Welcome! – Support forum for parents of estranged adults

This topic contains 226 replies, has 130 voices, and was last updated by  Allie-Katz 1 week ago.

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  • #1892
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Just a quick note to tell everyone that I appreciate so much the positive focus the people in this forum tend to keep.

    I created http://www.RejectedParents.net and this forum as place of help and healing for parents of estranged adult children. To remind them to take care of themselves while going through the emotional upheaval of estrangement. That includes the disappointment, anger, shame, and other unsettling emotions that can go with the loss – – and gaining the support of others and the benefit of their wise experience.

    Some forums (on many topics) become places of hate, where people post in mean ways about the people who have hurt them. While it’s natural to feel angry, and venting in a sensible way can be helpful, doing so with the intention of hurting someone (and leaving a written record) could later be a source of regret. THIS FORUM IS NOT PRIVATE. Posts here DO show up on the Internet.

    I am very grateful to you all for your restraint, as well as your kindness to one another, to yourselves, and to me.

    Please also note that while this is a group intended for support and information sharing, it is not equipped or intended for crisis intervention. If you are suicidal, go to: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ — call: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

    OR, see the Crisis Info page on this website for resources around the world: https://www.rejectedparents.net/about-helping-parents-of-estranged-adult-children/crisis-info/

    Looking forward to a wonderful future with optimism and healthy forward focus.

    (rparents) Sheri McGregor – help and healing for parents of estranged adult children

    • This topic was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by rparents rparents.
  • #1910

    Bluesman
    Participant

    Thankyou Sheri for creating this forum. I would never of thought their would of been a market for this type of site as I felt I was the only parent to experience this. This forum and everyone included has helped me so much in taking a positive step forward and sorting out alot of emotional turmoil. Thankyou again everyone for listening and understanding. Let’s all keep Sheri proud of her forum and us by continuing to be Mature ,kind and helpful to eachother…CHEERS from Bluesman in cold and getting colder Ontario.

    • #14429

      chardon
      Participant

      Thank you Sheri for this site and also for what I believe is going to be one of my favorite books. I just started it.

    • #14440
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Hi Chardon,

      You must have hit the “reply” button to a much earlier post by a member, because your note is way up the list. I’m going to put it in quotes here, so that I can reply directly in line. Chardon, you said:

      “Thank you Sheri for this site and also for what I believe is going to be one of my favorite books. I just started it.”

      To which I will say, thank YOU. I’m so glad you are feeling good about what you’re reading right from the first pages. When I wrote the book, I went over and over and over the words to try and get a tone that would be uplifting and encouraging … so what you say here means a lot. Now, if only you’ll feel good at the end as well!
      🙂
      Sheri McGregor

    • #21327

      Sensational
      Participant

      I so grateful for this forum. I have felt so isolated for so long, with feelings of shame, humilation and intense lonelineness. I feel sad that we all have to meet under these circumstances, and I am so gratefully happy for this community of support. Thank you so much for creating this healing, supportive site Sheri.

  • #1915

    Remember1
    Participant

    yes , so appreciate this forum Sheri . I have been so consumed with my Son’s estrangment . I wanted to move away, somewhere far where nothing would remind me of him.
    He lives in them same town as me and is an avid bike rider- When I see a group of riders I find myself staring hoping I will see him . I must look like a weirdo , stalker .
    Never did I ever imagine my sweet son would not be in my life. Now from this site, I can try and not be so hard on my self wondering what the heck I did to him to drive him away. I have read many of the posts and the common thread seems to be that we dont know why . We may never know . I pray for my son that he is healthy , safe and loved. I also pray I can face another day and feel good about myself again.

    Hugs to all

    • #1949

      TriciaFran
      Participant

      I am thankful to find this community. Like Remember1, I keep dreaming about moving far away but I can never get away from the sadness and loss. The book that was recommended somewhere on this website, Breaking Through Betrayal, was really helpful. The author talks about three stages that one goes through after suffering from betrayal and I went through all three of them. I realized that what has happened to me is a betrayal of the worst kind. My only child, who I raised as a single mother, got married to someone with a serious personality disorder. She put me through so much that I am glad for the peace and quiet. I will never understand how my son could go along with her rules and abandon me. I have only seen my grandson three times and he is 19 months old. He doesn’t even know who I am. I am learning to stop thinking about it, when I start, I try to make myself think of something else. All I can say is, I never, ever, expected my life to turn out like this. TF

    • #2897
      groovienan61
      groovienan61
      Participant

      You have said exactly what I have been living through also. Not knowing what on earth I did that was so awful to drive my daughter away. We once shared a happy, loving relationship & since I realised that my daughter may never talk to me again (& that thought scares me), I have had to deal with poor health, job loss, my partner being diagnosed with a serious illness, his job loss & just to top it all off, the lose of our home & being homeless. It would have been very comforting to know that my daughter was there for me when life got very challenging & I felt like giving up. After all, I sacrificed my life, time & effort to make sure she was safe, housed, clothed, feed, warm, secure, had an education & a roof over her head & me to support her & be there if she needed my help & love. Surely I wasn’t asking too much. All my expectations were met with silence & a harshness I would have only expected from an adult child who had been treated badly by their parent. But that wasn’t her case. She will never know just how much I just wanted a hug from her & for her to tell me life would get better again. That didn’t happen. It has left me having difficulties trusting others, not being about to feel love & doubting myself when I once wouldn’t even have given it a second thought. My mental illness that was once under control, has been the worst it has ever been with me needing to be hospitalised & fighting for my life. What has made her feel so unloving & bitter. I have had 13 years to think about it but still my answer is… “I don’t just know & I just don’t get this estrangement.” I never thought that I would be going through something that one people who treat their children poorly would deserve. I am now in recovery mode & the heartache will never go away but at least I now have moments of feeling content & at peace. I understand what you have said & I can imagine that there are millions of parents out there who have the same feelings & thoughts. Being positive is the only way to think… anything else just leaves you feeling absolutely spent. Keep strong & be kind to yourself.

  • #1938

    notagain
    Participant

    Sheri, it is you who is the special person who helps us all refocus into the positives instead of the negatives that arise only too well and too much.

    No matter whether I am having a good day or a not so good day, I would rather have someone like you reminding me, gently to look forward.

    Whether a good day for me, or a not so good day, I find this website gives me the answers, or the support, or the encouragement that I lack in my own sole, alone view.

    Thank you, Sheri, for being there and giving me the opportunity of connecting with others.

  • #1942

    linwinning
    Participant

    I agree . So wonderful to be part of such an inspiring group especially on the bad days when it helps me refocus on staying positive.

  • #2008
    NewPerspectives
    NewPerspectives
    Participant

    Hi Everyone,

    I am new to this forum, but not new to estrangement. I have missed my 2 adults sons for 12 years.
    They are now 30 and 31 years old –old enough to know better. I think they do know right from wrong, they are just motivated by the wrong things. More about that at another time.

    It took me almost a decade to move on — with the help of some loving people. For years I felt erased, but have learned that this can only happen with my permission. Now I realize that I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for my past. I have redefined myself and my life– and it is a beautiful life. I no longer feel guilty that I can have such a wonderful life.

    Looking forward to meaningful exchanges.

  • #2028

    chardon
    Participant

    Sheri,
    Thank you for this wonderful site. I come here if I am on top of the world or on the bottom of it. What we are going though is so tough and we need a place where others understand and offer supports.

  • #2033

    notagain
    Participant

    Sheri, it is you we must thank for keeping us positive. Until I found this site I was floundering, thinking it was only me who was in the state of being a rejected parent, a number of times.

    It has helped me considerably hearing your own guidance and what other commenters have to say.

    Yes, I agree, Remember 1, group hugs to all. There are better days ahead, with or without the children who rejected us.

  • #2061

    linwinning
    Participant

    R parents , I hope you are extremely busy. I hope you are not having a difficult time yourselves. It is easy to forget that you too are estranged. I hope you have support around you for your bad times. If all is well and you are just having a hectic few days take some time to recoup afterwards. Or maybe that is exactly what you are doing. Having a break and taking some relaxing time. Whatever I hope all is well. .

    • #2067
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Thank you, winlin.

      I am well – – attended a business conference for three days. Then I came back to several work and family commitments. I am busy and fine!
      🙂

      Thanks again. I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

      Sheri (rparents)

  • #2069

    MJmom
    Participant

    I too appreciate the love and support this site has given me. Sheri you have been a pillar for many. This is a question I have not seen addressed. How do you find your time and expertise for this site? I for one would like to donate to keep your site going. It certainly can’t be easy to be available to so many for free. I am sure many agree! Bless you!

  • #2071
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Thank you, Mjmom … and everyone who has posted notes here. You are all so very kind and wonderful. It is truly my pleasure to be among you.

    I make time for this because I want to help other parents to be happy and well, despite the harrowing trauma of estrangement. The site is a labor of love. Several people have asked me about donations, or whether I’m making money off the site – – no. Not at this time. In the future, it could be necessary for me to accept advertising, but not right now. It is funded by me because it is important to me to help.

    Regarding my expertise, you can find out more about me on the “about” page http://www.rejectedparents.net/about-helping-parents-of-estranged-adult-children/, which includes links to additional information as well.

    Thanks again, Mjmom. I so appreciate your kind words.

    Sheri

  • #2133

    huckleberry
    Participant

    Hello to all and I look forward to being able to talk with people going through the brokenness of estrangement.
    I am 60 years old and have history of family estrangement. These seem to have attributed to the broken relationship with my daughter.
    It would take 50 episodes of Dr Phil to go through part of it.
    So I’ll just forge ahead with help from others and fight the war in my heart and soul.
    Thanks for listening.
    🙂

  • #2180

    calvad
    Participant

    I am so happy to have found this site. I have been dealing with estrangement from my almost 25 year old daughter all alone. She has also cut my family out, so they have their own pain to deal with. I don’t want to talk about it with others, and look forward to this supportive forum.

  • #2182

    Anonymous

    As so many others have said before me, I am happy to have found this site. Even though I’m relatively new to estrangement (given the number of years others are citing) – I feel as shocked and devastated as if I’m grieving. I look forward to talking to other parents about how they handle these feelings.

  • #2185

    Gabriella
    Participant

    Hi to All,
    Appreciate Sheri in helping through the despair and trying to find a way of moving forward. New to the group, I am grateful to read how others find a way to cope. I had a wonderful relationship with my son growing up. Over the years, life happened and this hurtful mess of estrangement is here. Sometimes I am filled with such deep depression and anxiety, I wonder
    does it ever go away? I have gotten rid of the reminders he had given me in the past. I have started a daily grateful list. Does the hole in your heart ever heal?

  • #2191

    linwinning
    Participant

    Gabriella, you will learn to enjoy your life again despite the hole in your heart. Estrangement is like recovering from a death. The hole hurts less when you can focuses on other things in your life friends, work , hobbies and interest s .I am only estranged 3 months so I can not say yet whether the hole ever heals but it already hurts less. Welcome. .

  • #2202

    MJmom
    Participant

    Gabriella
    Welcome. You asked if the pain ever goes away. After estrangement off and on for over 3 years I can tell you it eases but for me, has never gone away. It resurfaces ever time a family event happens…deaths, births, holidays. What does get better is the ability to protect yourself from ever getting back into a hopeless deep hole. The ability to regain your confidence and the ability to know you can and will survive. Whatever doesn’t kill us will make us stronger.

  • #2233

    WhyMe
    Participant

    TriciaFran,

    I am new to the forum. I just read your Jan 21 post. It brought me to tears because I can totally relate to you. Although I was not a single parent, I felt like I was at times. I too only have one child, a son. He was so sweet growing up. I never could’ve imagined this happening. He is married, and I don’t know if his wife is part of the solution or problem. I too have a 20 month old grandchild, but haven’t been allowed to see her since she was 6 months old. My relationship with my son has been up and down for about 10 years now. It hurts my heart so much. Some days are easier than others. The other night I had a nightmare that my son died, and I was frantically screaming in my dream because of how things were left with us. I felt horrible when I woke up and had a very emotional day. I too try not to think about things, but it seems reminders are everywhere. He has not talked to me, this time, in over a year now. I keep asking myself what more can I do, but I have done everything I can think of. I am trying to accept that he needs to come to me now….if and when he wants.

  • #2239

    linwinning
    Participant

    Whyme, you are not alone. Welcome. I am glad you have reached knowing that you have done all you could. We all hope our children will return when they are ready and able to be loving adults. In the meantime we must carry on because the world will keep turning. You will find this forum helps.

  • #2355

    IsraeliRose
    Participant

    Thank you this is my first post to the group. My daughter has not talked to me for several years. We had some short conversations but for the most part it’s been since Christmas since I have seen her. We have this pattern in the past going back years that I try and break the ice by starting to text but usually never get return text. I live alone and always thought my kids, son and daughter would automatically call every now and then to see if I am still alive etc. I do not hear from my son either. It is in a way a relief to know I am not alone in this situation. I cry, my heart breaks I get upset, angry and depressed. I have no idea why this happens so I am so thankful for this forum where I can read and learn and vent. More later……

    • #16861

      Anonymous

      I am also new to this site. I appreciate the uplifting words and the feeling of not being alone. I carry much guilt and my daugghter’s hurtful words to me cut deeply. I am trying to recover and move on with my life.

  • #2357

    linwinning
    Participant

    Israelirose , welcome – read , vent and share .you will find support here. .

  • #2358

    MJmom
    Participant

    Welcome to our group. I hope you find peace and know you aren’t alone. It is such a long journey to find happiness in ourselves and the strength to get on with our lives and really mean it. The stories seem to have a lot in common. The end of the story is different for all of us yet I see parts of my own life being played out. After years my tears and anger have given way to acceptance and resolve. My daughter emailed me on Friday and said she had her own “family” (in laws) no kids thankfully, and she didn’t want to be involved with us on a regular basis. I emailed back thanking her for allowing me to put our relationship in perspective and wished her well. She was shocked. I was relieved. Finally rational thoughts not emotional.

  • #2368

    MJmom
    Participant

    As I have evolved from this heartache, thanks in part to the wonderful support of all of you, it is almost like a cloud has been removed from my eyes. Don’t get me wrong….there is not a day that goes by I don’t relish the days when my daughter was a daily part of my life. I had a wonderful life then. Now my life is different, but still has so many great aspects to it. I felt guilty to enjoy happiness. I felt I deserved to be unhappy. But you know, dear I was in control. I just didn’t know how much. I can’t change the way my daughter is. I can only change the way I handle it. Perhaps someday she will see the light. Maybe she won’t. But our lives go on and our legacy should not be that we tried and failed. It should be that we tried and gently backed away knowing we did our best.,

    • #24315

      taffnan
      Participant

      Dear Mjmom, I can so relate to this. Firstly I must say that I am new to this group and, although, I have found a similar group on the internet, I find this one the most uplifting. Which I think is what we all need. I don’t believe any of us can really change the situations we find ourselves in – it is only our estranged children that can do that. What we must do is to learn acceptance and to make the best of the life that we have. I have absolutely no idea what happened with my daughter and what turned our (what I thought was) a close and loving relationship into one of estrangement. I believe that her husband was at the root of it. However, that is for another time. The biggest regret is missing out on the two grandchildren who were 6 and 8 years old when she broke contact (by phone). I had previously been close to both and have gone through so much heartbreak over them. But, life goes on. children grow up and our lives must move on too

  • #2372

    Anonymous

    Thanks for working with me Sheri, to help me get my registration sorted out. I really appreciate it. I seem to go along feeling not too bad but then hit a patch where I’m very low. I think because my youngest grandson turns one this week and I was with them this time last year, it’s catching up with me…It’s good to have a place to come.

  • #2377

    heartbrokenmama
    Participant

    Good morning, this is my first post. All I can say is wow. there are others out there that had great relationships that suddenly went south. I have just sat here and cried. I can’t seem to move past this. When someone mentions her name my eyes well up with tears. Please tell me this gets better. I love her and miss her. I am getting counseling but I just seem so stuck in this spot. It was been two years and it doesn’t seem to get better. I look forward to the support from this forum and I pray that in the midst of this I can somehow help someone else. Thank you for this forum.

  • #2393

    MJmom
    Participant

    I just read latest posts. Under “why” section a poster says she is so depressed she wants God to take her home. I don’t have the wisdom or words to help under this kind of despair. I never felt it was my only means out. Anyone relate to this stressful beyond hope situation?

    • #2420
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Hi MjMom,

      You posted about seeing landy’s comment under the “Asking Why?” article on the site.

      In my research, I have heard similar statements. as landy’s. Sometimes, life can feel uncertain and even hopeless. What a difference a day can sometimes make!

      I have replied to landy’s comment ( Ihope in a helpful way). Perhaps others will also reply to her comment: http://www.rejectedparents.net/adult-child-is-estranged-parents-ask-why/#comment-57241

      Hurting moms need support. By posting a comment, she reached out, which is good.

      Sheri

  • #2398

    calvad
    Participant

    Good evening. Today is my daughter’s 25th birthday. She moved and does not provide an address so I can not send her anything. Send texts with no response. Tried to call but phone number has changed. So difficult. This is the first birthday I have not been able to at least tell her happy birthday. She got more and more estranged over the past 4 years with now total estrangement. My heart hurts today as she has never told me what or why…just stopped communicating with me. I remember all of the fun birthdays and that makes it better. Wonder what ever happened…

  • #2400

    linwinning
    Participant

    Calvad, today will pass and tomorrow will be better. You do right to remember the happy birthday s. You were a good parent and this is not your fault. Be kind to yourself.

  • #2427

    MJmom
    Participant

    Dear Sheri and Winlin
    Thanks for responding to Landy. I am sure your kind words and welcoming was a source of comfort. I never had those thoughts are emotions. I can’t imagine not having sources of support that makes life wonderful. Even in desperate moments I had distractions that didn’t fulfill the emptiness totally but was a needed distraction. You are both very wise and appreciated on this site.

  • #2436
    xntryk
    xntryk
    Participant

    Another Mother Estranged from Adult Daughter and her Family 15.03.08

    I am new to this group but have been following the comments for some time, looking forward to becoming part of the dialogue, especially as I am in the same boat as everyone else. For some technical reasons, I’ve had problems registering but hopefully that will be over now and I can contribute to, and take comfort from, this very supportive environment.
    I’d just like to thank Sheri McGregor – first of all for putting together this group; it really is invaluable, and second, for working with me to help me get past my tech problems – she really did help me persevere, many times when I was ready to throw in the towel.

    • #2440
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      You’re welcome xntryk. I’m just glad you were able to finally get on board. Not sure what the problem was exactly, but in the end, I believe it had something to do with an existing avatar associated with a particular email address. To anyone else who has had trouble…I’m happy to try to work it out for you.

      Welcome to xntryk!

      Sheri McGregor

  • #2455

    KimberlyRenae
    Participant

    As a new member, it really is enlightening to see how many others are struggling with the same problem. Honestly, never in a million years did I think I would be a parent of an estranged daughter. I think back to the years of raising all three of my girls and keep asking myself why my oldest went astray. I have also spent countless hours trying to figure out what I did wrong and trying to fix it. But the reality may very well be that this isn’t about me as a parent, but more about my daughter and who she has become, whether by choice, or by her own perceived circumstances. I think the hardest part in all of this is acceptance of something you really don’t have control over, and trying to move on and enjoy/flourish the other positive parts of my life (like my other two amazing daughters). Some days that comes pretty easily, other days not so much. As many have posted, having grandchildren in the mix adds an additional layer of pain. Not being able to see them seems so fundamentally wrong on so many levels. I haven’t lost hope that this will eventually work out and my daughter will see her way back to her family. But until that time, I need to do whatever it takes to live my life and focus on the good things.

  • #2471

    MJmom
    Participant

    Hello everyone
    After years of off again on again relationship with my oldest daughter I have sadly but needing to put our bond to rest. I no longer have or will contact her again. She has made it now perfectly clear their is no room in her life for her parents, siblings or nieces. I tried to reconcile but she got only pleasure from our pain. This is the first time I will not be inviting her to Easter or birthdays coming up. No cards no emails. I have spent going on 4 years trying to figure out what I did wrong. There never was an answer because I did the best I could but that was never enough. She enjoyed seeing people miserable. I wish I knew how her mind worked. Maybe then there could have been a resolution. The values which I taught all of my kids and tried to do myself weren’t for her. She created a false facade of herself that others accepted. Therapy was of no use. One sided stories and false memories or fuel a fire. I am better, happier and healthier without her in my life. I will always love her or at least what she was, but I no longer will wait for tokens of attention or making myself hope for whatever may have been. I hope I don’t come across as harsh and uncaring. It took many years of hope crushed on a whim. I am better than that. My energy deserves to be used for those who are happy and loving towards me. I hope your stories have a happy ending. What the ending is can only come from within. I finally realized that now.

  • #2476

    linwinning
    Participant

    Mjmom, you sound like a mom who has accepted a situation that she has no control over. I am hoping to avoid that cycle of hope crushed on a whim. But I still cling to the hope so it could well be crushed but it is still early days only 4 months not 4 yrs. I am moving on and adjusting . I am glad you can give your energy to those who love you.

  • #2479

    calvad
    Participant

    I can’t tell you all how happy I am to have found this site. When I tell others about it, I use the word “Positive” to describe this site. It helps me see I am not the only one. My daughter’s estrangement and leaving used to be my “dirty little secret”. After 4 years, my family does not know what to say. She has also distanced herself from all of them. I feel they don’t want to hear me but really think they don’t know what to say. I don’t talk with my friends about this as it makes people uncomfortable. It is good to know that people are able to move on. My son will not have a thing to do with his sister. He has seen how she treats me. This makes me sad, as I feel siblings should have each other. Thanks for wonderful words of encouragement. It is good to feel like I am moving into another chapter of life. Sheri, I really like your description of how adult kids think we are stagnant. They don’t want to let go of their anger and let things get better or even different. Only I can do that.

  • #2502

    ArtEye
    Participant

    As I read the comments above I totally agree in thanking Sheri McGregor for this valuable forum. I also see the common thread of bewilderment. Things like–” I never thought my life would turn out like this”, ” This isn’t how I pictured my relationship with my child to ever become, or just simply, ” How did this happen?” I am mostly plagued by guilt but not sure what I could have done differently. My daughter was always difficult. She was never good at friendships or relationships , especially with other girls. She always picked the wrong guys to date and has a pattern of abusive relationships. Through all this she managed to become a physician and has a wonderful career. She married and my husband and I were alerted to abuse in her marriage by a friend of hers. Our intrusion in her life has caused our estrangement. She has cut off all her friends, won’t give us her current address, and basically is isolated. I know that is what an abuser wants and I guess he has gotten his way. The feelings of guilt and questioning myself seep into all aspects of my life. This whole situation has made me feel inadequate and useless. As many have said, it’s like a death occurred and we have to cope as best we can. It is so comforting to know I am not alone.

  • #2516

    abigbluesky
    Participant

    I just joined this forum. Sheri is just great for setting it up. I guess you are all USA citizens, or are there any Brits out there like me? There is another forum based in the UK called FamilyLives, but it deals with various other issues as well as Parent Estrangement, whereas this one is devoted solely to the subject. My situation is that I have had an on-off relationship with my only child, my son for the last 11 years. He is 37 and left London UK to live in Seoul South Korea in 2003 following an ultimatum by me from me to leave my home after many troubles with him. I thought he would go and live a few miles away, but he decided 7000 plus miles would be better! He told me at the time that it was my punishment. To cut a long story short, the relationship got much worse recently, as I said, we have had our ups and downs, but overall, over the 12 years, despite his neglect of me (no cards, presents, no regular calls), which I accepted, our relationship felt special; and the downs were never as bad as this one right now. He and his Korean GF spent Christmas with me as did his father who is a Swede and lives in Sweden. They behaved badly drinking huge amounts of alcohol, leaving a trail of mess and untidiness all around the house, there were arguments and threats; it was really stressful, topped off on New Year’s Eve by his GF disappearing from the pub where we were celebrating in the centre of London for 12 whole hours; she has always refused to tell us where she went or what she did. She was reported as a missing person and the police got involved, air tickets back to Seoul had to be cancelled. She turned up at 11.30am on New Year’s Day with brushed hair and full make up; she did not look like someone who had spent all night on an all night bus which is all she would tell the police. A nightmare. Cue tickets uncancelled and they fly back to Korea that day. For the following two weeks my son and I argued over the way his life has deteriorated since he moved in with his Korean GF (his funds evaporating, loss of a job he had had for many years, financial dependency on the GF, GF abusing him and controlling him with regular threats to throw him out). Sometimes he agreed with me, but mostly he was angry and defensive. I thought it couldn’t get worse, but it did. He is a teacher and required to have medical tests every two years. He had a CT scan of his chest and a really big tumour was discovered in his chest. That was mid January this year. He went crazy with fear and sadness and scapegoated me, hurling tirades of angry abuse. Both he and his GF cut off contact with me. He wouldn’t let me speak to him before his major operation and following his operation, things didn’t get better. I had to find out that he had woken up and that his tumour was benign through communication with others. I am so happy it was benign, I found that out yesterday. So even though he wants nothing further to do with me, at least he still walks the earth. And like others posting on here, I am working on starting a new life without him and I will survive, as the song goes. Good luck to all of you!

  • #2521

    linwinning
    Participant

    Bluessky I am a brit and so is queeni but she does not post as much anymore. Bluesman is canadian. As are a few others. I think a couple are french . Sheri s advice seems to draw people worldwide. I am glad you know your son is alive and well. I am sure that the relieve will bring you comfort. We wish our children well despite estrangement. But we deserve a life beyond the pain of estrangement as well. This site will help you with moving on. Welcome.

  • #2689

    Joyful
    Participant

    Hi Everyone,

    Very glad you are here. Great support system! I have suffered over 10 years now estranged from both my girls. First left then second followed. Your stories so close to mine. Both my girls say I did not do anything and youngest even told me she had a good childhood. Older had recounted all the great things I taught her about life. Hard to believe I don’ t even get phone calls on holidays. The hurt is enormous. I am learning to let go of them and enjoy my own life without them. I really like the positive focus that directs us to move forward and enjoy our life. Thanks everyone..

  • #2698

    MovingON
    Participant

    Thank you to everyone, this site has a given me so much empowerment, and permission to carry on to accept my loss. The 6+ years have been terribly difficult, but now I realize it is ok to let go of this sadness.
    And enjoy all the wonderful blessings I now have in my life. The journey has taken me through so much emotion, it is now a waste of valuable energy and time. I will always love the little girl I raised into this world and hope the very best for her.
    I need to protect myself from going back into the sad place and as mjmom said-enjoy “Unconditional Freedom” from this burden and realize yes she truly has put my life in perspective, I just needed to accept that fact and carry on..
    BIG HUGS to all you wonderful people, we so need this positive reinforcement.!

  • #2702

    exmother
    Participant

    I too am new to this site just this week. I never imagined how common this situation is! I have always felt so alone! My mother is my best friend and I could never write her off like my children did with me! It is a pleasure and honor to read all of your stories and how you deal with your pain. I have definitely found some peace here!

  • #2875

    Joyful
    Participant

    Thank you Sheri for your time. I know you created this forum as well as manage this site daily. It’s takes committment and dedication to keep this going. I felt I was alone until I found this forum. It has made an incredible difference.

  • #2877

    MissDonna
    Participant

    Thank God I have found “others like me”. I thought I was a freak and worthless mom based on my adult children’s behavior. I hate that there are others out there hurting too but thank God I am not alone in this.

  • #2903

    StrongMum
    Participant

    Hi everyone

    Thanks you for this website, Sheri.

    I live in Australia but it seems parent estrangement is a global issue. I live alone and have absolutely no one. I’m experiencing job loss and trying to build a life again studying for a different occupation at my age of 60! I need something to take my mind off. The sadness is just overwhelming. I am training myself to think that I have no children. This way, I have no expectation. It’s just me and this cold world.

    StrongMum

  • #2916

    RubyBouchais
    Participant

    Hello everyone,
    I’m new to the community, having found it after the latest unthinkable experience in my saga with sons who rejected me years ago. I read about my oldest son’s heart attack and stent operation on the facebook page of his mother-in-law. Though he silenced me years ago, I needed to do something so sent heart health books through Amazon with a note on the shipping invoice from my heart to his. A month later, I have no idea how he is or if he’s doing anything to change his lifestyle.
    It was this experience that sent me on a search for others who are experiencing this out-of-synch process of aging without the children we raised and naturally anticipated a future with. And not just living without them (and grandchildren), but with the knowledge they consciously chose to eradicate me from the family I started. There’s no understanding from those who haven’t experienced it, and I can understand why they secretly (and sometimes vocally) suspect I did something to deserve this. That’s the very thing that makes it unthinkable, that your kids could cut you out of their lives for no tangible reason, and convince everyone in their path that you’re to blame.
    And yet, I truly have learned to let go of the self-inflicted torment of wanting to know ‘why?’ After years of waking up crying, searching everywhere for answers (spiritual and secular) – anything to alleviate the ceaseless pain and agitation, I had a conversation with a friend who’s the same age as my sons, that was such a ‘snap!’ moment for me, I can credit it as the moment I began healing. She simply said, “Your sons are middle-age, brat punks.” Ouch, and yes! It gave me a place to put it while I began to remember who I was and what my dreams were before identifying first as Mom. I started to think about me and the time I have left here as my most important assets. And I stopped thinking of them as ‘my sons’. They aren’t by their own choice and the truth does set us free.
    I identified so much with what MJMom wrote, particularly when she hoped she didn’t sound harsh. Seems that even in our healing we have to hedge being suspected of something! I recently read an interview with Elton John’s very elderly mother, and she echoed what MJMom wrote. She’s found peace and is happier without her son’s drama and cruelty. And I agree with Sheri, that like unevolved children, they think of us as static, “just Mom”.
    Thank you, Sheri, for bringing this wonderful community together. I’m grateful to find all of you. I feel your pain and see proven through your stories and mine, scar tissue is stronger than skin.
    Ruby Bouchais

  • #2919

    MJmom
    Participant

    Hello Ruby
    Isn’t it the truth we have been dealt brat punks. Sometimes I get angry and wished I had a “headache” on that particular evening. Other parts of me are reminded that we did have some good times and how much I love her. I just cannot or will not be around her. As our estrangement goes on, I have heard from other relatives that she can’t believe I no longer want to stay in touch. She lost a lot of fuel when she couldn’t have me. I truly am happier now that I have totally accepted reality. I hope your life is happy and fulfilled.

  • #2953

    RubyBouchais
    Participant

    Hi MJMom,
    Your sometimes wishing for a headache that night made me laugh out loud. It does seem my sense of humor started coming back in direct measure to my ability to accept the reality with my sons. It also gave me the weird ability to laugh and cry .. or cry and laugh, at the same time – which I think might be the most heart-honest response I’ve had yet to all this. Thank you for responding to me. I hope our laugh lines take on a life of their own now :).

  • #2979

    clod
    Participant

    I wrote a letter of how I was wrong in many specific ways last October. I saw him on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’ve e-mailed him a couple of times because I wanted him to know about certain things. I’ve called his answering machine once in a while but don’t leave a message. (I figure he can tell it’s me. And he’s hard to reach anyhow.) But now I feel like writing him, “It’s been 7 months. I’m sorry. Forgive me. Get over it.” I really don’t think I would ever write that to him. And he does still talk to his dad sometimes (also hard to reach since he works far away) But now, instead of being heartbroken, I’m often mad. But I am getting more used to it. His absence doesn’t preoccupy me as much as it used to. The other son is soon going to be the father of 2, so that’s exciting.

  • #3009

    WMS710
    Participant

    Thanks “mom” for creating this website and letting me know that there are many people going through the same thing that I am going through with the estrangement of a child, or in my case, an “adult” child

  • #3016

    NITA
    Participant

    Hi I’m new to this so bear with me.. I’m very happy that I found this site. I will try to share my story and hopefully even make new friends. That being said here goes…….

    I Am divorced for 9 years. I’m a mom of 4, 1 man now, 3 adult women, and 6 grandchildren.
    The daughter who is distancing from me has 3 children. This stepdad “reason for divorce” fell in love with her. Yes a pig. The fact is I made a mistake. Yes I have sincerely owned my mistake. She has always said that I didn’t do wrong by her. So you’re wondering what I feel guilty about till this day? I Told a 17 year old that she’d have to get a job and help me pay rent. Wrong so wrong of me. She’s now 28.

    She doesn’t say this is the reason she just stopped talking to me in February of this year…….I’m just needing some support and other views of parents who are estranged and don’t really know why
    Thank you

  • #3076

    Balletomane
    Participant

    Stochholm Syndrome
    Message. Hi everyone, I’ve been reading the posts on this forum and have found them to be comforting; thank you.

    I had tried another similar forum inicially, right after the estrangement, but had found it troubling; I felt I couldn’t relate: most of the participants talked about past substance abuse, multiple abusive relationships, etc. I now realize that estrangement of adult children can happen to any mother and I am in no way more of a victim for having had just one husband or for having been lucky enough not to have had to deal with an addiction. No mother deserves rejection from her child.

    I’m a mother of five children and have been married to their father for 43 years. Two years ago, my youngest daughter went to live in Colombia with a man 14 years her senior, who had been her acting teacher. She had no romantic involvement with him until about a month before she left with him to live in the most dangerous part of Colombia, on the no-travel list of most embassies. He then married her there in order for her to be able to legalize her situation in Colombia, but it turned out that he had been married already and had not bothered to get a divorce. After a few months, they tired of living in Colombia and decided to go to MIami, to try their luck there. My daughter is a US citizen but had never lived in the US. He had married the first wife (that I know of) in order to get his Spanish nationality – he had been living in Spain illegally. When they announced he was planning on entering the US as a tourist and then adjusting status to permanent resident, I became worried that my daughter would be accused of visa fraud, so I flew to Miami and stayed with them for 3 weeks trying to sort out the mess. Things were very strange, I don’t think he ever had the intention of staying in the US and just put on a show for my daughter who was tired of being couped up in a house in Colombia, scared for her safety. Finally, they came back to Spain, where he owes money in taxes, wages for people that worked for him, bank loans, etc.that he had no intention of paying when he fled to Colombia in the first place. He now has everything in my daughter’s name.
    My daughter, who had been a professional ballet dancer and then studied to be an actress, told me while still in Miami, with no money, no assests, no job or even money for tickets out of the States or for another month’s rent, told me that all she wanted was to get pregnant! I begged her to wait untill they were settled (she didnt even have health insurance), she got very offended and cut off all contact with me. I think he” filters” her messages and even answers them in her name. I am sure that he had the intention of convincing her to cut off ties with her family and took the first opportunity that presented itself. She was so close to all her siblings, in fact she was the link between them all and now , one by one, she has cut us all off. My husband has tried to see her – meet her for coffee but she always gives an excuse.

    I had been physically sick from all the drama she put me through while living in Colombia- the witnessing of shooting deaths of 2 of his family members, she was nearly kidnapped, they didn’t have enough money to move- there was something new every day. I know she has been brain washed and now has Stockholm Syndrome . Not a day goes by that I don’t worry about her, the sadness is overwhelming. I try to fill my days with my grandchildren, practicing mindfulness, yoga, meditation..but I don’t think I would feel any worse had she been actually kidnapped by the FARC and kept in an undisclosed location in the Amazon jungle.

    I have grown from this, though; I police my thoughts now. Whenever a negative thought enters my mind, I try to expel it immediately. Sometimes I think I’ve finally reached the acceptance stage of the grief process but suddenly I regress to the previous stages: I feel angry, impotent, sad; so sad that no amount of life hacks manage to lift my spirits. I do have hope that both of us , my daughter and I, will survive; she will come to her senses and regain her values and priorities one day.

    Thank you so much, Sheri, for this forum. Please excuse me if I have posted in the wrong place- I am new to writing on forums.

  • #3131

    Jg
    Participant

    I am new to this forum and only want to say that I feel forums like this one is so beneficial to all of us left scratching our heads and wondering what did I do, where did I go wrong.
    I have suffered with deep depression and insomnia over this.
    I feel that in order to be the best mother in law, mother, grandmother I let my children walk all over me. They called all the shots. If I didn’t do something their way they would pull the grandchildren card. Suddenly I wasn’t me. I could have continued and probably still been in their lives on totally escalating terms. I one day said that I wanted respect and they pulled the rug.
    My daughter (41) wants nothing to do with me. My son (47) we have a phone relationship only. He did not speak to me at all and then found out that his wife had lied about many things and he doesn’t want to divorce after 21 years of marriage so we only talk on the phone.
    I am hoping that this forum helps some of the pain
    NanaG

  • #3137

    vintagewine
    Participant

    Thank you so very much Sheri for having this site to go to for support, encouragement and , advice
    for such an overwhelming and heartbreaking situation .
    I appreciate it very much….

  • #3190
    queeniococo
    queeniococo
    Participant

    I know I’ve not posted for quite some time (my kids got worse and made life quite difficult), but I’m still here, still appreciating this site and so thank full Sheri that you have the time and patience for all of us. You are always the voice of reason and balance when our worlds feel upside down.

    And thankful for all of you that share your lives on the forum. When we hear each other’s stories we know each other’s pain, and the support here is special.

  • #3212
    hurts
    hurts
    Participant

    Thank you so very much !!!! I may not write very often, but everyone’s words inspire me to push on and I feel I am so much stronger now than I was when I first found this life saving site. I don’t sit think and cry half as often, I want to get out and smile and do things and enjoy my life and also make my husband smile again. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart !!!!!!!

  • #3267

    TriciaFran
    Participant

    As time passes, I realize that my son is as responsible for our estrangement as his wife. He seems to be just as self absorbed as she is. At first I thought he couldn’t possibly be happy but now I see that I didn’t allow myself to see how selfish he was until now. It’s sad not to like your own child – I feel so distant from him.

    • #3269
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Hi TriciaFran,

      I understand that your realization about your son’s culpability being as much as his wife’s is a bit like feeling the shock all over again. Please take care of yourself. The distance feels lonely … but it allows some space for perspective, too – – and that’s helpful.

      Sheri McGregor

  • #3397

    silence
    Participant

    Hello Support Group,
    I have just found you this last week and it is mind boggling how many parents are going through what I am going through. I makes me wonder if the “gen-xers” are the reason we are here. I did a lot of research about our children’s generation and have found out two things. They work to have fun and we are parents of convenience.
    My story started 6 months ago. My son who lives a good distance from us, as not been a part of our lives that much, but we always stayed in touch by phone or email. So for 20 years, this was our relationship with him. We always felt hopeful that we would be closer after he straightened his life out about 5 years ago, but there was always a distance. Last September, he announced to us that he and his girlfriend were having a child, our first grandson and we were so excited. He invited us to their home for Christmas, and we jumped on the opportunity with great hope that we had reached a new beginning with him.
    Instead, our visit was filled with tension and a very long afternoon of dart throwing about how we were terrible parents and we had broken him so badly that he was going to therapy to deal with the anger and hatred of his life with us. We were dumb struck. We came home with a heavy heart. Then, one month later, an email came to both of us, saying things about us that cut us so deeply, that we felt totally defeated and hurt. He has blamed us for all his wrong decisions after he left home because we were such terrible parents.
    It doesn’t end there. We have two daughters that he is trying to turn on us. So far, they have supported us and said there love and gratitude for us will never change, and they feel awful that we are having to go through this. Since May, we know our grandson was born, but he has not communicated with us about it. He has told his sister’s but made them promise not to tell us. I was angry at them at first, but realize he is trying to put a wedge between us, and I won’t let that happen, I will be the bigger person here, and not put them in the middle.
    My husband and I have been going to a counselor, but somehow, it still hasn’t given me the strength to ride this rollercoaster. I hope that reading your stories will help me along with the not stop praying that I have been doing. That is the only thing that helps me sleep.
    I always thought my son and I had a special bond, but when he tore my character to bits, I realized that I was wrong. He is lost right now, and I can’t give up on him, but this is the hardest thing I have ever gone through. I will continue to read your letters, and pray for you all as well.
    Silence

  • #3479
    LilyTaylor
    LilyTaylor
    Participant

    It is the middle of the night again. A long time ago I decided to work at my computer rather than lay in bed wide awake when the hours of feeling deep sadness and grief were inescapable. That was the way I found this site. I know I am not “crazy”. My friends tell me how “strong” I am. I continue to live “my life.” I smile and ask friends how they are. I laugh at their jokes. I say thank you when they hug me. I hug them back. I listen. I garden. I clean closets. I write. I bake bread. I volunteer. I cry, but not too much … I am changed in some deep way. My firstborn, my beautiful brilliant son, took his life five months ago. He had not spoken to me or responded to letters, emails, or calls for 22 years. I never met his children. I was never told of their births. I did not know what they looked like until I went to the burial of his cremains a month later. I did not recognize these nearly grown young women. They barely spoke to me…even why I tried. I never understood why…why any of it…

    And there is more…

    What I do know is how you feel … all of you who have posted here. I am new to the site and so glad to find it. But I am very sorry to know that so many others are suffering as much as I do. You will all be in my prayers as I hope you keep me in yours …

    • #3504
      calmlove
      calmlove
      Participant

      Oh lilytaylor your post has moved me. I often berate myself for “feeling too sorry for myself”, but I’m learning that what I have actually been doing is denying my grief and letting that take its course.

      I have no words for your situation, but to say how sorry I am that you are going through this. But I love how you expressed yourself ” ….. I hug them back. I listen. I garden. I clean closets. Etc etc ….” We need to find something …… pieces of joy, where we are worthwhile and valued. That’s what I need to find.

      My heart goes out to you as it does to all here.

  • #3540

    moonshadow
    Participant

    Thankyou Sheri,

    I think your amazingly clever to have created this forum….

    I am so thankful …

    I am overwhelmed can’t get over just how many other parents go through this… I think something in our society must be going terribly wrong for so many of us parents to be experiencing this ???

    I am aware I need support, I couldn’t find any support in my own friends/family network, no one understands.. I so need somewhere like this to share…. so thankyou for creating this place for us

    HUGz

    ~ Di ~

  • #3661

    marie
    Participant

    I have been estranged from my sons for many years, I am so grateful that I have found this site as I am no longer alone in this struggle. I always felt such shame and embarrassment as there must be something wrong with me “the mother” to have my sons turn away from me. However after reading some of the comments on here I know that is not true. Life can be cruel sometimes but I suppose it makes us stronger. My sister is now using this “you are even estranged from your boys” that is when I realised I needed to get some feedback from others that are dealing with this. When I tell people that I have 3 sons but I don’t see them I usually back it up with divorce can be a _itch. I don’t want to defend myself anymore. It has been over 20 years in this dilemma. I think I am accepting it and then they make contact and then next thing I know it is back where it was. I have a husband that has been totally supportive for 10 years and I now know that it is not just me.

  • #3835

    Resilient
    Participant

    Hello all, I am a parent who both adult children have made a choice to disengage with me and their dad. At this point, I am trying to keep the lines of communication open by checking in with them bi-weekly via email or text. Most of the replies are mean and ugly to get some type of rise or response to keep a quarrel going. Our children are 28/24 and this is two children who called mom and dad more than four times each week. Since my partner retired and no longer commutes to work, our relationship has soared in a direction of getting to know each other with an empty nest, which has been awesome. On a sad note, we miss our kids and I miss our chats and phone calls even when we did not see eye to eye on some topics or issues; we managed to work it out, apologize and move on. This all began a year and a half ago with one child who lives abroad and the other just this February when she attempted to get an attorney involved to make us turn over some document that belonged to her sister. Since she did not get things to turn our in her favor, she expressed her anger and stated that “I told you about your behavior” and this is what would happen, “you and dad are sitting home lonely just as I expected”, which I am happy but sad about this situation. I am looking forward to exploring strategies to help with a better understanding of why well rounded good children choose to cut off their parents for not apparent reason. Couples counseling has helped to shed some light. Again, looking forward to exploring ideas, positive affirmations, and hope.

  • #4194

    Rainbow
    Participant

    I am new to this site, but not new to estrangement and the indescribable pain that accompanies it. I have read many of your posts and I join in your sadness. I am so glad to have found this site. I have been blessed to have many good friends in my life, but the depth and despair of our pain cannot be understood by anyone who has not walked this journey in life. I have an only child, a son and have been on this emotional roller coaster ride for over 20 years. He is now in his middle forties. In his earlier years I thought he was just being a young rebellious youth and I now know that it runs much deeper. He truly has some emotional issues and sadly he married someone who has her own set of demons. I too have grandchildren that I am kept from seeing and to be truthful, this is what is destroying my husband and I. We are in are 70’s and we have tried to reconcile so many times and allowed ourselves to be disrespected, verbally abused and truthfully I could write a litany of hurtful things that were done to us, but the minute they think we did something not to their liking bingo we are no longer allowed to see our grandchildren. I know there will never be another reconciliation. My husband and I have been on this ride too many times and I don’t think we will survive next time. This last episode nearly destroyed us. Does it ever stop hurting? I try to keep myself very busy with things I like to do, but so many times that unbearable pain begins to surface. I am under therapy so that really helps. My thanks to Sheri for coordinating this site. It helps to know there are others out there and perhaps we can help each other get through this nightmare. Never did I ever imagine when my son was so young and I held his hand, that this child would grow up to give us so much grief. I don’t even know who he is anymore and I don’t know how he can look himself in the mirror after what he has done. Rainbow

    • #4199
      Thebluesky
      Thebluesky
      Participant

      Dear Rainbow, my heart goes out to you and your husband, that you have had to endure this, as you said undescribable heartache for so many years. I am 59 years old, and like you, never dreampt that my husband and I would have so many tears falling at this point in our lives. It has been thirteen months with absolute silence from my son, and one phone call from my daughter. For me this site has provided a place to be vocal and vulnerable without judgement. And to also gain insight through loving, well intended advise and support. Friends can fill the gaps, but if they have not lived this, cannot realize how deep the despair runs. I truly wish that I had the words that could give all of us the answers. What struck me last night was how much commitment my son has given to making sure that we hurt, that was his intent. And how I need to, for mental and physical well being, give that level of commitment to bring new found purpose and joy into my life. Not easy, but necessary. You and your husband deserve Joy.

      Thebluesky

    • #4214
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Welcome Rainbow. Your patience and pain come through your introduction here so very poignantly. Among the more than 4,000 people who have shared their stories with me so far, many describe similar efforts at trying, forgiving, allowing. As parents, we have unconditional love. It’s normal to have a child do something that’s no so great, anything, and we forgive and also forget. I think it’s a habit that starts with little things as they grow up.

      I’m really sorry you’ve had to go through all of this with your son. And I’m glad you’ve joined the forum. You’ll find a lot of sense and care here from, as you said, people who know.

      Sheri McGregor (rparents)

  • #4200

    MJmom
    Participant

    Welcome Rainbow
    Your story echos so many. So many years of heartache is so unfair. What I have learned for myself is no matter what we do it will never be right. It will be what they want, what they see as the only way. We can’t change that mind set. We can only change how we react to it.
    My ED calls me now, after being totally ignored for over 5 years. I invite her to limited family functions and she knows she will be allowed to stay as long as she is respectful. I feel like I am raising a 3 year old again. I know our relationship is superficial. She is trying. If she acts up, I have the strength to say goodbye again. Funny as we get older, we want to spare them the guilt when we die. It, I would think, devastate them to see us lying in a casket and not be able to say I love you one last time. Guilt is a strange animal. We all deny it’s affect, but suffer it’s wrath. So sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • #4203

    Rainbow
    Participant

    Thank You The blue sky and MJmom for welcoming me in the group and your replies. My son lives in a delusional world he has created and I often wonder what will happen when the first of us departs this earth. I don’t even know if he has feelings for us or to what depth and capacity he can love. He is an only child and my husband and I did every thing we could to give me a good life. We are average people who are now retired, but had menial jobs. When this first happens you think where did I go wrong! But, after years of therapy I know without a doubt, that we did our best. There is something wrong within him. He is one of those who is always right, the world or rather his father and I have wronged him. He has children, who are watching him do this to his parents. I pity the day when his children will cause him hurt and only then, will he fully realize what’s he has done. Sad part is my husband and I will long be gone. My husband and I have worked hard all our lives, lost our parents at a young age and then this happens and you have to say to yourself, it’s just not fair. There are days that I feel my emotions rise and I just want to crawl into a corner somewhere. I never really let the tears flow. I think if I allowed myself to do that, the tears would never stop. I am so grateful to have found this site and to share and support others who really know where I am coming from. Rainbow

  • #4206
    AUSSIEMOM
    AUSSIEMOM
    Participant

    If there was ever any doubt that we alone are walking this difficult journey by ourselves, look at the responses here. I know the internet can spawn anger but we are people who have lived with anger from our child or children whom we loved and raised. We know what anger is and it hurts. I don’t think there is one parent here who would intentionally hurt another or hurt their child knowingly. Sheri, not only is this a wonderful site in its sharing release for others but it also must be enlightening for you in helping others.
    Aussiemom

    • #4209
      Thebluesky
      Thebluesky
      Participant

      AussieMom, Best post event!!!!

    • #4215
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Aussiemom, I’ve been puzzling over your words about not believing any of the parents here would intentionally hurt another. I read back over posts, wondering if I had missed a mean one by someone. I finally realized that perhaps you are responding to my original note in this welcome thread,–talking about other forums on all sorts of topics around the web, where anger runs rampant. My intention was never to accuse any parents here. Rather, my thoughts were to thank people for keeping the spirit of this forum’s intent, which is moving forward and healing. I hope my words weren’t misconstrued.

      I want to publicly thank all of you again.

      And to those here and also those not in the forum who have sent me kind offline emails, While I might not always join the threads and reply to everyone in the forum, I try to keep up with the correspondence offline, so have probably already responded to you in email. However, let me give a public thanks! Your kindness helps keep me energized for the hours spent behind the scenes of the website and forum.

      Thanks again to all the caring, supportive parents who are helping one another.

      Sheri McGregor (rparents)

    • #4224
      Thebluesky
      Thebluesky
      Participant

      Sheri, Don’t Worry….Be Happy!!! One of my favorite Marley songs. You are an incredible, insightful, talented, fabulous awesome woman. As you, with love, remind all of us every day.

      Tbebluesky

    • #4231
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Thank you, Thebluesky. I needed that.

      And I’m obviously among many like-minded and awesome parents here.
      🙂

      Sheri

  • #4381
    TC
    TC
    Participant

    Thank you Sheri for setting up this website. I’m a little surprised in the change in me. Talking/writing it out and reading yours and other’s posts has helped me clarify my circumstance and understand. Along with that has come a certain peace and helped me more appreciate the family connections I still have in my life.

    • #4396
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      I’m glad for you Lundy! It’s nice to appreciate the good people in our lives (and I bet they appreciate you, too, and appreciate being appreciated).
      🙂
      I wish for your continued peace!

      Sheri

  • #4665

    Rainbow
    Participant

    Sheri, Thank you so very much for creating this forum. It’s a safe haven where the voices of estranged parents can be heard. We share our feelings, our pain and help give support and comfort to one another. This site has provided me with inner peace and strength and I have gained knowledge and wisdom from others who know the depth and despair of this painful journey. Thank you again, Sheri for all your efforts. Rainbow

  • #4758

    Hi Sheri and all,
    I’m very grateful to you, Sheri , for creating this website. I have 3 EDs and I have felt like a pariah. People judge you and blame you. I’ve said in other posts that this “shunning” is a very powerful punishment and is used by certain religious groups effectively. We are social beings and being shunned can be like a living death. Then when it’s by a child you loved and gave your heart to it’s as dark as it gets. I’ve not been divorced but the betrayal has to be on that level or worse. And the judgement and self-doubt that go with it just put you in such a dark place. My EDs are self absorbed and heartless. I grew up in an abusive home and was determined my children would be loved unconditionally. My husband and I made our family a priority. Then 3 out of 4 turned out to be entitled takers. I forgive them and wish them well or rather I pray daily that I can reach this conclusion. Even given the unlikely opportunity to reconnect, I really don’t think we could ever be more than superficial acquaintances. I opened my heart to them and I got betrayal. Trust is gone. Again I’m so thankful to Sheri and all of you for sharing your stories. I don’t feel so alone.

  • #5732

    izzy
    Participant

    Hi.i;m so thankful to Sheri for developing this wedsite. It is just what I needed at 1:00 AM because I couldn’t sleep.

    My stepdaughter has cut me out of her life. I have been her support and stepmother since she was 4 years old when I married her father. She is now 30. We had a very close relationship but due to recent developments and setting boundaries with her she has rejected me completely in an email. After this first email that she announced that she no longer wants me in her life ,I didn’t respond. to the abuse. Since then she has emailed me twice with hurtful, rude and abusive comments and assumptions she has made about how I feel about her. I love her like my other daughters and I am so hurt and saddened when she signed the last email as “your husband’s daughter”. I have gone to counselling and while reading a book she recommended about codependency and setting boundaries , I feel it has opened the wound again, thus my lack of sleep tonight. I was thinking of joining Al-Anon to help deal with this as I have felt concern about ! her drinking. However I also feel this forum might be helpful in sharing feelings with so many that are in the same position as me. I need encouragement and enlightenment in how to deal with this situation. Some time has lapsed since then and I want to send her an email stating that I share her pain and that whatever she decides I still love her and always will. I don’t know if I should do this or if it’ll open the communication for more abuse.Thank you so much for listening and I appreciate any words of advice in what to do.

  • #5747

    Sunshiney
    Participant

    It is with the heaviest of hearts that I finally stood up to my daughter. I have been the object of her malcontent for years now. My heart is shattered and it cuts very deeply when your only child rejects you. I raised her single-handedly and made many sacrifices to ensure her education and I paid for her wedding dress and wedding reception at a 5 Star hotel. I have poured love, support and money and have always been there whenever she needed me. I have babysat my little granddaughter, whom I love very much, I have planted gardens for their house (only to see it wither and die through neglect). I have traveled thousands of miles to visit them when I worked abroad – rather than going on holiday to the places on my ‘bucket list’. I left my car for her to use whilst abroad, and I sent money to her every month to take care of my accounts.
    Then in 2009, she exploded and yelled at me and insulted me to such an extent that I left their house and stayed in a guest house. Not learning, I forgave her and came back but at every visit, she is rude, snippy and downright rude. I am not taken out for a meal, I am just left to purchase food and baby-sit while they go out. I never feel truly welcome in their house as everything has to be done their way and my visits are filled with “don’t do this and don’t do that”.
    I took an in-country job, in another province, in 2013 but they refuse to come and visit me – I have pleaded and offered to fly them here but the answer remains an emphatic ‘no’. Their response is that if I want to see them then I must travel too their house (12 hour’s drive away).
    Then I committed the ‘greatest sin of all’. I bought a retirement home in the most beautiful little village 6 hours drive from them and all hell broke loose. My daughter has rejected me totally because of this and is unbearably rude and insulting to the point that I felt like just giving up and when I told her how bad this was making me feel, her response was “It’s not just about you!”.
    Having suffered numerous incidents (way too many to mention here over the years) I have just told her that it is neither a healthy nor mutually beneficial relationship so I am taking a break from it. I will welcome her with open arms when she sees the light.
    Fortunately my sisters are wonderfully supportive and they are helping me through this living nightmare and my doctor has put me on anti-depressants for six months.
    But you know what? No drug will ever take that gut-wrenching pain of rejection by your only child away.
    I wish all you strength and love and light. We WILL get through this and we will heal.

    • #5894
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Dear Sunshiney,

      You have shared your story well. I’m sorry about your daughter. You sound like a loving and supportive mother. There does come a time when you must take care of yourself. Perhaps in time your daughter will come around. Meantime, you have a wonderful (sunshiney!) attitude, and you’re right. Parents can get through this and heal!

      Sheri

  • #5887

    Sheyna
    Participant

    Hi, I just discovered this community after wishing there was one for a long time. I’m glad to have found it. I haven’t heard from my son in 12 years despite repeated emails, phone calls, etc. Silence. Before the 12 years he would call only once or twice a year. I was feeling very sad and rejected and asked him if he get in touch more often. He said he was too busy and I could write emails. I did and he only replied to one. Our last conversation was Christmas night 12 years ago. He actually called to say he was too busy to have gotten me a present. Nevertheless we talked for awhile. Then in May on Mother’s Day with no word from him I had enough of trying to be silent and pleasant about my feelings. I wrote a letter which I have since come to regret-not because of what I said really, but because it caused a permanent estrangement. I was angry and said things I felt about never hearing from him, etc.
    Since then I have tried to contact him many times-and no answer. I asked my daughter to ask him if he ever would speak to me again. His answer was “probably not”. I tried to get on with my life–went to events, dances, etc. But many times I would sit there in tears and pain. Two years ago I had to go to a conference in his city. I wrote him my final letter saying that I would be there and would love to visit. No answer. I haven’t tried again. I don’t usually sit at events in tears anymore, but the effect of him not being in my life is profound and feels at times unbearable. Its awkward with my daughter and ex husband because they try not to mention him as if he doesn’t exist when I am around. He communicates with them-not very often however. I vacillate between knowing I don’t deserve this and knowing I tried to be the best mother I could. Or I think of instances where I could have handled things differently and feel pain and guilt. And of course very angry. I don’t think I will ever see him or hear from him again, realistically.
    I don’t know what its about, except that there was a time a few years before when he stopped talking to me for a year. I was frantic then, and it turned out he somehow got angry at things that had happened ten years prior. I actually think he made me the scapegoat for a lot of anger he had at possibly his wife, other issues, etc. I still think some of that is what’s going on. Anyway, he had two children I haven’t met and wouldn’t recognize if I bumped into them. I keep asking questions to which there are no answers–I assume everyone is asking similar questions. But I know there are no answers, and even if there were it wouldn’t help. Thanks for reading this. I haven’t really written about this before.

    • #5895
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Hi Sheyna,

      I think it’s great you chose to share your pain here. It’s no consolation to hear this, but perhaps this is a sort of turning point…for you to tell about this situation for the first time. Many parents feel shame, not necessarily warranted, and yet they feel it just the same, so don’t talk about the subject. Once you start letting it out a little, it loses a bit of it’s power.

      Please take care. There are a lot of parents hear who can relate. I did want to say that if you post a new topic, rather than here in the “welcome” note thread, you will probably get more responses. To post a new topic, go back to the main community page (http://www.rejectedparents.net/forums/forum/support-for-parents-of-estranged-adult-children/) and scroll to the bottom. You’ll find space there to put a subject, and then a bigger box to type in a note.

      Welcome here!

      Sheri McGregor

  • #5906

    everhopeful
    Participant

    Hi, I’ve just registered on this forum , and am so happy to be able to talk top people who really understand. I have good friends who I hesitated over telling about my son and daughterbecause, however well intentioned their telling me that they ” know just how I feel ” ….. They didn’t .
    We had a very happy relationship with all our 3 children that extended to regular family dinners, outings, even after they were all married and settled, everything as far as I knew was great, they all loved and enjoyed each other’s company, as well as their dad’s and mine .
    My son was diagnosed with depression 2 years ago , and this wasn’t a great surprise as I have suffered with it all my life but it has been successfully managed with medication, and I thought this would be the case with him . We were very supportive , ready to help however we could , and within 2 days of his diagnosis he didnt want to see us, “he needed space” . Quickly then it went from him being depressed to what failures we’d been as parents, what a dreadful childhood he’d had …… It just went on and on . Finally we were told he wanted no contact with us , and we couldn’t see our grandsons. He absolutely refused to speak to us face to face, or on the phone , but sent us blistering texts on his phone !
    The abuse broke our hearts, I think we were in shock at first , then just numb.
    To complete it, my daughter decided her brother was right , and she cut contact with us too…… I am at a complete loss about this …
    Systematically they cut their entire extended family off, aunties, uncles , cousins, and their brother, leaving me floundering trying to explain the unexplainable …
    We have struggled on for 2 years , I sent birthday cards to my grandsons , but received a letter telling me in no uncertain terms not to do that from my son , so I have respected his wishes but feel so sad, the little boys loved us so much and it haunts me to think of them wondering where grandma and grandad are …. And worse what has my son told them ???
    It’s comforting to read that maybe time helps , but I can truly say I don’t miss any of them less as time passes, and long for that phone call .
    We are trying to get on with life , life is short and we are 70, so we do what we can to be happy, and succeed at times , but this wasn’t what we planned for our retirement, and it strikes me as so very unfair after a lifetime of devotion and love and hopes for all of us .
    Thank you for reading this, and being there Jen

  • #5920

    Rainbow
    Participant

    Everhopeful, welcome to the forum. I am so sorry for your pain. All of us here on this site are swimming in the same waters, trying to keep our heads above the waves of pain and despair. It’s a really hard journey and only those who have walked the same path can truly understand the depths of your despair and hurt. Here you will find wisdom, compassion and a safe haven to open your heart and soul. We will all be there supporting you. My husband just turned 70 and I am 69 years old. We have been on the battlefield close to 24 years. Our ES is an only child and we too have grandchildren 11 and 8 that my ES and his wife use as pawns in this sick game. I send packages to my grandchildren on their birthdays and holidays. I track the packages so I know they were delivered but I have no idea if the parents throw the gifts in the garbage or if they are given to our grandchildren. My granddaughter has a cell phone so my husband and I call every so often, of course, I am sure she has strict orders from her parents not to answer our calls. We leave loving voice messages and will do so until the day our calls our blocked. This is the second time our grandchildren were taken from us. I, like you, wonder what my ES and his wife have told their children about our absence. Life is way too short. My husband and I have given too many years of precious time of trying and only to have failure after failure. My ES made the decision to shun us and toss us aside like used furniture. Our situations are out of our control, the cards are all decked and in favor of our EC. After so many years of battles, my husband and I have retreated, put down our swords and left the battlefield. We are too old to give whatever precious time we have left to fight in the arena again. Try as hard as you can to do what makes you and your husband happy. Enjoy each other. Yes, the hurt will always be there but don’t give in to it. Be kind to yourselves. Our EC are happy we just did not receive the invitation to join them and there’s a good chance we never will be invited back into their world. And truthfully, after so many years of abuse I know for sure I don’t want to join my ES party it will only end in another round of abuse, hurt and despair. I just don’t have the strength anymore. Too tired, too old. Rainbow

  • #6375

    alwaysamum
    Participant

    Sheri thank you for developing this group , it helps me particularly on days like these ! This week it was 3 years since my torture began and my life took a cruel turn , it doesnt get any easier i have weeks and months when i cope better than others , we are approaching dark winter months and Christmas , particulary hard or me and many others i am sure . Thanks again you’re amazing x

  • #6381

    Rainbow
    Participant

    Welcome alwaysamum, glad to have your join our group. Here you will find people who truly understand your pain. We are all walking the same journey and it is by far a difficult path. You will find compassion, support and much wisdom here on this forum. Read through some of the posts, you may find them helpful and uplifting. I’ve been in and out of estrangement for many years and only in the last several months have I learned to make peace with it. The indescribable pain is always present. I have my good days and bad days as well. I have grandchildren that I don’t see and that’s the most unbearable pain. Holidays are tough. Try to keep yourself as busy as you can with things you enjoy doing. It helps in distracting you and keeps you from going to that sad dark place. We are all here for one another. Welcome. Rainbow

  • #6601
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Dear alwaysamum,

    YOU are amazing! Thank you for your kindness.

    The holidays can be difficult, but they don’t have to be. Find something to look forward to in them–or beyond them. I’ll have some new articles up soon…..

    Sheri

  • #6609
    DEG1457
    DEG1457
    Participant

    I am so very grateful for finding this group. I could continue a relationship with my ES if I continued to allow him to say and do whatever he pleased, so I suppose I am the one that is facilitating the estrangement, but something has broken inside of me and broken hard. I have floundered for 12 years between feeling I deserve this, to having hope, fear, anger, regret and back to hope again only to get kicked in the teeth one more time. I’m 51 and he is 30. Reading through the forum and seeing that I could be feeling this same way at 70 seems unbearable. My thoughts jump from one thing to the next so I’ll close but thank you all for sharing your pain. I felt so incredibly alone.

  • #6748
    Phoenix12
    Phoenix12
    Participant

    Sheri, I just wanted to thank you for all the hard work and time you spend day in and day our moderating the forum and providing us with a safe space to share our stories and learn from each other’s experience.

    I never see any spam or meanness at all, and I know enough about the internet to understand that this is because you DO and have to deal with it.

    This is an exhausting, time consuming, soul crushing chore and why so many forums I once loved are no longer online and why so many blogs have closed their comment sections or are password protected.

    This seemed like as good a place as any for a public acknowledgement of the gift you are giving us.

  • #6791
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Phoenix12, thanks for your nice note. This forum is a labor of love. Yes, it can be tiring, but I know it is helping people, and that makes me feel good. You’re also right about the crummy stuff I see behind the scenes! But the kindness that’s here more than makes up for any ugliness.

    To all others who have sent notes of thanks, I apologize for not responding to every note–but I do read each and every one, and very much appreciate you!

    Sheri McGregor

  • #6929

    TILLY
    Participant

    Hello all:: I am thankful to have some space where I can share my story with hope to gain support I need.
    Six years ago our 27 yr old son met a woman on vacation that forever changed our world. He was locked on to her and and her jet setting lifestyle. She was a graduate attorney that came from an influential family. Four months later she moved 2000 mi to our world where she slowly managed to manipulate his thinking pointing out the flaws while offering him a chance to move to her world where daddy would offer all the tools to lift him into business. OUR business we taught him from age 14. Within 2 years he moved acroos the country had a baby and got married never returning home again.
    He is now our #1 competitor in a business he copies and ran with our whole book of business nearly putting us under.
    We have a 4 year old grandchild that doesnt even know us . My dad ( who adored our son) passed away July 2015 and he didnt even reply to the text message.
    Being in the same business does not allow us to “get away”from this tragic situation. ..its a constant daily reminder..not to mention both father and son have exact names. He used his given name as his business name so he could benefit from the name recognition while starting his business.
    I guess after 4+ years of dealing with this it gets easier, however when I allow myself to (FEEL) think about it, I cry and feel full of sadness. I do have wonderful support with family and friends..ITS my husband who is deeply hurt and angry as he gave his entire life to our son traveling fishing hunting ( boyfriends allowed any vacations) to be abandoned. I would love to say we had family issues or divorce or problems, but this was a GOOD intact family with a loving sister who is now starting her family.
    I hope this was worth the read and look for any thoughts or rays of hope.

  • #6948

    Rainbow
    Participant

    Tilly, welcome to our forum. Please visit often and read through some of the posts. You will find much wisdom from people who truly understand your pain. I am so sorry you are going through a parent’s worst nightmare estrangement. It’s sad that we as parents gave our entire life nurturing, loving and caring for our children and you have to wonder how one person can manipulate them and turn their heads around. I have been in an off and on estrangement for over 24 years. My ES was always difficult and our relationship started to turn bumpy when he reached his early twenties. Then he married someone who also had a personality disorder and stirs the pot and now he is totally out of control. I too have grandchildren that I am denied seeing. I can tell you that the pain is always present, but in time you will be able to pull yourself out of the pit of despair more easily. You will have your good and bad days and special events, holidays will tear at the strings of your heart, but you will survive. I wasted too many years trying to put the pieces back together, walked on eggshells and the end result was we were discharged as parents. Make you and your husband a priority! Find outlets, enjoy each other and do the things that make you happy. Please don’t waste precious years on something that is broken and may never be fixed. Be strong. Visit the forum often, it will give you the inner strength that you need. Rainbow

  • #7254

    Perplexed
    Participant

    Thank you for accepting me into your forum. It has been 7 months and a trying to learn how to navigate this new life we did not choose or see coming. In one week time, without even seeing  one simple text, wishing my son and dil happy anniversary and so happy she was a part of our family, I went from being the “best mil” to no contact. In that time, my son said we loves us but we cant be in his life and he will always appreciate everything we did for him. Then with no contact, he cannot be around my games and lies. Refuses to answer, now Months later, he is estranged from all of his extended family on both my sides of family. Never a harsh word except maybe a few in teenage years prior to this.

  • #7272

    Nina
    Participant

    Please help, it’s official, my ED won’t even answer my emails, attempted Facetime calls, acknowledge gifts I’ve sent to my 3 year old grandson, it’s killing me. I have to admit, and now feeling so terribly guilty, she called on Thanksgiving Day but my husband, son and I refused to answer her call, and didn’t call her back. I was insanely jealous because for the 3 year in a row, her in-laws had traveled 3K miles to be with them, and celebrate Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, we’re not allowed into her home when my SIL is present, he refuses to have anything to do with us, and what’s so hurtful to us is that she doesn’t set him straight. Maybe she’s tried, but never in a million years would I have allowed my husband to treat my parents this way. Now I’m digressing, I keep trying to rationalize the situation and blame my SIL, when I must admit, it’s my ED. I feel so sad, guilty (for what little transgressions I may have done), and hopeless. My husband is ready to send her a letter saying he’s done with her until her relationship with me gets better. I’m not sure if he should send it. This is unbelievable to me, my birthday is on Christmas Day, another whammy! Please give me some comfort. Thank you!
    Nina

  • #7299

    Rainbow
    Participant

    Perplexed, Nina, welcome to our forum. I am truly so sorry to hear of your estrangement. It’s a tough and painful journey, but in time you will learn to handle your pain and crawl out of the pit of despair. There are many of us here that don’t have the answers to the big “why” question. I am one of them. All of my ES utterances were just plain nonsense, things could have been explained, worked out. I can tell you from experience that unless you have walked this walk well meaning people truly haven’t a clue as to the depths of despair. All of us here have been parents most of our lives and now in our twilight years we have to learn to live with our children and the most pain, the ultimate pain is the loss of our grandchildren. To the newly estranged I would say keep the door open, but I would strongly urge you to go on with your life and try to enjoy life as best as you can. I know it’s easier said than done, but it is necessary for your survival and emotional well being.This maybe a long journey so please don’t waste precious years. I am saying this because I have been in this on and off estrangement for over 24 years and wasted too much time in sorrow. It’s not enough for us parents to want a relationship with our children. It’s a 2 way street, they have to want it as well. It doesn’t work when it’s one sided. This is a safe haven to pour out your heart and soul. Come and visit often. Read through posts where you will find much wisdom. Rainbow

  • #7304

    Perplexed
    Participant

    Nina, I also want to blame my dil, but I also know my son has allowed this behavior. My husband and I are also coping in our own ways. He is done, I want to keep trying even though I know the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over again. In our case, our therapist has defined my dil’s mother as an undifferated ego mass, where she has to maintain control by spoken and unspoken messages. My dil then passes that on to my son – I.e. I will divorce you if you don’t support me w my family. So for them to cope, they believe the lies they ate told because it is the only way they can cope with how they are treating us. Could something like that be happening with your daughter?

  • #7755
    AUSSIEMOM
    AUSSIEMOM
    Participant

    Sheri, I’m not one for FaceBook, don’t even know how to operate within it’s context, don’t choose to learn and don’t have the interest but I went onto your link for FB and am amazed that you have the time to monitor posts that come into this site and keep a FB page going as well. What a community of people you have here and how this gathering of those who have and are experiencing estrangement help others along the pathway of this very tragic experience. I watched the video with the dancing grandma and I’m still smiling. She reminds me so much of our next door neighbour, Grandma Midge, who died a few years ago. She was our dog’s grandma, kept special bisquits at her door for them. I miss her still. Thank you for not only this community of people but I’ve enjoyed the FB page as well. I can see how helpful all of this is to the folks coming onto your site. You are, as you say, one person. We are many.
    Aussiemom

  • #7761
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Thanks, AussieMom! Yes, people can inspire one another, and benefit from doing it! A long time ago, I read something somewhere about two kinds of people. Some pull others up, and the others hold (or push) people down. I fail sometimes, but I always want to pull others up! Obviously, you do too–thank you for being part of the community of “elevator” people.

    May we all be dancing through life like the video on the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/rejectedparents), and like your wonderful neighbor!

    Sheri

  • #7824

    Mari
    Participant

    Dear Sheri,
    Thank you for creating this forum. There are so much information and as I am still in shock, with emotions ranging from numbness to such intense pain and fear, that I don’t know where to begin to read. What really help, is that I am not alone.
    I was married to a very abusive professional and have two lovely girls. With my very low self esteem, it took me 9 years before I literally flee from my ex who threatened to shoot us, taking their little dog and budgie, to my mother, in another province. I was abused physically, the girls heard and saw it, although he never touched them physically, the emotional scars are deep. We survived and life became much better although we struggled financially. I even finished my degree and got a post at the local university.
    The youngest just turned 6 when we left him. She was always a quiet sweet little girl with lots of friends and later boyfriends. She studied hard at school and did well in sport. The older one was ten and we often talked about what happened and are still very lose today.
    My baby girl never talked about the abuse. She always said she couldn’t remember a thing of her life before 6. I was concerned about this blocking out, but as she settled so well into our new life with a granny and stepgranddad that just adored her, I thought she was fine. After 4 years I remarried a much older man, who adored the children and life was really good. Accept that the girls had to visit their father 2 times per year and every time they came back with stories of his drunkness. However, his mother and / or ne girlfriend was always there. I consulted a lawyer to prohibit him from seeing them, but he said it will be very difficult in our country to prove serious abuse and the ex’s grandparents will cover for him. He also never default on his maintenance payments. At 15 my ED went on vacation with him, developed shingles, direct as result of stress during his drinking periods (he was remarried by then).. When she came home she said: mum I am never going on holiday with my dad again, I don’t care what the court says. i promised her that she does not have to go and she only saw him again after she got engaged, and then at ther wedding 7 years later.

    She completed a successful university degree and fell in love with a youngste who was a bit wild and also having some baggage. Since then she changed.This was around 2003. After they moved to the UK we had less contact and many emails and phone calls were ignored. While planning their first visit to South Africa, she was so exited, wanted to spent time with me and granny specifically to learn to bake our special recipe rusks. We looked forward to the visit, bought all the ingredients, lots of extra food. When they arrived they virtually just slept with us, her hubby wanted to spent all the time with his parents and complained that he felt uncomfortable in our home. When i mention that we can share some time between parents, I was told that she will always chose him and his family, and will go where he goes. So the bad spiralling relationship started. More ignoring by phone and e-mails followed.
    My first grandchild was born and I was invited to help out. I took my savings and went to London when baby was 2 weeks. After 30 hours of travelling i arrived, exhausted but so emotional to see my baby with this little boy in her arms, I had no words. But both parents became cold and distant, hardly spoke to me. She stayed day and night in her room with the baby and I could seldom hold the baby. When I asked what was wrong the answer was: nothing. I thought it was post natal depression, also still adjusting to breastfeeding, but couldn’t dare offer any advice. One evening, sitting with SIL in fromt of the TV I said I was so worried about ED, does he think the breastfeeding is maybe too much for he, shouldn’t we get an expert nurse to guide her, as I did not breastfeed her and am not knowledgeable enough to help with that. He said he don’t know. After 8 days I asked again what was wrong and then she shouted I shoudl know! Apparently I said she was ‘big’ (meaning fat) on the day of my arrival when I saw her and the baby for the first time. She also said son-in-law said I said she must stop breastfeeding HER child which was a blatant lie. I was stunned, couldn’t remember any such remark, never even was consious of her body when I arrived, but apologised profusely. She also said she was still very angry about their visit to South Africa. I froze up from fear, i alone in a strange country with no one to talk to. When I offered to buy food, both refused, then my SIL will cook, I was not allowed to cook, or they ordered food just for themselves. Luckily it was summer (I had no transport) and I bought food for myself at the nearest shops. On the ninth day she stayed in her room again and I told her if she is still angry I think i must rather return to South Africa. She shouted she hates me I am the most pathetic person she has ever known and I must leave. I did. I couldn’t change my flights immediately, it was Wimbledon and had to stay 3 days in a hotel, I don’t know even where, it was near a racing course. It was a horrific experience and I ony saw my grandson again when he was 7 months old.
    Of course SIL’s family visited often, plane tickets where paid by the couple etc..
    My ED and SIL returned to SA in 2013 to our home town, his parents encouraging them and SIL’s father, an electrician, promised him a job which never materialised. I arranged that SIL took over a business in our small town. My older daughter arranged for an interview at the local university and my UK fledglings both had works. My 4 year old grandson was lovely, much taken over by the other granny, but I thought I will just help where I can and be available when needed. The second baby a girl was born 2014 in November. I noticed slow changes. That cold distancing, excluding me etc.
    End 2014 my ED mentioned that they qualified for an overdraft and that she wants to repay the loan, before they spent it on other luxuries and I have retired. I said I am not in a hurry, but it would be nice if I can invest the money. In Feb 2015 she got promoted at the University and her salary nearly doubled and she said , Mum when I get my bonus, I will definitely repay you. This was repeated later in fron of SIL and her sister. In April I bought a flat and renovated it, using my credit card, believing the the money will come in in September. Early in September I sent her a kind nice reminder, please, thank you so much, etc. All hell broke loose. I was the worst mother in the world, his parents will never do anything like this, and so on. I firmly said I need to pay off the credit card and that is that. Since then the relationship deteriorated rapidly, access to the kids prohibited, etc. I threatened with a court order as grandparents have rights in this country. Then I was allowed to gave the grandchildren presents at their home, before Christmas.
    I suggested that we have a meeting, discussing calmly how we can resolve problems, but it must be in a neutral place without the children as the 7-year old is very sensitive. My request was refused, I had to see them at their house, with the children there, only have 30 minutes. At least I could bring my other daughter with me (I since got divorced from their stepfather). I tried to warn her that her sister will try to provoke us, we mustn’t respond to lies and personal remarks, but rather just set a few groundrules, especially regarding the visiting with the children in place.
    The provocation and lies were irrational, I tried to deflect it, ignore it ect. (did quite well, I think). Unfortunately my older daughter snapped and said how can you talk like this our mother! Then an eplosion between the two sisters took place, SIL threw us out. I recorded the whole incident.
    The lawyer advised that even if one gets a courtorder, the cost is exhuberant, the children will side with their parents, there is always problems with visiting arrangements etc, especially if the relationship is so bad, so it is seldom worth the costs and actually more traumatic for the children,
    So I made a decision not to have contact again with my ED’s little family, I have to let go, for the kids, for that little boy who was forced to listen to his screaming mother in his room. The baby also screamed. It all breaks my heart, don’t know how I will get over this. I will keep e-mails, whats-upps SMS’s good and bad and hope i am alive to speak to my grandchildren when they are adults. to gave them a better understanding of our behaviour and where we all come from. II have changed my will today to create a trust for them to receive money when they are 25.
    Hardest decision of my life. Don’t even function day by day by hour by hour, worst waking up in the morning, full of dreams and then the pain.
    My apology for this long saga but I guess you will understand.

  • #7853
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Dear Mari,

    No apology necessary. And yes, I understand. For most parents, it’s helpful to share their stories. Yours is sad and puzzling. What could have been a wonderful welcoming of new life took a dark turn.

    It’s very kind of you to provide for your grandchildren in your will.

    It sounds as if you do have a good relationship with your other daughter, so that’s a blessing. Cherish your time with her, know you’ve done the best you can, and immerse yourself in things that make you happy and fulfilled.

    I know there are many, many parents who will read your story and also feel less alone.

    Sheri

  • #7860

    Mari
    Participant

    Just to clarify, I gave my EK and SIL a loas to buy supplies when they took over the business as they had a cash flow problem. I stated in an email that it is just a loan, but I am in no hurry and they do nhave to pay interest. The following year my Ed herself said she is going to repay it , as the story goes in the above e-mail.
    I was blocked from facebook and Whats up. Does that happens to other parents as well?
    Greetings to all, this coming week is the first week in my life as estrange parent.

  • #8654

    Mlie76
    Participant

    Thank you Sheri for this group!! Wow just reading others have experienced exactly what I am going through is heartbreaking and unbelievable but it’s heartening to read the responses.

    My story goes, we have been married for 18 year. Have 6 children ranging in age from 2.5 year old twins to 20 year old daughter.

    Our 20 year old daughter has left and cut off all contact with us this past month. She moved in with her girlfriend in a college apartment and is telling everyone we kicked her out. We never did this. She has fabricated a story that is hurtful. We have always had a good relationship – she was always difficult but nothing too bad. I have tried reaching out but she will only answer if she needs something (mail, tax info, etc). I have sat up many nights crying and remembering the little girl we raised. We have a great family – people remark on mine and my husband parenting skills with 6 kids and now I feel like a failure. I look at Facebook post of people with their oldest daughters and hope for them it never turns out like this. I have accepted the fact she will never come back, she will never be truthfully about why or how she left. I must move on and remember the good times and know that I will have good times again.

  • #8656
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    You’re welcome, Mlie76,

    You will find lots of support among the parents of estranged adult children here. This forum and website has been a labor of love.

    One thing before I head away from my desk for the day- – I hear parents say all the time that they sit up nights thinking about their estranged adult son or daughter. It’s something to try and avoid. For one thing, there is research about how emotional turmoil hurts even worse with lack of sleep (I’ll post more on this concept soon). And you know how if you turn on the television in those wee hours there are lots and lots of infomercials? Those marketers know that we are vulnerable in those wee hours when we’re not thinking our best…. For your own good, save the thinking for more alert and confident times.

    Thank you for your note, and I hope you will continue to feel supported here. I’m really sorry about your daughter’s estrangement.

    Sheri McGregor

  • #8657

    Mlie76
    Participant

    Thanks Sheri! Had I only known this before I ordered “beach body” LOL!!

  • #8725
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Mlie76,

    Thank you for making me laugh out loud!

    Sheri

  • #9371

    Kmap
    Participant

    Thank you so much, and no I certainly don’t hate her. As I told a friend earlier it would be easier if I did. But I don’t. I am so thankful to have found this place and even happier that it is a loving positive place!

  • #9372

    Kmap
    Participant

    Oh and also, I am new to all of this. My DS has distanced herself from me before, but never this final. This time she actually said she was disowning me and that I was no one’s mother. I waited a few months(cause she usually comes back) but nothing. So I finally wrote her a goodbye letter. It was loving, but also stated the facts that I was worn out and couldn’t continue a one sided relationship. I also told her that I would always love her and that my door was open, but it would have to be her choice. Somehow, writing that letter and sending it tore me up worse than everything else. My daughter is turning 34 on the first, and married and lives in far awayt with her husband. She has no phone and has cut off all internet contact. She is my only child.

    • #11896
      MovingForward
      MovingForward
      Participant

      I am so sorry and certainly understand the pain ….our kids sure know how to hurt us….

  • #9847

    sancho
    Participant

    I am so grateful that I found this site. I also felt like I am alone in this. All 3 of my children have decided they do not want to be in my life. I am going through a horrible divorce and my husband has now assumed the role of “father of the year!” My therapist told me and I certainly intellectually get that, as mother’s our love is unconditional so they can do or say anything and know that we will be constant. Dads (especially my engineer-hockey player husband) is harder to please so therefore, the opportunity to be validated presents it’s self in this type of scenario. Much of my issues with my husband is hearing him tell me that I spoil, enable the kids, that I babied my son. My son was diagnosed at 7 with ADHD and Tourettes, also had many health issues. I sought help for him, professional help since I felt this was bigger than us, and he needed our help in conjunction with professional guidance. My husband was very vocal about this and didn’t totally accept or agree. However he had no Plan B… Wednesday night my son sent me a horrible text telling me he hated me, that I drugged him at 7 rather than help him, that I babied him and now he can’t sustain a relationship and he doesn’t know how to be a man… (where have I heard that before?)…similar situations with my daughters. They are both creative and smart… one is an anthropologist and the other is a professional opera singer… (btw my son is a tattoo artist) ..32,27 and 22… made for a long day. When my girls had their challenges I also sought help for them, they were not responsive or accepting and now I am blamed and called abusive…. I ADORE my kids and spent my life (because it’s what I was supposed to do) to help them find their essence… I wanted happiness for children who were never happy.. I know much of this is chemical and knew that with therapy and meds (when needed) they would thrive. Sadly, they heard my husband. I have left my husband after 28 years of marriage. The 2 youngest where here for Christmas, I paid for them to come home (the singer lives in Europe)… they knew of the tension between my husband and I… things were fine until the 2nd week of January after they heard I left him… now they have cut off all communication… It’s like a knife in my heart….

  • #9990
    LookingForASunnyDay
    LookingForASunnyDay
    Participant

    Hi-new to the forum but I have read many of the posts and learned quite a lot and felt a little less alone. I have an on/off estrangement with adult son in early thirties for the last decade. Like many here, I walked on eggshells but found that I was still periodically cut off from him. I have racked my brain to understand it. There are many threads to the story and if I had the energy, I would try to write about it in detail. It involves the break-up of a marriage, ex’s alcohol problem and now son’s same problem, my struggles to bring him up singlehandedly, his gradual turning away from me and towards his father , my desparate attempts to win him back, his increasing contempt for me,
    a huge financial disparity between me and my ex-he has inherited substantial sums whilst I am merely comfortable,-I could go on and on endlessly. In the last 2 years, my calls have been met with one word answers and /or hostile verbal attacks. He then left the country without telling me-in the cellphone age you can’t tell where they are. I found out through a chance meeting with my ex. Just broken with it all-sometimes feel so much despair. I was told at one point by my son that I cared too much and that his father who had no feelings was preferable to me. I’m so sick of it all.

  • #10049

    Rainbow
    Participant

    LookingForASunnyDay, welcome to our forum. Here you will be among friends. People who truly understand your journey because we are all walking on the same path. Estrangement hurts. It stings and cuts and tears the very core of your soul. I am so sorry you are going through this. I know how raw the pain can be. Read through some posts. You will find they are full of wisdom and will give you an inner strength. You will emerge as a survivor. Be kind to yourself, make you a priority. Take Care Rainbow

  • #11866
    MovingForward
    MovingForward
    Participant

    Hello everyone, my first time posting but I’ve read I think every post here! Finally somewhere that doesn’t say it’s the mother’s fault or something wrong from their childhood.
    Our ED first worked on getting rid of all her in-laws then turned to getting rid of her father, sister and sister’s family, and I. She is 35 and it has taken her about a year to succeed in re-writing her family history and how horrible the inLaws and her family have treated them…all while fighting Leukemia that her youngest was diagnosed with at 2 yrs old. They were living basically rent free in our older home for almost 7 yrs (so many so called reasons) and we all helped them as much as we could. They have 3 children with whom we were so very very close. Their oldest daughter (now 9) wanted me with her every day and always always wanted to come home with us.
    When the youngest was first diagnosed, they had to live at the hospital for almost 3 months so I moved to their house to take care of the other two and try to keep their life as normal as possible. I could literally write a novel about how much we, her inLaws, and her sister helped them.
    Anyway, once the community, our church and other churches, and Facebook started sending $$ ( and I mean a lot of $$) it didn’t take long for ED to start being very snippy and critical with all of us. Nothing we did pleased her…we didn’t understand. The walk on eggshells began, and we chalked it up to the stress of our granddaughter’s cancer. She moved their entire family up to a nearby Ronald McDonald House and they lived there practically non-stop for that first summer. She at first welcomed us there to visit but then it didn’t take long before we were back walking on eggshells. We were all an intrusion. Her MIL would fly to visit and they wouldn’t even pick her up or take her back to the airport…she had to get a taxi. It was during this time that I finally got to know the MIL and realized that so many things my ED had told us about them just were not true…and vice versa. We became close friends and that just was something my ED could not tolerate.
    We all could see that the amount of $$ they were receiving was not being used for medical expenses. They purchased a home, bought vehicles, horse trailer, horse, pony, turned their new home into a farm. Now a lot was donated because she learned very quickly how to word things that tugged at people’s heart strings …and people give! A generous family even gave ED a new vehicle not knowing that ED had two that were reliable….oh my I could go on and on …
    I’m writing way more than intended.
    We have gone through so many of the stages of grief. We have forgiven and let go of our ED. We don’t know her….but not being allowed to see our 3 grandchildren still has my heart broken (as well as her inLaws) …people kept saying the grandkids wouldn’t forget our love …but I’m afraid they have…I saw them recently at a fundraiser but wasn’t allowed to talk with them. The grandkids that once ran into our arms were more concerned with not making their mom mad by talking to me and while the oldest wanted to talk to me…she was very nervous and clearly very focused on her mom. I never want to put them in that position again.
    My heart goes out to my SIL because he lives with her craziness and is completely unaware of how conniving ED actually is but he supports his wife and has broken his family’s heart….i have one sister that completely supports and encourages ED. I don’t know why other than she claims ED came to her and she won’t turn her away. My sister believes all she is told. Since I’ve been a victim of believing my daughter, I somewhat understand.
    This forum is the first place I’ve found where people understand when you say “it’s all lies” and we truly don’t know what we did….to say part of it is she needed us gone so she could manipulate the public for $$ is something we don’t say yet many see it. But how she could cut us all out her life and our grandkids …I don’t know how to get past it. I pray and pray and pray ….
    Thank you for listening

  • #11870
    ItsaGirl
    ItsaGirl
    Participant

    Sheri, Thank you so much for all you are doing here. I have received long comments on my 1 and only post so far from about a dozen people. In turn, I have responded back to every one of them because I “hear them” and I’m genuinely interested in conversing about what they have said. I have been welcomed, supported, encouraged, advised and, so very important to me, validated. I am not judged here, and so, I feel safe here. I just received your book from Amazon and will begin reading it today. All my best to you.

    Regards,
    ItsaGirl

  • #11879
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Welcome to you, MovingForward–and by being here, you truly are!
    🙂
    I am very glad you find this site and all the people supportive and understanding rather than judgmental and mean.

    Thanks for your nice note.

    And ItsaGirl, what a nice woman you are. I have to tell you, every time I see your username it makes me smile!
    🙂

    I don’t have your perfect record of responding to everyone who says something to me in the forum. Sometimes life just gets in the way, and it’s all I can do to read and approve the posts.

    Glad you’re here–and thank you for getting my book. I hope you will find it helpful in lots of ways.

    Sheri McGregor

  • #12499
    MsAnnie
    MsAnnie
    Participant

    Hi All,

    My bio pretty much says it all. I am the mother of two adult daughters. One with mental illness and substance abuse who was so manipulative that I finally had to use tough love, to keep myself healthy, and distance myself from her. The older daughter, has rejected me, because I rejected the other.

    The details: I got along great with both of my daughters. But for the sake of my own health and job, I had to stop being the person who cared for my youngest, whenever she found her life in chaos. Which was frequently. I discussed my feelings with my oldest daughter, and told her I had considered leaving my husband (so that I could move my youngest in with me to take care of her). My oldest reminded me that I had done that before, and it had not worked. (Regardless of how hard I try to “fix” my youngest, she always ends up being on drugs, in jail, in the hospital or homeless. And then, it was only me there to pull her up, both emotionally and financially. My oldest daughter said I should not leave my husband. Then as it came time for my youngest to get out of the hospital (6 week stay for schizo-affective disorder), my oldest said she wanted to try and help her. She asked me to finance her trip from another state to come up and get my youngest when she got out. (I had said, that I was not going to do it again, and that maybe, when my youngest finally had no one else to turn to, the state might actually get her into a group home-which is what she needs.)

    But my oldest held strong, actually crying on the phone to me, when I told her I didn’t want her to take on the responsibility of her younger sister-because of the stress. (My oldest just finished treatment for a rare type of cervical cancer about a year ago). So I gave in, and rented the car for her to drive up, and paid my youngest daughter’s rent, so that her things would be safe until she got out, and gave my oldest gas money for the trip as well. (As I was doing this, I was betting my husband that their moving in together would not work, but rather end badly). My oldest has not lived with my youngest when she was very ill.

    So as soon as the two of them made it back, the very first night, they had an argument that came to physical shoving between them. The husband of my oldest started texting me, and telling me I should be ashamed that I was putting his wife through this. In short, the next day, my oldest daughter told me I should have taken the youngest in, and that I was a horrible mother for making her responsible now for her sister-since I had said I was finished financing her life.

    This happened to me just over a week ago. I thought I would feel worse about the guilt over barring my youngest from my life, but as time goes on, it seems the rejection by my older daughter is as bad, or possibly worse? I am still trying to process this.

    I have thus far; deleted all of my phone and facebook contacts with the rest of my family. I don’t want any contact with any of them-not a great family anyway… But honestly, deep down, I don’t want their contact, if I have lost my daughters. I am trying very hard to hold onto the love my husband and I have for each other. At the same time however, I keep looking at job possibilities in Alaska, for just me. Not sure why. I don’t really want to forget about my daughters, but then again, I have covered up a lot of their photos in my office, and shoved others to the far back of the shelves.

    My husband purchased Ms McGregor’s book for me yesterday, so I am waiting on its arrival with hope that something will click in my brain that helps me to make sense of all of this. I am assuming that this is like the normal grieving process, that there are stages that we go through? Can anyone discuss this topic, so that I might know better, what to expect?

    Thanks, MsAnnie

  • #14236

    Devastated Mom
    Participant

    Hi all, just joined today. And I’m glad for this site. It was a rough day, again. Crying..no, sobbing is the better word. I guess my story is typical. My daughter, as a teenager, pushed the limits for sure. She met a man, much older that her and eventually they married. I’m sure he has multiple personality disorders – has never held a job longer than a few months. Basically he’s been unemployed most of the time while my daughter supports him. He has no friends and is unnaturally close to his family. My daughter has been dragged into this web, no other word to describe it. My husband and I know he doesn’t like us – he’s told as much. Seems my daughter only came to us when they needed money. We’ve been abused verbally, yelled at, mocked, insulted and the list goes on, when she is a bad mood. Though they live close to us, visits are rare. Holidays, Mother’s Day, birthdays, all ignored. They spend it with the “other side”. We’ve kept our cool, bit our tongues till they were bleeding, and tried not to provoke. We know he’s waiting for any excuse to denigrate us. And we hoped one day she would see him and her situation for what is and come home. But now that there are children, I don’t it’s going to happen. We’ve been designated as the “other grandparents”, the ones the grandchildren rarely see. There’s not even any pictures of us with the grandchildren. Just like her wedding. Our small side was basically excluded from the festivities, left to sit by ourselves without even acknowledgement we were there. It was humiliating. And yes, we paid for the wedding. There’s nothing more we can do. And now? My self-respect is gone, I feel like a failure, I’m lonely for my child and there’s nothing I can do but deal with the loss. And I’m ill. Had cancer a few years ago (fortunately it’s not expected to return) but now I’m dealing with a disabling illness in which there is no cure and very little effective treatment. So I’ve reached rock bottom. My husband and I have talked so much about it – we just keep going around in circles. He’s devastated too. We don’t tell too many people – it’s humiliating because I’m sure, people must think we’re to blame. The two friends I’ve mentioned it to, while meaning well, don’t understand. One says it’s her age and she’ll outgrow it; the other says that it is normal for children to live their own lives. I agree with the second comment to a point but to alienate and abuse us? No, that’s normal. Of course, it’s too embarrassing to say what exactly she has said/done to us. It’s pathetic really. I never in my wildest dreams ever though we’d be faced with this. She was such a wonderful daughter till she was 14. I’m heartbroken. No other words come close to how I feel. Thank heavens there’s this group. I’m not alone.

  • #14256
    Ann
    Ann
    Participant

    You’re certainly not alone and I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s a horrible place to be in.

    My husband decided when our daughter was 15 that he didn’t much like me after he took voluntary redundancy from his job and had his own crisis of self worth – I was working full time and we could afford for him to not have a job but, from that moment he decided I annoyed him at every turn (no matter how I was with him or what I did) and he had to keep me in my place. Our daughter joined him in his quest to do just that (encouraged by her dad) and so it began and continued for 19 years until I left them both and moved away for my own sanity!

    For all that, I seem to be getting used to it – somehow. It’s not what I had envisaged when I met and married him 46 years ago or when we had children.

    As for other people, I seem to keep on meeting (on my walks with my new dog) people who can not only relate to my situation but have such situations in their own family. It’s uncanny. But it does mean that I’m not blamed or made to feel guilt for something very few of us are guilty of!

    And as you’ll see from reading the posts of others on here, our EC’s objections to us really don’t hold up. They are indeed pathetic!

    My daughter was lovely too until she came under her dad’s spell. Not any more I’m afraid.

  • #14291

    Rainbow
    Participant

    DevastedMom, I am glad you have found this site but so sad that you have joined the journey of estrangement. My ES is an only child and I am a long time veteran of estrangement. I know only too well what it feels like to be “the other grandparents.” No photos of us hanging around in their home.I knew the day my son married that he had now found his other family and we were no longer going to be part of his world. I too, have been verbally abused, disrespected and made to feel subservient. I know what if feels like to be forgotten on birthdays, holidays, mother’s day. The silence is deafening. I have been blessed to have a good husband who stands beside me and we share and support one another in our grief. I have also been blessed with dear friends who know my heartache, but what I can tell you that unless someone has walked this path filled with thorns, they have no idea as to the depths of our pain and despair. We will survive this nightmare. I remember that raw pain in my earlier years of dealing with this horror. The pain still exists although not as intense as it was in the beginning. I too, have grandchildren who I have no contact with. My ES and DIL have gone out of their way to hurt and try to destroy my husband and I. And this time they were almost successful, but I fought with everything in me to overcome what I would call a parent’s worst nightmare. You have found the right place for support. This forum is filled with many wise and compassionate people. Some have just started their journey. Others, like myself have been into this for the long haul. Please take care of the most important people, you and your husband. Push yourself to go out and enjoy life as best as you can. Life is too short and precious. Read through some old posts and get Sheri’s book. It is the go to bible for estranged parents. We are all here for you to help and support you. Love and lots of hugs, Rainbow

  • #14507

    Johanna
    Participant

    Being very new to this site…Thankyou to you Sheri from the bottom of my heart. What a wonderful, caring, strong and amazing woman you are to create this website. You have brought together people who all share the grief, betrayal and confusion that goes with estrangement from an adult child. Thank you doesn’t seems enough. You a life saver Sheri. Reading what all these people have written makes me feel part of a family. TriciaFran…..it is like you are me. I feel such a connection to you. Our particular story is pretty much identical. Like you I have finally after 18 months accepted my son is also responsible. His partner is the one who has hidden in the shadows, behind the cruel emails and texts. No ownership there from her but I now accept that my beautiful eldest son is allowing, enabling her to do this to me. To remove my two beautiful grandchildren from my life. To drive a wedge between my youngest son and his brother. So much grief, pain, suffering and confusion. Never would I Have expected this could happen. I loved my children and raised them to be wonderful men. Both raised the same and one turns his back. Thank you to all who write here. You are allowing me to share and not feel alone. …Johanna

    • #15407

      whatdidido
      Participant

      Hi New to this site, a site I never dreamed I would be part of!! I have a daughter and a son. I was very close to both, but my son and I are two peas in a pod. My ex-husband and daughter both have communication problems, my son and I were the talkers. We would talk to each other for hours……then along came his first real girlfriend in college. I loved her, but I noticed she complained about her childhood a lot and I slowly witnessed my son disconnecting from all his friends and eventually family. She leading all of us to believe she came from a family of abuse, (she came from a stable, healthy, loving and wealthy family) but my son became her hero, her savior, he took the role of protection very seriously. She kept locking her family out, and eventually my son locked me out for over a year. Then they got engaged and he let me back in. When I asked why he had cut me out, he said it was nothing that I had done, that it was him and he would never do it again. Well, I was in their life for about 2 yrs, got to be at their wedding, got to spend lots of money on them, we spent holidays together, all was wonderful with life. Then one day……we celebrated his birthday and had a lot of fun, absolutely nothing was bad about the day, everyone had fun. That was almost a 1 1/2 yrs ago, I have not seen them since. Just cut off…..just cut out! My daughter in law cut her entire family out at the same time….saying they had abused her and were mean, but wont tell them any details. She must have got mad at me because her mother and I formed a freindship and she must not have liked that. So……when I have reached out to my son, I get mean, nasty replies, but no reference to why I have been cut out again. I am so hurt, feel so used, so confused, angry, sad, lonely, mad………..I have to treat him like he is dead now, I put away all his pictures, all memories of him are hidden. It hurts too much to see his pics and know I cant see him. He is still occasionally talking to his sister, but very rarely. He told his sister that I quit talking to him…..so I reached out to him, his reply was nasty and hurtful…… My daughter and I are both at a lost as what has happened to him. He has cut out my entire family also. I know it is my daughter in law who has the issue….even her family is confused and concerned that she has mental illness.
      Is there ever a good ending to these stories?? What can I do???

    • #15423

      dixie09
      Participant

      Hello whatdidido. Sorry you have a need for this site, but you are very welcome here always. My ES and I are also two peas in a pod. He is very mean and hurtful when he is angry and says awful things to me. I don’t know if we need to dwell on those things are just simply try to get through each day until we are faced with a decision to make regarding out relationship. I do know the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. This is not the son I raised. Twice we have been estranged and both times the estrangement was caused by controlling spouses and his lack of good judgement. Our adult children adult must make wiser decisions and exercise better judgement. Sometimes after so many bad decisions they become angry about their life. Who does a child or husband take out that anger on? The person closest to them. Us. That being the case does not make it right. We must forgive ourselves for our bad decisions and quit continuing with the same bad choices out of anger, resentment. My ES needs counseling just like me. In the meantime, I pray and try to stay as busy as I can doing the things that bring me joy in this dark spot of my life. The sun will come up tomorrow, my friend.

  • #14522
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    You’re welcome, Johanna. I’m no more amazing than you! (But than you for your kind words–I appreciate you!). Welcome to the “family” (as you call all the amazing people here).
    🙂

    Sheri McGregor

  • #14863
    SunflowersDay
    SunflowersDay
    Participant

    Thank you Sheri. I am new here and just posted my story. I have your book now and will read a bit tonight.
    This seems like a safe place. Yes, there is need for this forum. If I hadn’t stumbled over it while desperately doing a search for help….well I just don’t know where I would be tonight.
    I am thankful. So thankful.

  • #15440
    quiltmom
    quiltmom
    Participant

    Funny thing. I found this site and I was so thankful. I introduced myself and I sent encouraging replies to people and not one person has responded to my posts. Apparently, I am being rejected here too. It’s ironic that I feel the same way that I did with my children. I don’t need an apology or any excuses I have just come to realize that we really are alone in this. No one understands our situation and they can’t. I thought I had found a safe place, but when there is just silence its not safe.
    Quiltmom

    • #16265

      alyballybee
      Participant

      Hi I am new here too, please give it a chance, already I am finding comfort and strength just by these wonderful ladies sharing their vulnerability.
      I believe Sheri is doing this out of the goodness of her heart and through her own pain and suffering.
      I understand you when you say you feel rejection in the lack of response, but please think it might just be your situation which is causing you to feel this way at the moment. I know I did, not through the forum, but in every other aspect of my interactions with people, I thought I no longer matter, I have no opinion which people want to hear, who am I. Please don’t let the rejection take away who you are, I was ready to give up and in fact was on the point of even walking out of church on Sunday because of my perceived lack of empathy. But as the minister was saying goodbye at the door, he touched my arm and asked, how are you! Are you coming back onto my vestry? The AGM is next month and I was needed!! The world is not rejecting me, but I was very close to rejecting the world. Please stay, maybe we can support each other along with the other ladies.

    • #16273

      alyballybee
      Participant

      Hi I am new here too, please give it a chance, already I am finding comfort and strength just by these wonderful ladies sharing their vulnerability.
      I believe Sheri is doing this out of the goodness of her heart and through her own pain and suffering.
      I understand you when you say you feel rejection in the lack of response, but please think it might just be your situation which is causing you to feel this way at the moment. I know I did, not through the forum, but in every other aspect of my interactions with people, I thought I no longer matter, I have no opinion which people want to hear, who am I. Please don’t let the rejection take away who you are, I was ready to give up and in fact was on the point of even walking out of church on Sunday because of my perceived lack of empathy. But as the minister was saying goodbye at the door, he touched my arm and asked, how are you! Are you coming back onto my vestry? The AGM is next month and I was needed!! The world is not rejecting me, but I was very close to rejecting the world. Please stay, maybe we can support each other along with the other ladies.

  • #15442
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Oh my dear, dear Quiltmom,

    I AM SORRY.

    I hope you will give everyone here another chance. Sometimes, people are doing other things, or mean to send a note and then get busy. As the moderator, I see the notes before they’re approved, and it takes me a great deal of time to read and approve them for display on one screen, and then click over to another screen and try to find them. Sometimes that’s all the time I have before there’s some other person/thing/task calling to me here in my physical life.

    At the same time, I hope that you will forgive me. I’m just not perfect and can’t do it all. In fact, at times, I have considered halting the forum altogether, because it requires so much work. Sometimes, I accidentally overlook a note, and if the forum is busy, a new topic falls to the next page, and maybe people just don’t see it–I’m sure that’s the case here.

    Your post was at a time that was extra busy for me, and probably for many others on the forum since people go and do more in the summertime.

    I see that you did participate in a few threads, and there were some notes that included your replies with terms like “all” when offering thank yous for replies, but I can see where you would have felt left out because nobody replied to your introductory topic.

    I’m posting the link here, in the hopes that it will be easier to find among the thousands.

    Been here, done this…

    Again, I humbly apologize.

    Sheri

  • #16266

    alyballybee
    Participant

    Dear Sheri,

    Thank you so very much for this lifeline and your amazing book which has already helped me no end.
    I am very new to this estrangement, but in all honesty probably have been preparing for it for some time.
    I appreciate as I am sure so does everyone else the efforts you are putting into this, it can’t be easy for you in your own situation, but it truly is a lifeline where there is no other.
    Blessings and Thanks
    Aly

  • #16300
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Thank YOU Alyballybee.

    And thanks to all others who have posted notes here. I know I miss answering some directly. But I appreciate your kindness so very much.

    Thank you.

    Now get out and enjoy your day!
    Hugs,
    Sheri

  • #16445
    Alexandra
    Alexandra
    Participant

    I put my hello, I’m new here message in a standalone post but I should have put it here so I apologize. I have an ED from whom I have been estranged for 7 years but from the age of 11 we had a problematic relationship, primarily because of a vindictive ex who swore to me he would “take one of the kids so I have one and you have one and we’re even.” I also have a son and we have a great relationship. We talk often and I see them at least once a week outside of regular grandma privileges like babysitting. My son thinks his his sister is a b**ch and told me himself that I should stop beating myself up over the practically non-existent relationship I have with my ED. He was a terrible father but he is proving to be a good grandfather to our grandchildren (from guilt? Not likely. More like a fear of being left alone a bitter old man.) What that man put us through all the years they were growing up and now he’s reaping the benefits of grandparenthood while I am relegated to brief birthday and Christmas is so unfair. I won’t go into all the sordid history of that but it may come out from time to time in my posts.
    Alexandra

  • #16450

    Sunflower55
    Participant

    Thank you so much Sheri for creating this site. So good to know that I am not alone.

  • #16499

    Sunflower55
    Participant

    I have a friend who has the same issue as us and she is at the point where like her husband she just says “Whatever”. I am trying to get to that point myself because when I talk to my ex-husband (we are still friends) about our ES. all he will say “if he doesn’t love us , we can’t force it”. I’m trying to get to that point.
    My ES married a girl from a very wealthy family and the month before they got married, he came home and like before we had a great time. As I was walking past him in the living room, he said “Mom-you’re an awesome Mom” Yet shortly after he got married he would act angry at me for things that he and his Dad and I remembered differently. It’s like a switch got turned on and he became this person we didn’t even recognize. I remember the first time I met her–I saw the writing on the wall. I really started the grieving process then. When she said “I always have to live 2 states away from my parents. I was shocked. These are the parents that shipped her horse across the country to her and would buy her a house wherever she went to college.
    You know it is like a death and you have to put away their pictures and not think about what they were like before they changed. My daughter-his sister-is so angry at him I can’t hardly bring up his name. Thank God I have a daughter who will loves us thru all the seasons. The guy she is dating–he treats me wonderfully….that old saying sure is true.

    Thanks so much—-Sun

  • #16502
    Alexandra
    Alexandra
    Participant

    Sunflower, you hit the nail on the head for me when you said ‘it’s like a death.” That’s exactly what it feels like! I am going through the stages of grief about my relationship with my ED, who gave birth to two of my precious grandchildren that I rarely see. She doesn’t answer the phone if I call, and doesn’t return messages if I leave one, and that rejection hurts so much. It’s probably been over a year since I did call her or leave a message. The last time I was in a room with her for any length of time was when my mother, her grandmother, died four years ago. She was pregnant with her second baby at that time but did not tell me. I learned about her pregnancy on Facebook and it was a huge kick in the face. I am almost at the acceptance stage but i still find myself falling back into the “what did I do?” abyss. As the middle child, I was always the “fixer” but this is something I cannot fix.
    Alexandra

  • #16707
    forgetmenot1948
    forgetmenot1948
    Participant

    Sheri! I finally got in;)
    Alexandra, I know about the triggers and hiccups. They creep up sometimes unexpectedly. Yesterday I was so happy, feeling great,having a wonderful day. This morning, waking at 3AM (grrr) ruminating again because I haven’t heard from my precious grandson in a while. When I fell back to sleep I had a nightmare about my ED being disrespectful and rude to me and all my friends witnessing it and asking me what happened and trying to comfort me. I woke up sobbing. It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced that so my day has been crummy but I’m trying my best to turn it around. I am so blessed with a husband that is so there for me and friends and sisters that totally get it and I’m grateful. Does it take the pain away? Not really and I know it’s up to me to try everything but can to turn it around. It’s doubly hard when there are precious grandchildren kept from you. I re-read Sheri’s book to see me through and I pray a lot. It is like a death but they are still alive so there’s really no closure. I haven’t given up hope but I have no expectations and therefore less disappointment. This forum is such a blessing where we can share with great honesty and support for one another. I’m thankful for that. Bless you and as always; thank you Sheri for your unconditional love and caring to all of us in need.

  • #17600
    1Amiable
    1Amiable
    Participant

    Hi Sheri. Thank you for this forum. I am brand new here, but I am praying that you do not stop the forum. I am 17 months out from estrangement from my ES and his wife, and I appreciate all of the good sense and wisdom that I can glean from people who have been “in the trenchs”! What I find most painful is not being able to see and hold my grandchildren. I just cannot imagine any loving parent who would want to keep their children from loving grandparents. I remember wishing that my son had had a loving and nurturing grandparent when he was young. I do not recall ever saying anything to my son, as a child, or as an adult, that was intended to hurt him, neither did I ever say anything but encouraging things to his wife. I realize that they are using my grandchildren as weapons. I just do not understand what caused them to do this.

    Wishes of Joy and Peace to Each of You!
    1Amiable

  • #17714
    hurtingsoul
    hurtingsoul
    Participant

    Just want to say hello, to introduce myself, and to thank you, Sheri, for doing this. I am new here, but have already benefited from reading the articles and people’s experiences.

    Our eldest daughter (in her 40s) has been slowly but surely estranging herself from my husband, me, and our younger daughter over the past 15 years. It’s now apparently become a total rejection. I feel – and everyone who knows us, including our other daughter, agrees – that we’ve been good parents. Something began to change when she met her partner over 20 years ago, and the confident, loving young woman turned into someone else.

    I’ve lost hope of a reconciliation anytime soon and have been struggling to deal with all that entails. Sheri’s framing of it as “emotional abuse” has helped me and I might just be able to move on. I’m astounded that so many people have experienced this; there is comfort in knowing we’re not alone. I appreciate the support and look forward to eventually being able to offer that to others here.

    P.S. I live in Canada, if that matters. 😉

  • #17729
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Welcome to all!!!!!

    Sheri McGregor

  • #17783
    walking_dream
    walking_dream
    Participant

    HELLO,
    Its been 2 years since I seen my daughter. It’s been A difficult Journey, I did some searching online, I did not find anything? I went into denial, pretending, then I remembered she told someone “mom and I, we usually get through this”, search again, nothing? Then I don’t know what I put in search, I saw estrange adult child, read just the paragraph before you click on it! It hit me like a Ton a bricks! Why? Because I didn’t want to believe it! But, after looking more searching, and memory coming to me! Seen old text! My daughter did not abandon me! I abandon her! Ill stop here, it’s way too long… from the day I saw that website I am, severely sadden,broken, crush, missing her and that I was the cause! More sadness…broken wings!

  • #17830
    Thebluesky
    Thebluesky
    Participant

    Walking dream, it’s not clear in your post what site you saw an old text, and how exactly it made you feel as though you had abandoned your daughter. But clearly there is pain and I am glad that you landed here, a place to sort through a very emotionally confusing time for most.

    If I may, I would suggest starting with the articles Sheri has written and posted. I sifted through many before regularly posting.

    In the meantime, before you solely blame yourself, we all realize that not one human being functions at the level of perfection one hundred percent of the time. So for today, try not to think of blame, but to maybe see the best path you need to take to begin to sort through your feelings.

    Thinking of you,

    Peace and Love,

    TheBluesky

  • #18173
    Violet
    Violet
    Participant

    Thanks and bless you to Sherri for everything you do to help us through this journey! I am new to the forum having found your book first and devoured it. If you all haven’t bought it yet, please do so. It is the ointment needed to heal the wounds of estrangement. It’s been over four years of no contact at all with my daughter. I tried and tried for years. Finally, for my own sanity, I stopped and put the ball in her court. For my own security, I was able to retire and move away and begin again. My ED has done things that are personally and financially damaging to me, my home and my career. Despite it all, we still ask why? The shock is always there. But with support, faith and love, we can all survive this. One day, we will even flourish. I am painting, drawing, and crafting my way out of my sorrow. Bless all of you for your courage and love as we face each new day!

  • #19861

    natweb
    Participant

    I can not find my own place after my 20 year old decide to have his own life. I am in knowledge that he is using hard drugs. He went into out hours and in 24 hours he was gone. Now he is not contacting us and we don’t know if everything is OK. What should we do

  • #20767
    Yellow Rose
    Yellow Rose
    Participant

    Natweb, I hope you see this. Please search out and go to an Al Anon Family Group meeting. Even though it is an offshoot of AA, it will help tremendously in this situation. You will learn the why and how of letting go, and detaching with love. You will learn why enabling is not helpful. I used Al Anon when various family members are/were drugging and drinking. You will find other parents there who are going through what you are going through. Don’t make their sickness your sickness. Let the consequences work — you hurt the process more than you help it giving and over giving and solving their problems for them. Its hard to step back for a loving parent but we have to or they never have the incentive to improve themselves. Best wishes, I am so sorry. Please post on the main forum page so we can support you as new friends.

  • #21454
    All Things Retro
    All Things Retro
    Participant

    Thank you Sheri for this forum. I am also devastated by a ED whose husband treated us horribly at a family celebration. She chose to rewrite history not only attacking myself but also our son in texts defending her husband who drove drunk with an open container endangering our son in her husbands vehicle. I recently had a heart attack which led our son to contact our ED and let her know that mom (myself) only wanted to hear her voice. She refused to call and proceeded to list a laundry list of my faults back to her brother. I had no idea that she had such hatred for me until I read her text messages to our son. My husband and I have turned ourselves inside out trying to figure out what has happened to her. This is her second marriage of only 6 months. We have provided not only financial support time and again along with emotional support and been at her beck and call her entire life. I feel such guilt because this has now caused our son to be estranged from his sister also. How do I get past the realization that she has such contempt for me, my husband & son? Also that she defended her husband for drinking and driving with an open container?

  • #21578
    Showntell48
    Showntell48
    Participant

    Hello Everyone,

    I am new here but have read many posts and I have to say that a huge weight has been lifted off my heart just knowing that I am not alone. I think I am in both the anger and why me stages of estrangement. It is my husband’s daughter – my step daughter that has chosen to cut us off from her and our grandchildren. Her dad and I married when she was just 5 years old and dealt with her drug addicted, absent mother throughout her childhood. She went from asking me to be mother of the bride at her wedding to 3 years later cutting us off from her and our 2 grandchildren. She blames me as the reason for having no relationship with her dad and last year went from limited contact with us to refusing and returning our gifts and cards for both her and our grandchildren. She has now cut off all contact, blocked us on Facebook and avoids all family events where we would be present. I’m not looking for sympathy but I’m really struggling with how to handle this with the rest of our family. Our other children and extended family members are being torn apart because they feel like they are being made to take sides. When they ask us about it, we don’t know what to say. Part of me wants to tell them to say to our ED “What’s wrong with you?” “How can you do this to your parents?” Another part of me doesn’t want them to jeopardize their relationship with her and her family. I guess my biggest question is how do you handle this estrangement with your other children and extended family members? My husband and I know that we can’t reconcile with our ED unless she pursues it but how do we move forward with others and explain this situation when we have no idea how we got here? How do you handle when your EC has contact with everyone else in the family except you? Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

  • #23001
    Misdy9
    Misdy9
    Participant

    Me too, I’d like to just say hello and say how very grateful I am to have found you all.

    A big thank you Sheri, I salute you for writing the beautiful book, that I keep by my side and pick up every time I take a dip into pain and depression. It reminds me that I’m no longer alone with this. Just waiting for the book to arrive, lifted my spirits.

    There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said. The estrangement of my daughter and my three beautiful grandbabies, smashed my heart to bits. I didn’t find this book until about a month ago, by which time it had been 9 months that I struggled alone. The deepest state of despair struck me. I did have to take a visit to my gp. So by the time I had the book in my hand I had experienced a lot of ‘firsts’ Her birthday, the three boys birthdays and ultimately Christmas that brought me to a breakdown. I had faked it to make it for the sake of my son and daughter in-law and it caught up with me. No bad thing, it had to come out.

    Now mending with the help of your book and rather than live in hope, I’ve had to accept the things that I cannot change and my daughter is one of them. I must confess, I dived straight to the back of your book, hoping to read a happy ending, that might also have been for me too. I do have a happy ending today, its far from the ending any mother would want, oh dear, here come the tears, but it is the ending I have and I will make it my own happy ending, by doing the things I can to live my life as best and as happy as I can.

    Sheri, thank you thank you and thank you to all the beautiful mums and dads here who have felt the pain, the growth, the setbacks and the achievements, for I now know, I am no longer alone.

    Much love

  • #23016
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Dear Misdy9,

    Thank you for your generous words about my book, and of course–you’re welcome!

    You’re also very welcome here in the forum.
    🙂

    Just an FYI: If you want to join the discussions, feel free to post in the other topics. This “welcome” message topic is sometimes overlooked. I want to make sure you get the discussion and support you seek.

    Hugs!
    Sheri McGregor

  • #23058
    bj
    bj
    Participant

    Hello there…I am very new to this group and forum, and am glad to be here..I just didn’t realize that there were so many other people suffering from the adult estrangement of a child. Im presently in tears as I am writing this, but feel i must begin somewhere. I have been estranged from my daughter for nearly a year now, and every day is so hard to get through, some worse than others, as is today. My daughter is now 17 and I have no idea what really happened. At one point last year my husband had told her she would either have to respect us or find another place to live, she decided on the latter after calling me such bad names that it ripped me to the core. Unfortunately, what we thought was merely going to be a lesson in tough love, could not work as my extended family has enabled her all the way. She is now living with my sister. They believed everything that she had told them and they also stopped talking to my husband and myself. We have not been supported by my family in any way at all. We have only just begun talking with my family since January, but they say that we have harmed my daughter in a way that is just unforgiving and she will never come back to us, and that we can expect to lose the rest of our children as well. Its like i dont know whats going on as we have never harmed our children, only showered them with love throughout their lives. And they were always involved with sports or clubs as they wished. We never had a lot of money but we always shared our love greatly. Both my sisters have enabled my daughter with money, bought her a car and her insurance is paid. Other than that, I know nothing about whats going on with her as no one will tell us anything. I have heard through the grapevine that she has been accepted to 3 colleges and will be going out of the city for school next year. Everyone refuses to even give me a graduation picture of my own daughter or tell me what she is involved in presently. It feels as though my heart has been ripped out and stomped on over and over. It makes it much worse to know that my family has taken her in and thinks that we are very bad parents and people. There were times in the past when this heartache had led me to thoughts of suicide because I was so hurt, but i have been going to therapy for quite a while now and have learned how to deal with these feelings a bit better with the aim of being able to live in the present. My sister suggested that i begin sending my daughter care packages to show her that i love her unconditionally because actions speak louder than words, is what she said. Of course we are not to expect any thanks, and she only rips up every note i send along. Well, i guess thats enough about my situation for now and i welcome any responses from other members that may want to share. Thanks for this group and the chance to know that i am not alone………

    • #29303

      Theodora
      Participant

      My heart is going out to you …!!!! It is so difficult to live with this pain. My daughter and I have been o and off for the past ten years…Every time we get a little closer and I feel there might be hope …. I get so badly hurt . All long stories …all painful memories. Some days / nights are better than others. What makes it specially difficult is that I live on my own ….
      I am determined though to get better ….and will do what I can to sort events I my head, live with the situation….and be good.
      I worked so hard over the past thirty years …Something terrible happened last night in town but there is no ‘are you ok. mum? ‘ & no ‘are you ok kid ?’ I rarely talk about this hence very happy to have found this forum . ..People, friends don’t ask anymore after her, Christmas cards are just addressed to me …a relief …a painful one!
      Not sure this is helpful I would like it to be …..
      T

  • #23064
    forgetmenot1948
    forgetmenot1948
    Participant

    bjmosco,
    You are not alone here. How painful that your own siblings would not support you. That’s another loss in itself. I am so sorry you have gone through such anguish. But so glad you are seeking help for yourself.
    Your family owes you an apology for the betrayal. Your daughter is young. I feel within time as she matures; she’ll bounce back. Too many outside influences at her young age. Hang in there and know you’ve come to a very supportive place. It takes courage to share and it will help you to heal. Hugs to you, Annie

  • #23071
    Alexandra
    Alexandra
    Participant

    Welcome to all those new parents who have found this website. You’ll find kindness and support here, something that is sorely lacking in the everyday lives of parents who are suffering through the estrangement of their adult children. Come on over to the forum where you can post about anything to do with the estrangement and get some support. We’re all at different stages on this journey and we can help each other. I’ve been here since the fall and I can’t adequately explain how much the other parents on the forum have moved me forward in my own journey. Hope to see you over there.

    Alexandra

  • #23088
    HurtingMum
    HurtingMum
    Participant

    Welcome to this crazy but wonderful club.
    I will add my thanks here to Sheri for being here, for having this place where we can come, be supported and where we are understood. Thank you to the wonderful people who have given me advice and who have helped me so far. I have moved on from thinking I was okay to knowing that I am.

  • #23089

    butterfly099
    Participant

    Welcome, I am new too. Amazing how many of us are out there. It looks like 5 of us joined in yesterday. I also just found Sheri’s book a month ago and this site after 18 months of estrangement. I have a therapist but I feel it is even hard for her to relate.

    I too had to kick my son out at 20, at the advice of a therapist because of his verbal abuse and not following rules. This situation was affecting my 13 year old who suffers from sensory integration, anxiety and is a high level empath. I called his bio father who was not in his life at all for the first 8 years and told him you have to take him and he said he would. But instead he went to my narcissist mom and flying monkey father and they welcomed there golden boy and blamed me. My son is now 29 and I have had to walk on eggshells since than. I was in and out with them for year and kept going back trying to “fix things”, even retiring to care for his daughter 18 months ago. Long story short. I now have no contact and a new grandson I have never met.

    I know the pain of having your own dysfunctional family contribute to this mess. We must do everything to take care of ourselves and realize this is not our fault no matter how much they tell us it is.

    I am so glad for the chance to hear your stories and share my own and it does take courage but I also believe it will help us all heal.

    United sister in estrangement and dysfunction. Wishing you all the best and a big thank you for sharing and the old timers for the warm welcoming of us newbies to the forum

  • #23098
    Yellow Rose
    Yellow Rose
    Participant

    Welcome, BJMosco, Your story is much like mine. Extended family enabled and encouraged the estrangement of a very young person. In our case, our then 18 year old son, decided our rules were not to his liking and he moved to his Aunts house with his paternal grandparents blessing and encouragement. In our case, our ES is self centered, uses drugs and alcohol, refuses to work or take responsibility for anything, feels entitled, and is angry that his parents were such “terrible parents.” Like your relatives, ours said our ES was wonderful, had been a victim of my husband’s “bad parenting” but as the years rolled by, they got the royal ES treatment from the ES and now they are on the outs with him. Its sick, its twisted and thank goodness you found us here. I am so sorry you are going through this. Estrangement is horrible but when extended family or one’s former or current spouse encourages or enables them to ostracize us, well, that is a special pain. I hope you stay here, share here.

  • #23114
    Violet
    Violet
    Participant

    Bjmosco,
    Welcome to the forum. You definitely are not alone. I am so very sorry for your pain. My daughter had just turned 18 when our estrangement saga began. She announced that she no longer had to listen to me. She moved out to her boyfriends mothers house after lying to them that I had thrown her out. She told me to just pretend that she was away at college! This ripped my heart out. Then she sued me for child support because the state we lived in allots it until the age of 21! I spent thousands on lawyers to protect my meager salary and the roof over my head! Thankfully the judge would have none of it because while parents have an obligation to support their children, it also give parents the right to supervise their children and have an on going relationship with them. All the while I still tried to get her to come home and resume college.

    People said it was just a phase, or she will grow out of it. But my ED dug in and only used my home like a hotel and ATM money machine.

    It must be doubly hurtful that your sister rather than support you and your husband has enabled your daughter to estrange herself from you. I can’t imagine how much that hurts. I have three sisters. We have had our issues, many of them. I would hope that they would have sent my daughter packing to return home to me. But I’m not sure how that would have gone.

    We are here for you. I too, hit many low points that was quite scary. I found Sheri’s book and this forum after an almost six year estrangement saga. I had n have an incredible therapist who has a lifetime job with me now. I would not have survived this without her. I commend your strength and wish you the best in a difficult situation.

    Hugs,
    Violet

  • #23167
    bj
    bj
    Participant

    Thanks to everyone that replied to my post. You have made me feel very welcome and not so alone in all of this. Violet, I understand what you mean about child support as my parents said that we should try to switch our baby bonus over to my daughter as she could surely use it. So we called the governement and told them that our daughter was no longer living with us. They stopped the baby bonus i got every month and then it was up to her to go after it, or my sister because thats where she was living. After i did what they wanted and had the monies stopped from arriving to myself, they didn’t even proceed to go after it, so now no one gets it and it sits in the governments pocket. When i asked why they didn’t do what they were supposed to in order to receive the monthly pay, i was told that she was just too busy to go after it. If i had known that, I would have just continued to receive it and use it to spend on her monthly care packages…. Yellow Rose, you have gone through a lot of the same as i have with the extended family enabling our estranged adult children, and that just adds more pain to the entire situation. Its just not right. Forget me not, I pray that you are right, and that my daughter will bounce back from what she is presently doing to us, but she is so stubborn, i fear not, and with all the approval that she is getting from her aunts and grandparents, how is she supposed to see what really good parents we really were. Thanks to everyone else who responded to my post as well as it really helps to know that others understand and care. Hope to talk to you all again soon..xo

  • #23252

    Phoenix Rises
    Participant

    Dear bjmosco,
    My husband and I are also new to the forum.  When I read your post, my heart broke for both you and your husband.  We can identify with much of what you have been through.  As parents, we use our best judgement to try to keep our children from behaviour that will hurt them in the long run and often, a tough love approach is needed, when all other efforts have failed.  I sense this is the situation which you, as well as many parent of teenagers, found yourselves in.
    Please don’t second guess the decisions you made at the time – as they were made out of love and concern for your child.  We find the greatest threat to our ability to take baby steps to try to heal the pain caused by estrangement, is to second guess ourselves.  We have all been thoughtful, concerned, loving parents and must now deal with this detour our lives have taken that we have no control over and feel totally helpless and hopeless about.  Those feelings are very real and I am told that we must acknowledge this helplessness, disappointment, anger and regret before we can move on.  I do believe we can move on – if only because we must – in order to, as you so aptly put it, live in the present.
    Congratulations for taking that very big step into therapy to get yourself the support that you needed.  Moving on is something I cannot assist you with as we have not yet figured that out for ourselves.  I have “the book” and also thank Sheri for the support it has and continues to give to us.  I have read the steps we could take to accept what we cannot control, in order to move on.  We are taking suggestions from postings as well and are incorporating much of this into our daily lives, however, I have yet to reach a point where I get any pleasure from my efforts.  Thus far, they are “time fillers” which make it possible to get through my days.  By persisting,, my hope is that some day we can recapture, if only for a few moments, the pleasure we used to have in doing and going and participating – as we move through our lives.  I am hopeful because of the many posts from those who have recorded that they are, in fact, finding some level of pleasure in their lives once more.
    I guess what I am trying to say is – Let’s hang in there together, until we catch up to the many others who have found their way through the deepest part of the chasm that we are in.  It is still early on for us but there is a lot of support with this site. I am hopeful that some rays of sunshine will begin to poke through. You and your husband are in our thoughts.  We are not alone!

  • #23337
    forgetmenot1948
    forgetmenot1948
    Participant

    Phoenix Rises,
    As parents we are selfless by nature and that makes it difficult to not have the hurts and disappointments we feel. These feelings will be with us till our last days. We can however move forward with joy and peace when we realize we did the best we could. It’s not easy and it takes time to come to some resolve. I don’t think we were meant to suffer like this ever but somehow our loved adult children choose to use us as their scapegoat when things aren’t going so well for them. I did not come from a happy home by any means. My mother was focused on my alcoholic father and trying to survive having 6 of us. Early on I took the parent role being one of the older children and smiled through my pain.
    When I had my girls I shelled them from pain and heartache because of what I endured. Somehow possibly caught them too often when they fell. Being a single working parent it wasn’t easy but I was oh so proud of raising two loving daughters. Never did I ever dream my ED would do what she did 4 years ago and begin to blast me about what a rotten mother I was. I know I cannot control her behavior. I have accepted that it will never be the same. Even though she reached out to me 2 days ago.
    The trust is gone. I haven’t closed the door but I’m not forgetting how painful it’s been. I don’t ever want to go back to that place. So I choose to move forward. To focus on my wonderful husband that it took a lifetime to find and embrace all the ones I love. You’ll find that place too. Be patient with yourself. It takes time. So sorry you’re hurting, both of you. It will get better. Focus on the moment. Hugs, Annie

  • #24438
    Afraidparent
    Afraidparent
    Participant

    Hello!
    I’m new to this community and look forward to no longer being alone. First like all of you we love our daughter so much. However, when we don’t accept her behavior and lack of respect to us we are shunned. She now feels both sides of our extended family aren’t worth her time either. She sits alone at home with two dogs and cries about being alone, yet her actions towards all of us are so bad that we can’t just accept it.
    Due to her I also found help in the past on Al-Anon, if that gives you some idea of what we go through with her.
    She’ll be 27 this year and no matter how loving we were and are, how much we give both in support and financially its never enough and she says we do more for her brother….the Golden Child…as she calls him. He is now going to be a father and when we finally had the Nerve to break the news to her she was ugly, mean, and hateful and of course posted mean things on her FB.
    This time I blocked HER on my phone, FB, and email accounts so that she could no longer Spew her Hatred to us and him the way she’s been used to doing.

    Its been two full weeks now with no contact. Its saddens me to so many of you saying its been years as I feel this is the route we’ve been going. I can no longer do the ups and downs with her and deal with her narcissistic personality. Life Isn’t all about her and life is just that, Life. We hope one day she accepts that and becomes a successful loving adult instead of the hate filled person who is actually a very lonely young woman.

    Very much looking forward to finding support here and learning how to move forward and Be Strong doing so. I have a life and our first grandchild on the way. I can’t live in the negative. Its not me. I just wish she’d be with us through it all but she chooses not to be.

    Hugs to all of you, because you are here, I have no doubt at all you were and are amazing parents. They’ve just become different adults than we expected I guess.

    • #28248
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Afraidparent,
      Your daughter sounds like a very unhappy person. There are a great many parents who frequent this site and forum who have similar situations with extreme sibling jealousy (unfounded). I hope you’ll find that you’re supported here.

      Meanwhile, congratulations on your upcoming grandchild. I hope your daughter will settle down and let everyone enjoy this time.

      Hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

  • #26592

    Cubbyz
    Participant

    Thank you Sheri, I have been Reading your book daily and found it very theraputic.. I work day to day to stay positive. and stay involved in Church and with people. And the principals in your book and their stories have helped me cope. im trying to get the swing of the website.. because fellow ship is great for Healing.. Talking to others with the same thing.. thank you

    CubbyZ

    • #28247
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Dear Cubbyz,
      I somehow missed this note from you–welcome so belatedly to the website. If you need any help navigating just say so (you can even use the contact form on the “about” page). I’m so glad you’re here, and grateful the book has been of some help. Please do talk with the others here. Start your own topic or reply to others. The “welcome” thread doesn’t get all that much traffic.

      Hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

  • #29191

    Theodora
    Participant

    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 ..no 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.

  • #32891
    shadow
    shadow
    Participant

    Hello, I am new to the forum, and my situation, alienation of son and grandchildren, due to my daughter-in-law, has not changed in three years. It has been a very depressing time of my life, and also my husband, as we live close to our only son, and grandchildren who are ages 3 and 2, and we have been told that we have no rights to visit at their house so stay away. As she is the keeper of the gate, we would not be allowed to visit them, nor does our son bother with us to bring kids over to see us, no phone calls, FaceTime, skype. It has been very hurtful, and difficult to cope. We always had a happy life together, and as I was an older mother, our son has always been the apple of our eye. He has changed 360 degrees, since meeting her, and we are out of the picture entirely. How sad, when life is so short, and all we want is health, happiness, and a family unit. I am shedding tears as I write this, as I never thought life would turn out this way. I am a very giving person, and so is my husband, and I firmly believe jealousy on her part is the issue, along with a personality disorder.

  • #32910
    spiderbites
    spiderbites
    Participant

    I want to thank you for letting become part of this much needed forum… I am so happy to be here

  • #34066
    cuillin
    cuillin
    Participant

    Hi, I am new to this forum.

    I have been estranged from my three adult children since I separated from their mother after more than 30 years of marriage. I had hoped that once our “no-fault” divorce was finalised earlier this year the kids would make contact with me, but still nothing. I have kept the door open by always remembering their birthdays and Christmas by sending cards and gifts, but they have never acknowledged them or reciprocated in any way.

    After I had been forced to leave the family home I had a meltdown on social media caused by a combination of the side-affects to drugs I had been prescribed, alcohol and depression which I’ve suffered from throughout my adult life. I said things which I regret and also attempted suicide. I was clearly ill, but my children don’t appear to have taken that in to account. I am still being treated for severe depression, anxiety and PTSD related to events in my childhood.

    My children seem to have forgotten how I love them and cared for them throughout their lives, working exceptionally hard to provide pretty much everything they had ever wanted.

    My ex refuses to give me any information about our children and what is happening in their lives. I cannot help but think this is a control/manipulation thing on her part. I have no idea what she has been saying to them, but I have little doubt it has not been helpful.

    After more than two and a half years of having had no contact from them I have decided I have to move-on for my own mental well being. I will no longer look for updates about their lives on social media; I won’t be sending any more cards or gifts; and perhaps more controversially I am rewriting my will to exclude them.

    This may sound harsh to some, but I find it impossible to reconcile their behaviour towards me this past two and a half years with them being beneficiaries in my will.

    I would be interested to know if any other forum members have faced this dilemma and what decisions they took.

    I look forward to engaging with others on here as I try to start a new chapter in my life without my children.

  • #34078
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Welcome cuillian.

    You might want to scroll down to the bottom of the main forum page (when you first login), and start a new topic about inheritance. There is a chapter in my book that deals with estates as well, and there have been some past discussions though. Here: is one discussion, as well as an article that has some comments about inheritance from other parents

    Disinheriting estranged adult child

    Adult children who reject parents: Why do they make contact now?

    Sincerely,

    Sheri McGregor, M.A.

  • #34138
    Einnov56
    Einnov56
    Participant

    Hi Cuillin. Welcome to the site. You sound like you have been through some difficult times, but you seem to be getting on with your life now. Parents on this site are at different stages of E, some have been E for years some just months like me, so I’m sure you will find many topics that will resonate and help your to look at things a little different. We are here for each other and support each other in this E.

    No one can blame you for not leaving anything for your EC, why should you reward this behaviour. I feel like doing it myself, i’m still reading on the topic and weighing up the choices but with all things you have to follow your own instincts there is no right or wrong answer, we all have different situations.

    Best wishes….

  • #34637
    cuillin
    cuillin
    Participant

    Thanks Einnov56!

  • #36063
    simplifyplease
    simplifyplease
    Participant

    Thanks, Sheri! Right now I’m so emotionally numb I’m surprising myself. Haven’t cried for years … Can’t seem to. Just soldier on, paying all the bills and rolling with the punches. I have a great job that requires me to do huge amounts of research and writing, which helps. And a spectacular view from my apartment: REALLY amazing … Can’t say what I can see because it would reveal who I am, but it’s world-famous! And all I have is a very humble, rented, furnished studio in a street that can get SERIOUSLY noisy in a city that’s in crisis in a country that’s falling apart … My youngest son has been very supportive (you and he are the only ones who know). THANK YOU FOR THIS WEBSITE!

  • #36159
    simplifyplease
    simplifyplease
    Participant

    Hi, everyone! I see there are folk from as far away as France and Australia here … I’m in South Africa, but my in-his-forties eldest son (who told me on Wednesday not to make any further contact) is in the US. What an amazing forum this is! THANK YOU, Sheri, for all the sensitive, insightful replies you send to people in such terrible pain.
    Right now, I’m a bit numb. Guess it’s going to be an emotional roller-coaster going forward, but (as Sheri’s nickname for me implies) my family situation is so complex and dysfunctional I’m not sure if I have a heart left to break. It has been kind of disintegrating for around twenty years. Haven’t cried since my old Staffie died in 2012, and before that when my mother died a year earlier.
    Woke up this morning thinking, ‘I’ve lost my son.’ And I have. He’s not someone to take a decision like this lightly, so it’s definitely over – after more than twenty years of trying to keep the relationship going. I can understand why he did it … He had to choose between two diametrically opposed parents and their positions on his younger brother. He chose his father, who estranged himself from his two youngest children about five years ago. The man is seriously difficult … But that’s a story in itself.
    Anyway … that’s me: ‘Simplifyplease’ in South Africa. I have three very special individuals as children, each damaged by this long war of attrition over one of them – who is now well and functioning normally, thank God. Every member of my immediate family has lost two of its members through rejection. I’m the only member who has only lost one. Unbelievable.
    I often wonder if this is hereditary? My mother cut ties with her own mother when I was very young. I hardly remember my maternal grandmother (whom, I was regularly told, I resemble). My father’s mother ran away when he was a child. He never spoke about her. My own mother cut ties with me before the birth of my youngest child. We reconciled a year later, but she did it again shortly after my divorce. It took five years to reconcile. My brother and I have been estranged for long periods and finally severed ties in 2015, when I had to take him to court (and won).
    I always prided myself on having broken the trend against often formidable odds – but it seems not. One thing is certain: I did my best with everyone I love, so I REFUSE TO FEEL GUILTY!

  • #38040

    fc1964
    Participant

    I am new to this. my story is not unlike many of the ones i have read, however it feels unique to me.

    i have minimal contact with my 22-year old son, who now lives in baltimore. long story semi-short:

    his mother and i divorced, quite badly, when he was 5. i had joint custody and was there for what i thought was everything, mom would tell him bad things about me. not much of it was true (no cheating, abuse, drinking etc.) smart kid, excelled in high school, bombed in college. works hard at job. thought he thought highly of me.

    i am remarried (11 years) and have an 8 year old daughter. he lived with us for a while when mom kicked him out of the house when he was 19. he doesn’t really like stepmom and shows zero interest in sister who thinks he’s a greek god. he’s wasn’t mean or disrespectful, he just made himself unavailable emotionally. last christmas, he never showed up in the morning to exchange gifts, after he slowly moved out of my house and back with mom. no explanation, just didn’t bother. ever since then, very minimal contact at best weeks or months with zero contact at all.

    to say i’m heartbroken is an understatement. yet i keep trying to reach out. if i avoid speaking of my feelings, and talk (text. he won’t pick up phone) about light fare, he’s reply back momentarily. otherwise, nada. maybe he’s ashamed of himself OR me. dunno, because he never expressed how he feels.

    anyway, there’s tons more. but that’s for later…

  • #38052
    simplifyplease
    simplifyplease
    Participant

    Welcome, fc1964 …

    Like you, I posted my introduction in this thread. I realised later that most folk in the forum probably hadn’t found it because I was supposed to use the ‘Introduce Yourself’ thread … Whatever … I know Sheri will welcome you herself some time soon. Don’t know how she keeps up with us all, especially with so many new people joining the forum. Meanwhile, hang in there. You are not alone. Looking forward to reading the rest of your story when you’re ready to share.

  • #38070
    Einnov56
    Einnov56
    Participant

    Welcome FC1964. I’m glad you have found us on this site. I’t true there are more mothers than fathers here but as Sheri says everyone is welcome and we are all parents heartbroken by E. Your story is very much like others here where one parent tries to destroy the relationship of their children with the other parent, it’s wicked really. My problem is my DIL trying to destroy my relationship with my son with lies and passive aggression. I hope you will find some comfort here you are not alone.

    Hugs to all EP.

  • #38094
    BeautyforAshes
    BeautyforAshes
    Participant

    Thank you Sheri for creating this valuable resource. I am unsure if I am posting to the community and wondered if you could check to see for me? This is what I previously posted to “Introduce Yourself”:

    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 abondonment 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.

    • #38166
      delilah
      delilah
      Participant

      Hello Beauty for Ashes, welcome and I see your post. I’m very new here too, and new to estrangement. I had to look up what Oxy was. This is such a devastating thing to have happened to you and your whole family, and its been a long time. I’m glad you are here. I also found it a bit tricky to know where and how to do the intro etc. I am replying to posts and posting a lot at the moment, but I find this forum to be a “safe place” to come and share things I haven’t ever even really talked about with good friends. So, again, welcome

  • #38201

    thankful
    Participant

    Hello everyone,

    Introducing myself as a finally-admitting-the-truth estranged parent, I did post to this thread but don’t see it on the site, so I may have goofed up. I’m not so very techy and this is the first time I have ever participated in an on-line conversation, which goes to prove how very significant this topic and event is in my life.

    My 34-yr-old daughter and I have had a wonderful relationship, close but hardly smothering as she was well grounded in her upbringing to be responsible, thoughtful, caring, well educated, ethical…you name it…all the good qualities that we strive to model and see grow into our children’s lives. She’s almost 10 years into her marriage to a wonderful young man. Both are professional educators with stellar careers and best of all, parents to 5 & 2-yr-old grandchildren.

    Daughter announced in January (out of the blue) that she had told her husband she would be divorcing him, that he should make arrangements to vacate their home at the end of the school year (which he did..) She gave no details as to why, except to say she wasn’t happy. We very gently, and I mean gently suggested that she really think through this decision as many couples go times of personal change, growth , etc that requires the partner to make adjustments as well. How we need to accept the faults of our partner and learn to build on our strengths, supporting one another. Nothing illegal or abusive or extramarital going on…until several months later, after her husband had moved out, the truth: she announced that she is gay. OK..yet another shock but my husband & I publicly applauded her courage and gave her our emotional support as she faced whatever the future holds for her. She and the children visited us (we live 14 hrs. away) in early July and it was horrible. We had assured her that her visit would not be met with criticism or questions…we opened our home and told her to feel safe, come & go as she wished and just relax. She did all that but was totally cold, distant, nasty. When at one point I asked if we had done something to offend her, she screamed at me and said I had never cared for her, I always put myself ahead of her, she had a terrible childhood. As with other parents mentioned in Sheri’s book and on this site, I was totally speechless. I have no clue what she was referring to and, of course, she won’t give any specific examples…because they only exist in her imagination (or as we might more kindly say…they exist in her perception!)

    When she left to return home she refused any hugs, thank yous, or apology for her awful behavior. We have heard from her with only 2 emails (which she explicitly tells me not to respond to), basically saying I’ll contact you when I’m good and ready but that will only happen if you do what I say #1 do not talk to anyone about this except a counselor (which I’ve done..but she doesn’t know because I’m not allowed to respond to her!) #2 make no attempt to connect with the grandchildren, a rule I have broken as our son-in-law arranged for us to facetime with the g’kids about once a week when he has them…and he’s happy to facilitate that. I have sent her text messages about once every 3 weeks…non-threatening or groveling…she does not respond.

    Believe it or not, that is the condensed version. There is a lot more to this and while by standards reflected in this site, I’m only on the beginning side of estrangement, but I know in my gut it’s real, it’s long standing and in comparison to our previous “life” together, it’s been like a death and has left a gaping hole in my life. I actually did experience symptoms similar to a heart attack (tests came back negative) but which physicians say is very real in the sense of it being a “broken heart”.

    I’m OK….today…trying to live mindfully and not be overwhelmed by the future emptiness which I know needs to be filled with other people and activities. I dread Christmas but do remain thankful for caring people, especially those who can say “I understand” and I know YOU do.

    Blessings to all…I remain
    …thankful

  • #38919

    Booty
    Participant

    I am so relieved to have this place to visit, to share my experience, it just helps me from feeling so alone……ashamed, embarrassed, heartbroken but yes mostly alone…..

    Thanks for the book (I haven’t finished it yet but I recognize many of my own thoughts & feelings within those pages) and thank you for setting up this space for us estranged parents.

    It’s 3 years since I had contact with my son and as many of you will guess I have been through so many different emotions, many of which are similar to death and bereavement. Disbelief, anger, sadness, regret, guilt and repeat over and over….I wish I knew about this site before, I would have been on here spilling my heart regularly!

    Reading comments on this page I continue to recognize the feelings this issue brings us, for example one wrote that she wanted to move away and that’s how I felt, perhaps we wanted to run away from the reality of it (?) I also wished my son and his family would move away, somehow it would have felt less painful with that distance between us (or so I thought)

    I go along OK for a while then I hear something about him or his family, then the sleepless nights begin again and I go over and over and over things looking for a reason.

    Many parents have written on here that it seems the estrangement was at least in part due to their child’s partner, this is what I feel has happened with my son. His partner is insecure and her family are fragmented so perhaps it was hard for her to accept that relationship we shared with our son. As the years rolled on and she became more and more controlling and my son allowed this and continued to do everything to please her, she would constantly change the goal posts until eventually I was her very last goal post to conquer. I believe (but have no proof) that there is some domestic abuse involved, however when I very (VERY) carefully addressed this subject (on one of the many occasions she had thrown him out) he denied it, although admitted her smashing things up and smashing his phone and she had a fight with a male relation in her own family. Me being there for him was making his home life with her and his children more difficult (although I didn’t see this for many, many years). In the end it was obvious that he was looking for an escape from us….but still I didn’t recognize this.

    My turning point was when once again I had offered a very kind gesture and again it was thrown back in my face, with some added vile comments and then it hit me……Almost like someone had smacked my face to bring me to reality. It was then I knew that no matter what I did for them it would NEVER be good enough-so I had no reason to continue trying (does that make sense) It took me years and years to get there though

    The reason I feel the need to write today is that I’ve recently heard that he has no job (she lost him several jobs over the years by interfering in his work, or turning up there with her demands). He told me going to work kept him sane and gave him some time out (although she did have people watching him – or so she told him). Yet eventually he gave in and firstly worked from home< (but didn’t actually ever get/do any work) and then stopped working altogether. He had a large industrial injury pay out, which she spent within months, now he is at home looking after children & grandchildren whilst she goes out and meets a boyfriend – and still my son stays with her…I will never understand why.

    He has relayed his childhood and it certainly isn’t the way his siblings or my husband and I remember it – its fabricated to match how she feels about her childhood.

    I shed many tears when I realized that he just plain doesn’t like me – no matter what I say or do…a fact I found VERY hard at first but now accept he is an adult, can make his own choices and have his own opinions – besides what others think of us isn’t really our business if you think about it, (I mean I have my opinion of him and her don’t I?)

    I have always held the belief that all negatives have a positive even in awful disasters those that rally around, send support, show kindness and understanding and prayers, bringing so many diverse people and cultures together as a community would be an example. Yet found it so very hard to find a positive in the estrangement from my son…but
    Three years on I discovered how peaceful my life has become, I am no longer afraid that my words or actions will be twisted, I have learned who my true friends are and gained understanding from those I never expected it from. Through reading Done With Crying and reading others experiences on this site I have found another positive – Thank you again

    • #38949
      rparents
      rparents
      Keymaster

      Dear Booty,

      Welcome to the forum (although, I know it’s not the first place you’d choose to join).

      You make perfect sense, and you shared your thoughts well. I know your words will resonate with and help other parents. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’m glad you have found the book and site helpful. Please join in the other threads at any time! Your perspective is welcome.

      Sheri McGregor

  • #39152

    jCoaster1982
    Participant

    Hello, I’m new to this site but I am so grateful to have found it. I also just completed the book ” Done with the crying”. I gained a lot of insight but one of the biggest things is my guilt of trying to move forward without feeling like I was a bad Mom giving up. My son was married and had 4 children, two of them are a set of twins a boy and a girl. We were all very close, my son was a good person and a great dad to his 4 children. We had either one, some or all of them every weekend and done a lot of things together with them. Our bond with our grandchildren was so great and my son and his wife were so good to us and enjoyed taking the kids and attending all the sporting events, Christmas programs, Holiday events at school. Then something strange started to happen. A woman moved into the neighborhood next door to my sons home. This was a divorced woman with a daughter. This woman started making friends with my son and his wife. Every time we went to their home she was there. My daughter in law confided in me once that she caught the woman flirting with my son. I suggested she watch her and to talk to my son about how she is seeing things. She did but my son denied it. This went on for 2 years and finally this woman chased my son long enough that he left his wife and kids and moved in with this woman who lived next door. My daughter in law was so devastated, she also just gave birth to the twins, I think it was more than she could handle and used pills to try to end her life. Of course once she did this my son got full custody of the kids and has them tot his day. She does have visitation rights but she is really a good lady but was overwhelmed by this tragic event. My son ended up marrying this woman and she got pregnant right away. We didn’t know they were married or that she was pregnant, it was all a secret. We started noticing that when we went to their home she wouldn’t really talk to us. I tried to talk to her and get to know her but she wouldn’t let me get close to her in anyway. I also found that my son started acting as though we weren’t there or made us feel very unwelcome. for awhile we were able to still pickup the kids for overnight stays or take them for a events but then started with restrictions and when we should have them home no matter what we took them to we couldn’t be late brining them home. The new daughter in law started being very verbally abusive to his kids. I actually seen her tell a babysitter that HIS kids get this for dinner and Her kids get this. She told the babysitter she didn’t want to come back home and find out this order wasn’t followed. Our grandchildren started telling us that this woman was very mean to them, she yelled at them so much they were scared to death of her and their dad would let her do it. I decided that I wasn’t going to bring this to his attention that he would eventually see it and take care of it himself. I already could feel the time was coming that she would eventually take away our priveledge of having the kids with us, and she did. All of a sudden our son didn’t answer my calls or texts. And I didn’t know we weren’t able to see the kids anymore until our ex daughter in law called me and said that if she let us see the kids while she had them that they would take her to court and have her visitation taken away or restricted. That has been nearly 3 years ago. I have been through the sleepless nights, not eating, and honestly getting through from one breath to the next. I was totally devastated, my life was spiraling and I didn’t have the strength to do anything about it for awhile. Finally I started researching day and night to try and understand this whole thing. The easiest thing for me to do was go back to the beginning of this and see where it started. We have seen the manipulation, control and narcssistic behavior from this woman and it took along time for me to realize that I have not done anything to receive this kind of horrible abuse. Because we as Mom’s end up feeling the guilt and wondering what we did wrong. I am just now getting to the point of honestly saying I don’t want a relationship with my son or DIL anymore. He is not the same person he used to be and I’m pretty sure he will never be. My biggest problem is trying to go on without those wonderful innocent children who were so hurt from this. Our ex daughter in law says the kids cried a lot to her about not seeing us and they weren’t allowed to talk or cry about us at home or they got in trouble. It just seems so evil to me. That is my story and I have gained some ground on moving on, I still have a way to go with my precious grandchildren, hopefully one day when they are older they will look us up and we can have a relationship again with them. I admit this is the worst nightmare of my life. Looking for anyone else that maybe going through the same thing. I’m past the anger part which is the worst thing. I just need help with my heart for the grandchildren. Your suggestions are very welcome.

  • #39248
    simplifyplease
    simplifyplease
    Participant

    Oh my goodness gracious me … I can’t BELIEVE this sort of thing goes on 🙁 There are some TERRIBLY sad, heartbreaking stories in this ‘Introduce Yourself’ thread. Yours is one of them, jCoaster1982 🙁

    I do hope you find comfort in this forum. There a quite a few grandmothers here who will empathise with you. There’s also a forum dedicated to grandmothers. You’ll find details under a topic I started a while ago called ‘Help for Grandmothers’, I think. Not sure what Sheri’s experience of it has been, but it may be worth a shot.

    • #41702

      Booty
      Participant

      Coaster 1982 – I am so sorry to hear of the total heartbreak that you have been through and really hope that you find some comfort in sharing your feelings here – knowing that many of us have experienced similar situations. Your story is particularly sad because of the situation your grandchildren are in. It is difficult for us particularly as parents/grandparents to conclude that there is nothing more we can do and further that our involvement only aggravates the already difficult situation all those concerned are in, (including ourselves).
      Our son’s break from his family was gradual over many years but the signs were there right from the very beginning of his relationship – so perhaps you have saved yourself from years and years of the same insult and rejections, (it took us around 16 years!)
      You are doing well in realizing that you have to let things go and carry on with your own life the best way you can and perhaps those times you spent with them can be used for something for YOU – something you have always wanted to do….
      Finally we are each on our very own individual path through this life including your son and including you….we each have choices to make and sometimes those choices are forced by the experiences we face – but each experience is a learning curve for us. I truly feel stronger than I did when our son and his family were in our life as I am no longer upset on a daily basis – of course we have our bad days, but if we didn’t we wouldn’t be human (it proves we have a heart) so allow yourself these times too (as long as you recognize them and learn from them)
      My heart goes out to you but you have made an important step by reading the book and sharing on here-sending you love and light x

  • #39511
    Einnov56
    Einnov56
    Participant

    Hi jCoaster1982. Yours is a very sad story and I am truly sorry you are going though it. My son is also in a relationship with narcissist. So I’m fully conversant with the devastation they bring. Your new DIL obviously targeted your son when he was married to your ex DIL. What an evil thing to do to a family. I miss my grandgirls every day, the lost of seeing them that hurts me the most. Things can change but for now take good care of yourself.

    Sending you hugs xxx

  • #40213

    Angel2016
    Participant

    Hello. I am new to this forum and I am so glad I found you. It is really though 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.

  • #40815

    alma
    Participant

    I thought I wrote and sent in yesterday, but now I am not sure I saw the submit button when i wrote using my phone. I am just figuring this forum out and go glad to have access to it. I am on a waiting list for a therapist and hope this forum will “keep me company” in my current pain. I have shared my situation twice with two good friends but their advice I am not able to do at this time. Maybe sometime.
    I have 3 adult children. 2 adult children are girls and although we have had our “moments” overall we are close. Soon I will even be a grandmother for the first time. I turn 70 tomorrow and have raised my 3 children completely on my own. When my eldest was 10 when she disclosed abuse to me by her stepdad. My others were 1 and 2 years old. That was deep deep trauma for all of us.(except maybe the baby) And that is why I share it now. I have no room for more deep deep pain and yet here I am. My son is the middle child.31 now. I always felt I gave him 150 percent of my time and energy.(He was a difficult child) I am seeing now that I didnt…from his perspective. It pains me that I have hurt him so. He has a long list. And now he is through with it. No more me. No more family.
    Unfortunately, at this time he lives at home….in the back 2 rooms. He refused to speak to me at all since December 2nd. If I talk at all to him, even a hello , He walks by me with the force of a fierce cold wind. A few days before Christmas he unofficially started talking a few short brief businesslike sentences. ok living together, at the very least it is needed. I am not sure when he plans to move out. Either when he gets money to finish school(college) or shortly afterwards. I am in limbo with my emotions. Being shunned is so painful. Christmas was so painful. Refused my gift or siblings and yet today wanted receipts since it is now his to do with what he pleases.
    Guess that all is in a nutshell. There is so much more… This takes so much out of me. My mask is falling off for my other kids and wearing a mask where I teach is harder and harder. At least it is winter break. This is my last year working I just hope I can get through it.

    Sorry this is so long, but I need and want to reach out to all of you so much…………

  • #40854
    Yellow Rose
    Yellow Rose
    Participant

    Alma, welcome to the forum. I am sorry to hear your story and I sense your desperation. You are among friends here. If you read through older posts, you’ll see a lot of parents being verbally and emotionally damaged or abused by their adult children. You are not alone. There is hope and there is healing and its good that you are in line to see a therapist. If you would like to post on the main page and have people respond, feel free to do so. Your situation sounds very painful. It sounds like whatever you do is never right by this son, and he blows hot and cold in the wind, rather than any real wrong doing on your part. I’d like to also mention elder abuse in your situation (when a person takes advantage, or steals, or does physical or emotional abuse to an older adult). I am glad you are here and again, welcome.

  • #40964

    alma
    Participant

    Than you. What is the main page. What do you mean? I appreciate your kind words

  • #41571

    Teachermom
    Participant

    My friend found this for me- I am so happy and hope that it will help me. I had no idea there would be this many people that are in the same “ shoes” I am in and with the same hurt.

  • #42058

    Kukana
    Participant

    My adult daughter chose to text me a rejection on Christmas Eve. She basically blamed me for everything bad that has ever happened to her since she was born. We supported her in all of the activities that she wanted to participate in. She competed on a gymnastics team and we paid for everything and took her to all of her meets. As a teenager, she was diagnosed with an eating disorder and we obtained counseling for her and hospital stays. Yet she accuses us of not doing anything to help her. She is angry with us because we could not pay for her entire college. We helped as much as we could, but we simply did not have the funds and were living paycheck to paycheck and deeply in debt. She has a Ph.d. in Psychology and claims that all of her problems resulted from her being born one month premature, which also is my fault. She refuses to attend any family functions. I invited her to lunch three years ago and she said she can’t do that. She refused to celebrate Christmas with us this year. Fortunately, our son-in-law allows us to see our grandchildren. He says our daughter is on a lot of medication and has trouble coping with life. She has multiple aunts, uncles, and cousins who love her and care about her but she will not contact them. She has pushed everyone who loves her and cares about her away and then accuses us of abandoning her. Her Christmas Eve text was a verbal attack on me and I am devastated, distraught, and depressed. I’m tired of crying constantly and not being able to sleep at night. I have an appointment with my doctor to see about getting on some anti–depressants to help me cope with my daughter’s intense hatred of me. It is almost disabling to try to deal with her rejection. I have purchased Sheri’s book and have started reading it and already feel support and empathy for what I am going through. Thank you for sharing the information and suggestions on how to live life without my only daughter. My heart goes out to all of the parents who are trying to deal with this rejection. I love my daughter unconditionally, but I will not be her punching bag. She has serious issues that I cannot help her with. Hopefully, she will be able to get the help that she needs and eventually have a change of heart. If she chooses to include me in her life again, I will welcome her with open arms. Forgiveness is necessary to heal.

  • #42170

    hermomdied
    Participant

    How do I post to the main page or forum? I am new and would like some responses to my situation that may be helpful.

    • #42223
      simplifyplease
      simplifyplease
      Participant

      You scroll down to the bottom of the page, to ‘Start a new topic’. There are two boxes: one for a title, one for your post. When you’ve done, click on ‘submit’. It won’t appear until Sheri approves it, which may take a couple of hours … But she’s very thorough and you should see it the same day. Then, wait for the responses … which also have to be approved by Sheri. Same procedure and time lapse. Sheri’s approval is an administrative formality – she rarely if ever doesn’t upload a post 😉

  • #43862
    Pepper
    Pepper
    Participant

    Dear Sheri
    I would like to thank you for your book which I have just finished. It is the most common sense re estrangement that I have read after 7 years of well meaning platitudes such as “never give up” she’ will come round one day.
    I guess after 7 years of constant rejection trying so hard writing endless letters and apologising for everything that’s been wrong in her life. I have gone from deep despair and just wanting to die to at last realising that nothing I do can put this right.
    I was so moved to read about the chapter on health issues as last year I suffered a heart attack for which no one could find a cause !! I was told there was no such thing as “broken heart syndrome “ but I was sure that this was because of my pain.
    I have reached a point of acceptance and am getting on with my life but it is hard and I get caught out every now and then. I wondered how many other mothers who despite moving forward still think about their estranged child and grandchildren every day?
    Thank you once again
    Pepper

  • #43924
    Ning
    Ning
    Participant

    Dear Pepper,

    I am revisiting so many experiences of rejection in my mind with my son. Recently he sent me a lengthy email full of anger, blame, and cruelty. I call his “emotional outburst.” He said he would call me on a particular week. He postponed it saying he wasn’t feeling well and would call later in the week. At the end of the week, he still hadn’t called. Thinking he might still be sick, I texted him to ask if he was alright. He was fine.

    I asked him when he would be calling me. No reply. I became a desperate mother, fearing abandonment, I called but he never picks up. I had a script written out in hopes of not loosing my cool. So, I asked him in the message why he was pushing me out of his life. I did get angry and ended up saying a few words I regret. But, it was fixable as long as he was willing, I thought.

    He texted later that night and said he would not be calling me. He would be sending me an email and hoped I would read it. The punishment.

    I still have not read it Pepper. I have tried. I have peeked at a few lines. I even read part of a paragraph once. I have been looking for the love and kindness in it. Now I believe there is no love or kindness in it. It is a letter of blame. It is their way or no way. There is never compromise. There is little respect.

    Your words spoke to me this morning when I read them. We try and try. We believe it will be different. I have also apologized for many things. They never apologize. I keep trying to fix it or get them to be in my life. Endless pleading to see my grandkids. Accepting the crumbs. Never feeling loved. You have given me the courage to face my reality and consider there is NOTHING I CAN DO TO FIX THIS!

    Thoughts of my son and our situation have been heavy on my mind lately. We cannot not take it personally. They are our children and our grandchildren. However, there comes a time, as you have reached, when we need to accept there is nothing we can do to fix or change our situation. Our life must go on.

    You are a courageous woman Pepper and an inspiration to me.

    Hugs

  • #44277
    sunset
    sunset
    Participant

    Dear Pepper and Dear Ning! Your messages resonate so much with my experience! The constant apologizing, the never ending attempts to communicate with my daughter to no avail. I have apologized so much throughout the years that even I am confused as to what I am really apologizing for. I have walked on eggshells for years trying to avoid an outburst…but no matter what I say or do OR not say or do, she gets frustrated and the cycle of hurt begins all over again. I finally realized that I CANNOT make her have a relationship with me. Her perceptions are her reality and there’s clearly nothing I can do about it. SO difficult to accept and SO painful! She’s in her mid 30’s and I am in my mid 60’s. I think a lot about the precious time we are wasting to be together and enjoying our mother-daughter relationship! I feel blessed to be able to share my experience with parents that are going through the same pain…thank you all! At times this pain is definitely too much to bear on my own…I know acceptance is the key here and I work daily on it; but, sometimes sadness completely overwhelms me. Thanks again to Sheri and all of you! Having some support is truly appreciated!!

  • #44320
    wkgmom
    wkgmom
    Participant

    I would like to say I am “new” to this, but unfortunately I am on round 2. A few years ago my son, unwilling to take responsibility for his actions, left and said he never wanted anything to do with us again. It was after a particularly angry exchange where he refused to take responsibility for stealing from us, and me putting boundaries and contingencies on him staying in our home.

    I was angry for the first week then the sorrow and loss set in. I was desperate to know where he was and that he was alright. Though he was an adult, he had to that point always lived with us or another family member. After a few weeks, I found out where he was and went to him, apologized for being “so hard on him” and told him that he will always have a place at home. He rejected me, said hurtful things about me and told me to leave. I did. A month later he came to our house, apologized and moved back in.

    Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, another blow up because he wouldn’t take responsibility for his actions. Again, he has told us he doesn’t want anything to do with us. He is now engaged and we are no longer part of the wedding or anything.

    I am sad however, the girlfriend is a big part of the problem now. They are both liars and they only call or contact us when they need financial help. I feel like there is always a cloud in the air whenever we hang out with them because they constantly owe us money, they tell us they will pay us back and don’t. We don’t hold it over them but it is always there.

    It has been over 2 weeks now and I spent the majority of the day Saturday crying. I figured out though it wasn’t because of my loss of a child it was because as a mother I should want a relationship with my child and I don’t. What kind of mother am I?

    I don’t want to be constantly walking on eggshells around them. I don’t want to be called only when they need something. I don’t want them to constantly hold “having nothing do do with us” over my head. Especially after there are grand kids involved. I don’t want to be in a relationship with anyone who holds such a awful opinion of us as his girlfriend does. I don’t want to go through this again and again.

    I know that this is how it will be if I allow a relationship with them to happen again. I know that they view it as a privilege for us to have them in their lives. It is not. I know that I only have a short time on earth in which to live my life and I choose to surround myself with people who love and cherish me. I have a young daughter who deserves my time, effort and attention.

    The tears I shed on Saturday were for the loss of an IDEA of the son I thought I had. Of the relationship I dreamt of having with him and his family one day. The tears were because I know that those things were never meant to be. That sometimes no matter what you do for someone it will never be enough. You will never be enough. I will not allow him to hurt me, my husband or my daughter like this again. I will not allow this to define who our family is. I will not allow this to tear me down.

    To mom’s in particular. You didn’t do this. You did your best and especially if you apologized just to try and make things right. You can’t change their heart. You can’t make them love you. You can’t waste your time crying over the loss of a child who isn’t doing the same for you. THEY DON’T CARE. I know that any further relationship with my son will only lead to this estrangement again and again. I can’t do this again, his father can’t and neither can his little sister. We need to move forward as a family without him.

  • #44348
    Einnov56
    Einnov56
    Participant

    Hi Wkgmom, Welcome. Your story could be mine to a ‘T’. Your words are so wise and will give such an insight to the newly E Moms. Thank you for posting this, it really reinforces my resolve. Keep strong girl you are spot on. Hugs xx

  • #44654

    Jesustakethewheel
    Participant

    Glad to have found this website!
    I am struggling…..I have three children, and for the most part they are great kids, except they make me feel like I am washed up and done with. They rarely contact me unless they need something. Not even a call just to say “hi mom” “how are you”.. My heart hurts so much….I cannot stand it! I was happy to find this site because I was really feeling like the only person out there who feels like this. Trying to deal with the anger, hurt, and every other feeling that comes with it… I have now reached the point where I don’t want contact with them because it is to painful….I try to keep busy to keep my mind off of it. You spend your whole like trying to be the best mom you can and they just pretend you don’t exist………..heartbreaking!

  • #44822

    Jonel
    Participant

    I’m hoping this website will provide me with some semblance of an answer to how to deal with the grief of losing my whole family – two adult children and four grandchildren. I have bought Sheri’s book and am finding it really useful, but the grief plagues my every un-busy moment. My way of trying to deal with the loss, just as I did when I lost my beautiful first husband, is to keep busy, busy, busy. But the grief and the loss intrude into every un-busy moment, which affects sleep and any form of solitude/relaxation. I am 74 and my life for the past 30-plus years has been punctuated by periods of estrangement on the one hand from my second child, my son, who has never accepted my remarriage to my wonderful second husband (who has never done anything at all to deserve this rejection). I believe he suffers from narcissistic personality traits, and I believe he does not even love me, although he was such a lovely little boy and I loved him (still do) with all my heart. The mother of his two children has been the only channel through which I have been able to maintain contact with my two youngest grandchildren, and we have respected her for that, but even that relationship is now defunct, without explanation, but I suspect through something adverse concocted by my son through the avenue of his two children, who in spite of all the love we showered on them never bother to contact us. I have learned to deal with this, although desperately sad about it, and have had more to do with my eldest child, my daughter and her two now adult children. But that relationship has been eternally punctuated by periods of estrangement because she is ultra strong and controlling and we have always had to tread on eggshells in her presence. We were very handy for babysitting for the years of her two daughters’ childhood, but I believe she has systematically run me down to them all their lives, resulting in now no contact from them either. Again we showered them with love, especially the eldest little girl, but in this modern age there is no respect for their elders or the importance of the extended family. I am desperately sad, it affects every aspect of my life, and this time around I am not making any attempt at reconciliation (which has always come from me) because we can no longer stand the tensions of her presence and the trauma when she rejects us yet again. I know there will not be a reconciliation, which leaves me desolate. I am hoping to find an answer to the two most pressing problems in adjusting my life with just my husband and myself and no family at all – how to keep the estrangement private from friends who we like very much but do not trust to positively accept the situation (ie privately wonder whether they think it is actually MY fault when ALL my family has rejected me) and how to deal with the looming prospect of old age and all its vulnerabilities on our own (even perhaps with one of us widowed). The other thing I would find really helpful is to find a support group here in Adelaide, South Australia, where association with other estranged parents could provide comfort, but searching has not been successful.

  • #46820

    Seekinghappiness
    Participant

    Another holiday and no word from our ES. So very thankful for this websight.

  • #47413
    downbutnotout
    downbutnotout
    Participant

    I want to say thank you for everyone who has shared their story here. Last week I think I had a breakdown. I screamed and cried and sobbed and screamed for two hours. I don’t know how I stopped. It was caused by the terrible pain from being rejected by my two daughters plus their grandchildren. So many of the things people have described above ring true for me. But the strange thing is that the final straw was being criticised by yet another person who doesn’t really know the full story. Some days you can take it, some days you just can’t. But now I’ve found this forum I have somewhere to turn on the bad days. Thank you to all of you, especially Sheri, and warm wishes and tender hugs. It seems to me there are a lot of very strong and brave women here, and I hope you all know it.

  • #47472
    Dotty
    Dotty
    Participant

    Dear Jonel – Your story is so very sad. I hope you can find a support group in Adelaide that can help you with your pain. I really don’t know how we, on this forum, have managed to bring up such a generation of heartless children who can toss their parents aside with a blink of an eye. I have not felt the pain of rejected grandchildren, as my son and his partner have no children, so I can only imagine how hurt you must be by being rejected by two generations of off-spring. Yes, the future may look bleak, and I think you are wise to look ahead now, to create a new life for yourself and your husband. Sheri’s book deals with how to deal with questions, and some people decide not to talk about it, but I have found that answering people’s questions honestly with ‘we don’t see them any longer’, seems to quell any further questions from most people.

    There is nothing you can really do if people consider it your fault, but I know that’s really hard, as people are so quick to judge. A year ago, my son threatened to cut me off (for the third time) unless I did this or this or that, and I’d had enough so I said fine. Let’s do that. I received a putrid email from my brother attacking me for ‘casting out my own son’, and I thought if he wants to believe that, then so be it. I can’t change his opinions and I realised that he had only heard my son’s side of the story. I wasn’t even prepared to give him mine, as in my own heart I knew the truth.

    I think the hardest thing about this estrangement situation is the judgements from others, but you have to be true to yourself, and know that you were a fantastic mother; you did the best you could do, and there was NOTHING you could do to prevent this from happening. In your heart of hearts you know that to be true, so for me, rather than hiding away from telling people, I feel strength in in saying the truth. We don’t see them any longer. That’s it. Enough said. If they want to judge you, then you can’t do anything about that.

    Please do look ahead, and plan for the future. Maybe a citizen’s advice bureau could point you in the direction of a support group.

    Sending so much love across the ditch

    Dotty

  • #53044

    Busia
    Participant

    Dear wkgmom

    I can understand your plight with your son….he sounds like mine!

    I too, had a son whom I told to leave my home for not following house rules, stealing and lying. I told him to take his girlfriend and the dog they were hiding in the basement for the last week as well. They didn’t speak to me for four years…..until she was pregnant and he needed help financially. Loving my son unconditionally, I helped. That lasted for six months and then was furious that I did not show up to the christening due to having severe shingles. He felt everyone gets sick and I should have been there. He texted me cussing me out and said I should never text or call him again. I was never invited to the baby’s first birthday either, nor the second.

    Now it has been another three years that he has not spoken to me and my daughter had her son christened recently. When I was leaving, he came outside, screamed in my face that he sent me a first birthday invitation and called me a liar when I said I never received one. He said although he wanted nothing to do with me, I need to come over and be a grandmother to his son. There was no reasoning with him as he kept interrupting me and wanting ONLY what he wants. I let him vent and he walked away saying not to speak to him and lets leave things just the way they are.

    My life was absolutely perfect in every way until this family get together and have ordered Sheri’s book Done with the Crying. I am hoping this will put my life back in perspective cause lets face it, when you have raised your children to the best of your ability, helped out family when needed and cared for your elderly parents, its now TIME FOR US!

    I will say prayers for everyone who is hurting inside. Happiness is achievable….I’ve done it!! I just need some help getting it back.

    Busia

  • #53132
    wkgmom
    wkgmom
    Participant

    Busia,

    It is so funny cuz I went back to read my entry to this thread and I was 2 weeks into estrangement. Wow. I sure put on a strong front then. After that I went through a deep depression. I spent the next 2 months severely dark. I cried all the time. Estrangement shook me to the core.

    The crazy thing is reading that, that mindset did come back. It was that mindset that changed me and allowed me to eventually detach, come to acceptance and confront my son. It was also that mindset that shook my son when in May, I gave him his walking papers.

    We are now talking, I have had it out with his GF and we are now a part of the wedding. My willingness to let him hurt me led to more hurt. My change of mindset and punching back took the hurt away. I consider us semi-stranged because I no longer cling to his presence in my life. It’s his choice and I am fine with it being no presence. Less drama and less financial strain.

    Acceptance is a beautiful thing. It sounds like you reached it once, you will be there again soon.

  • #55097

    Anonymous

    One thing I’m finding very valuable is going through this site and not only reading posts, but perusing the many articles. I have much to go through, still, but was touched this morning by an article that pointed out, “when nothing comes of parents’ messages or gifts other than soaring hopes that are dashed by silence, or worse, verbal abuse, it’s time to make a change.” I have.

    After so many, many years of being rebuffed in person, ignored and subjected to cruel comments, and after reaching out many times, I took the step of putting up safety buffers from my sons. I have blocked them from my phone numbers, LinkedIn and social media sites, and other avenues by which they can direct themselves at me or even just see what I’m doing. I used to keep those doors open, but now don’t worry about finding they’ve said something abusive and untrue about me to others. I no longer want to be vulnerable. They have my email address (I can’t block it anyway) and know they can reach me that way–if they ever choose to. I can then briefly scan whatever might come and quickly delete them if they’re abusive. If something bad happens, they can still reach me that way (or by mail)–if they decide to do so.

    Perhaps some day I will open those lines again. Perhaps not.

    Maybe that sounds harsh, and maybe it will be viewed by others as “wrong,” but since doing so it has felt right. I don’t hold my breathe any more. I don’t worry about painful calls or texts. I feel safer. I feel as though I have, yes, moved on in that regard–in my marriage and retirement. While hurt remains, even after all these years, I have done something assertive for myself. The silence is golden.

    I’ll keep working on it and reading.

  • #55647
    Dotty
    Dotty
    Participant

    Hi Anonymous – I totally get what you are saying. I’ve moved on too, and find that the silence is better than being abused or worrying about saying the wrong thing. My older brother has treated me badly since the estrangement – he has only heard my son’s side of the story, and I am not going to tell him mine because I can’t be bothered. My brother has criticised me to my other siblings, and I am fortunate in that they have told him to butt out.

    It was my older brother’s birthday yesterday, and I did not feel like sending him a message. I just can’t be bothered pretending any longer. Today I received an email from my brother sent out to all of us siblings (there are 6 of us) thanking those who sent him birthday messages. I’m not sure why he would do that – and once I would have cared about it. I don’t now.

    The estrangement has changed me. I think I was a people-pleaser, and now I am a Dotty-pleaser. I think I am a better person for it.

    So I’m very glad to read your email, and don’t think your actions are harsh or wrong. We have to do what is right for us, and if people want to jump up and down and call us names because of our actions, then so be it. Don’t care any more.

    Dotty

  • #56870

    momof4girls
    Participant

    Hi, all. It saddens me to be here and read everyone’s posts. I have been on both sides of the fence in my life…estranged myself from my parents twice in my life for 2 years each due to pain they caused me. It was easier to not have them in my life than feel the pain. We are fine now, but we will never be close.

    My estrangement with my youngest daughter (27) started 2 years ago when she came home to visit. Her father broke our family 10 years ago when he decided he was unhappy (aka he was having an affair). Long story short, she moved away and I told her when she came home I expected her to split her time evenly between her father’s and my house as I had gone through the unfairness and inequality with my older 2 daughters and was not going through that again. (My older 2 are now 34 and 32 and matured, so now split their time evenly). Youngest daughter refused to stay at my house, so I refused to see her letting her know how painful it was to me and she didn’t care. She said since she lived with her father and his wife (the mistress), on and off during college that she was “comfortable” at their house and basically not at mine. I am remarried to a man she didn’t care for, but, to me, she needs to grow up and understand that she’s not a baby and she needs to treat both parents equally and fairly. Until then, our relationship won’t be much. This year, I told her I would come visit her when it was good timing for her. She said her vacation time was limited and made excuses why she didn’t have time. And, THEN, 3 weeks ago I saw on Instagram a picture of her father and his wife and her post “My favorite people are visiting!” It broke my heart. I immediately blocked her. We did text each other on birthdays and I did get a nice Mother’s Day card from her, but we haven’t spoken on the phone in months. In a nutshell, she has seen her father for a month in the last 2 years and me one day and that was in another city with my older 2 who also flew in for the weekend. She proved that she was there to seee her sisters, not me and barely said 2 words to my husband. Needless to say, he’s not a fan of my daughter for the way she’s acted.

    I blame this entire situation on her father, who, had he not been selfish and put his family first, my children would not be from a broken home. He had the money, the family nearby and I couldn’t compete with any of it always being the parent on the outside looking in. In 10 years, I’ve gotten to have my children at Christmas dinner ONCE when my daughter #2 and son-in-law flew in and spent it with me. Their father’s extended family never sways having the big holiday dinner on the actual holiday leaving me out. Divorce divides families and just continues the pain. I hope one day my youngest grows up and understands why I feel as I do, but she may not. If she doesn’t, our love for each other will be be distant. She has proven who her favorite parents are, so we’re basically estranged. I stood up to a little girl who was never told no and she didn’t like it. I still have my self respect and won’t allow her or anyone to hurt me knowingly and get away with it. My daughter #2 (God bless her) just says her sister is immature and will grow up one day. I hope so.

    Thank you to anyone who read my post. I know my situation is not as severe as many of yours, but I feel your pain at having a child who doesn’t care to be part of your life. In my situation though, it’s the pain also of knowing she favors her father and the woman who helped break our family. I’d like to tell her that she wouldn’t even BE here had I not pushed for a 4th child. Her father was perfectly content with 3.

    Sad Momof4girls

  • #56890
    Yellow Rose
    Yellow Rose
    Participant

    Welcome, Momof4girls, just wanted to give a brief hello and a welcome on this introduction page. I can so understand your dismay, anger, and bitterness about all of this. I am also divorced and my ex has created parental alienation to divide my 2ED from me. I stopped doing social media when one of the ED wrote a post about her wonderful family, yes like you — her sister and step mother! I realized that ED was intending things to hurt me and so I stopped social media. Anyway, welcome and I think you’ll find this forum and Sheri’s book a place of healing, new perspectives, and support. Please feel free to add responses to other threads on the main ‘page’ because we all help each other and many of us feel that by responding to another’s post, we gain something, too.

  • #56953
    Pepper
    Pepper
    Participant

    Welcome !! Hang on in there and know you are with friends on this forum .
    Love
    Pepper 💖

  • #61508
    Bellflower
    Bellflower
    Participant

    Sheri, thank you so much for this forum. It is very comforting to find a place where there is light and support when trying to understand and deal with an extremely painful subject. I’m sending my thoughts and prayers your way for the recent tests your husband has had and also praying for comfort for you both in the loss of your dog.

  • #62139

    ArtShark
    Participant

    Hi everyone, I just found joined this support group yesterday. I wanted to say thank you to Sheri and to all who’ve shared (that I’ve been able to read so far). I’ve had some bad days this week. This is fairly new and raw. I felt so alone. So lost. Reading the posts here and articles made me feel like I’m not crazy, or wrong, and that there is hope for positive things to come in my life ahead. Thank you so much Sheri for creating this. Thank you to all who have the courage to share and help support one another. A beautiful act going on amidst so much heartbreak. I am blessed to have found you all.

    Some about me, My husband and I were teenage parents. We met at 15 and had our daughter at 17. We stuck through thick and thin and raised her together, full of love. Everyone called us “the exception to the rule”. It took years to prove that to our friends and families, but we did right by our daughter and each other against all odds. My husband and I both lived considerably hard lives with abusive parents. We both knew our parents did our best, accepted and loved them for it. But we also kept our space from the toxic stuff that would go on as soon as we were old enough. When we had our daughter we made it a point to give her all that we had never had and a stable household where she felt loved beyond anything we ever felt. By all accounts she was the perfect kid. She did well in school, did community service without even being asked. She was the apple of my eye and best friend. My reason for living. I did everything I could to make her life good. No matter what it meant for me. I loved her more than I ever loved anything.

    She ran away about 3 months ago, a few months after turning 18. She cut me out of everything important. I threw a high school graduation party for her that she couldn’t even bother to be at. I took her out and bought her whatever she wanted. I tried to reach out to her girlfriends family and be closer to them in hopes of bringing us closer. I invited her girlfriend and friends over all the time. Cooked whatever they’d like. Waited on them hand and foot. I tried so hard. No matter what she pushed me away and took off to her girlfriends house.

    She ran away when my husband and I were out. We of course knew where she went and chased her down. It was so shocking. We were beside ourselves. We showed up at the girlfriends house and our daughter wouldn’t even come out. She sends the girlfriends parents out to talk with us. Come to find out our daughter had told them we were abusive and this family felt like they were social justice warriors. They told us what awful parents we were and that our daughter wouldn’t be coming home. We argued. Begged. Pleaded. All they’d say was that she was safe and we didn’t have to worry anymore. How could she have called us abusive? She never knew anything of abuse. We sheltered her from everything. On top of it all my daughter and her friends audio/video recorded the whole thing, like our pain was a joke to put on YouTube and share with her friends and family.

    In addition, I care for my Mom who is mentally ill and not well. When all this went down she took too much medication, drank, then fell down our stairs causing major serious injuries. My daughter is aware this happened to her Nana and could care less. The family is fractured and we’re all trying to make sense of it. We have a large family on my husbands side so of course there are lots of opinions. Such as “You only hurt now, you’ll get over it”, or “You did a great job, that’s why she left”. Everything just seems to hurt. Personally, I keep to myself. I don’t want to condemn family members for sharing their feelings even though it makes me feel worse.

    The strange part of all this is that I’m so young being a teenage parent that people literally laugh at me when I talk about having an estranged daughter. Like I’m too young to know pain or have a child that’s 18. I’m in my mid 30’s and most of my friends are just freshly settled down or have very young children. Even my brothers kids aren’t even near teens yet. While they shuffle along raising their families, and act which I know all too well, I’m sitting here missing my daughter with an empty nest. She was my only one. My best friend.

    I’m left each day trying to find my way and it’s so hard. Every relationship in my life is strained. I don’t eat. I don’t sleep. People are at the point where they tell me to just get over it and it’s not normal to feel the way I do. Reading stories on here made me finally feel like I am normal. People out there feel how I feel and it’s not wrong. There’s no time limit in getting over a loss of this magnitude. Thank you again to all, as I’ve seen many say, I’m not really happy to have had to search out this group. Like many I never thought something like this would ever happen. I am so very glad this is here as I feel like I can’t talk about it anymore. Thank you for this group and thank you for accepting me as a member.

    -Lots of love and hope to all
    ArtShark

  • #62186
    Dotty
    Dotty
    Participant

    Dear Artshark

    Welcome to the forums. Your story is so sad, and I can feel your immense pain. How horrible to have your daughter’s friend’s parents turn against you. That is unbelievable.

    I’m so glad you have found us. I hope you will feel some peace soon.

    Love,
    Dotty

  • #62250

    nomoredoormat
    Participant

    Dear Artshark.

    I have read a lot of stories on here and because I have been through this, I can feel the pain other estranged parents feel. Often we read of adult children your age pushing their parents out of their lives. BUT, You have had to grow up fast having a child so young. It speaks well of you to care for your mother at this time. Be careful not to have nothing left for yourself – after mourning your daughter’s estrangement and worrying about your mother.

    Keeping connected to this site and write to all of us if you need to. I have found support just reading other parents’ posts. I hope you will too.

  • #62302

    ArtShark
    Participant

    Thank you for welcoming me. Your support helps so much. I think with many of us, life didn’t turn out the way I had imagined at all. I’m trying to make sense of this new world and trying to figure out what to do with the void left behind and all the empty time in it aside from taking care of my Mom/the family house. It’s still fairly new and I felt so alone. I’m so glad to have found some extra support. Especially with the holidays coming, I’m not even sure what to do with that but not going to worry about it today. Reading the stories on here are so very sad, and when I feel I may have a good piece of advice, or a kind word It brings me a little piece to help someone else maybe feeling the same things. On a whole for all of us these situations are so emotionally traumatic and unfair. Thank you for your support. I’m sure as the holidays come closer I’ll be on here either looking for advice or looking to help others. I have trouble following the advice of taking care of myself, but more and more I know it’s what I have to do on my better days. I’m trying to figure out who I used to be and what inspired me before I was a parent. I’m trying so hard to look at it more in a positive, but the grief takes me back a few steps daily. I’m slowly starting to remember what I put aside all those years ago to be a teenage Mom. It’s hard, but your right. Aside from caring for family I need to remember to keep nurturing myself too…even when I don’t feel like it! Thanks so much for your kindness

  • #62488
    Gilly
    Gilly
    Participant

    Thank you for making me realize I am not alone in this circumstance. It’s painful, but I know I need to move on. You book is giving me a starting point.

  • #62591
    rparents
    rparents
    Keymaster

    Dear Gilly,

    WELCOME to the forum!

    I will look forward to learning more about you and your situation…and I’m confident that in sharing here, you will find peace and a path forward.

    HUGS,
    Sheri McGregor

  • #64035

    Kellyjean63
    Participant

    Hello! Like many I stumbled across this site while searching the internet for help or suggestions.
    I have to believe that it wasnt by chance. I’m at the lowest point I’ve ever been. I thought that I was alone, that no one else had children who so cruelly turned their backs on their parents, but here is a whole group of people!
    My story is so similar to many I’ve read on this site.
    My middle son met a woman when he was 18. I truly believe that she is a psychopath as there is no other way to explain her behaviour. My son chose her over the rest of his family, and joined her in making me the scapegoat for all of their problems. I haven’t had a relationship with my son for 13 years. His youngest brothers dont even remember him anymore. He and his wife have done so much damage to our family.
    My daughter has been distancing herself from me for at least 10 years. I was so upset at the loss of my son that I literally knocked myself out trying to connect with her. When I left my abusive marriage last year, she told me my ex (not her bio father) was her family and that I am not welcome in her home. She has turned her back on me and her youngest 2 brothers. So now I’m dealing with my own hurt and betrayal and that of my two sons.
    I had conversation with my son in law during which I was told all of the things I wasnt allowed to say and all of the behaviours I could not display if I am to have contact with my daughter. In other words, I’m not allowed to be myself but need to very carefully craft myself to meet her requirements. I left a marriage because my ex wanted that kind of control. I’ve been in counseling to recover my self esteem and if I bend to her, I feel it will destroy me.
    I’ve been told that Christmas with me will be too hard on her. I’m actually fine with her opting out, as the stress of even thinking about how the day would be was making me sick.
    So far, my oldest son & family, me and my two youngest will be celebrating. From the last conversation I had with my oldest, he is teetering on the edge and I dont expect that I will have a relationship with him much longer. I dont know how or why they all feel that I am solely responsible for their emotional well being and think it’s perfectly okay to blame me for anything wrong in their lives.
    My two youngest sons and I have had many discussions about the way we are being treated and are ready to make changes.
    “Family ” occasions are too painful so we are thinking of new ways we can celebrate and not focus on who isn’t attending.
    They both know that they have ME, and always will. I treat them with respect and expect the same from them. I’m hoping and praying that things can be different with my youngest boys.
    Thanks for listening. I look forward to connecting with people on this site. My sons and I can sure use the positive vibes and support.

  • #64349
    Dotty
    Dotty
    Participant

    Dear Kellyjean63

    Your story is very sad, and it sounds as though you have been through the mill. Many of us on this site have come to terms with the fact that our some or all of our children have been influenced by the ‘you can have it all’ messages that they are receiving, and the advice to cut people out of their lives who don’t bend and bow to their demands, and this is usually their parents.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s great to have you here.

    Love,

    Dotty

  • #64528

    Beachy
    Participant

    Hi KellyJean:

    Welcome to the site. The one thing we all have in common is children for reasons we do not understand make the decision to distance from us. What I have to constantly remind myself is that it is the child’s decision, not mine.

    If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will.

  • #64838

    Allie-Katz
    Participant

    Hello Everyone,

    So glad I found this site! I know it will be wonderful to be able to be open here, something I have not been able to do since my estrangement from my son. Here people will understand, because we have all experienced this heartache. I have cried so much, but now I have to take that love I want to give to my son and redirect it to become passionate about building a better life. I have cried for years, and isolated myself from relationships feeling if I couldn’t fix this one, what hope is there of building other good relationships. I can’t wait to get to know my fellow travelers, thank you Sheri for providing this, and for recognizing the great need for this in the first place:)

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