Give yourself a break

holidays abandoned parentsThis morning, I awoke from a shopping dream. Sounds a little like the end to the holiday rush, doesn’t it? Only in the dream, I was shopping for iced tea. Each vendor was offering something different to go with the drink. Iced tea with a cupcake, or iced tea with fried fish. Iced tea with any side dish, or no iced tea at all. All I wanted was iced tea, but I couldn’t get that without adding something on the side.

My dream probably relates to all the multitasking I’ve been doing lately. I’m sure many of you can relate. Busy taking care of other people, handling business and the holidays. . . . Maybe you wanted “iced tea,” too—a refreshing break amid the festivities and chaos. Sometimes it’s difficult to find the quiet space of a calming break when you’re hurting or worried, too. But it’s needed. Especially over something you can’t control or have no choice in.

Whether you’re busy with the holidays, or your mind is cluttered with hurt, give yourself a break. You deserve to rest and refresh. In the spirit of the season, will you join me in giving yourself this special gift?

Merry Christmas. Or Happy Hanukkah to you.

In the next few days, give your mind and heart a rest. Take a break from the worry, and let go of the sadness. As I talk about in an early section of my book, when your thoughts turn to your concerns or heartache, recognize and release them. Turn the page, and turn your attention to something that makes you happy instead. A bird fluffing its feathers in the winter cold, sunlight on glistening snow, or plans for the New Year ahead.

Give yourself a break (no side orders needed).

Hugs to all.  ~ Sheri McGregor

Related posts:

Holidays for parents rejected by adult children

My adult child rejected me: Why do I have these disturbing dreams?

Your vivid dreams: Help in moving forward after an adult child’s estrangement?





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26 thoughts on “Give yourself a break

    1. Collateral Beauty

      Today i set a boundary not only with my adult children but with myself. No more it financial. Or emotional had not come to physical yet i sure that would be next from adult daughter.
      Message of hope and beginning in my 50 s. Well..gotta start somewhere.
      The little things keeping my sadness down today this christmas morning..birds are little clowns at play if one truly watches.
      Blessings to all. Realize i not alone with adult children abandoning parents. I feel good knowing i have never abandoned them. Not my nature to abuse. beginnings

    2. rparents Post author

      Merry Christmas Collateral Beauty,
      Good to set some boundaries for your own health and happiness. Well done. And I so agree about the birds!
      Sheri McGregor

  1. Sonia

    Merry Christmas Everyone! I’ve been thinking of and praying for you all over this Christmas season. You are absolutely not alone, and I so appreciate the good wishes and wonderful advice here from you all. One thing I’ve been noticing this Christmas is how much support there is for parents whose children have rejected them. This phenomenon is not accepted in society, no matter how much these adult children who abandon their parents tell each other it’s OK and even desirable. (I’ve looked at some of their websites and even they say they don’t like to talk about it with the general population as most people can’t understand how they can do something so horrible. I don’t want to go back to those sites, though; it’s too depressing). Things seem to be turning around here with my family and friends on both sides as this goes on and people see me patiently waiting for my daughter, continuing to speak well of her amid my pain, and have hope. I have a year’s worth of presents now piled up under the tree waiting and last night I added this year’s as she would not take them at my mother-in-law’s and didn’t come to my house Christmas Eve when I had a family gathering. I tried to keep going amid the pain and socialize and give her her space. By listening I was able to figure out what she is up to now, and I found people being extra nice to me and treating me very respectfully. She is also starting to get people telling her that what she is doing is not OK based on their level of comfort with her, i.e., her cousin who is close in age to her. And at the end of the night, I got a special Christmas present! When she was going around saying goodbye to everyone and giving goodbye hugs, instead of completely ignoring me and walking right by as she has been doing, she actually looked at me, said bye, and gave me a little wave. I’ll take it!!! I did break down in sobs as I drove myself home and drove past our old house and remembered the happy Christmases there, but it also caused me to remember who she is because I raised her and I remember who she was. And I will hold on to that. The conclusion I have come to is that she is the victim of some very bad advice and I have faith in her that she will figure this out, because I know she has a good heart. And now I am going to go and look at those little clown-like birds as I wash my dishes, try to find some sunlight on snow, and look forward to a new year full of possibilities! Merry Christmas Everyone, and Happy New Year!

    1. Madeline

      I am ignored by one of my adult kids and I have never held any of his children. It makes me sad quite often and I do not think I will ever understand it. I am trying to be happy, but feel so distanced.

    2. Sonia

      I’m so sorry, Madeline. It is a really bad pain, and humiliating when it happens in public. They have no idea what they are doing to us.

    3. Hislittlelamb

      I wish I had found this group earlier, before the Holidays. I feel very much the same as you, especially in regards to the hope you hold in your heart that your daughter will come to her senses.

      I have a double-whammy in that it’s both my adult daughter, from whom I have 2 grandchildren I no longer have contact with and my son’s wife, their father (my abusive ex-husband), and his side of the family. My daughter has a lot of encouragement and support from people who have despised and spoken ill of me for a very long time. So even though my son is supportive & respectful, his wife and father aren’t so I end up excluding myself.

      This exclusion and shunning is the worst possible thing my daughter could have ever done. I was hospitalized as a young child, excluded from my family and as a result I have life long issues with ‘exclusion’, isolation, shunning and all those Scarlett Letter kinds of punishments she is well aware of.

      It’s unforgivable really. A deep betrayal.

      Yet, somehow, in a sense I feel I already have forgiven her. I don’t condone what she’s doing and she’s inflicted and scar and wound that will never vanish and forever color our interactions, but I can’t afford to hold on to such harsh resentments. I have too much else on my plate, so I just have to let that one go.

  2. Ann

    Jumping through the hoops today. Yesterday was my grandsons birthday, I had to work so I asked if I could see him today, New Year’s Day, I asked on Christmas Day! Well days went by I texted my son on his birthday made a small joke and no answers. So today New Year’s Day, I texted him and said something must have happened to him after his birthday, he texted me back, that I could see my grandson after 2, just got another text could I come after 4pm? Wow don’t know how much longer I can jump…

    1. Hislittlelamb

      Be grateful you get any response. I’ve asked to see my grandchildren and I get no response. Not even over the Holidays. Nothing. I would be grateful for a chance to jump through hoops to see my grandchildren again.

  3. Sarah N.

    sending heartfelt wishes for the new year to everyone. it helps me so much to know I am not alone ,my grief is the same and always I fear will be . however as I enter my 5th year of estrangement I believe I am feeling stronger and more determined to be grateful for all I have in my life . my beautiful friend was laid to rest on Dec 20th leaving 2 very small children and a loving husband behind so very tragic and very. cruel .this puts everything into perspective for me , my ED is just not worthy of my love ? Guilt comes to everyone and it will be too late for most of us sadly but these estranged adult kids will have to live with it and it will hurt . rejection and the silent treatment is the worst form of torture thats why it was used in terrible wars , but the guilt that followed for those whose inflicted this will be torture in itself , I don’t wish bad on anyone but I would not be truthful if I didn’t say I wanted my ED to feel. my pain and I am sure I am not alone .
    Please read “Done with Crying” its an incredible book and so well written I read it over an d over again.

    1. rparents Post author

      Sarah, Thank you for your kind words about my book. It helps others to hear from parents that the book has been helpful. I’ve heard from a few who have said they read parts of it over again…and I wrote it for use as a resource to refer to whenever needed—since this can can be an ongoing emotional trauma. Thank you again. I wish you well!


  4. Annie

    I think it’s their way of control. I think if we try real hard not to react it serves all of us better. Not too long ago my grandson and I were to have dinner. I was excited and made special plans with him in great anticipation all day (he’s 15).
    First he gave me a time and then pushed it back an hour. Next thing I knew he text saying he had a migraine and had to cancel that he was sorry and would reschedule but never did. Well, so happened that very day my other daughter had called my ES and told her she needed to talk to her, that what she was doing to me was not justified . My ES text back to her something nasty. These kids are put in a awful situation. And I have to admit it’s awkward sometimes being around them as you don’t know what lies they’ve been told! My grandson text me finally before Christmas thanking me for my card and Christmas money and said he would like to get together as he’s out of school for a few days. Well, I didn’t hear from him until yesterday asking if I’d like to have lunch with he and his girlfriend. Normally I would have jumped at the chance but I told him it wasn’t the best time as I have a bad cold (which I do) and could we reschedule telling him I loved him dearly and looked forward to getting together soon. This time sadly I didn’t feel any urgency. I think he may feel obligation and my ES is coaxing him out of her own need to look better in his eyes. I love my grandson dearly. He’s a good boy, very smart, sensitive and kind. I certainly hope he loves me as he says he does. He’s a teen too and I know they have priorities over his grandmother. My thoughts are you pay attention to what they do; not what they say. Anyway, I know how you feel Ann. I think we shouldn’t have to jump through any sort of ‘hoops’. Pitiful.
    I hope by now you’ve been able to spend some quality time with him; not just the leftovers. Happy New Year. Whatever our new normal will be.

  5. Dana

    My 28 year old daughter has been out of communication since Mother’s Day. She wrote me a five page letter….quite destructive and all negative. She’s pulled away slowly over the last several years, but never fully forgave me for divorcing her father. I never expected this after it being just the 2 of us for years, but she has been more in control than me for most of that time… this is what I get.

    I’ve emailed, texted, and I’m sure it’s all blocked, but can’t get any word about her safety or what she’s doing. She’s all I have and though I’ve admitted to hurting her and ruining our family, she’s decided to maintain a relationship only with her father.

    This pain is unbearable and I feel like she’s pushing me to crumble. As a Christian, I have faith and peace, but have had emotional ups and downs through the years and she’s blaming me for those insecure times as well.

    When I read you’ve suffered this for years……I know I won’t have the patience for that level of pain. Though I truly believe God will get me through anything. She doesn’t want to hear anything about God or faith even though she says her spiritual life is in tact.

    NO ONE with a relationship with God would treat a parent in this manner. Lifestyles gone astray is the chief reason for these children exiting parents’ lives. Getting contrary advice and being able to be the recipient of “sympathy” for having such a horrible parent builds them up.

    We do need to realize selfishness, immaturity, spoiled behavior patterns, and irrational thinking is all part of their decision making. I’ve thought that now we’re both adults and it’s finally time to be forging a true mature relationship, so we should both be relaxed and happy to communicate. She decided that’s exactly when she no longer needed to have ANY relationship. It’s as if she planned it as she become more and more silent for the last ten years…..angry and bitter……but waiting.

    That seems especially calculating and detached. I forgive her and take 90% of the blame. She has much to learn and as broken hearted as I am through each first that I miss…..her birthday… birthday……Christmas……and on and on, I know she will have to deal with the relationship one day. It’s the worry about addiction, alcohol, and other escape paths that saddens me most.

    I wasn’t the best parent, and fought with her when I should have stayed silent. I allowed her to bully me when I realized how much pain I had caused her. Now it seems she will bully me in silence till I die.

  6. Annie

    Hurt people hurt others. We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. Seems like your daughter is projecting. And her addictions, whatever they may be, are just putting a band aid on her feelings. These adult children are struggling to grow up. I pray she is able to mature to the point she begins to value you and show some forgiveness toward you. That will be taking responsibility for her actions.
    Glad you have strong faith. Pray God sees you through and eases your pain.
    You do not deserve this abuse. We certainly know what Christ must have gone through when he was so wrongly persecuted don’t we. Take good care of you. We are not measured by how our children perceive us. We simply cannot control their behavior especially if they are under the influence. Hang in there Dana. It’s good you’re sharing. Blessings, Annie

  7. Silvi

    I feel for you very deeply :)) but don’ t be too hard on yourself remain hopeful no matter what .
    Reflect on your sincere goodhearted pass present and future.

  8. Shoshanah

    It’s been a year since my youngest daughter told me she was pregnant and that I was not invited to be there when she gave birth because her father and “bimbo” would be. Since then total silence from her. I don’t even know the sex and name of her baby. Almost a year since the last horribly cruel email from her older sister. One of the niceties was that I am a “drama queen.” Friday is my grandson’s 8th birthday and I won’t make contact.

    I am absolutely devastated. I had a very rocky relationship with my own mother but I never abandoned her and she didn’t die alone. For the life of me I cannot comprehend how a son or a daughter can, not only hurt his/her mother out of spite or stubbornness or sheer cruelty, but also punish a child by not allowing him/her to have a relationship with the grandmother.

    I have resigned myself to never seeing my daughters or grandchildren ever again but I can’t overcome the pain of this knowledge. The pain might subside overtime, perhaps, but I will always have a reminder, like a burn scar that never goes completely away.

    Thank you, all of you parents who are hurting as I am, for your comments that remind me I’m not alone. May G-d give us the strength to carry on in our lives. May the new year brings us some succor.

  9. Silvi

    my storie have similarities to yours getting engaged with the fiancé over Facebook without mentioned anything to me and because I am not on Facebook my entourage told me all about it
    the fiance got pregnant and i was not announce to this life event he went to my sister without noticing me and told her ..
    He tells me stop crying when I see them because he lives 600 miles away from me and it had been 9 months I had not them. Well stop mom the fiance does not like it cause she feel guilty since he move over there so they can be togheter. After visiting them 600 miles after , she was not in a good moon she give me attitude and got to an argument for showing up announced but busy , she was having a house warming with her friends and family .No body I knew there except for my son that was busy entertaining the friends.they did not talk to me for 9 months my son was asking me to apologyse to the fiance because she felt I was rude and he called it retaliation. I refused his demand.
    And the last time we saw each other he call me when the bay was born and ask for me he needed me for comfort and to be introduce to the babie I went back 1 year later and again the fiancé give me her best attitude and I ask my son why is it that she acting like this when I here I felt that I was nice and kind polite respectful and asked if she needed my help she give me some cleaning and cooking to do but she was always hiding in the bedroom with the babies and texting my son who he was outside with me and again I ask what can I do to fix this attitude problem and he told me to get out of house and to get lost fuckin bitch. I left on the spot overwelme and in disbelief I could not comprehends what just happened I did not turn back I took the plane and came home and change my phone number . I do not have any expectations anymore coming from that relation it was the last time I will not be treated it like that and they will never have a chance to to give themselves opportunity to unrespect me .I totally understand other mom and dad that are estranged and the feeling are awful I have thoughts for my son every day but it has not been the same. I have to now take care of me .

    1. greenglow

      That is terribly sad! I am so sorry you are going through that. I have experienced negative attitude also. It is so hurtful. I cry some mornings. It has a lasting impact.

  10. Patti s

    I hear and feel your pain. Its been 2 years since my daughter moved away to another state not even saying goodbye. I raised my granddaughter. She was 11 when I last looked into her beautiful eyes. So sad, death I would welcome. You are not alone, sister

    1. Silvi

      I know it s hard, we are not to blame ourself ,when our kids become adult they have they own thoughts and it s not what we expected . But we can always rejoyce thinking back when we had our time togheter and hope for the best. There is good in all of us .

    2. rparents Post author

      What a friendly and simple, loving thought you convey with this message. We DID have wonderful times. Those times were real. I have come to cherish the memories of those good times. No, they don’t change the present, and they don’t erase what has transpired. But they are still beautiful, and were genuine.

      I usually give a hug, but I’d like to preface this one with a high five! (I don’t usually do high fives, so what has gotten into me!?—LOL)


  11. Helen

    I know this is an American site and I am in Adelaide, South Australia, but from one side of the globe to the other the hurt that adult children’s rejection causes is the same. It does help to know that we are not alone and other mothers are hurting as I am, but what would help even more is a local club for people in our predicament where suffering mothers can get together to celebrate Mother’s Day, Christmas etc when the loss of family get-togethers is so very hurtful. That is what I am hoping to come across …

  12. todie

    Helen, I totally agree. To go for coffee or a fish fry would be wonderful. A weekly meeting for just love and support would be a beautiful thing. You never know!!!

  13. Essie

    I am new to this community but not new to the pain. I’ve been dealing with the hurt and devastation for five years now. These posts are a lifesaver. Especially as my “nest “ is empty now for the most part and my husband travels. You all are brave and wonderful people and I am so grateful to join the conversation.

    1. rparents Post author

      Hi Essie,

      You will find more interaction in the support forum. Click on “community” in the navigation bar.

      Sheri McGregor

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