Since then there has been 1 word responses to my texts, then last week I asked him if we could meet up for his birthday at the end of October but no response, now I know he had blocked my number as texts will not send anymore. I feel a broken woman. I am reading Sheri’s book which is helpful but I have no real friends I can open up to. I’ve spent my life being a wife and mother my social life on hold, I’m trying to do the things Sheri recommends but without friends it’s difficult. I’m spending nearly every moment crying 😢

    • #35219

      Hi, my name is ladybug47 and i have a 30 yr old son who wont talk to or see me anymore. He lives with his dad still and i dont know how much his dad is influencing his decision to be estranged from me. He came to live with me and my husband for 10 months around 2 yrs ago but since he moved out, he was very abusive to me at first and then stopped talking to me altogether about a year and a half ago. The last time i saw him for about 15 mins was my bday a year and a half ago. I am currently in counseling with a great therapist who suggested I find an online support group. I have Sheri’s book and am about halfway through it and it has helped me a lot. I do the exercises alone and with my therapist. I dont have anyone who has ever experienced exactly what i have though so i am hoping ya’ll can help me to deal with the pain. Im just so lost without my one & only son. Thx for listening. He talked to me on his bday this yr in august for about 10 mins and told me he didnt want to talk to me bc he didnt want to trigger me. I suffer from clinical depression and have for most of my life. However, i think he is using my problems as an excuse not to talk to me bc he believes what he said and that he feels i trigger his anger and outbursts and he wants to protect us both. I asked him if i could text him once a month and he didnt reply to my simple text last month. I dont know if he will text me in the future or not but somehow i doubt it if the past is any indication. I am trying to understand his reasoning for not talking with me but i just cant. Ive gone over everything Iive ever done in the past and though i have made my share of mistakes, i dont think ive done anything so awful as to deserve this silent treatment or the abuse i have tolerated for years now. I just want him back in my life but i am coming to the realization that this is just becoming wishful thinking. Thanks again for listening and any feedback you can offer me.

    • #35377

      Hello, everyone. I am so grateful to have found this forum and look forward to listening, responding, learning and growing. From reading some of your entries, I can already tell this is a wise group of challenged, yet undefeated women, ready to reach out , comfort, inspire, and rejuvenate weary hearts. I am honored to join you, benefit, and hopefully contribute as well.

      I have two EC, a S and D, of three children, all over age 35. My S chose to actually completely disappear with no word after he was graduated from college. I could not find him. He phoned following 9/11, made an attempt to integrate, but in the last years, has fallen away more and more, responding to me with slim words, engaging minimally, and initiating not. I consider him estranged following my D’s recent dissolution of any relationship she and I had. After years of enabling her passive-aggressive behavior, as well as excusing it, and fully believing it to be unintentional, I came to realize her true culpability when she recently moved away with her family, leaving no word, no forwarding address. And so, I was prompted to re-evaluate my S’s behavior, and after duly assigning responsibility where it belongs, came to the conclusion that both these children, for reasons they refuse to share, have completely, or for all practical purposes, disengaged from me, my life, and all I thought I was to them.

      I bought and just finished Sheri’s book. I will, I know, be OK. But I also know there is work to be done!

      Thank you for your time here.


    • #35411

      It’s funny the way I came across this site, I googled “what do you do when your adult child won’t speak to you.”
      I had two children, a son and a daughter. We have always been a very close family , my husband is military. The year 2015 changed our life forever, my sons best friend was murdered, and his ex was expecting, but would not let my son in. My son meet his wife at this time. She is older but we did not judge. From the start we butted heads but my son was happy so I tried to go with the flow. She did not like that he and I were still very close. Long story short. She asked him to choose, and he picked her, after three months we started talking again but it did not last and now it’s been over a year without us speaking. At first we all put the blame on her and I still hold her someowhat to blame, however I know that he always has a choice, so I blame him as well. We don’t get to see our grandson and I pray every night he comes home. When this first started I would wake up and say maybe today will be the day, then when it wasn’t at night I would pray for the next day. I’m stuck, there are days I can bearly get two words out , without falling apart. Then there are days like today, I miss him but I won’t be treated like dirt under his shoe. The thing I see the most and I have said it too: why . Can anyone tell me the longest time with out speaking to your child is.

    • #35443

      Hello Buffy,
      Our stories are very similar, and my heart breaks for you! My son is also 30 and went through a breakup (his choice, from what I know) moved away with no word to us and zero response to our texts, emails, letters etc. It was two years a this past July. When I read that you and your husband searched out his place of employment and showed up there, and he drive away, is a scene I have played over in my head a thousand times. I have been pressured by my husband and a few others to find him and just show up, but in my mind, and also advised against it by his long time friend (my only source of knowing he is ok) that’s how it would play out! So here I am, two years later too cowardly to go search him out for the fear of the unknown! In my head I feel like he chose this, he obviously doesn’t want to see me, why would I subject myself to a face to face rejection, that I don’t know I could take. And then there is my heart, that just wants to see that face, hear that voice no matter what! And I just wait… I waiting on a God, on him, courage?? Pretty sad, isn’t it! The pain is so raw sometimes, you just don’t think you can go on, but here we all are moving on in the midst of the pain, searching for some comfort here at this forum. Sending hugs! Lostinadream

      • #35563

        HI lostinadream,
        Thank you for your reply. Our stories are indeed very similar. I totally understand what you are going through in deciding on whether or not to search for or son. At times I have wished we wouldn’t have gone to find him but even though my heart is broken by how he reacted to us at least I saw him and he looked well. Maybe one day he will realize we did it out of love. This is a comfort to us. A friend recently told me that I should try to see him again to let him know that we haven’t given up on him and that we will not give up on him. I just don’t think I can handle a possible rejection again. I totally know what you are saying about waiting. It is difficult and exhausting but we have to just keep moving forward. Hugs to YOU! Buffy

    • #35598

      I have been lurking around this community for a few weeks now. In fact, it has been my life-line and I’m not sure what would have happened had I not come across it when I did. All of the kindness, openness and support I keep reading here, has given me the courage to tell my story.

      Once upon a time we were a happy, close family. We had two beautiful girls, two years apart. I continued to work and my husband stayed home to look after them full-time. I was lucky enough to work close by and had a job that allowed me to ‘sneak out’ at all times of the day to go to school plays, concerts, etc. Grandma & Grandpa lived (still do) in the same town so no babysitters ever required—always family on hand. When my eldest hit puberty, she started to seek her independence. I didn’t think much of it at the time because so many kids want to stretch the boundaries of separation when they approach high school. I have to be honest and say that we continued to drift apart but never argued and always (I thought) managed to continue our relationship even though it might not have been all warm and fuzzy like it could have been. Vacations, birthdays, holidays have all been spent together as a family—none of us have missed so much as a single one over the years. She married a wonderful man and, because his parents live overseas, we became very close to him. After they got married, they lived with us for a couple of years before moving into their apartment and when his brother was between apartments, he lived with us too.

      Then, several weeks ago, I got an e-mail. It started “To (my first and last name)” and ended “From (my daughter’s first and last name)”. Basically, it said that after years of emotional, physical and verbal abuse, she was cutting all ties with me. I was not allowed to contact her directly or through friends/family or via any method of communication (text, e-mail, phone, etc.). She followed this with an e-mail to her sister saying she hoped she understood why she had to separate herself from Mom because she could not allow herself to be in such a “toxic environment” any longer and would be seeking therapy to help herself heal. (By the way and for the record, my husband and I don’t believe in physical discipline and have never put a hand on our daughter. We grounded her for a week once. When she told her adult friends about this in front of us a few months ago, they laughed and said it was nothing.)

      Needless to say, I am in total shock–stunned, devastated, and all the other adjectives I’ve read on this website. The separation has now expanded to all family members and her husband, who was essentially the son we never had, has not communicated with us either despite several attempts to reach out to him. We are all completely in the dark as to why this has happened. Just this May we had all planned and booked a Christmas vacation to the UK (where we are originally from) so the five of us could spend a really special family time together. Honestly, I feel like I am in some nightmare episode of The Twilight Zone.

      Thank you so very much for giving me the courage to put this in writing and giving me a ‘safe’ place to put it. This community is incredible and I know you’ve helped many like me slowly realize that life will go on (though the shape of it remains very fuzzy to me right now). (Sheri, I have your book. I’ll not lie, working through it is a challenge but at least I’m taking baby steps forward which is more than I could say a few weeks ago!!)

    • #35617


      That must have been a horrible shock. Welcome to the forum.

      Please take your time with the book and doing the exercises. They are not meant to be rushed in any way. If there are parts that are very difficult for you may especially need a little time and tender care.

      Sheri McGregor

    • #35691

      Until I found Sheri’s book on my internet search for “sons who hate their mothers (I didn’t know what to search under!)” I truly thought I was all alone in this situation of estrangement with my now 40-year-old son because my story never matched any else’s that I ever talked to. When I saw in Sheri’s book that there were (sadly) thousands of others out there who were devastated, perplexed and bewildered by an estrangement with their adult child and that I wasn’t alone, it was the most incredible feeling of “this is it! Help is on the way,” and I couldn’t wait to read the book every day and make my notes while I answered the questions and also wrote down parts of the book that were particularly meaningful. I didn’t want to rush it so I read just until I found something that pertained to my situation and tried to fully digest it before moving on the next day. This book literally saved my life because there have been so many times over the years that I truly thought I could die from the pain of this estrangement and there were times that I prayed to, just to escape that pain. From the minute I started reading Sheri’s book, the tears stopped. And it’s just gotten better and better (in my head and in my heart) ever since. When I finished the book, I went to and started reading an article per day and making notes just like I did with Sheri’s book, “Done With The Crying,” and in my particular case, I will have to do this daily for the rest of my life in order to remain strong, mentally and emotionally. I look at it as someone “recovering” from an addiction and how support groups help them remain on a positive track. I’ve been conditioned for 40 years to think that I failed miserably with the raising of this son and it will take a lifetime to undo the damage. But it’s so worth it! I’m happier now than I’ve ever been because I’m not alone anymore. I’m looking forward to getting to know my fellow damaged moms out there because I know we’ll help each other!

      • #36149

        Welcome KindSoul,

        I know you will find the forum a huge support to you. I’m glad you found your way here, too (and thank you for your kind words about the book).

        Please feel free to post a new topic or reply to the threads below. Sometimes this introductory area gets overlooked by forum members (YellowRose, I know you routinely post replies in here—thank you for that!).


        Sheri McGregor

    • #35758

      On Friday 13th of October 2017 I received a typed letter by post. The letter made it very clear, that my daughter wished to cut me out of her life, end the relationship, for good ( she signed it ex-daughter) she is 21 years of age.

      Up until a couple of months ago the letters we sent to each other were sweet notes talking about things going on in our lives our hopes for the future, we had put dates in the diary to spend time together. She had been living with her boyfriend for the last two years, 10 years her senior, it wasn’t the best relationship as he had been a heavy drinker, he worked but had little to no getup and go, my daughter worked hard. She said they were Soulmates, so I didn’t want to intrude too much, he was gentle in nature, so there was no immediate concern. I wanted and had been trying to build bridges between us.

      I was a single parent after 9 months of her life. Two years later I met a man who was later to be her stepfather, with his daughter who later joined us we were a family for 14 years. There were good and difficult periods. The difficult times, came later when my husband showed signs of alcoholism, his daughter dealt with it well, but my daughter struggled quite rightly with it, it was agreed in the end that we separate, so we moved out and started a fresh. We left the door open for her step sister to visit us, but her loyalty to her father stopped that interaction as my daughter hated her step father. So we built up our lives together. Just before this happened my Daughter had a found a boyfriend, it was a distant relationship ( a few hundred miles between them) so my sister and I made arrangements to chaperon her on her first trip to visit his home. Now 16 she was finding her way in life, she decided to leave school and not stay on at college, so we had to work out what she could do, she wanted to go into the RAF catering core, we worked towards that goal, She didnt manage to get into the RAF she failed the examination process. her uncle (my brother) offered her some work helping with land management, planting trees on a large estate. She worked hard her uncle was impressed, it was decided that perhaps horticulture could be her thing, so he set up an apprenticeship and she signed up to an agricultural course, she did well. Her uncle was a bit of a taskmaster. Sometimes she would stay over he lives in a beautiful house with his wife and 3 working dogs. She was able to get a taste of the good life, where money wasnt an issue and relationships were not chaotic. I was trying hard to make ends meet financially as I was building a business, there was no government assistance as my daughter had left education early. I was tired, we ratted at each other, I found solice in a new relationship which was disfunctional to say the least, I spent time over there. My family hated my choice of relationship and quite rightfully so, I got drawn in and found myself preoccupied by it. This was the turning point that moved my daughter on to moving in with my brother, my brother and I at this point had rowed over something petty, but it had exploded into something that has never been repaired. I tried to apologise at one point on my daughters advise, but to no avail I was slammed down and my brother informed me that he had never liked me from the day I was born. He had been to a psychotherapist (a family friend) for counselling, which had brought him to this conclusion. My daughter had anxiety my brother took her to see the same therapist, the conclusion for her I was later to find out was that, her anger towards her step father was actually anger towards me, and that she really hated me!

      From that point, I was walking on egg shells, because my daughter was now living with my brother, it was difficult to deal with, I left the home we had moved in to and lodged with the man I had been seeing. My daughter now 17 and half was given the opportunity of renting my sisters house. Which she did, she found someone to share the house with and for a year or so spent time building a life there, I visited regularly trying to get back into her life, trying to help her in ways that I could. At 18 she seperated from her boyfriend, she soon found another boyfriend, 10 years her senior who eventually moved in with her, he was chaotic, his father very ill, caused by years of alchohol and drug abuse. He eventually passed away but in a horrible way, which unfortunately for my daughter at the age of 20 witnessed. Her boyfriend was left his fathers house in the will, so they left the rental and moved in together in another city, not the best relationship, but my daughter said she was happy, he was her soulmate, they wanted to get engaged?

      I left my relationship and moved in to a studio flat, still working for myself, i found my feet once more. I was hoping to really engage with daughters life and my own.

      A month ago she broke down at my brothers whilst working with him, and said she wanted to leave her boyfriend! From this point on, my relationship with my daughter became more and more distant, she didnt tell me she had left her boyfriend, she got my sister to leave a message for me, I rang my daughter after speaking to my sister, the conversation was stilted/distant and cold, she didnt want me to help her, and didnt really want to make plans to see me, i took it that she maybe too upset to talk, but was upset by the coldness of the call, I reacted by asking her why she hadnt wanted to tell me? I later sent texts wishing her well, she responded in a positive way. I sent her a funny facebook post that had I love you from mother to daughter. she replied with a sad face and ‘hey’ and that was it! she blocked me on facebook, and on her phone. I was told by my sister in law that she needed some space, I was devastated and messaged both my sister and sister in law as I felt so sad about it all, my feelings were selfish as I was more worried about her and I than of how she may have been feeling, and I needed/wanted to talk to her. A week later I received the letter, it was abusive and a full character assassination, she pulled out stuff about me from the time before she was born, about my chaotic life, stuff I had never told her, she stated that I had robbed her of a father and a mother and that our relationship was biological and that was all! It echoed like my brothers voice, using his direct and unforgiving manner.
      In many ways she was right, I had tried my best, but I had lead her through a difficult life and I have to live with the guilt of this. But I know deep in my heart that where a problem could have been mended if we had sought counselling together, instead it was made bigger and impossible to bridge.
      So not only do I suffer the pain of guilt and the loss, not having her in my life, but the knowledge that all the things she knows about me have been relayed to her by someone who hates me, who had no desire to support a daughter mother relationship. Because I remember this year on my birthday we went for a 7 mile work along the coast and got lost, we had to catch a taxi back to the car, the taxi driver admitted he only liked doing two taxi jobs a day as he hated his job, we laughed about it, on the way home we sang to a Gabriel CD at the top of our voices!

      That is my story I am grateful for having purchased Sheri Mcgregor’s book, it has been my lifeline for the last two weeks, I have worked slowly through it, at present I have taken a moment away from it, as the exercise in it, is too soon for me to do, so I am looking through other literature on the subject at the moment, I will get back to it when I am ready and can face the next stage.

      • #36150

        Dear Astounded,

        Welcome to the forum. I’m sorry you have felt the need to join…but I know you will be supported. And yes, do the exercises on your own timeline. There’s no need to rush!

        Sheri McGregor

    • #35805
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Welcome Kindsoul and Astounded, this is a good place and a safe place to ask for support and to give support to others. There are a lot of people reading your posts who can probably relate to both stories. I think we mothers and fathers naturally have guilt over the mistakes we made as parents. No one is perfect. The main thing is to move forward to focus on making a new, content, happy life. It can be done. It isn’t easy and it isn’t our choice to be without our EC. Welcome to you both!

    • #36140

      I’m a newbie too. About two decades ago my son got married and shortly afterwards decided to reject his own family. There was never any real reason given, it started with a bit of a squabble with a sibling and I was forced into a situation to take sides – never a good scene. I did so because he seemed to be acting so unfairly towards my other child. Countless discussions later he said there was no way back and I have only seen him once in that time on one of my significant birthdays. It had a very bad effect on my only other child, a daughter and the relationship with her has been difficult ever since. She tells me that she now wants to end our relationship also and blames me entirely.

      I am elderly now and it is quite heartbreaking to come to terms with this. What is actually worse is the fact that my daughter has been quite abusive in her messages to me which of course makes me feel very defensive and want to hit back.

      I have ordered Sheri’s book to give me some inspiration and insight into what goes wrong and, hopefully, sharing my story with others will be comforting.

      • #36151

        Hello Kaiya,

        Oh, gosh, I’m sorry you’re facing this. Please feel free to post in any of the threads. You have years of experience and can offer some helpful insights, I’ll bet.

        Please take good care and be kind to yourself.

        Here’s a HUG — {{{{Kaiya}}}

        Sheri McGregor

    • #36239


      I’m about a year into this heart-breaking reality of an estranged child.
      I never in a million years would have thought I’d find myself in this situation.

      My ES decided, out of the blue (to me anyway) to cut off all family ties. At first, I thought that he was just upset about a disagreement we had when I discovered his drug use, and that things would go back to “normal” after he cooled off.
      I suspect he’s fueled by his gf, who apparently wants HER family to be his only family now, so she doesn’t have to share. This came as a surprise to me as well, because we liked her and thought the feeling was mutual.

      Now they are expecting a child, and I’m not going to be allowed to see my grandbaby. It feels like my heart is literally breaking. I guess I’m being punished for disagreeing with him. We always got along wonderfully until this.

      I’m glad to have found this group (and the book), because I feel alone and embarrassed. People assume you must have been a lousy parent if your very own child wants nothing to do with you. That is so far from the truth!

    • #36281

      Hello and thanks for allowing me to be part of this group
      As I wrote to Sheri when I asked to be added to the forum, I was astonished to discover I was not completely alone in this horrible situation. And what struck such a cord was the fact that so many of us are not “bad” mothers! I’ve questioned myself and felt such guilt that I should be estranged from my 26 year old son……..and I honestly don’t know why!
      A common thread seems to be divorce when the child is at a vulnerable age, in my son’s case 12. But I really thought we had come through the rough stuff. A bitter divorce, my son “coming out” to me when he was 17 (I totally accepted this ; what else does a mother do?) ,the teenage years, my finally -after five years of not dating or having a social life- meeting my now husband and having both of my children accept him. We seemed to be doing fine.
      It has been three years on December 26th since I have spoken to or seen my son. There was no argument, no fuss, nothing! I was preparing dinner and he got in his car and left. He has completely cut off contact with his older sister and with his grandparents who are in their nineties (my parents ) who live with us and for whom I care.
      I have just begun to read the book “Done With The Crying” and I must say, it really helps to find others who are living through this too.
      Thanks again.

    • #36293

      Hi, fellow sufferers … I think my original intro got lost somewhere in cyberspace …

      I’m in the third month of estrangement from my eldest son (41), but I know it’s over. We’ve disagreed for more than 20 years about the best way to handle his younger brother (tough love versus patience and understanding). All very civilised and polite. I spoke my mind (no emotion or drama, just the facts) when ES was unkind or interfered. He would usually apologise. Now this …

      In a way, I’m not surprised. Dysfunctional family: divorce; all three children damaged and complex; not speaking to each other; two cut ties with their father years ago; my ES very close to his father etc etc. ES is bipolar, but leading a ‘normal’ life. Happily married, ‘successful’, a total workaholic but lots of other outdoor activities when he has time. Lives in California (the rest of us are in South Africa). No children.

      I’m feeling numb, but it’s wearing off. No anger … yet. I’ve kind of resigned myself to a life without my ES. But I do worry about him. I’m hoping he’ll feel at peace and less conflicted now that he only communicates with his father.

      I’ve had a tough life, so I’m used to knocks. Maybe I’ve just got such a mangled-up, duck-taped heart there’s no space for any more breaks or repair work?

    • #36377

      I just joined and started reading Sheri’s book, “Done with Crying”.

      I have two adult children, a son and daughter and I’m a grandparent of two boys through my daughter. After almost 20 years of difficulties (since her late teens) with my daughter she finally carried through on her threat to disown me about a year ago.

      I’ve struggled with her over the way she mistreats my oldest grandson, born out of wedlock and lived with me for the first 3 years of his life. When he was a toddler and I tried to talk to her about the way she treats him she threatened that if I didn’t keep my mouth shut I’d never see her or him again. So I did. To her. That didn’t keep me from talking to the rest of my family or anyone I felt could guide & influence her to treat him better.

      Some of those I talked to got back to her, but instead of influencing her to treat her son better, they criticized me for “badmouthing” her parenting.

      I was betrayed by some in my own family who remain friends with her, I guess they fault me for speaking up for my grandson rather than fault her for mistreating him.

      I still have a relationship with my son, the older of the two, but his wife and father (my ex) were very involved in instigating the estrangement, which puts a strain on our relationship or getting together for holidays and such.

      The Holidays are approaching and I feel is a sense of dread. Last year I spent the Holidays completely alone. Not even a phone call wishing me well except from some of my siblings.

      This year I’m going to try inviting myself to someone’s get together or volunteer at a Food Bank somewhere so I don’t spend the day alone again. I live out of state from my family, moved here to be closer to my daughter & grandkids and now I can’t afford to move again so I just have to make the best of it.

      • #36385

        It must be so VERY VERY HARD coping with this when there are grandchildren involved. My heart goes out to you, Isiah5417. Just looked up the Bible reference in you nickname: HANG ONTO THAT! Sending you a BIG, WARM SOUTH AFRICAN HUG!

    • #36525

      I’m so grateful and relieved to be here. Not exactly the reason I’d want to be a part of a group, but it is what it is. That this community exists, is a salve to my heart if you will. It is saddening to learn that this is a “thing”. Thank you to each person who has shared their stories; the pain, the loss, the regret, and the undying hope or the acceptance to move forward with or without our beloveds.

      I found the book “Done With The Crying” through a pin on Pinterest. I had created a board for all things related to PAS. It was healing to learn that there were so many pins re: alienation and estrangement. It took me a long time to actually look the book up and that led me down the rabbit trail to this site. I flounder between “this is not real and is not happening to me” and “get a grip, the life that you knew is over, forever”. Both are stark realizations.

      I am a mother to two adult children, 20 yr old ES and 23 yr old on again off again ED. I will always be their mother. I will always love them. I do believe in unconditional love. Their actions have been “naughty” toward me. But, just like when they were little, and acted naughty, I still love them. I see that they have been gravely hurt. I see their pain. I also see that they know that they can always treat me in whatever way they want, and I’ll always be there. I need to learn clear boundaries. I’ve always struggled with boundaries with my loved ones.

      I was a stay at home mom for 13 years. My then spouse was an excellent co-parent for those years. He worked long hours, mostly out of town and we only parented together for limited time on the weekend or holidays. After 19 years of marriage I saw my escape and took it. I never intended to leave my children or walk away from them. However, that is the picture that was painted. I had joint custody and spousal support. My kids were 13 (son) and 16 (daughter). They came to be with me one week on and one week off. My daughter started the alienation first. It seemed based on money. She started talking about the child support being “her and her brothers money” and declaring in what ways I was to spend it. She began a strong campaign for how I was living my new life away from her dad. My son became a “mute”. He wouldn’t talk about how all this was affecting him other than he wanted me to change my mind and go back to his dad. I began pursuing my single life on the weeks I didn’t have my kids. In order to survive alone, as I had never had to do in my entire life, I worked one full time job and two jobs part time. My kids began to feel that I was never there for them. They had never known me to work outside the home. My ex found someone new right away, out of town. I experimentally dated in town. One unfortunate night, my timing was off. A date was inside when my kids returned home late. Nothing inappropriate was occurring, but, that was their first exposure to their mom with “another man” that wasn’t their father. It traumatized my son. He immediately called my ex to come pick him up. And, on a week that was mine, my ex obliged. And so it began. No communication with me as the mom from my ex. Decisions began to get made by my daughter and my ex. My daughter was “adulitified”. A brand new car was purchased for her. She was given the money and the control for herself and her brother while my ex stayed out of town more and more. I called, I text, I showed up at their schools, called their friends parents, used social media, etc. I was ignored or seen as a “stalker”. Autonomy was granted to my minor daughter and son. I filed with the court to highlight “custodial interference”. My ex and I were brought back for mediation. My children were brought into the judges chambers for “in camera interviews”. I was told that my kids wanted a relationship with me but didn’t want to live with me. My daughter graduated at age 17. She went on to pursue a career in the military. My ex moved my kids and himself in with his girlfriend, despite our joint custody, 400 miles away from me. According to him, it was their desire to be with him. I fought that in court as well. Thousands of dollars later, with one child in the military across the country and my son in another city, I lost again. My son, still not wanting or at least not acting like he wanted a relationship, began reunification counseling with me. Once a month, I drove down to their town, spent the day with my son, had our counseling session and still had no resumed type of normal relationship. When my daughter graduated from her basic training, she invited me to be there. Anytime my kids reached out, I instantly pinged to life. Whenever the in between times occurred where our contact was zero, I sunk into deep and dark depression. I had very supportive family and friends for the most part. My story was unique and unrelatable though. Well meaning folks want to help, offer advice and suggest efforts. I felt beneath the dirt. What kind of mom loses her kids? I sought counseling and therapy. I never found solace. What left me the most dismayed, was the fact that my ex family was “Christian”. I spent 19 years in that family. I was a communicative and involved daughter in law. Had it not been for me, my ex in laws would have never received pictures or regular updates on the kids or our lives. My ex mother in law and I were extremely close. Every time I wanted to leave her son, she talked me out of it. Stating that I would “crush” him. She had no idea the levels of BS that I endured with her son. The chance I took reaching out to her for help after the divorce, left me hung up on and my letter “returned to sender”. Long story short, for the last 7 years, I’ve been a yo-yo on a string. My son, is currently in a retreat phase again. My last contact with him was last Christmas, 2016. We had been on a one year streak of “healthy”. But, I declined to co sign a loan for college and that created a new silent cycle. My daughter and I vacillate as well between what seems healthy and normal (her giving birth to my granddaughter one year ago has helped a little keep us connected) to totally unhealthy. I endure her “abuse” and her verbal tirades as best I can. According to her, I am a narcissist…and emotionally unavailable.

      I think I would be eternally indebted to anyone who can come along at this point and offer a sense of solace, a feeling of normalcy, a reassurance that this sort of gut wrenching heartache is not life ending. I desperately need to feel un-numb and able to go on with a normal life. Despite seeing all my friends and family with their kids and grandkids, my coworkers with theirs and the entire world around me going on with life. I hold on as best I can. I have a wonderful new husband and live a life that is mostly happy. Behind closed doors, and behind my smile, my heart aches.

      Thank you for taking the time to read this and allow me to be here.

      • #36540

        Hi, Borealwings

        When I read your story, I could sense the desperation behind the words you used. It’s hard to imagine – when we marry and have children with a man who treats us badly – that, in making a break to save ourselves, we become vulnerable to misinformation that can turn our children against us and eventually end in abandonment.

        And you’re absolutely right when you say that ‘normal’ people simply can’t relate to what we experience as rejected, divorced parents. In the end, I stopped trying to explain my long horror story post-divorce, and made a whole new life for myself. But not everyone can do that. That’s what makes it so hard for you and others who have to carry on in the same community.

        For all sorts of reasons I can’t share, I lost custody of my three children when they were very young. I had what we call in South Africa ‘reasonable’ access, which was determined by their father – who changed the rules to suit the whims of a live-in partner, and then a second wife who eventually also divorced him.

        My children went through hell: one became anorexic and is a cancer survivor; another self-harmed and is the survivor of a long psychiatric illness; the other (ES) has a debilitating mental illness that he keeps under control with therapy and medication.

        Their father is rich, powerful and can be extremely cruel. I spent fortunes on lawyers and finally took him to court … but he wiggled his way out of the court order. So your story resonates with me in all sorts of ways.

        You will find this forum ENORMOUSLY helpful. As you said, just reading other people’s posts is itself therapeutic. And you will learn a lot from the insights shared by others in our situation.

        I, too, am new – but it saved me from sliding into depression. I work from home and am on the Internet for long periods of time every day as part of my job, so I can log in and out any time I need to. But even if that’s not possible for you, it’s good to make a habit of checking in to see what’s new. It’s a lifeline … It really is.

    • #36565

      Thank you Simplifythings!! I resonate with your similarity to my own situation. I agree with trying to create a new life. There are days when that is very easy. Then, there are days when I flood with memories. I’m looking forward to the positive suggestions from others like yourself who have found a sense of peace in having to grieve our children who are still very much alive. I will be checking in as often as possible.

    • #36712

      Hi, I live in the U.K. Am really stumped to know just where to begin because it all seems so e-n-or-m-o-u-s. And I just dry up, and my writing skills get all tongue-tied.. But, trying to précis … my elder son, in his forties; we have had a difficult relationship, reasons to follow. My ex, their father, was very violent, and even in my 60’s there are physical repercussions from his injuries. He’s also very wealthy. In a nutshell, my son has rejected me to ally himself with his father, who also hurt him and his brother, many, many times. My son has been manipulative and bullying for years, inflicting the kind of hurt that makes you shrivel … the casual remark, the bruising comment, the deliberate wounding, and I have gone under with it, many times. I have not been allowed to talk about the past (in order to try and heal something) with his violent father because my son wants to somehow (how, I just don’t know) hold onto the view that his dad is an okay person. A lot of this is about money, or more specifically, inheritance. My ex has given my sons large amounts on a whim over the years and he is waiting for a lot more. My son has been bought well and truly. The estrangement has been getting worse over the last few years and I have sacrificed a lot of dignity and self-worth to try and smooth things over, and not to speak out: the results of this have been depression, hopelessness, despair, and utter disempowerment. My choice, though. But something happened earlier this year to make me speak out against a very great wrong, involving my grandchildren and my ex. And my son is furious. I can’t say what happened, because it might be an identifier, but it was the first time I’d really spoken out. Now, my son has invited his father for Xmas – this has never happened before – because my son wants to say to the rest of the family that his dad is fine, and to slap me in the face for speaking out. Over the years I’ve watched my son become ever more corrupt over his father’s behaviour, and the money issue. …I’m re-reading this and just want to erase it all right now and walk out of the room. It feels carpy and dramatic, and I can’t convey the awfulness of the last 35 years. It isn’t about the violent ex – I moved on from that decades ago and have had a life with meaning and success. It’s about the sons I thought would see the light, would automatically condemn violence against women, their mother included – not to ally themselves with the perpetrator! I just can’t get my head around it. It makes me feel dizzy; I just can’t compute.There were other women after my divorce, who were subjected to violence too, and my son thinks it was their fault, and sides with his dad! I have got to the stage where I feel ‘I’ have to make the total break with my son, not wait for him to deliver a crushing parting shot and then disappear. Son sides with violent and cruel dad in order to gain inheritance, volence is just collateral damage to that ambition. Or does son really think women deserve to be beaten up? I have to say I think he does feel that. I feel deep shame, horror and despair when I think about it. The few times I have seen son and family in the past few years I’ve been sick with dread beforehand and cleaned the place to an inch of its life after they’ve gone. I harbour no illusions about having a relationship with my grandchildren – there is none. My son said to me once ‘ if family misbehaves (i.e. grandparents) I have the ideal weapon – they won’t see the children.’ So I didn’t let myself get close to them, I protected my heart. It is SO hard to see that an adult child has turned out so badly, that I have caught myself going into denial over it, until gently reminded of a few things by my current OTH. I know from writing this that all the other parents on this site must feel the same impotence … how can you convey in a few hundred words the many hells you’ve suffered? You just can’t. It looks like someone else’s story, the kind of melodrama you might see at the movies. I hate telling it. But there has been a shift in me, a growing sense of power and a lessening of the feelings of inadequacy, guilt and shame. I do understand the psychology of why a son would cleave to his violent father … it’s a bit like the structure of the Mafia, where the Boss is feared by everyone, and respected – well it’s a funny kind of respect! The Boss can say and do anything and his minions just jump to it. I think there may be a token attempt by my son to come by this Xmas, and I am hovering emotionally about telling him not to come because we are doing something else. That’s where I am. Haven’t really gone into the horror of the last decades because when I have written it down in journals it’s just taken my breath away with how awful it is. I’m sure that’s similar for all of you. I have gained a lot from reading what you have all written … I don’t feel so ALONE in all this. And that does help, so thank you.

      • #36814

        Hi, Katie99

        My story is very similar to yours: violence, money, emotional abuse, manipulation, denial, injustice. My own recently estranged son dealt the final blow just three months ago, after more than 20 years of siding with his father over matters involving his younger brother. If you’re interested in the details, you can find them in my own introduction and under ‘Welcome’.

        His decision to cut ties with me came as a shock, but was not entirely unexpected. Now I feel a sense of relief: not that I’ve stopped loving him, but because I no longer have to be on my guard when we speak or meet. We live on different continents, which makes it easier of course.

        It certainly is terribly sad and disillusioning to observe hypocritical behaviour in an adult child, and to be betrayed. However, having built a meaningful life of your own since your divorce and having achieved some measure of success, you are in a much stronger position to move on in whatever way you believe is best for you.

        I have found insights provided by the personal stories shared in this forum so helpful. You will, too.

        Best wishes and A WARM SOUTH AFRICAN HUG!


    • #37149

      Sorry this is so long:

      Well, here I am, in yet one more forum to try to heal through heartbreak. However, I never thought I’d be in a forum for rejected parents. That was so far off my radar, that I couldn’t even imagine there was a forum for such people. But here I am… rather, here we are, my husband and I, heartbroken and looking for help to heal this pain.

      We have two children. Our oldest, our daughter, was the hardest to raise of the two. She fought us at every turn, starting with pooping in the toilet, as opposed to her diaper, all the way to finding her way out of the house. She saw us as adversaries from the beginning. The older she got, the harder things got. Still, I never saw her leaving our family.

      My husband comes from a solid family, his parents are still married, more than 60 years as of today. He has two sisters but none of them are what would be considered close. They chat but no one has gone out of their way to get together since our wedding in 1999. My own history is not so nice. My mother abandoned me at birth and the family that chose to raise me gave me a childhood that wasn’t easy to get through. For me, my own mother made me a rejected daughter and now my daughter has made me a rejected mother. The pain is more than anyone can imagine.
      She will say that she was kicked out the first time, I’d guess if she ever talked about it. She was not an easy girl to have in our lives. She was mean, insensitive and took just about every opportunity she could to hurt us. She said things to me that cut me right where I live. I was no angel and never want to imply otherwise. First, I’m a tough person to like, let alone love. My PTSD, born from abandonment, has left me a very hurting individual. But I work on it. There is not a day that goes by that I’m not trying to be a better person. Second, I’m not a perfect mother. I’ve said and done things that I feel tremendous regret over. I’ve healed lots of my injuries and could see how I’d hurt others along the way, so I took a lot of time in making apologies for my actions with the utmost sincerity. Luckily my husband, a stand-up guy and good father, has always been a solid figure in her life. I have no idea what she would want to hurt him or her brother, as well as me in all this but her hurt seems not to discriminate. She did little to contribute to the family, resenting anything that had to do with us. A good example would be Sunday dinners. She knew the importance of this and made sure we each knew what an inconvenience it was for her to be there. She acts entitled, like we all owe her something. I don’t believe there was one gift we gave, meal we paid for or vacation that we planned, that didn’t come back to slap us in the face. I could go on but I’m sure you’ve all experienced much of what I’d say. Finally, we did a sort of intervention. If she were to come by the house, she had to act with kindness. She refused and it was 6 months before we spoke again.

      She’s been gone 5 months, so far, this time. I can’t tell you exactly to the day but it’s in the neighborhood of 5 months. The first time she left, I counted the days; each and every day was hell to get through. A family event led us to get a hold of her and give her the opportunity to come back. She took it and that was the happiest day I’d seen since she’d left. But she wasn’t ready. Nothing had changed. She was just as vile as the last day she’d left in anger. Still, we compromised. I took more insults and ingratitude, just to have her close. It lasted a few short months before it all came crashing down. She’d already cut me to my core, this time she went after her father and attempted to hurt him. Luckily, he can take it better than I can but I can still see his hurt every day. No one could imagine the things she said.

      I knew the first time, that she’d not be back unless we chased after her. This time, we can’t chase after her, she has to make these changes on her own. I just don’t understand what keeps her form wanting to be part of us. We’re a good family, if I do say so myself. My son is one of the kindest young men you’ll ever want to meet. All of us are an asset to have in your corner for support and encouragement. And we love her. Why would she not want to be where she’d loved and accepted unconditionally?

      If the fruit is any indication of the tree, you’d see us as good parents. And this is what makes our story even harder. She’s a good kid. She lived on her own, with roommates, for 2 years before moving in with her boyfriend, who’s another story unto himself (we’ll leave that alone for another time). She’s held a job for years and does very well. We’re incredibly proud of her accomplishments. Short of the relationship she doesn’t have with us, everything else is wonderful. She adores her bf’s parents and they’re… well, strange. When we reached out to get to know them, we heard nothing.

      So here we are… while I’ll be the one writing the posts, my husband’s pain is right alongside mine. He’s an equal part of this and needs to heal as much as I do. Thank you for being here. I never thought I’d need you but here I am.

      Because he’s part of this, he has his own intro:

      Hi forum, this is dad. Rejected dad. I keep asking myself, “What did we do wrong?” “What could we do to fix this?” “Why did it all go so badly with our daughter – my daughter?” And I keep saying, “It’s all so sad…”

      I am not of the opinion that I was by any means a perfect parent. I know that I had my faults through our daughter’s childhood. She is our first child and we didn’t know what we were doing as parents. We felt that to the point of taking a parenting class that gave us a lot of good information and strategies for dealing with typical childhood issues (temper tantrum in a store, won’t change into her pajamas at bedtime, etc.) I don’t know that any of that prepares a parent for a child that was as stubborn as a mule. She fought EVERYTHING – as her mother says above. A typical argument when she was quite young would consist of her being asked to pick up her toys and clean up her room. A chore that might take a few minutes. She would refuse to cooperate, and argue, and argue, and argue. Of course, we learned to pull out of the argument in short order but she would keep at it, sometimes this would go on for what seemed like hours. Long after she had been sent to her room to lay on her bed and think about the consequences of not simply picking up her room. She would – seemingly gladly – accept the punishment as a kind of “price” for not having to pick up her room. It wasn’t seen as the negative motivation to just pick up her room and go on with her day. We also offered positive motivations – rewards – for a job well done. It would break my heart that she would prefer to dwell in her negativity and stubbornness instead of simply doing what was asked of her so we could all go out for ice cream or watch a video together. But that preoccupation with negativity is at the heart of her issues. She can be paid the sweetest compliment and turn it into an insult. She can take the opportunity to spend time with her family – people who truly love and cherish her – into a chore to be opposed. I am at a loss to comprehend how someone who can be so sweet and funny and charming can also be so mean. Our last correspondence with her was a simple email that read, “Our hearts are always open and our door is always open.” This was sent to her over two weeks ago and has received no response. None. This is after nearly five months of her separation from us. We need to stop asking, “why?”; or “when will she come back?” and start healing and grieve her loss. I will never understand it, I don’t think she understands it. I don’t have to understand it – my comprehension of her dysfunction will not bring her back.

      Thank you all for hanging there. Thank you all for being here.

    • #37162

      Welcome, Irish Eyes!

      Welcome BorealWinds!

      Welcome Katie99!

      Welcome Isaiah 54:17!

      Welcome CallaLilly!

      Welcome StillDreaming!!!

      Please join the other threads and reply. Sometimes these introductions are missed by other members…So please don’t misunderstand. You are so very, very welcome here!

      Sheri McGregor

    • #37195

      Good morning all, I’m new here, but glad I found you. I just started reading Done with the crying and felt this might be the place for me.

      My 35 yr old daughter decided 4 months ago I’m no longer welcome in her life. I have a 16 mo. old granddaughter who I haven’t been allowed to see and now a month old grandson who I have yet to meet.

      My daughter and I were always best friends (even according to her) even after she married 10 yrs ago, we still took trips together, I was the one there for her when things were up and down with her marriage and the one who talked to her every day on the way to work and the way home when her company sent her to another state and I was working overseas. Her father and I divorced before she was 2 and I remarried when she was 5. She considered her step father to be her Dad, unfortunately he passed away when she was 10. Life wasn’t always easy, but we were always there for each other.

      I’m not sure what happened after she had her daughter, but it was almost like she was jealous of the fact that my grandbaby loved me. She never failed to remind me that was her baby, her rules and if I didn’t have a relationship with her, I couldn’t have one with my granddaughter.

      I was laid off from my job in March, came home and spent lots of time with them both. My ED was now pregnant again and I tried to do as much as possible to help her and always babysat when she had dr. appts, dental appts, etc. and would even let her use my SUV to go to her dr appts downtown. I tried to do anything to help her. I did notice there were several times I would suggest instead of taking my granddaughter somewhere I wanted to bring her to my house and just enjoy time with her, but I was always told where to take her during those babysitting times or I couldn’t see her. I didn’t understand it, but I went along with it just so I could see her.

      4 months ago she got mad at me over something very trivial and stopped talking to me. I made the horrible mistake a couple weeks later of going to her house uninvited in hopes of making her talk to me…well that certainly backfired. She threatened to call the police if I didn’t leave and I haven’t seen her since. She refuses to let me see my granddaughter and I haven’t met my new grandson. I have sent many texts apologizing, but she never responds.

      I did receive an email from her several weeks ago telling me all that I had wrong and all that was wrong with me and that my apology wasn’t sincere. I had suggested we see a counselor together to work out our issues. I was told the only issues were the ones she had with me.

      Again I made a mistake, I responded to the email to tell my side of the story….got me nowhere, she only wants to see the mistakes I made, she will own up to nothing. And because of this I’m the bad guy and don’t deserve a relationship with my grandkids. I sent a further email telling her I’ve apologized over and over, I don’t what else to do, what is it going to take to be able to see the kids…no response of course.

      So here I am, alone, not wanting to be around friends because they all know my ED and I’m afraid if they ask about her or the new grandbaby I will start crying. I’m ashamed to tell them she no longer speaks to me or let me see the kids.

      I feel like I’m just going through the motions of living a life. I have gone back to work, but I have no life outside that. I had been doing a bit better until I received that email from her. I thought I was starting to get better and now feel like I’ve taken 5 steps backwards. I’m back to crying all the time and not wanting to leave the house.

      It’s helping me today reading your stories and knowing I’m not alone in this. Prayers and hugs to all of you today and may your day be blessed.

      • #37484

        Hello Dee, I’m a newbie here too, but want to say hi and send you a big hug. Our stories are similar, and I feel for you, and resonate with a lot of what you are going through.
        I just re read your post. Is your daughter still married? You mention supporting her through the ups and downs of her marriage.
        It made me think, in terms of if she is, maybe this is a belated “individuation”. I came across this indivuation thing somewhere else, usually adult children in their twenties. My daughter is nearly 31, but a lot of the same stuff is happening to me too with her. For individuation, read late developer haha!
        I am aware I have been almost too important to my daughter, the rock, as she used to say, in our family. Another friend says “big tree to grow under”. I’m wondering if its the same for you, that she is (in the ghastly confused way they go about it of course) trying to “individuate”, to grow up and do that separation that possibly didn’t happen earlier. I’m not therapising, but this is some of the insights I’ve had about my daughter. It may not remotely resonate with you at all.
        My daughter is due to have her second any minute, next week, and has also cut me off for the second time during the pregnancy. I’m not able to see my two year old grandson, and doubt i will be invited to see the baby. This is incredibly painful, and I swing between not being able to bear it, to (usually in the evenings) being able to see a bigger picture.
        My daughter didn’t do teenage rebellion ( i wish she had! )…did yours? Its like dealing with a 15 year old who is nearly 31. But maybe they both have to do this without us, to prove in some way to themselves that they can actually manage without us. I don’t know. That may seem rubbish to you!
        I think too sometimes this is all about other stuff they haven’t dealt with (the men/fathers) etc, and it all gets fired at us.
        I also get the not wanting to be around others. My son and DIL had a baby boy two weeks ago, their second, and things are ok with them. Normally I would have shouted it from the rooftops on fb to my friends abroad etc. Haven’t put a thing up. Can’t bear to be asked about it. A good friend is having a grandaughter in a few weeks too (ED is having a girl) and I was feeling the other day, even though i have a new grandson, that it’s going to be hard to hear about it. I see grannies in shops cooing over baby girl gifts…christmas stuff…and feel like i got grandmother hood all wrong.
        Anyway, a big hug to you xx

    • #37336
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Welcome, Dee. You are not alone. As I read your story, its sounds so familiar. My wish for you is to realize that you are a good mother and you are caught in a situation in which you have no control and is not of your choosing. It sounds like whatever is bothering your daughter is not something she wants fixed — at least for now. Sometimes focusing on other things, on giving ourself happiness is the key. The more we obsess and beat ourselves up and beg for their forgiveness, the more upset we get. Its like we have to stop ourselves from obsessing about this, and holidays are the hardest time to be estranged. Sheri’s book is helpful. Write in the main forum if you’d like more responses or answer to others posts.

    • #37673

      Hi I just found this site. I am not sure where I fall in the constellation of stories here, I just know that I have a feeling I am headed to estrangement and it feels like I have no way to stop it. My EC is 18 and has been a struggle to parent her whole life. She has definite signs of borderline disorder and has for years, but myself and spouse have been living mostly in denial, me up until she was about 10. I have brought it up to spouse and suggested there was a problem, but always ended up feeling like I was the “overreacting” one, probably because I was actually told I was overreacting. EC always got a pass and I was just having a wing-ding. In the past few years I have felt like a spectator while things have gotten worse and whenever I question or try to discuss it, I am attacked or blamed. Spouse calls for conferences and then sits mute, seriously, nothing, and leaves me to do it, again setting me up for being the overreacting head case. I am so sick of EC spending most of her life making excuses and blaming others, especially me, for her bad behavior and downright mean stunts that I have become mostly numb, until recently. The new thing is I found out that EC was outright lying about me to other family members and outside people. There were other statements that I won’t mention that showed EC’s intent to write us off. This hurt horribly and something snapped. All the years of denial, damage control, alienated friends, bad memories, started replaying and after an ocean of tears, depression, and growing anger, I decided to give EC what was wanted, distance.
      That distance has apparently been great for EC because EC has not contacted me in almost a month, nothing. However, EC does keep in contact with the good parent daily because he provides access to money and she triangulates and he is completely oblivious or just doesn’t want to deal with it. I have told spouse how this is hurting me and how enabling the EC is not helping EC, and he acts like he gets it. But what has really happened is she still talks to him and nothing for me. He does nothing to support me and doesn’t offer any information to me about how EC is doing. They have this private dialogue and I am not part of it in any way. I feel like a stranger in my home and quite frankly if it weren’t for the other nice children I would probably pack up and leave for awhile, if not forever. I am feeling very betrayed by the EC and now by spouse. I never thought I would end up feeling hate for the person I’ve been married to for so many years. I hate that for years I was made to feel that my instincts about the behavior were written off as overreacting, and now that if the EC doesn’t come to holidays it may be, as spouse offered, EC feels unwelcome. Either I am going crazy and seeing things that are not there or does this seem like another way to make me feel like I’m at fault? At this point I am not sure who I distrust more, the EC or spouse who only wants to talk about TV, weather, Bigfoot, swamp monsters, ANYTHING but the huge fracture that is getting wider and wider. I have so much anger that when spouse watches TV or hears something on the radio and laughs to himself I want to go ballistic because I am suffering, frustrated, angry and NOTHING is funny or cute about what is going on in my life right now. I can’t escape this nightmare for even a 30 min TV show.

      After re-reading this I think I need to change my name, I am actually very un-comfortably numb with a gigantic helping of rage now. I thought writing down feelings was supposed to help, but now I want to just go cry somewhere because I feel I’ve been so stupid and believed that it was my imagination or that I was just overreacting. Basically, I would have rather believed I was completely bonkers than come to grips that I had raised a person who could treat people so horribly (yes, there have been others I just thought family was somehow exempt). So not only did I embrace being a punching bag, but the one person I had always trusted may have been gaslighting me as a way to avoid facing the truth and possibly getting help when it may have made a difference. Now I’m also really angry at myself as well as EC and spouse.

      Sorry this turned into a huge vent but it is my story. I know I am in good company here after spending a good part of the day reading the other posts. At least I know I’m not imagining things.

    • #37693

      You’re not crazy, un-Comfortablynumb … I’ve been through something similar, but as the non-custodian parent of three children (all sorts of reasons for that, which you can read about in my ‘My healing book …’ posts if you want to).

      In fact, you’re absolutely justified in feeling so angry. Something probably could have been done to help cope with a child with a personality disorder … But it wasn’t, and that isn’t your fault. You tried.

      You’ll find comfort and encouragement in this truly amazing forum. I’ve only been here for a month or so, but – along with Sheri’s book (which is a lifeline) – it has been a huge help.

      My heart goes out to you as I send a big hug across the miles/kilometers of two continents and an ocean …

    • #37737

      I am new here, desperately trying to figure out how to accept my two sons estrangement from me. I am a widow and mother of 3 sons. My oldest and youngest do not keep in touch with me, The oldest (45) wife is very controlling and has caused problems with his other two brothers and me. I’ve given in and stepped back, took the blame when I wasn’t to blame. She knows I adore my grandsons and uses that in everyway possible. It really bothers my grandsons that one day everything is great and the next day is a war. I stay away because she threatens to divorce and take my grandsons, and I don’t want my grandsons’ growing up without their father. My youngest (41) gets in contact when he needs me and afterward gets snippy and rude then when I back off it’s always my fault. I’ve got health problems and worry they will have guilt problems if something should happen to me. I’m glad I found this site and I want to take the time to read the posts and hopefully get some padding around my heart to protect it.

    • #37750
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Oh, Chicken, I am very sorry to hear your story about how your sons (and their wives) don’t treat you right, I can truly understand your wanting to get padding around your heart to protect it. Feel free to write in the main forum if you’d like to ask questions or want support and please feel free to respond to other people’s posts. One never knows what will resonate or be the right thing for someone who needs “advice” or support. Boy, you nailed it with that padding around my heart comment!

    • #37753

      Hi Everyone,

      Sheri, thank you for this wonderful resource of support and understanding.

      I found this website about a week ago, and have read several posts. I know a few friends who deal with estranged adult children, but I had no idea it was so prevalent. My husband tells me it’s “this generation”, and I suppose there’s something to that.

      Out of three grown children, there is only one with whom I have what I would consider a normal relationship. Another one, I have a superficial and emotionally distant relationship with, partly because it’s always been that way, and also significantly because of her husband’s words and behaviour. Number 3 is the one I am most emotionally distraught about right now.

      There is also a step-child who is estranged from me, and whose estrangement from her father (my husband) has caused us years of grief. I wish I would have found a support group like this years ago, because all of you have shared so many feelings and experiences that I can relate to.

      I’ll try to give a concise history of what has happened with this son, who I will call Hans (false name). He was a difficult child to raise — brilliant in many hands-on ways, and very strong-willed. He is in his forties now, has a successful career, is married for the third time (if you count live-in girlfriend years) and has children, between elementary and pre-school ages. I am very close to the oldest, and close to the others as well. I live a day’s trip away, and miss them very much.

      After his father passed on, Hans gravitated towards his father’s family, who lived in a nearby city. I allowed it, because it seemed comforting to him, and he enjoyed being with his cousins, and I think spending time around that two-parent family. He was attending school and church in that other city, but living with me and one younger child. This other child and I felt abandoned by him, but we got by with the support of each other and our friends. (No one from my family of origin lived in that province.)

      When he was old enough to leave my home, he only returned to use the laundry machines. Of course that hurt. Soon, I moved away from that city myself, to get a new start. I missed him a lot, and called him periodically, but he never returned my calls. At times he would answer my call, and we had what seemed like a normal conversation. Neither of us was angry, and no harsh words were said. It was good to hear his voice. Since I had no idea why he would not contact me, I wrote him a letter apologising for any “sins” I had committed toward him, real or imaginary. The next time I called, he said there was nothing, I hadn’t done anything wrong, he was just busy, or whatever. I was in a new city, and lonely, so I spoke to a counselor about Hans and other things. The counselor asked “How often do you want to speak to Hans?” I said once a month would be good. So she told me to call him once a month, so I could hear his voice, since that was what I needed. That sort of worked okay for a while.

      As the years went by, decades really, with very infrequent calls from him, no calls or cards for my birthdays or Mother’s Days (I do remember one Mother’s Day gift), I always told myself “it doesn’t matter if I don’t get cards, etc., I know he loves me”. My new husband thought that I was way too forgiving — he thinks those things are important, and he always remembers his own mother. Now I know that my husband is right.

      We would usually get together on major holidays — he would come to our home, and act like everything was great between us, so we went along with the act, just happy to see him and his wife. We drove to his city more frequently, and visits were pleasant, but no contact during all the months in between, unless he wanted something. He has never asked for money or material things, usually just a place to spend the night if he had business in our area, or passing through. We were invited to his weddings, and everything was pleasant.

      Hans has always been self-centered, and is always busy with work and other projects. He is probably a workaholic. But I feel that I and his step-father are on the bottom of his list. Now he has children, and is more busy than ever.

      I have formed close relationships with the children, and try to see them as often as I can. I/we have done 80% of the travel, spent money for gas and lodging, made arrangements, packing and unpacking, and all that goes into travel, mostly in order to see the children. I’m beginning to realize that the children are bound to follow in his footsteps. I am “out of sight, out of mind”. All of the communication related to these visits is by text through his wife, who is friendly but unorganized and also not a great communicator. It is all very frustrating.

      Last month, Hans got angry with me about something that I said, that his wife heard, that had nothing to do with either of them. THEN he was quick to text to let me know that he was displeased. I apologised, again more than I needed to. I also at that time brought up something that they had failed to communicate with me about, and said that the lack of communication was very frustrating. He did not apologize for his verbal attack, or for the lack of communication. A few weeks later, I texted him to see if he was still upset with me. No reply.

      So, this brings us to the holiday plans. My daughter-in-law asked me about plans for getting together. Even for us to come there, they would host. So I know she is not still upset with me, she texts and sends photos of the kids, which I appreciate. I need to reply about Christmas, and what I want to say to her is “you and the kids are welcome, but Hans needs to talk to me”. I’m pretty sure she will think I am joking, so I will have to let her know that I’m not joking. Then, what to say if/when Hans calls? Today I tried to jot down some things to say. Right now all I can think of is, “You treat me like s__t, and I’m sick of it!” But that probably wouldn’t be very productive.

      I’ve pretty much given up on Hans, but I would like to have a good relationship with his kids. Meanwhile, I see that if I am so unimportant to him, eventually the kids will learn that I am unimportant as well.

      Well, thanks for listening. Sometimes I’m just so tired of trying to get along with people, I want to go live in a cave somewhere. But my husband reminded me that I would miss my chocolate and coffee, so I guess I’ll have to stay put.

      • #37767

        You’re welcome, Terese.

        That must be very frustrating. It’s a tough position. So many times, grandparents feel as if they’re in a dilemma. Maybe it helps to stay in the present? There are others here in similar situations. I don’t have a good answer just now, but wanted you to know you’re welcome.


    • #37785


      I am a 64 year old woman that raised 3 awesome sons and had a very functional, communicative and loving family. . . until!
      The woman my middle son dated for 5 years turned on me just weeks before the wedding. I had hosted a three night Bachelorette Party for here with a chef w/interactive appetizers, sunset horseback riding, Mexican restaurant dinner, chair massage at the house, etc. We lived together under the same roof for 3 weeks later that spring/summer. Just weeks before the wedding she sent me 7 page letter that was generally shocking, but the most shocking thing was her accusations that I was ‘violently angry’ during the Bachelorette Party and my son, who didn’t even attend it, OK’d the letter and said to send it. Then came the phone call with her screaming into the phone “You’re crazy, you’re out of your mind. You need help.”
      I was CRUSHED and didn’t know HOW I was going to attend this wedding; I am so sincere, I don’t have a fake bone in my body.
      My husband and both sons went to XX and demanded that she apologize; XX told them he couldn’t even mention my name. She waited until the rehearsal dinner to ‘apologize’. All I heard was “We have nothing in common except our love for XX.”
      I attended the wedding. Three sets of people at three different tables saw her glare at my son XX and me with hatred as we danced the mother/son dance afterward. A few months later she wrote my husband a letter just to him with a paragraph that jumped off the page and was aimed right at me.
      I was still speaking to my son and told him I was grieving; I didn’t carry on about it, just explained what stage I was in as my family was now broken.
      Finally, in August her words came right out of her mouth: “The talk has got to stop. You are abusing me.” I didn’t hear from him for two months after that. I wrote him a letter EMANCIPATING myself from them and no longer see or speak to them. I’ve been through LIVING HELL, but this is the right and healthy thing to do for me.
      I have three friends who are acquainted with personality disorders and took myself to both a psychiatrist and a psychologist; these five people all think she’s Borderline and/or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I hope NONE of you even know what this is.
      My other two sons and their girlfriend/wife as well as my husband all know she is totally controlling XX and respect my emancipation.
      This has been painful right up there with the death of my parents; it’s been a horrid, confusing, heart breaking 14 months. People from all over the country thought so highly of my little family, they are all horrified. My kids’ friends all call me “Momba” and the girls would love to have me for their MIL.
      I feel for all of you out there, I certainly NEVER expected this in my family, in my 60’s in my life.
      Feel ‘free’ of their sickness now, it’s a tragedy, but it feels right and good for me.

    • #37819


      First off, welcome to this space.

      After reading your note, I’m struck with the thought that it’s always a good thing to identify a solution, and you seem to have done that. You know yourself well–and as you’ve described, so do others who cherish and love you!

      Please take care. If you feel the need to post more, face a dilemma and would like feedback, or if you can offer a word of encouragement to others, I hope you will join the main topic threads (or post your own topic) and do so.

      Sheri McGregor

    • #37882

      I’m new to this forum, and welcome any replies. My self, husband and daughter have been estranged from my son for 5 years. It began with an email to my son from my husband that listed some problems he had with how he and his girlfriend treated our daughter when she was living with them. After receiving the email, which of course he shared with his girlfriend, he announced that it was better for all that he and his girlfriend lead their own lives without us. Despite writing, emailing and calling his office (don’t even have his cell number or address) he has not contacted us at all. I have read Sheri’s book which is helpful, but I still find myself ruminating about my son and the fact that we have heard nothing from him in 5 years. Any suggestions to help my stop my obsessional thinking (I’m on meds that are partially helpful) please let me know. Therapy hasn’t really helped. She just says I’m grieving.

    • #37883

      I just sent a post about my son being estranged from me for 5 years. I’m BigP

    • #37919

      Our only child, a daughter of 36, left her entire life, friends, family, husband of 20 years, and a six year old daughter about 3 1/2 years ago. Her Dad and I were never told anything by her of her situation. We researched to find out what happened and upon doing so, have found some disturbing information. We believe one of her reasons for abondnment is due to the use of Oxy. The other is in regard to a criminal offense she cannot face. To this day, we have no idea whether she is living or dead, nor where she may possibly be. We know there are two sides to every story but have only received her ex-husband’s side. We have always been close and were shocked she didn’t trust us enough to confide in us. We realize she must have been so overwrought with shame that she couldn’t. I, as a mother, pray for her daily, still believing good will come.

    • #37944

      Good morning. This is my first post. I didn’t even realize that there were other people out there, going through was I was going through. I’m sorry for all of us, but this is really a blessing. I have one son. He is very self involved, but always seemed to manage to remember his mom. Then he met her. At first she was very friendly, even called me mom. Her own mother had been out of the picture for a very long time. They moved in together, and 2 years later got engaged. Right after that, things changed. They were both too busy to respond to texts. They were engaged 3 years before getting married this past spring. She has told me that I am no longer welcome in “her” home. I have asked my son what I did,, but have gotten no response. No answers. I have a friend, whose son, is a friend of my sons, and I found out a short time ago, that I will become a grandmother in spring. There had been an agreement long, long ago, that neither one wanted children. I am trying to come to the realization that there will be a grandchild out there, that I will probably never see. I don’t talk to many people about all of this, because I’m always asked, “Well, what did you do to them?”
      My son has never stood up to her, regarding me, and I’m pretty sure, he’s not going to start now. I even texted him about a week ago, asking when I could call or even text her. The reply I got was DON”T!
      Ive bought the book, and read it as I can. Sometimes I have to put it down because it hits so very close to home. I was wondering how I was going to get through the holidays this year, knowing I was going to be a grandmother, without having a grandchild to hold.
      I’m crying my eyes out, so I’m going to end out. I look forward to reading all of your stories, and learning how you dealt with the pain. And also, how you’ve pulled your life together.

    • #37963

      I am going to read each and every one of your posts. I hope I can find a connection with all of you or you can find one with me. I’m broken, completely broken. I really do not know how I’ve lasted this long, though for some of you it may not be considered long. My story is long and maybe complicated so feel free to scroll on by if you wish. I understand.
      I was married over 30 yrs ago. Great marriage, children (3) within the first 7 yrs. Great kids, smart, well behaved, and all around nice kids. We were all very close and had a good life. Didn’t want for anything within reason.
      So happens my DH and I weren’t as well matched as time went on. I like to do things and he’s more of a homebody. Arguing began, differences showed up and soon it ended. While this was happening I connected with a past love. After the divorce it became serious, We married within that year. The kids were never left out. We actually tried to over do it (mistake I see now). Vacations, holidays, etc. My husband loved them and would do anything for them. He had one and he adjusted and loved having siblings.
      I became pregnant with twins and the kids loved them, I thought. College began for my oldest at the same time as the twins were prematurely born. I was left out of the process of my daughters journey. She and I were very close and this hurt. I also stopped working so I was unable to contribute financially. This was used to put me in a bad light. Time went on and the usual occurred. I thought it all was fine. My son was always a bit of a recluse and he continued to keep to himself, but he got along with my step and husband. They did things together. My son wasn’t a sports person, but excelled technologically. The youngest of the 3 was a girl and she and I were close. She had me all to herself most of the time. After the twins she was still very front and center.
      Fastforward: My oldest was getting married. That’s when it all began to fall apart. She really didn’t want suggestions. I raised them all independent and she was good at it. She’d show me an idea, and not wanting to hurt her feelings or act like I didn’t support her, I always wholeheartedly agreed with her choices. I wasn’t paying for the wedding due to the fact that her father offered as the father of the bride and they never asked or shared their details with us.
      As it grew closer to the wedding it became apparent that I wasn’t needed or really wanted. I never was invited to visit as she moved out of state. The wedding didn’t take place in her hometown, but where she now resided. Her stepmother went a week before the wedding and participated in all of the prewedding activities.
      On the wedding day I wanted to die, literally. I wasn’t included in the wedding processional, not on the program, not introduced at the reception and put at a table to the back. I wasn’t a part of any of it. My twins were in the wedding, but never felt like they belonged. My other 2 children ignored me. I kept asking what was the matter and didn’t get an answer.
      Afterwards they cut me off. I tried. I called, sent gifts, wrote letters, emailed, texted, invited. Nothing. I’ve always had the best Christmases and they didn’t contact me and didn’t show up. I tried therapy. They did 2 phone sessions without me and basically they told her that they want me out of their lives forever. I don’t know why. I suspect my ex has something to do with it. My therapist calls it the triangle effect. They talk to each other and I’m sure remember normal issues growing up but then elaborate and all agree with each other. It’s horrible.
      My son was just married and an invitation came to the house address to my husband and twins with the word “ONLY” after. In others words, no me.
      My dad was diagnosed with cancer this summer. He was very close with me son. My 3 children didn’t call him or offer help in any way. He was heartbroken. They never contacted him or sent him even a card. I took charge and was his only support system with my sister. Without me I don’t think he would have survived.
      I still try to reach out to my children. I have ways to see what they’re up to on Instagram or Facebook and see that they are all spending time with their father and having a grand life.
      I cannot give up that I will have a relationship with them again. I cannot loose hope. If I do then why should I go on. I know I have two others, but these children are my babies. They were my life. I gave them everything. I didn’t work and devoted every thing to them and their well being. I love them so much. Every day I cry. I cry during the day, and I always cry myself to sleep. Everywhere I look I see them.I remember them. Holidays are coming up again and I don’t know if I can do it.

      • #37977

        Your story is HEARTBREAKING, Della14. I do hope you find comfort and support in this forum. There are some wonderfully wise souls here, who I’m sure will keep an eye out for your posts …

    • #37964

      Greetings..and Happy Turkey Day…into the Christmas Holidays…
      I know it may sound weird,but I am all about seeing the upside to this tragedy.. My ex was instrumental in helping this estrangement along..and in the long run …my daughter
      treated me the same, exact way..that he did..and I left him for his emotional abuse. He
      helped her do a court order against me..a No contact, when she was only 20…and she
      and I had not been talking for 3 years..Then, when she tried to take her life over a boyfriend…he called me to see her at the mental facility…and she would not see me. I then went to his see if she was he would not tell me..and I did not know she was there..and well, I was jailed for 9 months! I did not have the money to get out of incarceration..and all you need is money BTW, as the whole deal is corrupt to the core. ..especially the Seattle area… Anyway, I am writing a book…and will possible write a screenplay, a one woman I am a high school teacher and actress…and have acted in over 50 shows. She is now 27…beautiful..and working as a nurse. The court order expires in June, 2018..and I will then marshall the forces and friends that I have to try to mend with her…somehow. HOWEVER, I believe in living life to the fullest…so am traveling in the Southwest..enjoying life..however solo…but reaching out all the time..I mean, all the time. There is a 40 year span with her…as I am in my late 60’s but very, very young in my outlook. I preach being realistic, but yet living your dreams as well…not letting a bitter ex get you down…not letting a rejecting child get you down either.. and NOT letting the corrupt judicial and law enforcement keep you locked up emotionally. I would give details on me and my book, as I am fearless..but will not due to the guidelines here. Thanks Sheri for creating this forum…

      • #38051

        Your story and the one shared by MeMyselfandI made me want to climb to the top of a very high mountain and scream ‘No!’ so loudly the entire world would stop in its tracks. To serve time in prison, Kauni22 – or to be investigated on an unfounded charge of grandchild abuse – Oh my oh my oh my … I can’t imagine what horrors you both must have experienced. I have tears in my eyes at the thought of it all … VERY BIG HUGS TO BOTH OF YOU. I do hope you find comfort in this forum.

    • #37974

      Hello, I’m so happy to have found this site and realize we are not alone. It’s been 2 years since our daughters decided to have nothing to do with us. It happened after we decided to retire, sell our home, most of our belongings and travel in our RV. One daughter with 3 sons lived 1800 miles from us so we only saw them once a year at best.
      We thought they would be happy for us, but no. Instead called us irresponsible, selfish teenagers. We were shocked and still don’t understand. After many attempts to stay in touch, at least with our grandsons, I have no choice, but to move on.
      We are enjoying our life of travel, but feel such a deep loss that’s like an open, raw wound that never heals.
      I feel the worst for our grandsons who we had a very close relationship before all this. What must they think? That we abandoned them? We were told not to send cards, presents, nothing to them. How cruel is that?
      I’m looking forward to going to a support group for alienated grandparents. I’m also writing a journa for each of them and keeping a memory box to be given to them once they are 18. I want them to know that we did not abandon them or ever stopped loving them.
      Thanks for listening!

      • #38160


        First, enjoy your travels–I think many people would like to sell everything and travel and see new places. I can imagine (and even understand) a bit of worry on adult children’s minds … but to totally estrange you for this decision? To rip you away from the grandchildren who’ve loved you? I’m so sorry. Yes, I’ve heard good things about that group. Good for you taking a step toward support!

        Welcome to the group here, and drive safe!

        Sheri McGregor

    • #37983

      Hi everyone! I’m new here, too! I’m definitely not able yet to share my story but I hope to get that strength some day. I can share general info. MY ED has cut herself and her family off from her sister, her grandmother, and myself. Her attacks are primarily towards me though the initial incident leading to this had nothing to do with me.

      I have been in various stages of grief from deep sadness to rock bottom. I don’t know what happened but today, for some reason, I feel a little acceptance and a little relief. I’m going to take this thing one moment at a time and just live in this moment of relief as long as I can. It came out of nowhere and I don’t understand it but I’m going to try to stay in this moment.

      Thank you for allowing me into this community.

    • #37985

      Hi – I’m actually a step mum but married to the father of the estranged child (adult) whom I “inherited” when he was 6. Loved him before I had my own son – so very much. Of 3 step sons he and I I thought were really good friends. He and his Dad were virtually inspeparable and he had a good balanced relationship with his mum. She died young and we were there to help him through it. I thought we had done it all right. He then met a woman a bit older than him and it all changed. he has not spoken to us for 5 years. He will not speak with us. If we could understand WHY it would be easier. We don’t. We just don’t understand. I too never thought I would be in a forum such as this. I feel so much for everyone here. I thought it was just us and that we’d done something wrong. So glad to have met you all but so sorry too.

    • #37993

      I want to introduce myself, but it is super hard to find the words. I feel such shame and rejection, to think why are two of my grown kids are so so non-inclusive and rejecting. I have missed so much of the grandkids growing up. It’s really too late to change anything, probably. This has been the case for many years. Anyway….so not looking for “hope” to change things here, Just maybe a few coping skills.

    • #37992

      I recently read Sheri’s book, which I consider a gift from heaven, as I have been struggling with the estrangement of my dear, wonderful, creative, successful 30-something daughter (along with my 2 little grandchildren). I was totally in shock, experiencing the closest thing to grief following death of a loved one. She has not spoken to me for several months, following her tirade of what a horrible upbringing she had, how I was self-centered and uncaring….all statements which could not be further from the truth. My friends who witnessed her upbringing are also in total shock. There is so much more to the story but after months of counseling with professionals, I am somewhat back on track, my health is improved and I have turned the corner. A big piece of that was the discovery of “Done with the Crying”….it totally confirmed that I am now an estranged parent statistic and I need to let my daughter go with no expectation of repairing the relationship…which cannot be done when there is no communication and when her perspective of the past 3 decades is so totally off the wall. I don’t know who she is anymore and I am heartbroken to the core.

    • #38001

      Hi Thankful,
      I too have read Sheri’s book and am dealing with 2 if my 3 children abandoning me. What I’d like to share with you is that it may be that your adult child is trying to individuate as opposed to be estranged from you. That concept helped me somewhat accept the situation I find myself in presently.
      I hope this in some way helps you.
      Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or anyone if you need to. We are all in the same boat.
      Keep the faith.

      • #38115

        Hello March,

        Thanks for your reply and your suggestion to revisit the possibility of individuation in my daughter’s case. She has always been a very goal-oriented, highly self-motivated professional young woman whom it seemed was very defined as an individual. We didn’t orchestrate her life. She made choices that for the most part were very thoughtful and purpose driven. Her family and family friends were always very supportive and encouraging…an outstanding student, highly respected in high school and college…never a problem child. She had every advantage, without parental hovering, but she worked hard and for the most part achieved her goals.

        She shocked us in January saying she was divorcing her husband of almost 10 years (2 little children) without giving any reason. And we were shocked. We love our son in law and were speechless at my daughter’s announcement, but didn’t pry. She just said she wasn’t happy! Continued lack of reason for divorce until she finally announced in late June that she is gay. Her husband is now living in a separate apartment. We supported her coming out and it suddenly made sense. However, our support of her and pledge to allow her space and privacy to work through the ending of the marriage instead of being met with appreciation for our support & space, was met with a tirade of what a horrible Mom I was, never did anything for her, was selfish, etc…. and that her childhood has left her broken. That’s not the childhood I remember! She started laying out the “rules”…she told me not to reply to her, not to talk with anyone about the situation between her and me, that she would decide when to resume conversation, but that any possibility of reconnecting would be dependent on me keeping the “rules”, oh, and I was to have no contact with the grandchildren (our son in law with whom we are on good terms has arranged for us to facetime with the g’kids about once a week). We were extremely close with our daughter and family–a wonderfully loving and supportive relationship.

        To me I think she’s more Narcissistic Personality Disorder, quoting from Sheri’s book “destructive traits such as over-confidence and not caring about close relationships.”

        You know the woman’s intuition that we have?….well I hear that voice within me saying, yes she is estranged and she’s too consumed with her own importance to ever have the willingness to apologize or make things right between us. I recognize the coming out as gay is huge but we publicly on her facebook applauded her courage and support as did many, many friends and her husband has been a totally kind, compassionate person while she just hates on us.

        There’s so much more to this story and I so appreciate your listening to me. I’m grateful for Sheri’s book, for the hope it gives us, perhaps not in reconciliation with our estranged child(ren) but hope that we can move ahead. It is a moment-to-moment challenge to think gratefully and manage the emotional swings. I’m especially concerned about how I will do during the upcoming holidays.

        Again, thanks for your reply and I’ll keep a watch for your posts, March, as we support one another.


    • #38024

      Hello everyone! I am new, and glad I was able to join the group. I am new to having an estranged older child as well. I am hoping that I can gain insight and a feeling of belonging, that I am not alone. I go through all the emotions, as it has been 2.5 years since he left, and just a few days after he came and told me that he will never come to see me again, or talk to me again. I still hold on to hope.

    • #38029

      Hello, I’m hurtmother. New to the site. I’m and my daughter are estranged from my oldest daughter and her 4 children for 2 1/2 years. I thought I would die. Even thought serious about it. Have not had a Christmas tree nor Christmas in 2 years. But done with that. I am better we are putting up a tree Saturday. I love this site. Thank you all for the words of encouragement

    • #38041

      Hello All,
      I’m new here. I haven’t seen my first born child and only grand child for 12 months. Based on a few words from my 3.5 year old grand child, I was declared guilty of sexual abuse by my child, their spouse and MIL They attempted to have charges filed but child services declared the report to be unfounded.
      My child rebelled at age 15, lied, drank, smoked and dealt weed out of our house, passed out and convulsed numerous times. We called ambulances and had them hospitalized. We found our child in a pool of blood after falling and received them after being severely beaten at a drinking party. We helped our child avoid a felony charge and wept uncontrollably as our child sat afraid in a jail cell. We paid the bail and paid the lawyers and attended court. We paid for rehab and helped our child get into the military. Shortly after entering service, our child married the high school sweetheart and they had a beautiful child. We thrilled at opportunities to help out while he was away in the military. We were so proud of what appeared to be a maturation process.
      Six months after returning from military service the rupture occurred. In hindsight we clearly over functioned for our child and their spouse. Rather than continuing to have our grandchild over frequently, my spouse and I should have pushed back and set boundaries. Our grandchild needed to spend more time with the parents – which we believe to be the root cause – but there was also clearly manipulation from somewhere. We were foolish and paid a terrible, excruciating, price. We still don’t know what happened. The three people who might, have cut us off – namely our child, spouse and MIL. Our child’s spouse claimed they had been sexually abused as a child – and therefore had to report me.
      I have suffered with inherited depression from my parents most of my life. This event has broken something in my soul that I’m afraid I will not recover from in this life.

      • #38159


        I’m so sorry to hear your experiences. I know that you’ve settled on a “reason” that puts the blame on you. Maybe you did “overfunction” as you say (that’s not for me to judge!), but I can’t help thinking that many parents are naive and make mistakes … and their children remain close and kind and work toward independence because they want to mature and grow up and be independent.

        I know that kids today do seem to grow up later than when a lot of the people in this forum were coming up, but there’s no excuse to bite the hands that have fed you and loved you and helped you.

        I’m so sorry…. Please take good care of yourself, MeMyselfAndI. I wish I had better words right now.

        Sheri McGregor

    • #38049

      Hi…my name is “Marina” and my 30 year old daughter has been estranged from me for the last 11 years. I have cried oceans and oceans…I have pleaded..begged…apologized for whatever I did…..sent meaningful gifts..books…photo albums..things from her childhood and still nothing. She told me that it will take her 4 more years to get over the “thing” I did to her but she can’t tell me what it is…so now I will have to wait 15 years total I guess. She sees a psychologist and I asked if I could go and meet her psychologist and try to start a reconciliation…she answered two weeks later with an “I’ll think about it” text message and then nothing. She is getting married two months from today. I do NOT want to go to her wedding…I do NOT want to humiliate myself in front of her father and his family by being at that wedding when everyone knows she has nothing to do with me. My other daughter says she wants me to go because it’s the right thing. I have had nothing to do with this wedding and I am the mother of the bride. I don’t know what her ring looks like or her wedding dress…I received an invitation in the mail just like all of the other guests. She lives 3000 miles away from me and her wedding is 3000 miles away. I am going but I don’t want to..not under these circumstances. My other daughter said she has NO idea what this could all be about. They were raised in the same household and had the same mother and my other daughter loves me more than anything and we have a very close relationship. No one gets to know “what I did”…no one. I am happy I can be in this group. I can’t cry anymore…I’ve cried everyday for 11 years. There are no more tears in there. Thanks for reading this.

      • #38158

        Dear Bluemarina,

        What your daughter has asked of you … Well, I know that I’m not the only one who would read your note and feel as if she has done you wrong. To hold back this unknown thing for 11 years, and then tell you she’ll tell you in 4 more years seems an abusive use of control.

        If you are going to the wedding, please take care of yourself. Perhaps you and your daughter that you are going with can make an exit plan? That way if it gets to be too emotionally distressing, you will have a way out.

        Sheri McGregor

    • #38081

      Hello, I have been on this site for months reading everyone’s stories. As soon as I think I have a handle on this estrangement thing, I go two steps back. My heart aches and the tears flow. This week it is one year since I saw my daughter and her family. It did take a few more months for her to cut us out completely. Looking back, I think this decision of hers was already in the works. I don’t know what I/we did. She doesn’t answer calls or texts and neither does her husband. I am at a loss. I don’t know much except that it hurts!

      • #38157


        Welcome to the forum. I know you’ve been reading for a bit, but I think this is your first post. Just wanted to say that you are among so many who feel that get a handle on it all and then wham..two steps back. I know how hard it can be. You CAN though, give yourself a cue to stop … and then step back toward the light (oh, that sounds weird, but you know what I mean). Oh go ahead and cry a bit if you need to, but then gather yourself up, fix your face and be beautiful YOU.
        Sheri McGregor

    • #38092

      Welcome to all of you new members. I am sorry that so many of you had to join this club, but happy you found this site and Sheri’s book. I joined last year and have been mostly estranged from my son for 26 months now. Many of our stories are similar and you will learn so much from these wise woman. I am now at the point where I would have a hard time welcoming him back into my life. There is a long history of abusive behavior. I retired early to take care of granddaughter and had her ripped away at 6 months old and have never met my 10 month old grandson. They have been used as pawns in his game and that’s the part that really hurts. I know many of you have grandchildren that you miss and worry about. I feel I am lucky that the grandkids don’t know or remember me because at least they aren’t wondering about me. I have been in therapy and stay active. I also took a mindful meditation course it did help. I am also lucky to have a loving husband and son. I wish you all peace and happiness. Love and Hugs to you all and Happy Thanksgiving. I will be praying for us all.

    • #38111

      Hi, so grateful I found a group to join and to read or converse. I relate to many stories. It is a pain that won’t quit. I have lost my daughter and 3 of my grandchildren. It has been 3 1/2 years. My son, left us at the same time with 2 more of my grandchildren. He came back for a year and a year ago he texted and said he is done with our games. Neither will respond to any reaching out. My daughter rants and rages when she feels the need. I’m shocked that estrangement exists. I have 1 son who stood up to the other 2 and they are estranged from him! My family and all I stood for has fallen apart . He married in 2013 with everyone in the wedding being family. He has brought us a sweet granddaughter and we have a grandson arriving in late April. That has helped me quite a bit, but I still grieve for my other 2 children and my 5 grandchildren estranged. It is hateful, hurtful, shocking, painful. Every day or week my mood fluctuates. I cannot Believe what I have lost. I will be reading and learning from others on this site and pray I can make a difference to others in my situation. I just ordered Sheri’s book and look forward to her advice. May Peace find you!

      • #38156

        Dear Peace,

        Welcome to the site, and do jump in elsewhere. Something you said struck me … and that is that everything you stood for fell apart. You know, I completely understand that feeling. But your peaceful being comes through here … you stand for something beautiful. i can feel it in your words!

        Sheri McGregor

    • #38161

      So many new members…I hope you will forgive me for not responding to every note. Please, join the threaded discussions (those who haven’t yet). You will find many wonderful supportive people here. The introductory thread sometimes gets overlooked…

      Hugs to all the parents who are hurting.

      Sheri McGregor

    • #38162

      Hi everyone. I am kelmel323. I am new here. My daughter left us this summer when she was “brainwashed” by an awful person. She now accuses me of hellacious things and has no contact with the other kids at home. She talks to my oldest now and that is it. She has reached out to the grandparents but only for money. She was my “angel” and my “sunshine” her entire life. She met this girl and the entire world changed. People think I am out of my mind to say she is brainwashed in large part because she is so smart, but even my counselor says that the girl acts like a cult leader. Worse than that, my kids have too much pride to ever admit they were wrong, so she will probably stay in that relationship forever or die trying to leave. We had new family pictures taken and I hung them up last night because I couldn’t take seeing her in them multiple times a day. Then my youngest one sees them this morning and tells me she wants her sister back. I have no words. I had been doing rather well finally (the summer I was a terrible mess) and in large part because I have gone back to school. However, this week has already been terrible and it’s not even close to being over. I am happy to be somewhere that people understand. I am on this terrifying roller coaster that I can’t stop so I need others to talk to. My husband is great, but he doesn’t understand at all. He thinks that she was going to leave anyways, so what does it matter. Of course, he was not blamed for anything, everything, and imaginary things like I was. For some reason, the girl who is now my daughter-in-law targeted all of her hate on me. She made legal threats, DCF threats, crazy threats, etc. She convinced my daughter of so many things that aren’t true. Anyways, I am really hoping that I can find some comfort and support here. I am pretty much alone even when I have a family around me- it is just hard for me to appreciate them because I am too busy hurting for the one who hates me. Thank you for taking the time to hear some of my story.

    • #38207

      I am a mother with two estranged sons, my only children. Despite the years it has only gotten more difficult. Pain on top of pain. I’m not a mother anymore. Just in name only. I’ve missed a wedding, and I have a granddaughter. All these pivotal moments I’ve missed, at times it’s hard to cope with the grief I constantly feel.

    • #38217

      Hello everyone, 👋
      It’s 9-years-ago since my son cut me out of his life. He used my divorcing his father as the opportunity, but the writing was on the wall before then. When he met his wife’s (then girlfriend) family several years before that, they showered him with gifts at Christmas (more expensive than ours) even though they had only been seeing each other for 5-weeks! 😮 Her mother worked part time and welcomed people home with warm smiles and hot food (I was a career woman, so he drove my BMW in the evening, but I got home after him). I regularly heard how wonderful the girl’s mother was, and his father heard how wonderful her father was. My son has had a love of money and expensive things since childhood, so it was all working out beautifully for him. Significantly, the girl’s family lived around the corner from us. They moved in together and moved 200 miles away. They would visit her family for the weekend and not even tell us they were in the area. Since their car was parked outside the house, I passed it on my way home, so knew when he was there. On Mother’s day, he would come to see me with flowers and a card, telling me “hurry-up” if I was in the middle of something because he had to get back to take his girl’s mother out for lunch! 😯 You get the picture.

      Anyway, he dropped me like a hot stone when I left his father, and started a new relationship. He has kept contact with his father as he didn’t want the divorce or start a new relationship, so I guess he lacked an excuse to drop him, but he apparently doesn’t make a great deal of effort to see him. By this time they were married and there was a 1-year-old grandson. Since then, there have been 2 more grandchildren that I have heard on the grapevine!

      When he first cut me off, I was devastated. It hit me like a train and I grieved for several years. Invariably, at some point on Christmas day afternoon, I would just go to bed for the rest of the day and cry. Mother’s day had me in pieces. Then, after maybe 6 years, I started to feel angry with my son as there is no good reason for him to treat me like this. I shrugged off the sense of shame that
      I had been carrying and recognised that his actions were those of a selfish little shit. Since then I have gradually felt better. Most of the time, I’m fine with the situation. So one thing I want to say here is IT DOES GET BETTER. You are not just their parent, you are a valuable person in your own right and some adult children are just not nice people.

      Now that I’m strong again, I hope I can sometimes offer help to others here.

    • #38218

      Hi. I am the mom to 3 kids. I am currently estranged from my 2 adult daughters. After their dad died, I gave them everything. Money, gifts, vacations. One year ago, I moved to New york to be near my aging parents -and that is when the estrangement happened. It was,a gut wrenching awful time. I work in Social work and have began working on my PHD in Psychology. It has been eye opening, learning about behavior and what motivates it. I know from my professional career the scary road my daughters are on.

    • #38229

      Hi, I have 3 EC and 3 ESC. My 3 EC consist of 2 girls, one 44 married w/ no children, one 38 w/2 children, 1 boy 21 in the Army National Guard and a girl in nursing school. My ES is married but seperated for several years for his convicted felon drug addict wife and living with his fiance. He has 5 children by 3 girls. The oldest lives w/ his mom. He is 14. The children by his wife, boy 13, girl 11, and boy 9 he has custody of. He and his fiance have a 4 year old girl. We had all been very close up until about 18 yrs ago when my husband announce he was in love with another woman. When I told him it was probably a mid life crisis, he laughed at me and said it was finally the real thing. He wanted to continue to live with us but travel with his work to be with her. I told him to get out. I found out my son had known for months because my husband had confided in him. My son was 14. After that things whirled out of control. My oldest daughter was living with us started getting in trouble with my son. She broke down my truck. The only transportation we had left. She refused to work and help pay for things. After a while I went out on a date and my estranged husband had been watching the house so after my date left, he followed him and threatened to kill him. Then a came back to the house kicked open doors and then tried to choke me to death. My son came running down the stairs with a knife.
      I called an ambulance and filed abuse charges. They picked him up 2 days later. My kids have resented my new husband for some reason. Even though he came in and rescued me. He paid to get utilities turned on, gave me a car to drive and bought food to eat until I could get food stamps. We are still together married 17 years.
      The kids don’t see how he helped me stayed by my side. They say I’ve changed. A trauma like that changes a person. Plus,my husband lead me to the Lord. This has changed my life in every way!!
      I don’t talk to my EDs at all. My son texts occasionally.
      I have chosen to WILL nothing to anyone of them.

    • #38282

      Hi, Artist55

      Yours is such a heartbreaking story … But you’ve come through it intact, by all accounts. Congratulations and WELCOME 😉


    • #38344

      Hi Everyone,

      I’m so amazed that I stumbled across this site. I didn’t want to believe I was the only one living with this situation, so I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I was married at 20, my daughter born when I was 22, then divorced two years later. I never remarried, and my daughter and I were so close; until she turned 13. What I thought was a normal teenage phase got worse and now is a full-blown hatred of mom. It’s been 20 years this year that she and I haven’t had a good relationship. It still hurts a little, but not nearly as much as it did in the past. I have a happy life, good friends and to be honest, feel it’s time to close the door on the relationship with my daughter. It’s an incessant barrage of cruel comments and actions. It feels like she’s retaliating for something she felt I did or didn’t do, but which goes unexpressed so can’t be resolved. I’m at the point where I need to drop my definition of what a mother/daughter relationship should be like and let her go.

    • #38352

      Hello. I have been a member for more than a year but just now introducing myself. My ED was adopted from a foreign country when she was 3 months old. It was one of the happiest days of my life when she arrived because I always wanted a daughter. We already had a cherished biological son, ED was a cheerful, happy child who did well in school and was a delight to parent. She had every opportunity to blossom and grow and we were a happy family.

      However, she was always a bit jealous of our son. He really excelled in school and has gone on to have a terrific career. When she was 32 she decided she wanted nothing further to do with us.
      At first, I thought it was sudden and out of nowhere but upon reflection, I remember some snide comments, a few eye rolls, and some very nasty glances before she called us aside one visit and told us we needed to get into therapy and change before she could ever come back. After that visit we tried to communicate by email but she declared I “crossed some boundaries” and I never heard from her again.

      That was 20 months ago and she has ignored all my emails. I have sent her cheerful emails about every 2-3 months but I’m through with that. Somewhere along the line she even blocked her younger sister on Instagram which really hurt her feelings. She’s only 15. She does communicate rarely with her brother but they have not had a face to face meeting in about 3 years or longer.

      My doctor has encouraged me to go to a therapist but I can’t bring myself to open up about something so personal. Nobody knows about this except one stepdaughter I feel particularly close to. But none of us are remotely close geographically which makes is particularly difficult.

      I did have her written out of my will and her father and I decided we would not even let her know when one of us dies. She obviously doesn’t give a damn about either one of us.

      For the first 6 to 12 months I cried at the drop of a pin. I didn’t trust myself in public so I simply stayed home. I worried how this affected my younger daughters so I pulled myself together and decided to just deal with it. Pain turned to anger and now I’m in the resignation phase.

      But the Holidays are particularly difficult. I usually decorate the tree with the kids’ school pictures and old art projects. This year I have decided to gather all ED’s pictures and papers, etc and put them in a folder. I’ve instructed my husband to send the folder to her some time after my death simply to show her how much I cherished her and how I kept every little bit of her I could. I want to do this because she somehow thinks I never loved her as much as her brother. That simply is not true.

      I never realized how wide-spread this problem of estranged adult children is until I started doing some research. I even found out an online friend was going through the same thing with her daughter adopted from the same country! I’m hoping this group will help me cope and I can somehow help others adjust to the new normal that is our lives.


      • #39245

        Dear blindsided,

        I’m very sorry that your adopted daughter has chosen to cut ties with you. Her decisions do not detract from the love you gave, and the kindness of adopting a child who needed you.

        I’ve recently been reading some research about children adopted from foreign countries wherein their very early days were spent somewhat emotionally deprived, and how many of these children seem to have issues with emotional reading of other people. This seems to hinder them in relationships as they go through school, etc. I wonder if estrangement from their families is common in adulthood? Thank you for posting, because this gives other parents who may be in very similar situations to see that they are not the only ones.

        Your plan for the holidays sounds like one that will perhaps be helpful to you this year. If everything’s in a folder, you can always retrieve them if you feel the need to at a later point. The holidays bring out so many traditions that have been meaningful, and now require change.

        Hugs to you. Please take good care. I hope you will join some of the other threads. These introduction topics sometimes get ignored–and it’s nothing personal. You will be welcomed and supported in the regular discussions!

        Sheri McGregor

    • #38366

      Hello from a Restless Mum who longs to be reunited with her daughter. Many unhappy events have lead to this loss most of which have been deeply unsettling for all my children. The death of their father in very difficult circumstances seemed to be the event that sparked a series of events leading to this now 2 year loss. I call it a loss as I struggle to know if it is estrangement or just missing and lost. All children deal with death of a parent differently and my three children were testament to this fact. My missing daughter tried to play the in-between mediator between her father, their step mother, her brother and sister and myself. Unfortunately my other two children had very strong feelings about adverse events unfolding around the death of their father brought about by their step-mother. They chose not to abide by her wishes nor accommodate her game playing behaviour that tore at their emotions. My daughter lost tried desperately to accommodate all but this was a task that was larger than the ocean. A task that took more than it gave. The end result was a daughter who disappeared after the funeral for a long 8 months. Eight months of not knowing where she was – lost in the wilderness. A letter then arrived from her to me in which she explained her struggle with coming to terms with her fathers death. The struggle she had in not being able to be by his side when passed away due to the step-mothers intervention in preventing his children from being there whilst at the same time telling them they were terrible children for not caring. The struggle she had with trying to understand her sisters needs but not being able to fulfil them. The struggle she felt for my own emotions as I watched the father of my children pass away whilst being the ‘divorced’ ex-wife. Too much for anyone to bear such burdens. Anyway after the letter an email came shortly afterwards stating “Mum I’m not well I need to come home”. I cry as I write these words today as they bring such pain. I had her on a plane the following day and home where she stayed for 8 months. These were eight months where we did our most intensive talking and sharing – as two adults. On mothers day she gave me a card in which she wrote about coming to know me for the person I truely was rather than just a ‘mother’ figure. But at the same time she was not well struggling mentally. I kept a round the clock vigil watching out for her. She decided to attend a counsellor whom to this day I question her ethics. But she was an adult and I had no right to say who she should or should not seek support from. Later she decided she wanted to go back to where she was living prior to coming back home. This was a decision that left a lump in my throat and a pain in my chest as it was so far away. But again she was an adult and needed to make her own decisions. I have written about the trip to the airport in a poem for it was a trip I can still recall every detail of, every emotion, every gesture. I felt something was not right all the way and as I left I cried buckets of tears all the way home. I am not really sure how I made it home really driving a car in such a state. Then the first indication came with a text that asked for space to allow her to sort things out. Then silence. Deafening silence then become anxiety and deep worry leading to my own investigations of her whereabouts. This lead to discovering that she had left the place she had intended on living and was not longer in contact with anyone there. This act of discovery was heartbreaking. Images of my daughter wandering around lost flooded my mind. My other daughter sent out SOS emails and texts begging her to just let us know she was alright. Silence. Silence and not knowing is what kills your soul. It buries itself deep into your heart where it tears away at you generating all sorts of symptoms both physical and emotional. Never did I think I would be a mother reporting a lost children to the police but suddenly that was me. Never did I think I would have the police searching my house for anything that might help them in their search. Such invasive procedures in order to provide something to the one holding onto hope that their loved one is found alive. Time passed like a grinding machine coming to a halt whilst at the same time flying past too fast. If only I could turn back the clock hold onto her tell her all will be well we love you and just need you back with us. Time also brought with it news that she was ‘found’ but did not want her whereabouts made know. Time has brought a phone call from an unknown number saying “I love you but I just need more time”. Time has brought about so many challenges that at times I do not believe I can continue on. But time is also bringing about an ability to ‘put my costume’ on each day and return to work, smiling to look like all is well when underneath there is only pain, strategies to avoid talking about my children because I cannot answer the questions, strategies to deal with the comments that try to lay blame upon my lap or upon her lap. But most of all a deep desire to remain open to her. To wake up each day and tell her I love her so deeply and that my only wish is for her to return – the door is open my dearest one – if only she hears this wish. I refuse to be angry for my heart must remain open if she happens to appear on my doorstep. I must be able to embrace her and hold her with the love she deserves. Thus, this site is the only one I have managed to find that embraces such qualities. I have read other forums of estranged children and found the anger so very difficult. I cannot and will not go there. Never will I be angry with her. Never will I refuse her. I know there will be work to do if she choses to come back home but that work will take bucket loads of love. In the meantime I am a restless Mum with a restless and broken heart that just seeks some solace and understanding of all that has taken place without blame or guilt.
      Thank you for welcoming me into this space Sheri.

    • #38371

      Bless you, Restless. Dear, dear, brave, gentle woman and mother: ‘Thank you for sharing this amazing story of perseverance and unconditional love’. Welcome to our forum. May you find comfort and encouragement here. May you find strength and courage.

      Bless you, Blindsided. Generous, selfless soul. Welcome. You rescued her from the tragedy of being born during troubled times in a country that couldn’t offer what you gave so courageously. May you find peace in this forum. May you find support as you turn another page.

    • #38395

      Thank you Simplifyplease for your kind and gentle words. Thank you for welcoming me into this space of holding. Holding onto hope.

    • #38461

      I am new to the forum but not to rejection. My ED simply doesn’t want us in her life. We were great parents who loved her unconditionally. We would have given up our lives for her but this now. I have cried a river of tears. She was so wanted and loved. Why would a person turn their back on parents who love them?

    • #38481

      If we had the answer to that, Sasha7133, we would probably all sleep a whole lot better at night. But, as Sheri says in her book … we have to stop asking that. For the sake of our own sanity, we just have to stop asking. I do hope you’re not still feeding that river with your tears? Whatever the case, you have come to the right place. This forum is full of supportive women with a wealth of experience in this horrible pandemic called ‘parent rejection’. You will be able to relate to many of the introductory stories, and find comfort in the conversations taking place under a veritable treasure trove of topics. Blessings …

    • #38523

      Dear Sasha7133

      Our adult children make their own decisions in life and often the path they choose is very different from ours.

      Welcome to our forum. You have come to a very comforting and safe place.


    • #38598

      I have been a victim of PAS from my four children. At the time of the divorce, they were 17, 13, 12, and 9; all boys. That was about 4 years ago. The estrangement from my sons started very early and I simply was way to naive to see the patterns that would now leave me heartbroken and completely at a loss of having a loving relationship with my children. Every divorce has two sides of the story, and I realize that there are parts that I too own for the problems between myself and my ex-wife. I finally was at a point of emptiness and rejection in the marriage. I was an outsider in my own family, and everything slipped away quickly. My pain was great, and I experienced what I refer to as being in a very dark place. I found myself crying every night, unable to sleep and would awake hyperventilating. I finally sought help from a therapist and was prescribed anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication. This helped, but I continued to be ridiculed in my own home, which was being foreclosed upon, my children and wife made me the source of everything going wrong and I was the “joke” to all involved. One morning, I sat at a restaurant, which was my morning routine before work, and sobbed. A friend happened to call me that morning, and I confided in her my anguish and struggles. She too had her own struggles and we both felt we lacked a sense of belonging. We continued supporting one another and we soon began having feelings for each another. Bottom line, my wife left me long before I found someone who made me feel valued, but on the outside, and probably in everyone else eyes, I was the one who failed and ran into the arms of another woman; I will own that without making excuses. Others who wish to judge me will simply have to do so not knowing all the other variables that were very real to me, my emotions and my feelings of self-worth.

      The divorce was a nightmare and I was the brunt of unbelievably hurtful actions by each of my children. I tried so hard to fight through the pain. The journey was even worse. It started with a mediator, who “pulled the plug” due to resistance from my ex. The mediator suggested counseling. I contacted my Employee Assistance Program and was referred to a counselor who after 4 sessions indicated he felt the children were so entrenched and that they were so filled with information that they should not even have been told about by my ex that he was unable to assist and therefore he recommended pursuing a GAL. I obtained a GAL with the courts help and the GAL recommended a Child Custody Study. The Child Custody Study exposed my ex wife’s contribution to the children’s enmeshment and their alienation issues toward me. The person who conducted the Child Custody Study recommended several things, one being the use of a Parent Coordinator. It took 4 months before the Parent Coordinator could finally get my ex to schedule the required initial joint meeting and the only way this happened is by the Parent Coordinator reaching out to her attorney to nudge her into scheduling the meeting. The Parent Coordinator quickly experienced the resistance and she too was quickly beginning to question her abilities to assist. However, as an option, the Parent Coordinator recommended another resource that would eventually provide programming for the children, but required a prerequisite for myself and my ex in working with someone to improve our parenting relationship. At the final divorce hearing, language was written into the agreement requiring that we adhere to any recommendations made by the Parent Coordinator, and this I hope will promote some degree of follow through which was a huge concern I had, and proved true as the Parent Coordinator eventually resigned as a result of the resistance and my ex’s unwillingness to agree to any recommendations made by the Parent Coordinator, which we both agreed to due in the final divorce agreement.

      When I entered into a contract with the GAL, I made a commitment that I would follow any recommendations made on behalf of my children and their best interest. Because the children have such hatred toward me, and our visit (as minimum as they were) were filled with actions both verbally and physically which were hurtful, it was recommended that my visits stop until we can build a healthier relationship for my children and myself. My children would say things like “we/I hate you”, “we/I don’t need you”, “we wish you were dead and didn’t have to see you ever again.” My 17 year old son has told me to send him a postcard from hell (which I think comes from lyrics of a Bruno Mars song) and that he wanted me to know that when I died, no one would come to my funeral. The list goes on and on. They would try to do things physically hurtful too, like push me down, trip me when walking down stairs, throw things at me when not looking; rocks and soccer balls, and kick me when trying to play games.

      There were other issues; one that truly created much anger. When I had scheduled visits with my kids, she would cancel or refuse me my visits from time to time. One time she used a situation that was way over dramatized and then made claims about “she just didn’t feel safe”. I realize that this is one of those things about “she said, he said”…but I promise, for whatever it is worth…there is not a dangerous bone in my body. I recall one situation where I waited and waited for her to drop off my kids for a visit on a Saturday. She never showed and never responded to my calls or texts. Yet, the next day, a Sunday, while at a festival, there she was, with all four of my kids and her attorney, living it up.

      When I first started meeting with the Parent Coordinator, she helped me to understand PAS. She gave me the book, Divorce Poison, and as I read it, over and over, so many things made sense. On one hand, I am having a hard time coping with the fact that I was so weak as a man and allowed it to all happen, and it was something that started years and years before there was even a hint of divorce (however, I always had an instinctual and subconscious feeling in the back of my mind that divorce was not a “if she would file for divorce”, I think subconsciously I always had the instinctual “gut feeling” of “when would she file, how long will she wait to finally pull that plug”.)

      I need help, as I miss my children desperately. I attend school events, like concerts, plays and P/T conferences just so I can see them or find out how they are doing. My calls to talk to them are unanswered. I send “thinking of you” cards in the mail every week, but I don’t even know if they received them.
      Is there any hope? …so many people tell me that I should just let them go and someday they will realize what was being done and come back to me. My optimism in this concept is low as I know first hand the control she has on my children, and how very sheltered they are socially. My heart breaks every time I go out and see dads with their children and wonder why can’t I experience some of that parental joy. Perhaps this is G-d’s way of punishing me for running into the arms of another woman. But, for the first time, I am with someone who values me, makes me feel important and worthy and has given me a reason to believe that love exists, that it isn’t just some fictional thing that make for greal movies.

    • #38618

      Hi, Rugby

      Welcome! You’ll find may, many stories here of divorce being the beginning of estrangement from children. Most of us have been rejected by adult children, but the seeds were often sown when they were much younger – at the time of the divorce.

      Whether you’re a father or a mother, the pain is the same. I know that because the father of my three children is estranged from his two youngest, and it has broken his heart. The eldest recently severed ties with me, his mother. He’s in his 40s, and it has been brewing for more than half his life.

      It was brave of you to disclose the reasons for your divorce – and it is brave of you to join the forum as a man. You have the insight and the determination to survive this, as I’m sure you will.

      Simplifyplease [from the rugby nation of South Africa, even if it is in the doldrums right now 😉 Bet you’re from Oz or NZ?]

      • #39530

        Hello Simplify Please and Rugby and all Moms on this thread,

        I don’t mean to single out specific people but wanted to respond specifically to the comments about divorce often being the catalyst. In my “introduce yourself” statements I did not mention that I was married for 27 years to a verbally/psychologically controlling husband. However, we managed to hold it together without drama in front of the kids (no yelling, arguing, physical abuse) and I realize kids pick up on the nuances but we were committed to co-existing for the sake of the children. My ex had his own life and I had mine. We dined together as a family every night and attended church together every Sunday where we were very involved as a family, but he treated me with disdain, controlled all the money (I worked full time and just handed over my paycheck to him each week). I was given a pittance of an allowance and had to have a pre-authorized check in order to buy groceries. We were married for 8 years before children; our oldest diagnosed with cerebral palsy at about 6 months of age; a daughter just a year and a half younger then the tag-along son born 5 years after our daughter. NO ONE ever suspected the disrespectful, controlling stuff going on in our home. He continually pointed the finger at me for any little thing that went wrong. I was not “allowed” an opinion differing from his or was labeled as insubordinate! One day in my desperation to figure out what was truly wrong (was it ME after all?) I came across a definition of borderline personality…it fit him to a tee! I began seeing a counselor for myself; and we actually started seeing a marriage counselor together (I think we went to 3 or 4 different ones as he would reject the counselor’s suggestions and that would infuriate him), this was at about year 20 of our marriage. Boy could he schmooze with the counselor. Anyhow…counseling didn’t work because he lied constantly. For the last decade of our marriage he knew of my frustration but knew he had me over a barrel…you don’t take a multi-handicapped child and two others and just move out. He threatened that if I ever tried to move out he would “ruin my life..” In the end (in 2000, my ex sued ME for divorce saying I was having an affair, which was a ridiculous, unfounded lie. In fact he was having an affair. I just wanted out and didn’t fare too well with the settlement, but I had a wonderful support system through my church who helped me with bills, etc.

        During the later years of our marriage and after the divorce, my ex showed concern and attention only for our disabled child. He used him like a badge of honor, taking him everywhere, restaurante, shopping to the zoo even starting going to a different church alone with our son and just ate up all the “wow, what a great Dad you are” comments. It was pathetic. He showed less and less interest in our daughter and younger son. My daughter (now estranged) was the ideal young lady you dream of when you first hold this beautiful, blue-eyed wonder in your arms at birth. Had all she needed to make herself the professional success she is today. Younger son struggled as his Dad totally neglected him just as he was turning 13 and needed his Dad. My ex lived only a few blocks from us but made no effort to attend sports activities, help when my youngest son got involved in drugs and ended up getting kicked out of high school. In the meantime, our disabled son was placed in a wonderful group home, also in our neighborhood, about 4 months after the divorce.

        Sorry this is so long. But all this to say, perhaps the anger and venom coming in the form of my ED began with the abandonment of her father. (He found a work-around to avoid paying child support, not one penny towards her 4-year college tuition, etc.) Anyhow, he died 3 years ago of cancer. He never made any effort to reach out to my daughter or youngest son to “set things right” before his death. So, I see the correlation between the horrible relationship with a father who almost seemed to delight in being estranged from his 2 youngest children. Before things totally fell apart between my ED and me, we had long conversations about my struggles in the marriage and the pressure to keep the family in tact. She seemed to understand more the dynamics and how it had nothing to do with her. We often talked as we made the long journey to her college 8 hrs from home.

        My ED is in the process of divorcing her husband of 10 years (2 little children) as she declared in June that she is gay. Even though my husband & I (her step-Dad who has been more like a Dad than my ex) supported her coming out, she cut us off without explanation. At one point in response to her verbal abuse we said “What have we done to offend you?” (no response of course). She has made it clear that she alone will initiate contact with me. She has sent 2 inflammatory emails threatening me that if I talk with anyone except a counselor about this, I will have no contact with the grandchildren, whom we adore and have a VERY close relationship with (ages 5 & 2 1/2). Fortunately our son-in-law is close to us and will arrange a facetime with the g’kids when he has them about once every 2 weeks.

        My ED did text us on Thanksgiving day and offered the opportunity to facteime with the g’kids. It was a lovely conversation –about 10 minutes, But as I’ve been advised in another thread, I am resisting the urge to reach out to her with a Christmas card, that I need to show my respect of her very clear statement to NOT CONTACT her.

        This is so long and I apologize for that, but often the details make the difference. I don’t want to make it look like I’m hiding anything, but I want to be fair to those of you who will take the time to read this and know that you can give me your very best advice after hearing details that may help you assess and help me along.

        Blessings to you all, especially during this Christmas season as we struggle with finding peace.


    • #38727

      So grateful to have found this website of information, support, and caring among a group of parents facing the entrancement of a child/children. I have been scanning the forum, reading your stories, and decided to join. This is so comforting. Thank you.

    • #38770

      Hi, I am brand new to this site and format of speaking to complete strangers about such personal family issues. I am pretty much broken at this point and am seeking counseling to try to get through it. My oldest of 3 grown children and his wife (recently about 4 months ago ) decided to estranged from his entire family. I have not only lost contact from him but also my 2 lovely grandchildren whom my husband and I adore. It is especially hard right now , having just gone through Thanksgiving without them and the upcoming Christmas season is coming soon. I have decided this year, I am only going to put up a few lights and things outside for decorations and forego all of the holiday decorating inside due to the crisis mode I am in and the memories that will reappear if I put them up. I haven’t seen or spoken to them except for a few ugly texts that I have received from them in 4 months. I never in a million years expected to go through this as I raised all of my children in a very loving , caring, and Christian family. My daughter in law has also cut her family off and doesn’t want anything from them as well. Her family lives in a different country so it is hard to speak to them as well as communicate due to the language barriers but we have been able to let each other know of what has happened , and we are all confused, upset, and feel hopeless!
      I would be open to any suggestions for a pathway of healing .
      Thank you !

    • #38771

      I am hoping to start healing after connecting to those on here.

    • #38784

      Hi, I’m new here. I’ve been reading a few stories and posts for a couple of weeks now and decided to introduce myself.

      I’ve been estranged from my 25 yo ED for over 3 years now, her choice. Long story too.

      I feel like I’ve come full-circle through all the stages of grief and am finding myself somewhere between depression and acceptance. The problem is; not a single day goes by that I don’t think about her. Not a second. Every moment, holiday, accomplishment, event, dinner, etc. I think of her and how to mend that bridge. I think of ways I could apologize, what I would say, I write letters in my head all day long. My desire to mend this or make amends is relentless, although I very rarely cry about it anymore.

      I have continued to live my life, as I had little choice, although there have been many times I wanted to curl up and die, but I had to keep going. I have two younger children, and I kept going for them.

      Anyway, that is all I have right now. I’m just stuck and have so many questions, and my story is so long and convoluted, I feel I can’t properly convey it. I am looking for the peace that comes from acceptance. My anger, shock, and questioning why have all dissipated. I deeply love and miss my daughter, I would give anything to make it right again, but accept that I will never have that chance.

    • #38848

      Welcome, Wishitwasbetter, RoxyGirl and Sharing: If only we could be meeting under happier circumstances.

      Have you read Sheri’s book? It’s a HUGE help. It really, really is … That’s because it was written by someone who has been through this and understands. All the practical steps she took and heard about from others when she conducted the research are not only encouraging – they help you to unpack your feelings, which is difficult when you’re all alone with horrible negative thoughts buzzing around in your head.

      Hugs all round,

    • #38888

      Hello and thank you for accepting me to your forum.
      I am really sad to be able to join this group.
      I lost my eldest son to Suicide (aged 36) in August 2016.
      My other son (aged 34) and his wife didn’t like my grieving. On Christmas Day my DIL called me a manipulative liar due to me being forgetful in my grief (4 months after my sons Suicide)
      From then it went down hill with lots of accusations from them. My DIL told my son I hated baby sitting my grand children, she said I bad mouthed her to the family, she said I told her that her family were not welcome at my home. None of this is true, but my son believed his wife.
      I have tried defending myself from the accusations, I’ve apologised for my grieving of 1st born son, I’ve apologised for my parenting, telling him I did the best I could. I asked him to rise above the lies, and that I love him and my grand children.
      His reply is stop lying and get psychological help.
      I have had counselling, I haven’t lied. I am at the end of my tether and it’s killing me.
      I have 3 beautiful grand children who I have no access to any more. I send them gifts and have no idea if they get them or if they are thrown away.
      I sent a beautiful gift and card when baby number 3 was born in September. I did not receive any thanks and had to message my son to make sure he actually got it. I got a photo of the new baby from my sister!!
      I am struggling big time and am about to attend Heal My Life to try and help me deal with all the losses in my life

      • #39239

        Dear FreetoGoodHome,

        Welcome to the forum. Please join the other threads…sometimes those in the welcome and introduction threads get overlooked, and I know there are others here who want to support you!

        I’m so sorry for the loss of your one son, and then the estrangement. You did/do have a right to grieve, and it pains me to think that others wouldn’t allow this.

        Please take good care. I’m not sure what “Heal my life” is, but if you did attend, I hope it was helpful to you.

        Sheri McGregor

    • #38934

      Hello, I am new to the forum but have been a little hesitant to introduce myself as I have been struggling with actually putting down my situation into words as it makes it so much more real to me and I knew that as I write I would cry a lot.

      I have two adult children and they are both estranged from me. I don’t really know why…my son told me a couple of weeks back that I should know why and if I don’t know why then it is because it isn’t important to me. My daughter is kicking me out of her house because she doesn’t like the man I had been living with in another state. I moved to the state where my daughter is now in order to be near her and my grandson. She wanted me to come as well, so I spent all my savings to come over here and leave the man I was with to be near her. I moved in with her so that I could get myself established in this new place I moved to and find a job and a place to live, however I soon found out that her boyfriend doesn’t like me, which I did not know before, and he has turned her against me, now they are kicking me out and I have no place to go, no money as I have no job and have spent my savings to get here to be with her. They are changing the locks as I write this and I will be sleeping in my car until I can find a job and a place that I can afford. She told me that I am toxic to her family and that I can forget about ever being a part of their life again. She said that since I am still talking to the man I was living with and trying to remain together with him, that I had my priorities mixed up and that I was no longer welcome. She wants me to leave him completely and put her and the baby as first in my life and have no man in my life.

      I raised my kids by myself as my ex was mentally abusive to all of us, so we divorced when the kids where very young. I did the best I could under the circumstances, and made sure that we had what we needed, spent all my time with them, and never dated while raising them until they were grown and out of the house. I have also suffered with depression during all those years and went to counseling, so I learned to cope. Their father was never a part of their lives as he always made excuses for not coming to see them.

      It hurts enough that I don’t have either one of my kids in my life, but now I will lose my grandson as well. That tears me up to the worst place deep inside me. And with the holidays coming up, I am deeply emotional and with so much uncertainty. I don’t even know if I should buy them gifts for their birthdays and holidays and I am tired of feeling less than. I have been walking on tip toes around both of them for years and it is wearing me down.

      • #39241

        Dear Cherry,

        welcome to the forum. I’m so sorry to hear of all your troubles…you mentioned walking on your toes for many years, and I just imagine that being very painful for you.

        There are many parents who tell me of similar stories where they follow their adult children who have asked them to move, and once they’ve done so, the sons or daughters have a change of heart. I’m so very sorry!

        I’m sorry this welcome is late in coming…these welcome/introduction topics sometimes get overlooked. Feel free to join the other threads, where most of the discussion occurs.

        Sheri McGregor

      • #39240

        Dear Cherry,

        welcome to the forum. I’m so sorry to hear of all your troubles…you mentioned walking on your toes for many years, and I just imagine that being very painful for you.

        There are many parents who tell me of similar stories where they follow their adult children who have asked them to move, and once they’ve done so, the sons or daughters have a change of heart. I’m so very sorry!

        I’m sorry this welcome is late in coming…these welcome/introduction topics sometimes get overlooked. Feel free to join the other threads, where most of the discussion occurs.

        Sheri McGregor

    • #38987


      • #39242

        Hello Beachlover,

        I’m sorry to hear that your family has alienated you! It’s difficult to provide suggestions of what to do…Your children may be minors, judging from what you said about disciplining your son by taking his cell phone… It may be too soon to stop participating entirely, and a gift may be the right way to go. If it’s helpful, set some boundaries about gifts in terms of money spent.

        Perhaps in another thread you can share more of your story. The introduction/welcome threads sometimes get overlooked.

        Sheri McGregor

    • #39346

      I am a Mother of seven children. One son and 6 daughters. My eldest daughter “pretends” to care about me until she gets mad at whatever and then blames me and sends me texts saying whyt a drama queen i am and i am not right in the head. After my husband of 36 years died she quit talking to me for quite a while saying i was bi polar. I went to the Dr and i am not i have whats called grief. The other 5 bother with each other and i hear from them hardly ever. They say it is because they are so busy in their lives.I am trying to start a new life but the loss of my husband is still so hard to deal with ..but am trying to see life differently now..he was sick for around 14 years and the last 4 were horrible. I was his caregiver and now i am working full time helping others as a health care aid.I am hoping to find insight into what has happened to them.

    • #39449

      Hi HearYou. You are very welcome here. We will support you and I hope once you get reading the posts on hear you will feel the love and respect we have for one and other and you find some comfort. It sounds like you have been through a very hard time. You would think our children would have some compassion for us in times of grief but there isn’t much given is there ? I’m sure you bring much comfort to the ones you care for in your work and I hope these people show you their appreciation.

      Don’t hesitate to post.

      Love and hugs xx

    • #39598

      Hello! I am new to this site and I am glad someone referred me. I really think knowing I am not alone will help me.
      My son and I have always been close until his senior year of high school when he started dating his now wife. They married right after high school and he joined the military. After moving that is when it really started getting worse. My son has told me I am not his mother, he has said the most disrespectful things to me. I have always taught my son how to treat everyone. I can’t help but think this is all because of the wife. I feel like she has taken everything I have done with my son and used it against me. I feel like she is brainwashing him, as well as controlling him. To me it feels like the things they are both accusing me of, is exactly what she is doing to him. Now I am frustrated that my only child allows his wife and himself to treat me like they do. Everyone tells me he will come back after he grows up a little bit. Is this true? Has this happened to anyone here yet? Am I being naive to want to believe this?

    • #39607

      Hi, Oct1022

      I’m sad we had to meet in these difficult circumstances, but glad you’ve found this community. You’ll learn a lot here – and I do hope you’ll take time to read Sheri’s book.

      There are a few parents in the forum whose estranged adult children have reached out. But it seems to be quite unusual.

      There are two recent examples written on 23 November: Forgetmenot1948 in ‘Unexpected Text’, and SunflowersDay in ‘Thank You My Dear Little Girl’.

      But the community is really more about supporting each other in our efforts to build something new for ourselves.

      As Sheri says in her book, we can control the little steps we take each day to move on. Reconciliation depends entirely on input from the person who hurt us, which we can’t control.

      Be strong …

    • #39604

      Hi Oct1022. Welcome to this site and to our group on EPs. Your story is very similar to many many parents on the site and in the population. My own story is also similar. Have a read of the posts and I’m sure you will come to understand more of this situation.

      Thankful asked this question about EC coming back and I’ve responded on her post about my husbands experience.

      I hope you find some comfort in this life we are now living.

      Best wishes x

    • #39705

      Hello I joined this group yesterday in desperation. I have three adult children . Two of which I talk to every day. My oldest daughter has chosen for reasons unknown to not have any contact with us. She doesn’t even knowledge our Texts or phone calls. My granddaughters are two and four. For the last two years I have not attended any birthday celebrations . Her husband’s family are the only ones there. Her youngest sister has begged her to explain why she is choosing to not have any contact with us . No reply. My husband has tried no reply. To me that’s the hardest part is not knowing why . I m very grateful for this forum thank you. Yayasmiles

    • #39738

      Hi Yayassmiles. Welcome to this group. We can’t always know or understand why our adult children chose to abandon us but you will with the help of gaining knowledge learn to live with their decision and find a peaceful and contented life for yourself. This site is a great source of information and also the support of other EPs. We are all on this journey and here for each other.

      Love to all EPs

    • #39801


      I am new to this group. I have and 23 jr old son that I raised by myself. I divorce when he was about 2.
      He got real bad teenage stage and we had some trouble see eye to eye. He was then at a age where his father abuse the situation and told him that I don’t want him anymore. In the year I was alone and heartbroken, because first time that I lost my son. I met somebody (18yrs alone) My son decided to come back but he and my fiance at that stage did not come along. I understood, but I also realize that I cannot leave my fiance now husband as my son is going to move on and I am going to be alone. My husband son try to sabotage me by breaking my things and also my sons. He did horrible things like peeing in my sons body wash. He just pleaded innocence and my husband just said his son will never do stuff like that. My son could not take the situation and went back to his father. From there I lost him. Yes lot of other stuff happened in my marriage and my son could not take it. Even though the situation had change in my marriage and his son do not come to our house anymore as I had to put my feet down as the marriage would not last with his son attitude. My son do not talk to me, don’t answer my whatsapp’s. Just ignore me. This last 6 years where hell. I can see on my face I got really older of all the stress and hurt. The struggle marriage and my son abandoned me killed me.. it feels like a raw sore inside me that don’t want to heal. I do not know giving him presents every bday (transferring money) and Christmas even make a difference. Sometimes I think just doing nothing. Block him everywhere (whatsapp, facebook) and put away all pictures will help. sometimes I just start crying with no reason…

    • #39817

      Hi, Botterblommetjie

      It sounds as if you’ve had a very hard time … I do hope you find encouragement in this community, where there are lots of people still feeling ‘raw’ and very sore. Reading their posts will help, I’m sure, as it’s easier to cope if you’re not dealing with something like this completely alone and isolated.

      Are you by any chance a Dutch or Afrikaans speaker? I ask because where I live (South Africa) we have ‘waterblommetjies’!

    • #39858

      I just joined today after being estranged from my daughter since the beginning of the year. My daughter blamed me for her leaving and spread lies about me abusing her to other family members and on social media. When she reaches out its only because she needs something. I have told her to keep her distance for now because she wants only to blame me. The holidays will be hard this year so I’m keeping it small. Thanks to Sheri for accepting me to the forum.

    • #39886

      Hi Adayinthelife. Welcome. Yes our EC like to blame us for everything that goes wrong in their lives. We don’t need to take this blame I’m sure you are a great mum and did your best. A lot of us will find the holidays hard, this is my first Christmas without my son and grandgirls. Hang in there and stay in touch, if you need support please post and we will reach out to you.

      Hugs Einnov x

    • #39888

      Have been a member months but have never introduced myself. Both my sons in their 40’s became estranged from me at the same time but only to me not their father who I am still married to for 45 years. Being the mother of sons I have always been on the outside. I have never been included in births of grandchildren and have actually been held away in dealing with the kids. I was always asked however to contribute when it came to financial needs. At the beginning of last year I sent my sons a letter asking for a little attention. Perhaps, a call a week, a text, etc. My husband suffered from PTSD and was unemployable and I was the main bread winner most of last 30 years.
      My sons blew up and said I was trying to control their lives. They now totally ignore me. Do not respond to any gifts sent to the family.
      I feel like I am paying “a bill that I am not totally sure what it is for and I have no idea when it will be paid.”
      I was raised in a time and society to be a good wife and mother. I feel as though that is now gone. My life is now only cashing retirement checks, eating, paying some bills, and repeating the process the next month. Due to our situation and my husband illness which was not discovered or diagnosed until ’96, Savings are nil. What I looked forward to for my future, family and grandchildren has disappeared.

    • #39931

      Dear Widdie

      You must be wondering what on earth you did to deserve the way your life has become? What a tragedy. And how sad that your husband’s diagnosis came so late in life. But you hung in there, which was incredibly brave and loyal. It must have required such strength and self-sacrifice. You deserve recognition for that.

      In my experience, some people can’t handle suffering and protect themselves by walking away and going into denial. Maybe your sons have done that? Whatever their reasons, you’re here in this community because you need the comfort of knowing there are others in similar situations.

      I hope you find encouragement and insight here as you go forward in such difficult circumstances.


    • #39972

      Hello guys 🙂

    • #40026

      Hello. I am new to this site. Finding it, and Sheri’s book are both miracles as I was certain that I had to be the only person in the world going through such heartbreak. I am currently estranged from both my adult daughter and son. For me, one of the hardest things is that I don’t know why. I don’t know what I did wrong. It’s been 6 years since I had a relationship with my daughter and 4 for my son.

      I don’t have any other family, so I struggle with loneliness and isolation. I have seen several therapists who just don’t understand. They think I am going through ’empty-nest syndrome’. No, it’s not empty nest syndrome when the children that you have raised, loved and supported their entire lives suddenly and inexplicably ghost you. They want no contact. I have lived and re-lived every moment of their lives on a loop that plays over and over in my mind trying to come up with what I did wrong. I know I made mistakes. I was a single mom. Life was very hard. I had NO support. But I did the best that I could. My children were my world and I loved them endlessly and unconditionally. I still do. I am seeing a better therapist now who seems to understand the situation. I am working through Sheri’s book. It’s hard, but some days I actually feel better.

      Just knowing that other parents are feeling (or have felt) the same emotions, especially the deep grief that I feel every moment of every day is helpful. The few friends that I’ve tried to share my feelings with only judged me or made me feel worse by expressing how wonderful their relationships were with their kids. I decided that being alone was better. That way I didn’t have to pretend to be upbeat and positive when I feel so deeply sad. I’m not broken, I’m shattered. I have to function every day, all day as if everything is fine. I go to work and put on my mask. It’s nice to take it off when I get home and be able to let my hair down and just cry. Seems like I spend way too much time feeling bad about myself and my past mistakes. I’m trying so hard to move forward. One step forward, then holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas come along. Ten steps backwards.

      How I wish I could go to sleep on November 15th and wake up emotionally strong and refreshed on January 15th. Just skip all the hoopla. It’s so hard to be alone, especially on days that are meant to be shared with family. All the holiday movies and commercials only make me feel more like an outcast. I am also disabled and sometimes have a hard time getting around. Volunteering somewhere would be hard. It’s about all my body can do to just work 40+ hours/week.

      I am filled with the memories and ghosts of Christmas Past. When I was part of a loving family. When I felt loved and accepted. When I had hope and joy in my heart. When I knew I could pick up the phone and there would be someone who cared on the other end. I am hopeful that there will come a time when memories are a comfort and not a source of additional pain. Until then, I survive. Every day. And then again every night.

      I have been going through this heart break for what feels like an eternity. I have hated myself and all of my flaws, faults and mistakes with every ounce of my being. I have wished that I didn’t have to wake up. Or even better, that I could wake up and be someone totally different. I have cried endlessly for days and nights and nights and days. I have tormented myself and felt so guilty. All in my quest for WHY? I have made it all about all that I AM NOT. I am not ENOUGH! I feel such deep shame. I just don’t know why. Now it’s time to start letting it all go and move forward. I’m trying. In little tiny baby steps.

      Thank you God. For my blessings and for helping me find this site and Sheri’s book. I AM done with crying!

    • #40061

      One day, you WILL stop hating yourself, Dollygirl. One day you’ll see all the good, all the strength … May this community be your next BIG step towards complete healing.

    • #40133

      Hello All,
      I have had an on-and-off relationship with my estranged son for the past 14 years. Last year I was treated for stage 3 lung cancer and although I am doing well, I fear that I am running out of time to mend our relationship. This is my only child and I raised him as a single mother. I just don’t get it.
      I thought I was over this years ago, but recent contact with my son ended badly, and now I’m back in that old familiar tailspin. I’m so glad I found this group! It’s nice to know that I am not alone.

    • #40140

      Hi Dollygirl. We hear you, you are not alone. Many of us don’t know why this estrangement has happened, who knows why are adult children do what they do, but you were and are a good mother and did your best. Be kind to yourself, read all you can, stay in touch….you will get through this pain.

      Love and hugs. Einnov xox

    • #40159

      Hi, Bebrave 2017: Maybe your son will come to realise that HE is the one running out of time? This seems to have escaped our adult children.

      As their parents, we did the best we could and are now in our ‘golden years’ as we approach the end of our lives. Whether struggling – as you have been – with scary illnesses, or just plodding along, we parents of adult children are no longer young. Do they want us to leave them with unfinished business of their making?

      I do hope you will take heart from all the stories and conversations you read here and maybe even participate in, if you feel the need. It is a place of heart-healing and comfort. You are brave and strong … You will emerge from your ‘tail spin’ while you’re here … I did.

    • #40173

      Hi Bebrave2017. I agree with everything SP says above. I hope you find some comfort here with other mums and dads trying to make sense of the estrangement. We will be here for you and will stand by you.

      Love and hugs Einnov xxx

    • #40210

      Hello. I am new to this forum and I am so glad I found you. It is really tough trying to get by without talking to anyone. I feel as if others will judge me because of how bad things have gotten with two of my children so I only talk about this with my husband, otherwise I keep it to myself.
      I am the mother of three adult children, the two younger ones (a daughter and a son) are estranged from us. The relationship with my oldest one is great but he lives in another state. I must confess that becoming an empty nester was extremely difficult for me, it took me a while to be able to let go. However, my daughter left in really bad terms, as soon as she turned 18 she left the house to stay with a school friend, by then she was working at a restaurant where she met her current boyfriend. I remember her graduation from high school, I only got to see her from far away, she did not invite me or her dad and she made her own plans to go celebrate, we both cried through the entire ceremony. Weeks later she got together with her boyfriend, who at the time, had a live-in girlfriend and son and left both of them to be with my daughter. Two years later, my daughter has a one year old baby and takes care of his other son.
      During this time, we have talked to each other on and off, along the way confrontations and fights happened. Along the way, my husband and I found out how our daughter trashed us with friends and relatives, some of them let us know what she had said (perhaps there is more than what we know), but after hearing what she told them, I was destroyed and to this day, I can hardly look at those people in the face, even though all of it are lies.
      I know in my heart that I did the best I could with what I had. I’m not perfect, but I gave love, time, guidance and a good example to my children. When they were in high school we went through a bad financial situation that lasted a couple years and I know it really affected everyone in the family, I wonder how much did that period weight on my children’s decision to remove me from their lives. Do they blame us for not been able to provide for them?
      My daughter decided three weeks ago (once again) that she will no longer talk to me or my husband and that we will no longer see our grandson, all this over having reservations to talk to her boyfriend who has done nothing other than insult and disrespect us and never made an attempt to apologize for any of the things he did or say. This is the third time in the past three years that she has done this. But this time, I feel numb, I feel like I can’t cry any longer. As much as this hurts, and as empty and worthless as I feel, somehow, I am ready to let her go.
      The story with my son is not much different. He moved out on his own when he turned 19, he had so many issues through high school that he dropped out, I made him finish his GED, I’m afraid of what he’s doing, the decisions he’s making and the people he’s hanging out with. After his first attempt to move out failed when he lost his job and came back home because he couldn’t pay rent, we took him in and he lived with us for the past year.
      A couple months ago he moved out and I haven’t heard from him since. He talks to my husband sometimes, but won’t contact me or reply to my texts, let alone answer my calls. I feel that since I served my purpose, I’m no longer needed.
      I spend a lot of time going over everything I did wrong, over how did I go so wrong with my children. Holidays are specially difficult.

    • #40237

      I just joined this site. I had only 1 child, a son. Now I have no child because of estrangement.

      I didn’t even know what estrangement was until a month ago, when I was so distraught and a lady told me, “It’s called Estrangement, you should Google it”. So, I did. That word put a voice, a label, a name on what I was going through.

      This year on Friday the 13th, of October 2017 (so it’s been just 2 months now) what happened to me was the ending, the finale, my son’s final words.

      On December 8th I ordered the book “Done with the Crying” off Amazon. That is what told me my future, Thankfully I found this book before desperately trying, spending time, energy, hopefulness, & lots of money on trying to ‘get’ to the bottom of this/trying to make contact or work it out/waiting etc etc etc. The book recognizes this can be a waste of effort and I’m so glad I know that NOW, before doing all that. I know from reading the book that if I do hear from him someday, I will be cautious, and know it’s just a quick trauma to endure, but probably isn’t a reconciliation or change towards being back in my life. This is part of what I wanted to take from the book, so I can be stronger in leaving him behind and focusing all on myself now without feeling guilty. I will try to get over more of the grief and move on through life without him, & without knowing any grandchildren, I mourn the loss of both. He was a great kid and still is a wonderful young man, I had him for as long as I could I guess, my time is done, he was a great help, a wonderful son, but now he is no longer mine, for me it ended way too soon, but he is helping his gf’s or wife’s family now. The book has been my rock, my companion, my comforter, & the 1st time I read it, I had to take it in chunks because of all the cleansing tears, from each story. Now, I read it through, with more strength.

      The book is helping me to know I’m not alone, even though in many ways I am. I’m in a Seattle, WA suburb, so if any of you are around there and want to meet on the eastside, I’d like that. I have no plans for Christmas and can’t wait for that day to end.

      I was estranged/abandoned/ignored by my parents (In the book a husband/dad said he was estranged by his parent & now his child, so I related to that too). I’m never married, but wanted 12 kids & always babysat since age 10. I loved kids, well used to love them until now. In reading the “Done with the Crying” book, on pg 180 a lady thought of “family as some cruel joke”, I feel that way about kids now, they don’t stay cute, loving, loyal, family, etc. I realize it sounds hard especially for those who haven’t read the book. The book helps me to make sense of the harsh reality and I must think of things in a way that lets me move strongly forward.

      I was so happy to be pregnant & I remember a neighbor who knew me saying “Now you have someone in this world, you have a family”. I attended baby born to read classes while pregnant, I raised my son all on my own, I homeschooled him, then he chose a college 3 hours away from where I had been born & raised, which was north in Seattle WA area. I never wanted to move or go there but my son was very successful in his art & won contests with his creativity, and so I’d support him and move away by ourselves. He had a 4 year scholarship of free college. It was hard on me to leave behind the only place I’d lived. He did very well the 1st year in college, I was busy trying to figure out the basics of where things were in this new area etc. The 2nd year I decided to go back to college, and went to his college but was in totally different classes. He wasn’t embarrassed at all & would often say “Hi Mom” in the hallways. But then he got his 1st gf. She had other boyfriends before him, but she was very selfish, dishonest, didn’t smile, and was controlling. My son was sweet, kind, considerate, polite and very helpful. She used that to her advantage. He told me about her, & I was excited and would say Hi & smile & invite her over but she wouldn’t talk to me. My son said she told him I was “intimidating”. She didn’t even know me. So, I suggested we go out to eat. She ate but wouldn’t talk. My son had to go to the bathroom. I tried talking small talk, and she politely talked. After I dropped her off, my son confided to me that she whispered to my son “I didn’t want to talk to your mom, so don’t ever leave me alone with her again”. Then later the girlfriend wouldn’t let him be with his friends he made here. My son again confided in me and said she wanted to break up with him because she was afraid that he wouldn’t “join” their very, very close family. Neither of us knew what that meant and both of us were confused at that statement. Well, after my son graduated with a 2 year degree, he quit college, didn’t finish the last 2 years & let his scholarship for a Bachelors degree expire. He moved into the gf’s family home paying a high rent to the gf’s parents to live there with their daughter. They lied to him a few times & I told my son that’s not good, but he said it’s ok, and he will never leave her no matter what, I asked “why?” he said because he doesn’t want to be single. He was 18 then, now he’s 22.

      It would go long stretches without hearing from him, he wouldn’t respond around holidays. I just figured he was a busy being a teen, having fun, being with his 1st gf etc.
      Then finally took himself off all social media, which scared me, I don’t know why he would do that. I wasn’t involved in his social media, no linkedIn, nothing, everything disappeared and his best friends from childhood contacted me saying they couldn’t get ahold of him and he’s disappeared. I didn’t have any answers. Not very long after that like a week or so, I got a text saying “Don’t ever contact me again”. I was frightened then for his safety. I was storing his stuff. I texted back but no answer. So I packed everything up, including things I wanted to pass down to him & grandkids & share with gf family like all our pics, video of me birthing him etc. & drove to his gf’s which is about an hour drive up north in the country. He answered door, just stood & looked at me, I asked if he’d sent a text he said ya, then started picking up his stuff I brought to the door, and he was going to shut it. I told him there’s more & showed him the rest of the boxes I’d set there. I asked him how is he, what’s happening. He said with NO Emotion, just flat said “I hate you”.
      I wasn’t prepared for that and repeated “You hate me?”
      he said “ya, I’ve always hated you”
      “Always??” I said
      He replied. “ya Always, I always hated you, I can’t stand you, I can’t stand the type of person you are”.
      I replied “what kind of person?”
      He said “it’s complicated I don’t know, I just hate you, always hated you & can’t stand the type of person you are”.
      He talked like this was rehearsed, because he repeated the same thing over again. Then told me to “Fuck off” and he shut the door. I was stunned, in shock, and wondered why there was no anger, or yelling or anything just very direct, strong, but flat, not much emotion. I cried the hour drive back home.
      Now, I have no pics of him, no baby book nothing, and I gave those to him to share with new family, & have for grandkids but I thought I’d be able to go look at em whenever I wanted, & didn’t expect estrangement. Anyway, if I had his pics then they’d just make me sad. He has all my family pics too of my childhood ugh, I gave him a lot but he’s my only child, & I don’t need those memories. But I feel a little guilty losing all that. Life moves forward not backward, and the future is what matters I guess. There’s a song called “Here I go again’ on my own” & that’s me, abandoned again. Glad I’m not the only one, I’m thankful for that book “Done with the Crying” and so now just joined this site too. Thanks,

    • #40241

      Hi, Angel2016: Take heart! You’ll find many mothers with similar stories in this community. Mothers who have been left with a sense of being used and discarded when no longer needed. Sheri’s book provides all sorts of insights into moving away from dwelling on the ‘whys and wherefores’. Which is an important step in the healing process, as you’ll read here under many of the topics triggered by lots of different incidents – but often touching on the big ‘WHY’.

    • #40332

      Some of the stories here make me feel like my story isn’t as bad. I can’t believe the cruelty of these children. The worst thing is when they leave but lie about their upbringing for sympathy. We have to look at them as the insolent adults they are and not the children we loved.

    • #40352

      Hi Everyone,

      I was glad to find this site yesterday, as I’ve been dealing with the pain of estrangement from my only child for a year now. She’s 32 and we were very close throughout her life, until she met her husband two years ago.

      It’s been a difficult journey for me because she has always had some behavioral challenges, but I wanted to be a mother more than anything and I loved it. Unfortunately the man she married is very psychologically challenged and he brought out the worst in my daughter. I don’t blame him, but I admit that I have moments of extreme anger toward him.

      I’ve never cried so much as I have this past year and I’m ready to stop and move on. I reached into the void and texted my daughter two days ago and asked her to lunch, but, as is the norm now, I heard nothing back. I’ve had it. I want to move on a have a good life in spite of this. That’s why I chose the username I did :-).

    • #40342

      First time visiting the club no one wants to belong to.

      During the past year, I finally started putting up healthy boundaries between me and my kids/Mom/siblings. All of them decided they didn’t like the new person I am becoming and they all rejected me.

      Both of my kids have always been disrespectful towards me, but I would always let time pass and then send a text or call them and the whole process would start over again. No more! The Christmas card I sent to my daughter had a note in it telling her I will not chase her anymore. I wrote when she wants me back in her life, call me. I don’t respond to my son’s awful texts anymore.

      My father passed away from Alzheimer Disease on June 14. We were never close, not for a lack of trying on my part. I started changing that when I quit my job in February and spent most days with him at the facility where he lived. Most days he knew who I was. I played his favorite music and he would tap his feet.

      Our time together came to a halt on April 17 when I was served with a restraining order. My Mom became jealous and hateful because of the time I was spending with him. I was able to see my Dad a few days before he died. I felt so blessed because on that day he knew who I was.

      I’m telling you all of this because my Mom has dropped the order and wants to sweep everything under the carpet like it never happened. I have talked to her a few times and texted her, but I mostly have to reject her at this point because of what she has put me through. She never wants to talk about anything but surface stuff…how’s the weather? etc…

      Long story short…my kids have rejected me and I have rejected my Mom. I’m working so hard on getting emotionally healthy. Sheri’s book is coming in the mail tomorrow. Looking forward to reading it.

      My husband, who isn’t the father of my two kids, has been wonderful.

      • #40436

        Hi breakaway,

        I am new here, too, and I’m so sorry for what you’re dealing with. I can relate to a number of the same things and, for me, it felt confusing, shocking, extremely painful, and surreal. My daughter and siblings – two brothers – each interpreted my healthy boundaries (which I worked hard to achieve) as selfishness. I became estranged from all three of them in one year. The loss I’ve felt has been tremendous, overwhelming at times.

        I find this in between place, the place in which something huge and precious has been taken away, but I haven’t yet filled it up with something else, to be a challenge. Nothing will ever take the place of the losses, but I believe that other things will eventually fill me back up again.

        It sounds like you’re a healthy person and you strive for that higher ground. I sometimes feel like the pain I feel and the tears I shed are a tilling of the earth. I’ve had to let go of how I thought things were, how I wanted them to be, and accept what is. In doing so something beautiful is emerging. Slowly, but it is.

        I’m sending you a hug…

      • #40734

        Hi Breakaway,
        About setting those healthy boundaries… this is sort of a two steps forward, one step back thing for me, but I am making progress. Today (Xmas day) I unplugged the phone, and somehow found that very empowering. I found that waiting for ‘them’ to make the next move was just awful, so I decided that no matter how difficult, I was going to try and reclaim a bit of myself, and not being available at all was one of them. In fact, there has been definite relief in my day, not what I expected. Being pro-active feels good. Hugs, Katie

    • #40351

      Hi Everyone,

      I was glad to find this site yesterday, as I’ve been dealing with the pain of estrangement from my only child for a year now. She’s 32 and we were very close throughout her life, until she met her husband two years ago.

      It’s been a difficult journey for me because she has always had some behavioral challenges, but I wanted to be a mother more than anything and I loved it. Unfortunately the man she married is very psychologically challenged and he brought out the worst in my daughter. I don’t blame him, but I admit that I have moments of extreme anger toward him.

      I’ve never cried so much as I have this past year and I’m ready to stop and move on. I reached into the void and texted my daughter two days ago and asked her to lunch, but, as is the norm now, I heard nothing back. I’ve had it. I want to move on a have a good life in spite of this. That’s why I chose the username I did :-).

    • #40350

      Hi Everyone,

      I was glad to find this site yesterday, as I’ve been dealing with the pain of estrangement from my only child for a year now. She’s 32 and we were very close throughout her life, until she met her husband two years ago.

      It’s been a difficult journey for me because she has always had some behavioral challenges, but I wanted to be a mother more than anything and I loved it. Unfortunately, the man she married is very psychologically challenged and he brought out the worst in my daughter. I don’t blame him, but I admit that I have moments of extreme anger toward him.

      I’ve never cried so much as I have this past year and I’m ready to stop and move on. I reached into the void and texted my daughter two days ago and asked her to lunch, but, as is the norm now, I heard nothing back. I’ve had it. I want to move on a have a good life in spite of this. That’s why I chose the username I did :-).

    • #40379

      ChoosingHappy’s a great start to your healing process! And there’s usually lots to be happy about, when we stop to think … Beginning with nature. The tiniest flower can be a source of real joy: all that detail in something so minute. Or even a pesky housefly, with its amazing mirrored eyes … You’ll find good company, warmth, comfort and encouragement here, ChoosingHappy. May you also find peace …

      • #40437

        Thank you, simplifyplease, I appreciate your comments.

    • #40474

      Welcome choosinghappy and breakaway,
      Many of us on here not only had our EC treat us poorly, but other family members also. I did not learn about narcissistic family dynamics and the scapegoat until I became estranged from my son and started therapy. All of my family members took advantage of me and never treated me with respect, but I often felt it was my fault because that’s what they made me believe. I too learned to have healthy boundaries and my parents and only sister would not respect that. They even enabled my ES and DIL in eliminating me from my grandchildren’s lives. I am not happy with this estrangement but in many ways I feel better. Stick with us and share. You are not alone and we are here for you all.
      Wishing you all Peace, health and happiness

    • #40471

      Hi, I just joined. I haven’t read Sheri’s book yet, but am going to order it after the holiday. My son was turned against me when he was in grade school 30 years ago so when my ex and I divorced, I had to let him live with his dad as he had moved to a cousin’s and wouldn’t live with me. The relationship over the years was not good, but there was one until his teens when he got in trouble and I was the old biddie for trying to intervene. I had remarried by then and moved to another state as my son would have so little to do with me. We’ve had a relationship off and on over the years, and this last summer he seemed very grateful for my support for some stuff he was involved in, but then he went dark and I can’t get him to respond to anything no matter what I do. He did this once before for a year. Besides being alienated from me as a child, I think the fact that he married a girl from a very well to do family who I suspect helps them out financially makes him look down on his own parents. I found out from my ex who I called the other day to find out what was going on with our sin that he has to walk on eggshells around him too. My son isn’t abusive if/when I talk to him, just very short with me like he’s doing me a favor to listen to me. When we are on good terms, I get maybe 5 minutes a month out of him with phone calls and maybe 10 texts a year. I don’t want to be permanently estranged as I can’t imagine never knowing what comes of him or his family. He’s married to a decent woman and they have one son who I’ve met once for an hour when he was 1 year old. They do accept gifts so that’s encouraging although I’m more or less buying their love and I know it. I’m glad to see I’m not alone, but dumbstruck at the epidemic of estrangement going on in our society today!!

    • #40516

      Hi, HayleyD: You’ll find loads of great input here from other Moms/Mums in similar situations to yours. Welcome to a place where you’re sure to discover ways of surviving this nasty epidemic!

    • #40785

      New here and really hurting tonight over tough times with our adult son. We feel like he’s been brainwashed. We were such a close family at one time, but it’s like he’s in a cult, only it’s one person who has done it to him. Appreciate prayers .

      • #40896

        Dear Jeanne,
        I really empathise with your situation as your words echo exactly how we feel about our adult son.
        4½ years down the line, it doesn’t get any easier and I just hope and pray that one day he will be allowed ‘out of the cult’ and will be able to return to his loving family.
        I’ve cried too many tears and I know I should walk away but I’m still struggling with that thought, even though I know within my heart that for me to have some kind of peace in my life, that will be the only thing for me to do.

      • #41081

        I just wonder if there is ever any hope. I have wanted to just end it all. I can’t believe the way he has talked to me at times. I can’t believe this has happened. It’s been 10 years and there’s been partial estrangement at times, but it’s just gotten so much worse over the years. It’s 4:30 and can’t sleep. I’m going to try to read some others’ stories and draw help from them. Thanks for listening.

      • #41189

        I so agree. I have not found it to get any easier. In fact, it seems to get worse. There’s no closure, no moving on because something constantly opens it up again and there we are…having to grieve all over again. It’s a constant grief cycle. I’m so afraid it’s going to kill me.

    • #40786

      I am I guess Im in the p rocess of being estranged or excluded from my daughters’ lives, my grandkids lives. I feel pretty sick by it. The lonliness felt during this holiday is profound, consuming and so sad. I feel like I worked so hard to get to this place of peace only to be told fb pages that tout ” you can grieve the loss of someone while they are still alive.” Sigh. glad the holidays are over. glad for this site and looking for hope and how to move forward.

    • #40800

      Hello All,

      I’ve been browsing the forums here for the past month. Firstly, I would like to say, “Thank You” to everyone here who has shared through the Holiday Season. With your invisible ‘support’, I made it through Christmas day for the first time with no contact vice-versa with my children…AND actually had a quite enjoyable day. I would like to introduce myself a bit and hopefully continue growing, learning and healing. I just purchased Dr. Coleman’s book and will dive in after the Holiday. I wasn’t aware this forum existed. I wish I had found it earlier. So, here goes.

      I will introduce myself from my present situation, as I feel dwelling on past events haven’t helped in the healing process for myself or my children. I have played the ‘blame game’ for far too long, only resulting in more damage, which no one needs. Don’t get me wrong, I have accepted responsibility for my own actions that brought me here…at least the actions I am aware of. I am sure my children could enlighten me more. Hopefully, they and I will have that chance one day.

      Me… I am 53, a mom of three adult children. I was married 22 years, worked in the medical field 15 and then after part-time to have more time to take care of the kids, pets and house. I have three beautiful children who unfortunately had the privilege of growing up with two, professional parents who were also very high functioning alcoholics. My husband and I didn’t think so at the time, but as the divorce unraveled in 2012…over the next 5 years, we both spiraled into our addiction until it consumed and destroyed us and everything in it’s path…but that’s another story. We are both attempting to rebuild, live sober lives now, and that too is a work in progress. I have also recently remarried, none of my children have met my husband.

      My kids… ES 28, ED 22, ED 20 My somewhat ES 28 and his girlfriend live 15 hours away. He was in the military for four years, now finishing airplane mechanic school. He left the family home prior to the divorce at 17. We were on speaking terms, until a recent visit with him ended poorly and left me walking on eggshells. We rarely spoke before the visit and I do not feel compelled to reach out at this moment. My oldest ED is finishing college, has two more years and studying to be an engineer. She has been in touch via text message and an occasional phone call on and off for the past 6 years. I haven’t seen her in 3 years. A recent text exchange between myself and her younger sister, my youngest ED, resulted in her cutting off ALL contact with me. My youngest ED 20 lives in the same state as me, but we do not see or speak with each other.

      I have lived the past 6 years placing a great deal of blame on their father. The girls chose to stay in the family home with their father when we divorced, then ages 14 & 17. Little did I know at the time, the divorce would spiral into a 3 1/2 year battle that would destroy everyone. My ex is an attorney and verbally vowed to leave me with nothing…taking everything including my house, pets and daughters. He was hurt, angry and vengeful. A lot of parental alienation occurred. I have kept all of that anger alive for the past 6 years and now I am ready to let it go, to learn, grow, heal. If there is any hope of reconciliation for me and my children, it is going to have to take place in a VERY different place in my mind and heart. I am here to hopefully find that place and make that change.

      Thank you…Nox

      • #41117

        Right there with you. I keep telling myself, “God is enough. Lord, You are enough.”

    • #40816
      Yellow RoseYellow Rose

      Welcome, Nox! Really glad you have joined us. Thank you for sharing all your heartbreak, pain, and anger. So many of our stories have similarities and I think you’ll both get a lot from this forum and give a lot to this forum. You sound like you are ready to move forward and that is a very emotionally healthy place to be in. Sometimes we have to let the past go, and be the best we can be in the now, in the today. I also started with Dr. C’s book and his webinars. Just knowing this was something other parents went through was huge for me. Eventually, like you, I made my way to this forum and it has been the blessing I needed to actually move forward and let the past go, let the self blame go, be the best me. I found Sheri’s book very positive and helpful. Again, welcome!

    • #40834

      I am a mother of 6; 4 natural and 2 adopted. I have been married to the same guy for 32 years. We lost our youngest son almost 4 years ago in a car crash. The day after his funeral his 3 natural siblings left our home, never to be heard from again. We are at a loss as to why all 3 of them abandoned us at our lowest time in our lives. I hope they never experience the pain of child loss. I’m at a point though that I wouldn’t notify them if their dad passed away because I don’t want them in my face. If they couldn’t be around when he is alive, they have no business being at his funeral. I guess enough is enough.

    • #40903

      Raffinose. So sorry to hear what has happened to you and your husband. These EC cause so much pain it’s so unkind. However….You have found us hear now and I’m sure you will find strength in these post from parents in the same situation. We will be here for you when you need us.

      Welcome…hugs xxx

    • #40949

      Hi there. I am two chapters in reading Sheri’s amazing book and I am glad to have found this support site. My 18 year old son has walked out on me three times. The last being two months ago. I am heartbroken and angry he would do this. We had a good relationship until he turned 17. I believe my ex and his mother have influenced him with money, freedom, car and no rules. My family have tried talking to him and are disappointed as well. He had told them he wants to live with his dad. I left the marriage because my ex is an alcoholic to which now he is on a list for a liver transplant. It is shocking all we have been through and now he’s gone to live with dad???? He told my dad he does want a relationship but blocked me on social media etc although recently not. I have another son 16 years who feels this is not right what he has done. I am afraid he will be influenced and leave. I want to talk to him and ask why he left but I am so angry and heartbroken. Perhaps I am protecting myself from being bashed and put down again.

    • #41063

      Hello all, I am new to this site and am thankful to have somewhere to share my feelings and what I have been going through.

      I have 2 adult children. My son 22 is in the military and is a dream. My D 20 has been a problem since she was 12. Last year we enrolled her in Esthetics school after she decided she did not want to continue college. We also bought her a car and a few days after school started she ran off with someone she met on Instagram and she has been in and out of my life since.

      She blames me for all of her bad choices and now says she needs money for school and a car to work and accomplish what she wants to do however she doesn’t feel she has to be at home to receive this. She would prefer never speaking to me or having any relationship. Her things are in my home but she isn’t.

      I feel that she has allowed friends I have never known and BFs I have never met to influence her over the years. She refused to share anything with me growing up and always shut me out. She also smokes pot and doesn’t like to follow rules. It has been tough. I think I mourned what felt like a death last year when she abandoned us. At one point I was able to find some peace but then there were triggers and it was hard not to feel extremely sad.

      My sister and I had our daughters a day apart. When I see how close they are and how much love and respect they have between them it makes me sad about the non-existent relationship with my own D. I don’t ever ask myself what did I do wrong…as I mentioned I had 2 children and raised them the same way and my Son is an amazing person. They both had the same rules.

      I don’t know if things will ever change. She has been in and out and when I try to help her all she does is disrespect and take advantage of me. When I get upset with her she will dismiss, ignore me and block me on her phone. She does not believe in apologizing and says she does not regret what she does.

      I am trying to find ways to deal with all of this. Try to make my life better and peaceful. I find my health is affected. I am less motivated and this has affected my marriage. I am upset that I allowed her to have this much power over my life.

      Hopefully I can find comfort in other peoples stories and learn some coping/strengthening skills.

      Thank you in advance for your words.

    • #41076

      Welcome SM, June1921 and anyone who may have introduced themselves and been missed in the holiday angst! While each of your stories is unique, there are common threads running through many of them. You’re having a rough time, but it will pass. Know you are valued and in a safe place, where you’ll find comfort and encouragement as you read how parents like you are learning to move past the pain. You’ll soon be one of them … Promise 🙂

    • #41128

      Hello everyone! I just joined in the hopes of drawing strength from this forum as well as helping others. I am currently at a place of acceptance with temporary relapses due to special occasions and some holidays, something I see on TV, something I read about. Anything can set it off. I suppose it is like PTSD. I have two children, 23 and 21 both are estranged, ED from 6 years ago and ES soon after. It has been the hardest thing I have had to go through in my entire life, and I am proud to be coming out the other side. Thank you for letting me in!

    • #41129

      I have finally decided to take back control of my heart since my ED left myself and her stepfather that raised her since she was 4 years old. I could see her slipping away after her first year at college. I think she was bound and determined to never come home again. I was a strict mother but at the same time she had everything she ever needed or wanted. Her second year of college at mid-semester her grades slipped so bad that I refused to continue my investment for her future. She took a few classes on her own but still wasn’t making the grade and dropped out. She moved back to her birth fathers house (he was always in the picture as a every other weekend dad/ remarried & divorced/ 3 half sisters). Soon she reconnected with a boy that she met her freshman year that dropped out to go into the military. Then just like that; she was married and living in another state. Living her own life with her own rules.
      A few months before her first child was born, she told me about a dream she had about her stepfather that would then begin my new life. The accusations she made that she believed to be true from her dream were not a physical violation to her. It was in her mind unforgivable and she stated she would have nothing to do with him EVER! My husband and I separated. My ED was in another state. Friends had no idea what to say or how to help me.
      After many months and extensive therapy for marriage and self my husband and I reunited. That was the day my ED said I chose him over her. This was the true beginning of the estrangement with my ED. I cried, prayed, begged, yelled, drank, fought with my husband, lost a few friends…I spiraled down hill fast.
      I am now a grandmother of two. I have met the children on a couple occasions to where I believed my ED and I were on the mend. Then realized that it was all about her and I was walking on eggshells and watching every word or action I took. One day she called and confronted me about a subject I was prepared for. I actually stood my ground. Then I said, “you aren’t affected by any of this, you left us!” That was it. She said she wants nothing to do with me. She will allow me to send presents to the grandchildren but she is “done” with me for good.
      I read a book that does state that in some ways I was doing the right things when we were reconnecting. Letting it be about her, bowing to her needs as the child and me as the parent. It is learning to re-parent. Putting my ED needs first and mine second. I agree to a point but I am not willing to be treated like a doormat anymore. I have needs to. I have expectations too. I want boundaries also.
      We were close. She is my only child. I just want to finally put my broken heart back together. Wake up without saying, why me. Stop feeling so embarrassed, ashamed, lost and depressed. I want to become the strong woman I have always been. I will have hope for us to reunite but if we do, it has to be her coming to me when she is ready. I cannot beg anymore, crying on messages I leave her, etc…When or if she comes back I will be stronger, not willingly to be a doormat.
      Please help me get through this.

    • #41152

      Hi XOXO. Welcome to our site. You are in good company here, many of the parents here have gone through the same situations as yourself. Knowledge is power, read as much as you can and gain strength in numbers. You are not alone we are here for each other.

      Hugs xxx

    • #41272

      Hello glad to have found the group and book
      Two sons
      33 and 27

    • #41275

      I don’t have any clue how to accept this. I haven’t had any contact with my son since Aug 9th. I’ve read done with crying, it can’t help if I can’t accept this.

    • #41284

      Hi Akcw65 and Heather. Happy New Year and welcome to this forum. You will find support here, will have all gone and are going through the same experiences. Reading and posting will help, you can get though this.

      Hugs to you both..x

    • #41346

      I’ve been reading Sheri’s articles and have read the book – not sure why I didn’t join the community until now. Our daughter has been estranged since 2015 – cut off Dad in May 2015, Brother in July 2015 and me in February 2016. I have a two year old grandson who has never met his Grandpa or Uncle and who I have not seen since he was newborn.

      Many tragically lost moments that can never be regained, most notably our family reunion in July which was the last time most of us saw my brother who passed away in September. Grief upon grief.

      I’m a Catholic Christian and working to reconcile the situation and my response with my faith. I have very strong and loving relationships with family and friends which has carried me through this difficult loss.

      I wish none of us were here, but we are and I’m grateful for this forum and for mutual support. I hope to find and give encouragement here.

      Wishing all the Happiest New Year possible 🙂

    • #41355

      Hi everyone. I have a 47 year old daughter whom married SIL 23 years ago. For the last 23 years I have kept my mouth shut everytime this man bullies me,her and the kids. The bullying by my daughter started about 2 or three years ago. The last straw was a dinner we were invited to at their house (where 90% of the bullying. takes place) . I have a condition that I never know how I am going to feel from day to day. More days that not, I am unable to tolerate clothes because my skin burns. So, when I woke up that morning in a bad burn, I wanted to let her know so she wouldn’t buy extras for us. But…I couldn’t call her because I had just been told (three days before) that I was not to phone her after 6 at night because HE WAS THERE. So, I texted her. A couple hours later I was able to get in the shower

    • #41357

      Hi this is the first time I have posted. Tried
      Before but I am doing something wrong.
      I am estranged from my only natural born daughter.
      She is 47 and has been married for 23 years.
      23 years to a man who does not respect
      Me and has taught her to not respect me.
      I also have put up with more than my share of bullying
      From him at first, now she has joined in. Apparently
      She told me that they were not getting along very well
      Which was totally unlike her to tell me but
      She had to tell me because she wanted me
      To know to be sure to not call there after 6 pm.
      In my opinion, he has been trying to put a wedge
      Between my daughter and I for the last 23
      Years. He has a horrible relationship with his very
      Wealthy mother. Wow, I would need a book
      To finish all of this. Bottom line, I was told not to call
      So I texted about a dinner we were invited to
      And told her o was having a bad day (I have FM)
      But I was going to try to make it
      By the time I knew I could shower and dress
      And go, she had her husband in her ear telling
      Her that I just didn’t want to be with them. So
      When she didn’t answer my text, I broke the rules
      And called. At the end of the conversation,
      She hung up on me but not before I had called her
      Sociopathic husband a s.o.b. and she told me
      To take a pill and suck it up. But she really didn’t want me there anyway. Boom. She has now filled in my grandchildren with what I don’t know but now
      They want nothing to do with me and that is
      Just too much to handle. Thank you all for
      Listening. It’s going on 5 months and I still
      Can’t stop crying. My New Year prayer is that
      I do NOT have to live to see 2019.

    • #41368

      Dear Elijay,
      I’m sorry you’re facing estrangement (and suffering FM–which complicates it, I’m sure!). You’re welcome here, and I’m sure that you can find support among the wonderfully kind people here. But because of what you said, I need to make it clear that this forum is not intended as crisis intervention. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please, PLEASE reach out for help from a source that is equipped.

      There is the National Lifeline:

      Having said that, I know how it feels to imagine that life will not get better. But I can tell you there is enjoyment to be had and meaning to discover. Please take good care, and continue to talk here in the forum where people can share their support with you. It’s best if you click on one of the other threads and jump into the conversation. Or, start your own topic. You can do that by scrolling down to the bottom at the entry point of the forum where all the threads are listed. At the bottom, there’s a box to start your own topic.

      Sheri McGregor

    • #41370

      Hi Elljay, Heather, ProdigalsMom, I am new on here too, just started posting this week, I feel your pain. I am so sorry but am glad you shared your stories. Hugs to all of you, we can get thru this together! There is strength in numbers, some days will be better then others but you are not alone! There were times I also could not stop crying, I think almost all of us have been there, hang in there!God Bless you and all the other wonderful parents on here. Wishing everyone peace, strength, and a New Year full of blessings xoxo

    • #41453

      I’ll be 77 in a month. My husband left me when our son was 3. He moved out at 26, moved to another city, got married 16 years ago, gradually drew away from me, but since my granddaughter, now 10, was born, he got worse. They moved back to the city 4 years ago, 8 miles away, and I hadn’t been to their house. I live alone. He teaches physics at a high school. He goes for 7 months without calling me. When I call him on the phone he doesn’t answer it. I was diagnosed with cancer and went through a mastectomy 3 years ago and for 4 months he was at my side, I thought he had come to his senses, but when I was out of danger he disappeared. He doesn’t send me a card, call me or send me an e-mail. I used to get Christmas presents for the 3, but they have ignored me for the last three Christmas, I have sent him a gift card on his birthday, clothes to my granddaughter for her birthday and they never acknowledge them. I’ve been seeing a psychologist for the last five months. My daughter-in-law doesn’t work, she doesn’t cook. She and I were polite to each other, but during hurricane “Irma” she took her mask off and showed her claws. I think she is psychotic, dominates him completely. I’ve suspected for a while that he’s manic-depressive. I haven’t heard from him for 3 months now, not for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s. I have sent him several e-mails that have gone unanswered. I don’t call him because it hurts too much when he doesn’t answer me. I don’t have any other family left. I made a will where I leave the house, savings bonds and everything I own to him. If I have an emergency I don’t know if he would respond. I’m very depressed and sleep a lot.

      • #41457

        Hi Guarina,
        Welcome. I’m sorry to hear what you’re dealing with. I’m new here, too, and have found strength in the support here. I hope you keep reaching out and find the support here and elsewhere that you deserve.

      • #41723

        So sorry to hear what you have been going through. I got to the stage where I expected nothing and then I couldn’t be disappointed anymore. Went through a stage where I was going to write him out of my Will, another idea just to turn up and watch the fireworks go off…..We can only get through from day to day and react to our feelings at that time.
        I have now stopped sending things……as like you they were never acknowledged.
        Its 3 years now (although there were many many bad years leading to this) Now I have stopped waiting, wanting and expecting and just getting on with my life….not easy …but if you focus in that direction it may help you.
        Your health has suffered and that is what you need to focus on…..getting well….try to enjoy the simple pleasures of life as you may have stopped noticing them through your grief and health issues. Find some interests or groups in your area – just to re-focus your mind on you (not him).
        The reason I wanted to respond was that I recognize similarities to my son’s partner as I realize now she has controlled everything all along. She is insecure and because of this she controls everyone in her own family, her children and my son. Over time the control has gotten out of hand and I would guess my son is also very depressed, doesn’t work anymore and spends most of his time in the home- I would go as far as to say that she dislikes what she has created in him and he irritates her the more he tries to please her.
        I think it is lovely that your son was at your side at that bad time and that counts for something, it shows he does care even if he cant always show you that….I know that doesn’t sound/feel like enough but it is a positive in amid the negatives none the less. He may care as deeply as you but just unable for whatever reason to show you that.
        I wish you well and know that we on here all care sending healing love and light your way

    • #41643

      Brand new today! Mother of one child…a girl, 32. Have been going through the cycle of distancing, alienation, estrangement for many, many years. I used to cry a lot. It was taking its toll on my soul, my health, my personality. A couple of years back, I decided to compartmentalize the “relationship” I had once had with her and try to observe it as just another part of my “past”. That worked pretty well. Of course, the holidays come and go…and are the worst times for me. (My own parents have been gone 25/30 years and I always miss my mom more during this time) Christmas just came and went and we are into 2018 now. Just recently discovered Sheri and the book (still waiting for a copy to arrive) via a Facebook page. I really did think I was living the life of an anomaly. I felt so alone in my suffering…and had no idea there were others going through the same thing. I’ve read about mothers with more than one child, with maybe one kid being estranged. I’d like to know how many mothers of single children are going through this, as I am.
      Thank you for this, Sheri. xoxo

    • #41694

      I am a retired married woman with two daughters, one distant and rejecting, the other angry and rejecting. There are Grandchildren that we seldom see, who love us, whom we love. My children are a constant source of pain and sorrow, and I think I am to them as well. We are all caught in a barbed wire relationships, from which, after more than 40 years of struggling with this ugly dynamic, we have been unable to extricate ourselves. I want to step away before I bleed to death.

      I am reading here, in every post, words that ring so true, so very true.

    • #41709

      Hello, i am the parent of two kids and wife to one! My son has been off and on for almost four years now. With the help of my therapist, I have finally got to the point where I set boundaries for his cruel behavior. I won’t bore you with the details; however, one example is this. My husband has endured six weeks of daily (except weekends) and grueling radiation for prostate cancer. Not once has he called his dad nor offered to take him for a treatment. He lives in our community and works within spitting distance of MGH in Boston. He recently married and we did everything we were supposed to do as parents and guests. I have been avoiding the pain of loss and substituting it with crumbs from the table of attention. I. Am. Done.

    • #41730

      I officially joined this forum back in November but haven’t introduced myself. I am the mother of a 32 year old daughter and a 31 year old son. I was widowed when the children were very young and eventually married again. My husband had never been married and never had any biological children but took on my children as his own. For the next more than 2 decades we lived life as a very happy, cohesive family. My son moved away for work yet we remained extremely close, seeing each other several times a year and talking/texting almost daily. I had a great relationship with both of my children but about 1-1/2 years ago we noticed our son distancing himself from everyone in the family. When I asked if everything was ok, he would say it was but then when he turned 30, he read each in the family a “laundry list” of all our shortcomings and why he didn’t want us in his life. Of course I was the one with the longest list. I have tried to talk to close friends about this and because my son had been so close, most just don’t take the seriousness of this estrangement. I found this website and read through posts by other estranged mothers. I learned that I wasn’t alone in this experience. I bought Sheri’s book and finally finished it over Christmas, doing all the exercise and giving myself time to absorb her knowledge and the stories of the other parents in her book. It has brought me a lot of peace and I seemed to sail through the Christmas season, knowing that those in my family that love me chose to spend time with me. Then, out of the blue, my son called today. It has been 9 months since we last spoke on the phone and that call was a tirade from him about why he didn’t want me to be part of his life. Today, there wasn’t any shouting but he had little to say and left most of the talking to me. I quickly ran out of things to talk about once we had circled around the weather and what we were doing today. He sounded down, not upbeat and seems to have little in his life that he is sharing with me. Just when I thought I had come to terms with him no longer being in my life, he shows up. I don’t trust him and thinking about the examples in Sheri’s book, I wonder if this is some sick game he is playing. I guess only time will tell. Anyhow, here I am and hope to be able to gain more insight into this strange phenomenon of parent-adult child estrangement.

    • #41812

      writer gal: I have set myself back over the holidays, big time. My son got married over Thanksgiving and we did all the Parents of the Groom stuff and did it graciously. My kid was nastier than ever. He’d lived with his now wife (who is lovely to us) for five years. She knows what’s going on. Stupidly, I thought this would change his horrible behavior towards my husband, my daughter and her husband and me. He didn’t show up for Christmas, came Christmas Eve to an annual party we have and was just horrible. So: my kid is ADD and this can present as Diminished Emotional Self Regulation; while not diagnosed, he is the poster child for this. He has a referral to see a doctor who specializes in adult ADD and he won’t go.I say this just to see if this would be something your kid might have. As for me, I have just been looking for crumbs off the table and I am ashamed that I still allow him to treat me with such disregard. I’m working towards no contact. I know that’s a big decision; like everyone here, I’d like to have a relationship with grandchildren. But, I’m not sure it’s worth it to be beaten up all the time. I have to get to no. My kid is ill. My therapist has just about figured out that he does have a borderline personality disorder. She’s pretty well grounded and has been very helpful in getting me to ‘it’s not you’. I sympathize with your feeling out of kilter. We are just a normal family trying to get by…..take good care.

    • #41811

      Hello. I have registered as “RetiredDad.” That is I have retired following a nearly 40-year-long career in a variety of positions and settings. I have NOT retired as a Dad. My Wife and I have been married for more than 39 years. We are generally in good health and both of us are retired professionals. Our estranged Daughter is a young adult, not married, no children. She is in a relationship of 7+ years. It is an abusive relationship – emotional, physical, mental, and the ‘partner’ is extremely controlling. She has an older Sister. We do have a good relationship with her. The estranged Daughter left our home immediately after graduating from high school – because I was the mean, controlling, dictatorial parent. From our perspective, we had ‘normal’ rules to maintain a good, moral base at home. The estranged Daughter has called us a few times when she claimed she was harmed or threatened at her house. The most recent time was shortly before Christmas 2017. We brought her home and we promised our support to help her break free from the bad situation. We did stipulate she needed to cut off all contact with her partner. She did not cut those ties. New Year’s Eve (2017-18) she told us she was going to go have dinner with her partner. We objected and protested. She claimed we just “didn’t understand.” Later that night we received a text saying she would not return until the following day. We replied by saying she could not live here and sleep there. We said it was her decision. We have not heard from her since. We are stressed and depressed. 2018 has not started like we expected, or prayed for.

    • #41809

      Hi All hurting souls,

      I have been an estranged mom now for about 12 years now. No one can ever take away the role of “Mother.” No matter what has happened. I did my job the best that I could with the knowledge and information and experience afforded me at the time. That’s all anyone can do. Children, like relationships and marriage don’t come with an operating manual.

      I’d like to openly share my story. I am mom to three children, one daughter I’ve been estranged from , she is now 32 and a son who is 28. Both I might add significantly were a child of divorce.

      It started when my daughter was very very young that I was being physically, sexually, and verbally and emotionally abused by my ex husband who was addicted to alcohol, drugs, and pornography. No matter how badly my exhusband treated me, she was loyal to him. I was forced to leave for my own protection and to give the children a better life. My daughter never forgave me for this.

      Over the years I remarried, my husband adopted my two children legally. I returned back to school, had another child, built a business, and a loving home. I raised my children as Christians although I always kept an open mind as not to push my values on them, but followed and modeled biblical principles. We seemed happy and functional.

      When my daughter, who was very close to me, turned 18 yrs old everything changed. I believe it was after her first sexual experience and her first serious relationship. She was a senior in high school and had a very rebellious spirit. She didn’t come home from school one day and I was panicked. I called the school, the local police, the state police and no one would take me seriously.

      I called her friends, they all hung up on me. “What the hell is going on? Why isn’t anyone fearing for her safety? Why isn’t anyone concerned? ” They all acted very calm and then one told me I should be in jail. WHAT???!!!! I ran over to the school the next morning. The principal very silently pushed a button and five minutes later the school psychologist, the police, child social services arrived. Child social services investigated me and I spent the next year clearing my name in court, but more so defending my right to keep my two other children. I spent thousands of dollars. I didn’t sleep. I walked around confused dazed. I wasn’t told what I did wrong, only that my children were unsafe and I was under investigation.

      My home was bombed with rotten eggs, young people in the community spit at me when I went out in public, the neighbor wouldn’t let my children around their children. Different people would approach my husband in public and and say “your daughter is staying with me til we can get her some protection.” My husband was just as dazed and confused.

      Custody of my 18 yr old daughter was given to my exhusband. Yes in our state 18 is considered a minor if the child is still in school.

      Then the principal called me from an anonymous payphone, using a fake name, but I recognized his voice and said he was calling as a father understanding my pain as a mother and wanted me to know what was going on. My naive daughter, who never got into any trouble in her life, my best friend, had met a guy, a badboy, a drug dealer, who she was crazy about. But she couldn’t get his attention. So she slammed herself against a couple walls, cut her throat with a soda can and told the school her mother beat her. By then she was on drugs.

      But she quickly learned how to manipulate people and hold power by accusing them of crimes.

      The badboy indeed took the bait and his mother invited her to come and live with them. When she wore out her welcome there and they asked her to leave. She accused the badboy boyfriend of rape and she accused his father of rape. They too were arrested and investigated.

      From there there was one string of lies after the next, each landing an innocent party in jail or having a legal fight on their hand to defend their reputation and their criminal record.

      Eight years later she met a xx athlete and when he threw her out after two years of living together, she called home crying, desperate, on the streets with no money. She told me that even though he had moved on with his new fiance’ she knew he was a man of character, she was going to drug him one night and became pregnant with his baby. And indeed she did and he then left his fiance’ and committed to her.

      I realized she was soulless. A shallow, self indulging, deceitful, manipulative, cold, heartless young woman.

      I watched from afar on social media as she manipulated him away from his family.

      I have released her.

      Once every two years there is an attempt by text or email to reach out and abuse me, but I don’t take the bait.

      I mourn the loss, like a death of that beautiful, precious, sweet little girl I raised. The woman that she has become is who she really and truely is. I don’t delude myself into believing things will ever be the same. And I openly accept her adult choices and lifestyle, but I don’t take responsibility for them. I have accepted that our values are different. That doesn’t make me wrong. That doesn’t make her wrong.

      I do however believe that this battle between estranged adult children and their parents are NOT of flesh and blood, but a spiritual battle for their soul.

      Some innocent will be hurt in the crossfires of this spiritual war. The parts of life that make no sense to us on the surface are the parts waged in an epic battle between light and darkness.

      2 Timothy 3:1-5
      But mark this: there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not lovers of anything good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Having nothing to do with such people.

    • #42050

      Hello, everyone. My name is Lynn. I have been estranged from my adult daughter for approximately one year, however, this is not the first time, but it is the first time I have not tried to bridge our estrangement. Truthfully, I am somewhat relieved to not have to worry about whether what I say is offensive or not; whether I am showing preference for one child and his children over the estranged child or her children, and many other things. Having said that, I am now able to fully enjoy my time with my son and his wife and their children without fear of repercussion. And I don’t feel guilty.

      What saddens me terribly, is that my adult granddaughter, my daughter’s child, has chosen to follow her mother’s lead, and it is for this reason, the loss of my granddaughter, that my heart aches.

      Thanks so much for listening.

    • #42618

      Hi. I am new to this site. I have been looking in vain for a local support group for this very painful issue. My problem resolves around a very toxic daughter-in-law and her sick, controlling mother who have been poisoning my son for a few years now. There was never a problem with my son. But he is, as a therapist told me and my husband, “at risk” for being controlled. Unfortunately, this woman swooped into my son’s life at a very low time for him. And like I’ve heard so many times from other women–she seemed so wonderful until they got engaged. Then slowly she started causing trouble. It seems to be a very old story. The saddest part is that once they had their daughter (my only grandchild) she and her mother set about eliminating me and my husband altogether. Has anyone else had a problem of this nature?

      Thank you so much for being here to listen.

    • #42654

      Lots and lots, Louise1963 … It seems to be a very common problem, sadly. I’m sure you’ll find encouragement and insight here … Sheri’s book is also a HUGE help.

    • #42698

      Hi, Pepper

      Ann, Morgana and (I think) Einnov arre from the UK 😉 I was born there, but live in South Africa …

    • #42704

      Hi, I am new to this group and my estrangement with my son has only been recent, since October 2017. I am so lost but did buy the book “Done with the crying”. I’m not sure how to start a conversation on here. Some of the parents in the book have been estranged from their adult child for many years & that scares me.

      • #42759

        I am so sorry to hear about your estrangement from your son. Try to hang on and live each day as it comes it’s different for all of us and believe me I know your pain. For me I seriously lost the plot for the first 2 years and kept trying and trying to reconcile to no avail.
        The pain never goes away but it does get better and you do learn to live day by day and appreciate what you do have left.
        Please stay strong my thoughts are with you.

    • #42755

      Hi Puzzle, Welcome to the forum. You will find lots of support here. Glad you have Sheri’s book that will help a lot and reading and posting here will also help understand E.

      Love xxx

    • #42764

      Hi, I am new to this site. Still trying to figure out how yo use it! I am estranged from my 31 year old daughter. She pretty much ditched me after her big wedding in September. She is living with her dad my ex-husband and her husband told me that he thought I should back off and give her some space. I really don’t know what I did to her it’s very hurtful. I hope to find some comfort in this group thanks

    • #42814

      HI, So grateful to find this site. I wasn’t aware of how wide spread this heartbreaking topic is. My son began distancing himself from me (under the guidance of his wife) shortly after my husband, his step father died. At first he was completely supportive and helpful. But gradually they began making changes to distance themselves. Eventually, they became mean, insensitive, cruel and abusive. They stopped speaking or having any contact with me for a month. They took my grandchildren away from me when I needed them most. They didn’t invite me to my oldest grandchild’s birthday party. And on and on…………..
      I have moved back to my home town to be closer to them and my grandchildren. I hardly ever see them. My son and her ignore my requests to get together or touch base. My daughter in law does not speak to me, won’t let me babysit my grandchildren, and won’t let me in their house. I do believe this is HER doing. My son has never behaved this way. I am appalled at their behavior! I have been searching for help with this and I am so comforted to know other mothers and fathers are with me. Help.

      • #42842

        Hi Ning. So sorry to hear you are being treated this way by your son and his partner, especially as you are grieving the loss of your husband. There a so many of us on this forum who have disruptive and controlling in laws who are destroying our relationships with our adult children. Read all you can and you will fine things will get better. I’m in a much better place now than several months ago.

        Einnov x

      • #42847

        Thank you Einnov.

    • #42815

      Hello, I just posted an introduction and I see it’s not visible???????????????????????????????????????????

    • #42828

      Hello Ning, welcome to the site.

      Your post is visible now. As is explained in the information posts when you register for the group, all postings are moderated for the safety of all and to keep out spammers. Therefore, there is a delay between the time you post and the time your post appears.

      Again, welcome. I’m glad you found us. The site is an extension to my book, so readers and parents can assist one another. I think you will find support here!


      Sheri McGregor

    • #42879

      I‘m a Dad, but it hurts just as much. Let’s start at the beginning. Youngest daughter, sharp as a tack, received her AA degree two weeks before she graduated high school. Had high hopes for her. 3 days after she turned 18, she packed up and left because “your rules suck”. Tell us where you are going, let us know when to expect you back, no unannounced guests; common rules. After her money ran out, she had to move home, and we let her. Had her own room, got a job in a nearby town, saving for college. She left for her third year and, we found out later, just partied and never attended class and flushed her money down the toilet. Fortunately, it was her money, not ours. I told her I would help her pay for school, but only after I saw the diploma. Strike 1. Had numerous parking tickets which we refused to pay. (Car was in my name) Strike 2. Before moving home from third year of ‘school’, she moved in with her new boyfriend. I had an opportunity to transfer to a southerly location and get out of the cold and we moved 1700 miles away. I told her to she could come with us as there were plenty of fine schools where we were going but she refused. I told her if she ever changed her mind, there was a plane ticket with her name on it waiting for her. In the meantime, I had her sort all of her stuff from the house so we didn’t have to move it and she took it to her boyfriend’s house. What was left we junked. This could be Strike three but it gets better.
      New boyfriend gets transferred to a new super job and she moves with him about halfway between our old and new locations. She didn’t tell us and we didn’t find out about it for months. I thought she was dead. Her phone number was no longer in service. She finally calls and wonders why I didn’t call her. She got a new phone and didn’t think to tell any of the family. Fortunately, her boyfriend’s family accepts her with open arms. Then his father who has had several lung transplants, dies. We call and wish the family our condolences but the message never left the lips of the boyfriends sister. Daughter calls us and tells us we are rotten for not caring. Won’t listen to our side of the story. I can sense the deepening divide. They decide to get married and want me to pay for a destination wedding. I declined and told her to think about all of her friends and relatives that would have to pay transportation costs to get there. Plans changed. And changed. And changed. She finally decides to get married in her boyfriend’s hometown. Good choice. Then she hits me with ‘you have to pay for the rehearsal dinner, and everyone from out of town will be there. It will be an open bar.’ I am a recovering alcoholic and I would not pay for the booze and as for the dinner, I said “we’ll see.” Strike 3 for sure. After leaving home twice and blowing all of her money, I wasn’t going to support her extravagant wishes. I told her I would match what I gave to her older sister when she eloped. Not good enough. She no longer would accept my calls. Had our number blocked. I was able to email her and actually got a response. She was still bitching about money and calling her mother horrible names and I told her to apologize or she would have to find someone else to walk her down the aisle. That was the final communication. She got married and not one single person from her side of the family showed up. This, I think, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. No phone, no email, no text. We sent her Christmas gifts for her and hubby, but found out later that the visa gift card for him fell out of the package and she was pissed about that. 6 months later, her mother decides to try to contact her and sends her a birthday card. It comes back unopened with a message written on it: “it’s too late to try to communicate. I’m pregnant and you will never know her. And that’s for her own good”. Six years later with no communication, she goes on what I call her apology tour. Hitting everyone in the family up with her lies and sob story and I think, looking for a place to land. Seems her and hubby aren’t getting along very well. In the meantime, I find out that she has told her in-laws that we abused her, kept her in an ‘itty-bitty room’ and treated her horribly, among other things. She was never going to make fake apologies again. (At one point in time, she had to share a room with her sister) I spanked her once (one swat on the butt) for swearing at her mother when she was 14. Took 20 minutes to get her so I could get the swat in. Almost killed me. Her sister says they both lived in the same house and she never saw anything even close to abuse. They had water trampolines, seadoos, skidoos, 4 wheelers and lived on a lake with a beach. I did tell her once, when she threatened to call the cops and tell them that I was abusing her, if she made the call, I would make sure there was evidence of the abuse when they got to the house. Typical teenager. My Mom offered to give me pictures of my granddaughter, but I told her no, if my daughter wants me to see them, she can send them. My parents were the only ones she kept in contact with and it was usually around her birthday and Christmas time. My mother passed away and she never called me to offer condolences. My best friend and little brother died suddenly and she never contacted me. I have since removed her from my will (including descendants) and tossed everything I have that was hers or reminds me of her in the trash. There are no pictures of her on display in the house. My wife did save some pictures but has kept them hidden, and has since formed somewhat of a relationship with her again, but not in front of me. She wants me to just forgive and forget, and I won’t. I can’t trust a liar. I can forgive her for being selfish and immature, but not forget. She has never tried to right her wrongs (as a 12 stepper, I know how hard that is) and just wants to continue living like nothing happened. She told her mother, “My perception is my reality”. You can perceive a rock to be a tree, but it is still a rock. When asked about my children, I only admit to one. And that one is a fantastic human being. It’s just easier. I even dreamed that she knocked on my front door, and I asked her who the heck are you and slammed the door in her face. I have felt better ever since. If my granddaughter ever shows up in the future and asks why I didn’t have anything to do with her, I will just show her the unopened birthday card with the message on it. I have moved on. Still pray for her though. I can’t miss something I never had.

    • #42968

      I’m also new to this site. I’ve been estranged from my 28 year-old son for 5 months now; I had to insist that he leave our house after he became verbally abusive and disrespectful. He is very controlling and has been trying to influence all of his younger siblings to turn against me. He has lied about me and secretly recorded our conversations. What a betrayal I felt from the son who I loved and sacrificed so much for over the years.
      I found Sheri’s book and it has been so helpful during such a painful time. The first stab in the back came from my son, who developed a degrading view of women and blames me for some vague sense that I “manipulated” him while he was growing up.
      The second and even worse (in some ways) betrayal came from my husband who refused to require our son to have any respect for me, and who now sees it as his duty to “help” our son by doing everything for him and spending more time with him than with me or anyone else. Our other kids are all suffering, too.

    • #42981

      Hi, new friends. I’m the Mom of two adult children. I’d describe myself as “Rejected and Reconciled” with two children who estranged themselves from me as adults.

      Adult Child One, in their late 20s, suddenly cut off communication – literally NO communication from him – for seven years, for no reason I could think of, although I spent a lot of those years obsessing with what I might have done wrong, how I might have failed as a parent. It broke my heart to have a grandchild I had never met. It about destroyed me when a few years later Adult Child Two became increasingly critical of me despite what I saw as years and years of every kind of support, and finally completely cut off communication, not only with himself, but with grandchildren who loved my husband and me as much as we loved them. We had no contact for three years.

      This was especially bizarre to me, as I grew up in a family of several children, and all of us considered our parents our best friends, and as they aged, every one of us supported them emotionally and practically through illness, disability, and the process of dying. My husband and his sisters and brother also have been wonderful to their parents. I didn’t have kids so that I’d have caregivers as I aged, but I did expect that we would remain closely connected, especially as they grew up with the example of our concern for our parents.

      I also had the good luck to work in other cultures in “underdeveloped” countries, where family ties are very strong, and I thought that was the human normal. (I still think that strong family ties are the human normal, and that the estrangement situations in which we’ve found ourselves are a new and unusual result of changes in the society we and our parents and ancestors grew up in, and the newness and strangeness make this especially difficult for all of us to deal with, and make it hard for us to find allies in our struggles.)

      It took me a long time to realize that there is what I think of as an estrangement epidemic, partly because I was ashamed and silent about the situation with almost everyone. So I thought I had a fairly unusual situation: a good Mom totally rejected by her kids. That only happened to horrible parents, right? That was stupid, because I have a PhD in sociology, and have spent my adult life thinking about most problems as having roots in society, as well as in individuals, and trying to find solutions to those problems. I began to search the Internet and participate in support groups. I read books like Sheri’s, which made me feel my pain and problems were not unique.

      I spent a lot of time at forums and sites for Estranged Adult Children, who are sometimes very hurt, very angry, and sometimes want very much to reconcile, but don’t know how that can happen, trying to understand their perspectives.

      There aren’t a lot of studies about Estrangement yet, but I pondered those. I managed to put things I had learned to work for me.

      I’m lucky to have a husband who is totally supportive. Eventually – after years of anguish that I know you understand – we reconciled with Adult Child One after seven years. Later were able to get Adult Child Two to communicate with us after three years, and now see Adult Child Two and grandchildren . We still have work to do – I guess that’s always true of relationships, but we do feel like a family again.

      I wish I had found Sheri’s wisdom earlier about getting on with my own life and not obsessing and grieving day and night. I wasted YEARS when I could have been LIVING. And I wasted emotional energy I wish I had given to my wonderful husband and others in my life.

      I can’t say my story has ended happily, because my story hasn’t ended yet. I’d appreciate your support on our journey, and hope that I can offer support.

      I look forward to knowing you all.

    • #42998

      Hi, Morning:

      It will be such a bonus to have your perspectives on this pandemic as a sociologist. I live in a developing country (South Africa) and spent decades among the historically disadvantaged as an anti-apartheid activist. I even have two isiXhosa names! I simply can’t imagine this awful thing called ‘estrangement from adult children’ taking hold among the majority of our people here … it simply won’t fly as something seen to be the norm by young adults in our African, Indian and ‘coloured’ communities. Which means it’s a western thing threatening the social fabric of western society, doesn’t it? Awful …

      I do hope that, at a personal level, you will find comfort and support in this forum.

      Best wishes,

      • #43017


        Thank you for your warm welcome and your good wishes. It’s awesome that you have two Xhosa names. Your work as an anti-apartheid activist is even more awesome. Thank you for your work for justice and goodness.

        I’d love to hear about your insights into parent-child relationships in South Africa and your thoughts on what keeps families together. I’m very interested in understanding how cultures support or undermine family relationships.

        I look forward to getting to know you better on the forum.

    • #43027

      Hi all
      So glad i found a place where i can say what is hurting me!

      Just been blessed with first grand child in December and suddenly all changed with our only son! It was supposed to be the most joyous time for all of us, but it seemed they didnt want us to go at their place anymore which is not even 10 minutes drive from us!
      He sent me very cold worded message when i wanted to bring them some presents my own friends send me for the little one,and when my husband confronted him about this pushing us away, words were exchanged in anger and all was lost! He got hurt by both of us and he now resents us so much and he brings up a lot of stuff he says was building up as he think we were to clingy as he is an only child. And even though all we were and all we had was about him, that was not good enough as we have smothered him and made him feel always anxious to please us and not disappoint us etc etc..
      I dont know where that came from as we adore him and we love him unconditionally!
      They say that we overdid it when baby was born by going often over to see them and the baby. We have no one else in this country and daughter in law has no family here as well so i dont get it-arent families supposed to share joy and happiness together?
      We have a small business and our son worked with us, Now that has gone oear shaped as he doesnt want to come there and doesnt wanna even see his father at all. My husband, stupidly, on the confrontation reminded him that we helped them with something and now they dont need us anymore, and that ruined everything!
      He is angry with me for not standing up for him against his father and for saying that im his mother and he is supposed to open his arms to me always. He use to be very very close to me, we were best friends and he would come to me for anything.and i would do anything for him,help him with everything,, Dont know what changed! This is two weeks after baby was born, before that, we were the closest family in the world!We are both shocked as he titally changed!
      Now he accuses us for so many things!
      He will not forgive his father for what he said to him when angry. He is hurt and angry with me for what i said as well out of anger that day, but he asked to meet with me separately from his father and told me right away that he is cutting off his dad but not me!
      That was another bomb for me. He said that he love me and will always love me but he needs time to heal and needs his space. I find that im not able to deal with this much hurt and this sudden separation and i feel worse than when my father died. Im sooo sad and i lost the will to live,, Im crying night and day as im hurting immensely,, Couple of days ago they asked me to meet with them but not my husband. With heavy heart i accepted as dont want to lose them but feel so bad for my husband,, He was again very harsh with me saying that he resented us both as we have abused him all his lige (dont see where and is killing me as we only gave all our lives and our hearts to him), but didnt argue with him as didnt want to make him more angry and push him further away! I apologised for making him feel this way unknowingly. He was saying that i did that by not pushing him away and by keeping hem close and txting him all the time etc etc (we work together and have to be in contact all the time). Dont know what to do! Im dying inside every day mire and more. When he saw me kast time he got angry for me even looking sad and worn down! He said he doesnt want tears and he wants a strong mother. He even implied that i should get away from his father. His father is not the easiest man but hes got a golden heart.
      Now we are communicating via emails only even for work. He said they will see me only when they feel like it. Even on emails he doesnt want loving words from me as it aggravates him ( he says). Until three weeks ago, in every communications, it was only loving words from both sides!
      No idea what to do. Dont wanna eat, dont wanna work, cant sleep, dont wanna talk.. Im driving my husband crazy with this as he is a man and even though he is hurt (as he adores his son, truly adores him), but he doesn’t show it and he copes better.But my life has stopped to the point where i see no point of living anymore and had suicidal thoughts. Cant accept this situation, cant breath having my son 10 minutes away and not being able to see him and his family.

    • #43040

      Dear CryingMama,

      My heart goes out to you in your grief. There are many, many parents in this community with similar experiences as new grandparents. I’m sure you’ll find comfort here. But your suicidal thoughts are a worry. Sheri usually has wise words to say in such circumstances, but meanwhile – why not read some of the stories in ‘Introduce Yourself’ and ‘Welcome’, so you feel less alone? You aren’t alone, CryingMama. That’s why you’re here …


    • #43044

      Dear CryingMama,

      So many of the parents here have felt similarly to you. I’m sorryl you’re having to face this.

      One thing — the group is a good place to find helpful support, but we’re not equipped to handle suicide crisis intervention.

      Please be sure to take care in that way. I’ll put a link at the bottom of this post. Meanwhile, as mentioned, many have felt as if they could not go on, and yet they have come to terms over time and moved forward in their lives. Many are happy, and although things seem very dark just now, I believe there is good to be had, joy to hold, and perhaps even new avenues to fulfillment and meaning for you.

      You are stronger than you may think, CryingMama.

      Big Hugs to you! – Sheri


    • #43222

      Hello to everyone here. I am new to the forum although I have watched for a long while now. I don’t even know where to begin with my story. I chose to be a caree Mum and have 6 children.. my family was my achievement.. they were my whole world. My heart is so broken, my two eldest children don’t acknowledge me. Quite the opposite in fact. They won’t attend a function I am at, even when it is for one of their other siblings.. If I am there they boycot it. My exhusband was emotionally, mentally and financially (and physically occasionally too) very cruel but very few people actually saw what he was doing. After years of this I just had to move out. I am in another relationship with a lovely man, whose only mistake was to try to help me discipline my youngest son about bringing drugs and alcohol into our home. My youngest boy was in his early teens at the time and he was going right off the rails. Even selling the stuff from my place. We had police regularly at our door … and well I am sure you can picture the rest. I refused to end my new relationship and wouldn’t allow my son to continue with his illegal behaviour… and they (three kids and ex) blame me entirely for the family break up, the mess my boy was in and the fractures in my family. My eldest two took my boy from my care and took him to his fathers, where he dropped out of school, quit his job, made an absolute mess of his reputation and his health for quite a while. Only to have his father helping him care for his plants!! And then!! he played the same terrible mind games on our boy as he did me and yet I am the one they blame… I don’t get it, they know – even acknowledge – the things that ex was doing and yet they look past this and see my leaving and keeping my current realtionship as being the reason our family is broken. I wished I could have stayed… I tried too but I was loosing my mind- litterally.. I suffered terrible depression and anxiety which I am still battling with today. What is really sad is that what I am now is nothing like what I was when I met and fell in love with my ex. I was bubbly, happy, contented and had a great sense of self worth. How could he do this and how could I have let it happen?? And now my beautiful family – my whole reason for being here – is in tatters and everyone is broken hearted. Of the children that haven’t abandoned me, one is too afraid to acknowledge out loud that he is intouch with me. The remaining two are just so tired of the division-they took no sides, are loving to both parents and their siblings when allowed. Their heart aches as much as mine. Up until this year (its been 4 years) the older ones have insisted on two celebrations of every event so they don’t have to come in contact with me and so ‘they’ don’t miss out. I am so torn… on one hand I have to cope with the loss of contact with two kids and one grand child and on the other hand I have to watch the younger ones feel so much pain over their siblings dividing the family. And the whole time ex is sitting back watching, he is so smug about it all and he continues to keep tehm all stirred up. How can I help my ALL of my children… how do I go on not being allowed to be part of my older kids lives.. I just do not know what to do.

    • #43228

      Maybe start by accepting that you’re entitled to happiness with your ‘lovely man’ – and that he had every right to put some boundaries in place? Your younger children probably agree? Your older children may have more of their father in them – hence their behaviour and attitude towards you. It’s not your responsibility to fix that, Francis. Nurture yourself, your man and your relationship with the children who understand. Reading Sheri’s book will help … We’re here for you …