How to cope when your adult child cuts you out of their life

coping when adult child is estranged

How to cope when your adult child cuts you out of their life

by Sheri McGregor

Parents of estranged adult children often email me asking, “How can I cope?” When your adult child cuts you out of his life, the pain can feel unbearable. I know from my own experience, and from the 2000 parents of estranged adults who have contacted me in the last ten months, that it’s normal to feel anger, guilt, sadness, shame, and a host of other emotions we’re not familiar with and don’t know how to handle.

While each situation is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all cure, parents of estranged adult children can get through this, find acceptance, and even peace. As a mom who has been through this, I’ll offer some thoughts from my own experience, and from what other parents of estranged adults who have gotten past this and moved on to enjoy their lives have shared. I hope you find something here helpful.

Most fathers and mothers of estranged adults try try to repair things. They reach out by writing letters to estranged adult children. They also call, email and send texts in an attempt to find out what’s wrong and try to make things right. But what do you do beyond that, when no satisfactory reconcilation occurs? That’s the focus here. I’ve outlined some brief points for coping with an adult child’s estrangement, getting on with your life, and finding a way to live happily and successfully.

First, as is true in other areas of life, you cannot control another adults’ behavior. You can, though, make sound decisions about your own. Accept and commit to that, in order to get past the pain.

Then, take a look at these ideas, and adopt what you can. You may find that some are easier than others, or that some don’t fit at all. Or, you may come back to these later and have a new perspective. Do what you can. Discard what doesn’t feel right. Take control. You can get through this.

Ideas for coping when your adult child cuts you out of their life.

  • Allow yourself to grieve – – this is a shocking loss.
  • Don’t try to pretend all is well, but along with (or after) crying, being angry, etc., begin to take action toward making yourself (your feelings) and your life (how you spend your time) better.
  • Think of other hard things you’ve gotten through, and tell yourself you CAN and WILL get through this too.coping when an adult child is estranged
  • Accept that your future is different than you expected … and accept the uncertainty that goes with an adult child’s estrangement. Then allow yourself to believe you can have a good future, even though your path has taken a twist.
  • Get involved in new things, old things that make you happy … activities you can enjoy. See Lila’s story.
  • Catch yourself in the act of feeling bad about what you can’t change, and stop the negative thoughts. Shift your perspective.
  • If you can’t figure out what happened, make a decision to give up asking why. Or settle on an answer for the moment (i.e., he’s following his wife to save his marriage, there’s some other problem you don’t know about, there’s mental illness of some sort, an addiction, etc and so on … whatever fits). Let it go. Some things just can’t be understood.
  • Focus on the good relationships, and the good parts of your life — and multiply them.
  • Don’t worry about the judgment of other people, and forgive them for it. But also protect yourself from people who are hurtful to you.
  • Find activities that fulfill your need to give and receive (love, help, generosity, kindness, etc).

Life can be difficult when expectations are shattered, and people we love and have devoted ourselves to so deeply hurt us. It’s also difficult to move on after a devastating loss, but it is possible to reclaim happiness. Reach out and you will find support among other parents of estranged adult children.

Below, I’ve listed some related articles that parents seeking ways to cope after an adult child’s estrangement have said were helpful. You can also navigate to all of my posts by opening the menus in the site’s righthand sidebar marked “Answers to Common Questions,” and “What Parents Can Do.”

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Five Ways to Move On After an Adult Child’s Rejection

Dealing with Undertainty

Why do I feel guilt?

Why forgive?

New Year’s Resolution: Shake it free

 

 

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98 thoughts on “How to cope when your adult child cuts you out of their life

  1. Tina

    Our middle daughter sent us a letter from college stating she wants us to stop contacting her. She is financially independent and college is paid from a college fund. Our family is a regular, middle class 3 kids household, they visited grandparents during vacations and the kids saw us taking care of our elderly parents when they were in need.
    Her younger sister sends her a brief text once/week, just to make sure she is alive and the answer is usually super short.
    While I was a strict mother ( as far as asking them to do their work and be home on time ), my husband was always very accommodating. The other 2 children seem to be happy and family oriented.
    Can’t say there were no warning signs, although in the past when I mentioned them to my husband he thought I was overreacting. For example, she was never very loving or generous with her siblings. She had several superficial friends but no close ones and it was always the other person’s fault. She would never call her grandparents ( from either side ) unless prompted multiple times.
    Recently, she came in town and stayed at a hotel, stopped by our house to pick up something and did not even say hello to her father ( who opened the door for her ) or siblings. My husband was devastated. I was at work.
    The whole family is in some sort of mourning, each in a different way.
    Again, I suspected for a few years that she might detach herself from us once she did not need us anymore but did not imagine she would be so callous. My husband feels “like an amputee” and is still waiting for her to have a come to Jesus moment but here is the sad part for me : even if she changes her mind and we rekindle the relationship, I will be very weary of putting my heart on the line for her again.
    Let’s face it : adult children who abandon parents in such a cruel and unexplained way, lack character ( unless they have a mental illness ). And while we may blame ourselves as parents for not doing a better job with their education, the adult child is ultimately responsible for his or her behavior. We may try to find answers and excuses and even blame ourselves but when I spoke with my father yesterday, he told me ” My dear, you can’t change her so you have to change yourself and your expectations of her. This is her personality and character and there is nothing you can do about it. Just go with the flow and live a happy life with the rest of your family”. My father is 92 and a very wise man.

    Reply
  2. K.

    Gosh your stories are so helpful. As awful as this is and I don’t wish for any of us to be in this place, I’m glad not to be alone. Recently found this web site and have ordered both books. Our story is similar to many of yours. 5 years ago our oldest son called to say he no longer wanted a relationship with my husband and I. There was so much hate and venom spewed. “I wish you were both dead. If you die tomorrow I wont shed a tear”. When I asked how long he had felt these feelings he replied “ As long as I can remember”. I asked “if we were so bad why did you let us pay for college (freeing him of any student debt) and why let us pay for his wedding reception?” His reply will stay with me until my dying day “sometimes you just have to play the game.” This conversation took place in the car with our youngest daughter present. When it became necessary for me to become my fathers caregiver (Alzheimer’s) my son was forced to come around as he remained close to my father (honestly I believe their bond was strengthened by their dislike of me). I would always greet him with a hug and ask how his wife was. It was pleasant. After my father’s passing my son asked for a few times all reasonable and I was happy to give them to him. He even called to let us know they were expecting their first child. I though this was all great signs toward reconciliation. But, sure enough after he got the items he wanted…..radio silence. Unanswered text messages and phone calls. He had “played the game” once again and I fell for it. I had to find out through friends and social media that their son had been born.
    Well, here we are again. Our youngest daughter who recently married has without explanation cut us off. A friend reached out to me when they noticed our daughter and our estranged sons wife were communicating and flowing each other on social media. Mind you we had always told our 3 children to peruse a relationship with our son. His problem was clearly with us and not them. All 3 at the time told us of manipulative and emotionally abusive treatment they had endured at our sons hands and chose not to reach out to him. It remained that way for 5 years. When I reached out to my daughter to say I noticed she and the daughter in law were in contact and why didn’t she tell me she responded “you are the one that always said we should have our own relationship with him.” True I responded I was just wondering why the secrecy. In the days that followed I was blocked on all forms of communication with our daughter. I have reached out on all forms I know to, with no response. I expressed in our last conversation that I was happy she and her brother had reconnected and asked repeatedly “are we okay?” Her response was “yes mom, of course we are good.” Clearly, that is not the case.
    So here we are again. In this painful place I didn’t think I could survive the first time. I’m hurt, filled with guilt, angry and feel so stupid that I didn’t see it once again.
    I know this is so long so thank you for reading and if you scrolled by I can’t blame you haha.
    My hope is for all of us the feel healed and whole no matter that status of our relationship with our children.

    Reply
    1. TANYA

      I’m deeply sorry for your experience. I understand your feelings all too well. Holding you in my heart from Canada

    2. M.

      Oh my goodness that is so much pain.
      I’m so sorry for your grief. I agree that finding this website has been a blessing.

    3. Teri

      I also have two children who won’t speak to me so I definitely understand your terrible pain. I hope we can find our way forward without them in our lives.

  3. A very sad mom

    My loss has recently happened; our 19-year-old daughter has delusions; it’s almost as if she lives in a different reality than I do. Everything she says is a lie, or she truly is mentally ill. I am on a roller coaster of emotions; sometimes, I feel like I have failed her. I thought I was a good mom; my oldest, who is 26, says I was, and although that makes me feel better, nothing will take away the pain I have from losing her. She believes her lies and feels I never thought she was good enough to leave an abusive marriage for her, but my marriage is nothing but loving; neither one of us has abused the other EVER. It never happened, and I cannot wrap my brain around why she would say this. She has recently stayed in the mental hospital for a week; she was on meds and seeing someone, but I don’t know if she continued to see or even stay on the meds they gave her. Not sure what I can do at this point. I started journaling. I have forgiven her more than I can count; she has stolen money from us on multiple occasions; we aren’t talking a few dollars; the last one was $1800. She is a thief; she has been charged with it more than once, but we never called the police; we took care of it; maybe that was a mistake. It seems with every bad thing she does comes another whopper of a story. I am despondent and feel like I will never get out of this.

    Reply
  4. Marikay

    Family Alienation is a cross generational syndrome encompassing grandparents, children and grandchildren. The pain and suffering endured by those unjustly rejected by their own child or grandchildren is without compare. The Alienation is usually the result of the family member with a personality disorder doing the alienating and manipulating. It is disconcerting that a once happy relationship with an adult child suddenly goes south, and the parent is left to mentally sort out the pieces of the puzzle. The problem is usually that the adult child is not effectively coping with all the variables of their own life, and that many times the perceived issue has nothing to do with the parents role in their life. The Alienation of Children and Grandchildren from a loving parent or grandparent is a Selfish controlling tactic used by the Alienator. I think the tendency of persons guilty of the alienation are self-centered. And there is no cure for that malady. They cause pain to the targeted relative with NO GUILTY CONSCIENCE as to their behavior. Having experienced both recent estrangement from my living biological adult son, and also as the targeted grandparents deliberately and maliciously alienated from our 2 granddaughters (our daughter, the girls’ mother is deceased) by the biological father and step-mother, it is a problem that lies with the generation of middle aged adults who think that their cruel behavior is their right. Of course this behavior can be inherited from the older generation, but also perhaps it is a blind spot in the younger generations that have forgotten that there is a 4th Commandment, “Honor thy Father and thy Mother”. And of course that Commandment should extend to the grandparents who love their grandchildren, and have literally raised and nurtured both the children and grandchildren in a variety of family situations. So I pray that all children, grandchildren and grandparents who are victims of the Family Alienation Syndrome know that it is imperative to persevere in this tragedy with love and patience. Not allow themselves to be a doormat for anyone. Expect RESPECT AND COURTESY. Raise your heads up and set your eyes on the ETERNAL REWARDS WAITING FOR THOSE WHO LOVE with a forgiving heart. Pray for all and God will UNITE ALL IN HEAVEN ONE DAY.

    Reply
    1. Tori

      I am so thankful for you sharing your life experience and appreciate you placing God at the top because it helps me relate and cope as I have estrangement from my adult son. I’ll pray for you and you pray for me.

    2. candleinthewind

      I’m with you, up until the last sentence. We need to stand by what is precious and meaningful now, in the struggle, and expect to be blessed whilst on earth. We must have the courage to stand up to bullies and the like who seek to lay blame at our doors (out of fear of it happening to them, or whatever). We have the gift of life, and no-one, especially our so-called loved ones, has the right to take that away. It may be exceedingly difficult, but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. That also includes the strength to cry, to go out into the darkness, into the unknown, to trust our hearts etc. etc. We need to have the courage to stand up and say ‘no, there may be truth in what you’re saying, your truth, but that’s not the end of it’.

    3. rparents Post author

      candleinthewind,

      I love the strength in your thoughts and the peace in how you say them.

      You are right. We know who we are and another’s flawed judgment mustn’t be allowed to steal our joy.
      Hugs to you, to Markay, and all who read here,
      Sheri McGregor

  5. Tamara

    Thank you “Sweet Mom”. Your message was very comforting. I’ll keep you and all parents who are hurting over the estrangement of our beloved children.

    Reply
  6. Judy

    Very helpful article. I am concerned though about the grandchildren. My daughter has notified us of concerts and has allowed the kids to come with us, for which I’m grateful, but I’m also starting to resent the feeling of being the “divorcee” who has visitation rights with the kids who has to pick up and drop off at the curb. What kind of example does that set for them – that Mom won’t talk to Grandma? I don’t want to be a divider between the kids and their Mother either. They should not have to choose “sides” (although I’ve never discussed anything with them, but I have no idea what has been said in their home and won’t ask). This was so sudden, so shocking to both my husband and myself, I can barely handle my feelings about being “disowned” that I struggle to want to be with the grandkids right now. Any advice on how to deal with this?

    Reply
    1. Allison K.

      At least you do get to see and interact with your grandchildren. I can’t even visit or send presents to mine, and I don’t know if they even know I exist. My son, who has my only grandchildren, moved without leaving me a forwarding address. So I hope and pray that he will some day. I had a really bad panic attack when I was last down there, but I tried to hide it by getting safely out of the car and going to a convenience store. But then the people running the store called the cops, even though I was quite and at the very back of the store. The police were actually helpful and understanding, but my son thinks it was only a head trip.
      He thought I was faking it. So he got mad and rejected me, unless I apologized ( which I have) and “admit “ to my supposed faking it.
      I try to focus on the fact that I can see their pictures on Facebook, and comment positive things and my love. Sometimes he likes a comment, but so far that is all.

  7. Joyce D.

    These stories si mirror my situation with my adult daughter and son. I have Grands kids I never seen. The granddaughter I raised have been cut out of my life. I know there us nental illiness with my daughter who refuse help. I’m over both of them and I’ll continue to pray .

    Reply
  8. Little Bird

    I speculate mental health plays a deciding factor in many an estrangement, likely from both directions. It is an epidemic suffered by all with a ridiculous taboo keeping us unhealthily ignoring that most of us have non stellar moments, some more vocal and visible than others. I do not know which straw broke, but am blocked from my adult sons life. While I mourn the loss and hope for reconciliation, I choose to work on myself to make the world a better place. For me, that looks like exploring ways to heal the mind, body and soul. Talking and listening definitely play a critical role, so great job everybody! I am searching for unity within myself. I am done with eggshells, tightrope walking and perceived slights as assaults against my well being. I will regularly reach out without expectation. I love and miss my son and grandsons. It is only oneself that can decide what makes them happy. I hope he is happy. I wish with every breath they are happy. I pray we all find happy lives. It is the situation that is sad. For me, I will strive to live happy!

    Reply
  9. Jenna

    Jenna,
    I have an 18 year old. Her Grandmom raised her after her dad who was emotionally abusive towards me died when she 10. Ever since he died, she has grown very bitter towards me. We once had a great relationship but now it’s null and void. She said I’ve done so much harm to her and I can’t stop crying over her. I have four children with my current husband but I’m so lost without my oldest baby girl.

    Reply
  10. Kama

    I have no idea why two of my adult children decided to cancel me. Middle one is now trans. Maybe he/she thinks I don’t support this? The other recently married and out of no where told me in a text that I trigger her anxiety. Millennials. I am done crying. I was an amazing mother. I know that. This is their choice. It hurts all the time, but I am learning to let go. Stop asking why. Eventually it doesn’t matter. The youngest still talks with me and says he doesn’t connect with the middle one and has no idea what’s wrong with the oldest one. All I know is that I have students I can share my world with and care for. No need to keep crying over adult kids who don’t want to know me,

    Reply
    1. Tamara

      I can relate to your story so much. I really worked so hard to give my children a good life as a single mom. I didn’t drink, do drugs, or date around, hell I didn’t date at all until they were in their teens. I was not a perfect mother, I was 18 with my first but our relationship was so great until he moved away and got involved with people who, I swear, taught him to hate his family. He rejected me and his brothers and little sister. My heart has been utterly broken. I have cried, been angry, and then at peace. But tomorrow is his 35th birthday and the feelings are coming up again. He is a millennial too. I miss him, his smile, his laughter his creativity, and wonder.
      He isn’t living a happy life, He left us all for a terrible girlfriend, and then she cheated on him and left him in a city she asked him to move to. He works in a bar and hates it according to his posts. I love him so much and want our family back but he does not.
      I’ve learned to live my life but there is a hole that is never full.
      I’ll pray for you and your kids and for everyone going through this.

  11. Portland

    Hi my son cut me of 5 years ago never seen my grandchild, I am ashamed to talk to anyone about it, I get upset when my friends ask how is he doing how is you grandchild it is death by a 1000 cuts I don’t wish this on anyone, so I went to war with my son got my lawyer to send him a letter to tell him no contact ever, he is cut out of my will and I will make sure he gets nothing, and my brothers children who are close to me will get everything no loving parent should ever live like this, you can give all the advice you like but sometimes you need to think of your self and live a happy life, I just want to forget I ever had a child.

    Reply
    1. tina

      I did exactly what you did – contacted my lawyer – I feel it is a closure and a relief – I can now deal with it

    2. Angela R.

      I know exactly what you are going thru. My daughter & Son both turned on me & said they never want anything more ever to do with us. They were our world & loved us alot in return also, until they met their now spouses. Each have a baby that we were told never will we get to see them. This has broken our hearts so badly. We have tried everything possible to make our families love us again, but not in 8 yrs. has his gotten any better. ASK what is the problem & they won’t say a word. Don’t know what to do I pray alot & have faith GOD will turn this around A MIRACLE !!!! ANGELA FROM BERLIN PA.

  12. Tracy

    We were such a close family when our children were growing up. Now my 31 year old son decided we were dysfunctional and has completely cut me off at his new girlfriend’s insistence. I’ve been through all the cycles of grief and anger but I’m broken-hearted at the loss of my son. I can’t text him or write to him because his gf wouldn’t let him see or respond. I thought we were close but now he says I’ve been a terrible mother. To help me cope, I pretend he’s dead because it hurts too much to think he’s alive and chooses to cut me out. I never thought our family would be so broken.

    Reply
    1. D

      Feel your pain. Our adult sin married a Filipina while he was based overseas. Didn’t tell us, we weren’t invited to the wedding and she has done everything she can through social media to place a wedge between us and our son. Hard part was she had posted other pics on social media where she’d been with other servicemen, atleast four others, having slept with them. When we tried to show our son prior to him marrying her she’d already had all the excuses covered. Now, it’s to the point where she does stuff, but when it’s confronted he takes all blame. We haven’t seen him in five years. We tried to reconnect when his grandmother was diagnosed with Covid-19. Once again, he buys her all this stuff and takes trips to various places, even to the Phillipines to see her relatives, but she brought up us texting one another was costing them a penny a text. Our son had to find a free app just to talk to us yet she’s got LV bags etc. She’s using him. When we refused to discuss her in any of our conversations he pushed the issue, probably because of her. We finally told him we do not like or trust her. He and we cut contact after that discussion. We haven’t spoken in seven months. We have determined she’s a covert narcissist. We don’t buy into some programs but researching narcissist and watching videos regarding it has really helped because it hits the nail right on the head regarding her. He is going to have to be the one to determine and decide, not us. We just hope and pray one day he sees past her facade.

    2. Tamara

      Tracey, My heart is broken like yours. My oldest son did something similar.
      It is crushing to the soul.
      I’m so sorry for your loss.
      All here in my prayers.
      Tamara

  13. Colby

    Good to read these. My daughter and son left me when they were 26 and 23. I thought I was a good father their whole life. Never missed a school event or sporting event their entire life. I was not a good father. I am paying for it now. I’ve learned life is incomplete without your children. Don’t lose them . You can’t get them back.

    Reply
    1. candleinthewind

      Indeed, life is incomplete without our children. However, it was their choice and not ours to depart, and we are not fully responsible or accountable for that decision. I wish my children well. I am now faced with the challenge of making something of that smashed up artwork called my life, making something meaningful and beautiful, like a mosaic (check out the value and beauty of Florentine mosaics, for example).

    2. Craig

      Thats really great advice, not. They are adults and myvlife will have to go on even after one child in her mental illness has torn 3 children from a family life must go on. Im going to be complete and deal with my pain and anger over the betrayals.

  14. Leah

    Greetings! I’ve been following your blog for some time now and
    finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout
    out from New Caney Tx! Just wanted to say keep up
    the fantastic job!

    Reply
  15. Janet

    We all love our grown married son or daughter. It sure does hurt us when they push us to aside just because they get married. Usually its their spouse who does not like us or just jealous our grown kidshave a relationship with their parents and siblings. We have reached out for 3 yrs. We have only seen our married son, his wife and our two grandkids at a family funeral or out in a resturant. They act friendly in public places but on the phone or texting other wise not friendly at all. Brings up crap we have been over & over his wife plays the victum when she can say disrespectful stuff to us but if we say anything back oh we are the problems. We will always have love for our son & his family our door is always open.

    Reply
    1. Beth

      Janet, your story could be my own. My son is 47 and in the last month has stopped talking to me and my husband (his father). How he puts it is “I won’t talk to anyone who won’t talk to my wife.”. We don’t talk to his wife because she told me she wanted nothing to do with me or my husband. So, as you so rightly say Janet, she can be as disrespectful to us as she likes but God forbid we should respond in kind. The upshot of many years of her disrespect is that I have decided to stop trying to make everything right, I realise that she doesn’t actually want things to be right and now our son has followed her lead. At first I cried and sobbed, thinking I should do anything I could to resolve this. But then I had counselling and was lucky enough to find someone who let me pour everything out and gently made me see that I didn’t have to spend the rest of my life being the punchbag for my son and daughter in law. I think it is so important for all estranged parents to accept that their child has made their choice but you too have a choice, you deserve a happy and peaceful life. It is possible to get through this. Whether my son will ever talk to me again I have no idea and I have no idea how I will feel if he ever attempts to contact me. I will take each day as it comes, for my own sanity and peace of mind. Sending thoughts and hugs to all of you and Sheri too for giving us all a voice.

    2. JanPhyllis

      I am dealing with the same daughter in law situation!
      They have no children, only two dogs? So as many of you face that also in your estrangement I am sorry!
      My daughter in law did sneaky and sly bitter things to me for 14 years when my son caved in to her wishes of no mother/son relationship!!
      I have good days recently but almost had a breakdown because of the estrangement! No one is worth losing my health over!
      We had 46 yrs of fun and love and etc! But when she got her claws into him……
      I hope we can all be learn to live without the chaos in our lives and move forward!!! He was my life, now he isn’t! Sounds so easy it but the mental abuse he rained down on. me was almost too much to bear but out of love I tolerated it
      for it to end like this ? No!!!
      I’m a good person who unfortunately brought up an entitled brat! I made mistakes but out of extreme love!!
      I will with my renewed and energized faith in the Lord and the Holy Mother live the rest of my days better without him!
      I did my job to my best ability with him, he is now on his own to choose his own way through the rest of his life without me!
      But with his wife and dogs!

  16. cheryl

    I think what hurts the most is their inability to appreciate all that was given up and sacrificed for them to have the type of life they so desired. Yes, it was my decision to be a stay at home mom because I was a single parent, ran from an abusive husband before she was even 1 years old. But her 19th birthday is tomorrow and you can guess who she is spending it with; not me but her abusive father. Didn’t know I had the ability to export so many tears from my sad and confused eyes. She moved out a month ago to live on her university campus and barely di I hear from her unless she wants something. 18 years and I guess I expected some gratefulness but we all know about expectations. Ive been through many heartfelt situations but never did I ever think UI would have to go through one caused my daughter when I can’t think of any reason why she would estrange her self from me, the one person who had her back 24/7 for the last 18 years; tomorrow will be 19 years. Happy Birthday “K”, I will always love you!!

    Reply
    1. Colby

      My son and daughter left me when I entered into re hab for an opiate addiction. There mother and I were both addicts. She still is and they still are with her. I am three years sober. I am sad and have no answers. Life is good sober but was it worth losing my kids for ? Lots of questions.

    2. M.

      Hi Cheryl if your still reading this blog, please research why children cling to abusive parents as you may find some comfort in this. Especially abusive father and daughter. Praying for you as I feel some if the same pain. Please take care and nurture your own wellness.

  17. A New Beginning

    My 18 year old daughter just cut me out of her life. She told my mother that it’s because I’m annoying. All I was doing was trying to help her get into the military as she really wants to, but keeps saying and doing the wrong things and dragging the process out. Her recruiter was relieved that I got in touch with him and gave me very specific instructions to help her get in, but she refused to even let me give her the instructions.
    Her father abused her, and I got a GAL involved who took a year to finally ban her father from her life. During that time I had to make her visit her father or the courts would have labeled me an “alienator,” taken her from me, and made her live with her abuser permanently. I don’t know if she is mad at me for making her visit her father during that time, or if it really is just as simple as I’m “annoying” when I try to help her.
    Either way, it’s heartbreaking, angering, devastating, and eye-opening, all at the same time.

    I’ve done some online research and apparently it is so trendy to cut one’s own parents off these days that there are online forums for young adults to this point. In these forums, these young adults egg each other on to cut parents off and provide validation for the most obscene of reasons – such as one young lady who cut her parents off because they wouldn’t pay her cell phone bill anymore. Another young adult who was still living in their parents’ house (i.e. sucking from the parent’s teats, and thus… not entirely an adult to the rest of society, despite their age) cut their parents off because their parents demanded that house rules be followed and demanded that the young adult respect their parents while living in their parents’ home. The young adult then went on to demand that since they were now 18, they “deserved to be treated as an equal” with their parents and all other adults. This young adult didn’t really seem to grasp the true meaning of being an adult, or the simple social etiquette of respecting another person’s home… but nonetheless had oodles of support from other young adults who were most likely similarly ungrateful and disrespectful to their own parents.

    So I say, as parents who are victims of such entitled and mean young adults – let’s all just move on. We have done our best. It was our job to raise our children to adulthood without them being killed, maimed, and to instill to the best of our abilities, the notion that they should be civil human beings and make meaningful contributions to society.
    Whether or not our young adults have picked up on the lessons we so lovingly and carefully taught them over the years is not up to us.
    So now we can relax, knowing the relentless accusations, passive-aggressive behavior, and demands are at least on pause. We can also relax, with the knowledge that we are now teaching our young adults one final lesson – respect for boundaries. So they want to cut us off? We need to respect that boundary and stay out of their lives.
    Hopefully, by respecting this one, final boundary, we can teach our young adults to also respect our boundaries in return.
    Because from what I’ve noticed, most of the young adults who cut off their parents have little to no respect for their parents’ boundaries in a healthy manner, but demand the respect they aren’t willing to reciprocate.
    Maybe, if we can all respect their final wishes to never speak with us again, they will learn through this measured control and feeling of power on their part, that we can allow them the space they’ve demanded.
    Who knows – maybe they will finally begin to self-reflect and realize that respect is a two-way street. Maybe after a long absence, they will return to our lives ready to treat us with decency rather than use us for what we can provide to them.
    All I know is that I’ve tried everything under the sun with my daughter, and nothing I’ve tried ever gets through to her. So the ball is now in her court. If she ever decides to rekindle our relationship, she should be prepared with a few apologies for the way she has treated me, and with a new level of respect. Otherwise, that cutting off thing? Well, it can be a two-way street… and maybe I will find my life is a lot easier and a lot more peaceful without her constant drama and disrespect. Only time will tell.

    Reply
    1. Cheryl S

      I want to thank you for what you wrote as i was sitting here feeling sorry for myself. My 35 year old son hasn’t spoken to us for 2 years after we tried everything. He was the golden child, lovely and kind. It all started when he met his wife 5 years ago and it insidiously became worse along w/ her parents nastiness and dismissive behavior. We were devoted parents in every way, of course not perfect but very dedicated prob too much so. A month ago our second grandchild was born and we were notified by a Zoom evite. We’ve only seen our 2 1/2year old grandson twice. We are heartbroken. My husband and I are health care professionals and are caring people. Reading what you wrote gave me a new perspective( and I’m a therapist!) Happy Thanksgiving!!

    2. Walter

      You read my mind. I agree 100%, in particular, the “final lesson”. I agree, only time will tell.

    3. Allison K.

      Yes I was having difficulty from day one with the one I’m estranged to. I lost two and a half pints of blood just after having him.
      Had to sign my own agreement to operate form, etc .
      Just one thing after another. He did get abused by my husband’s brother, but we kicked the abuser out when our son told us about it, and got about a year in therapy. He calls me toxic and says all I say or do is only a head trip, or gaslighting.

    4. Wendy S.

      This. ^ Dead on. My 18 left in the middle of the night two weeks ago and I’m beyond devastated. Your words are thoughtful and wise. I’m going to read repeatedly and try to put in to practice. ❤️

    5. Brenda

      I can relate. My daughter is nearly 40. She went to a counselor because she thinks she should be a man. The counselor quickly agreed. Shortly after, she decided everything imperfect in her life is my fault. She has been gay, bi, pan, i can’t even remember all the terms. She’s so confused she doesn’t know what she is or what to do about it. I tried to act like it was no big deal, wanting to keep our relationship alive. But when she told me she wanted chest surgery i couldn’t get behind it. That was when i became hated. I am absolutely not allowed to do or say anything unless it’s cheering on her crazy ideas. I take some of the blame because i tried for so long to get along and the more i listened without speaking up about her body dysmorphia, the more extreme it became. i do think there are mental health issues not to mention her taking antidepressants and testosterone. I’m sure her emotions are all over the place. I made some mistakes, for sure. I also raised her alone, working 6-7 days a week, to be a decent, hardworking, respectful young woman until the last several years. She has now cut me off for two years and counting. I cause her anxiety since i won’t sit quietly and shake my head yes while she destroys her life. She says if i go to therapy and call to tell her all about the sessions she will CONSIDER having me in her life. In other words, i need a gay- affirming therapist who will tell me how awful i am to not cheer on her top surgery and increasingly confused queerness, along with her saying See, I told you so. I can’t and won’t do it. Her father who didn’t pay child support and tried twice to kill her as a baby (she doesn’t know this because i felt it would only hurt her and she was estranged from him of her own accord) is telling her ridiculous lies about me. I guess the parent who struggled, loved and nurtured and raised her alone is the bad guy. I can’t win. Between bouts of sadness and lots of praying I am trying to go on with my life. I love her but i won’t participate in her self-destruction. Apparently this makes me an abusive mother. Who knew?

  18. Colleen F.

    My daughter X, (16 at the time) decided to take sides with her Sociopath father a few years before our divorce. Shortly after spending way too much time alone together with Dad, she decides I am “toxic” and not worthy of talking to anymore. Not surprising, she moved in to an apartment with him. Knowing how sociopaths operate, I know plenty of lies were told to everyone about me. I recently was told by my other daughters, that X “wants an apology”. I was angry and confused. She hasn’t talked to me for 6 years, and the reason she claims for disowning me, is something her and I talked and settled YEARS ago! After looking back and remembering all the nasty things she did to hurt me (including a restraining order gained by another huge lie), I know the ONLY reason she keeps me away is to keep me from revealing her other side to her new husband. I will NOT apologize to her, she has to know there is no way I would. I absolutely HATE “mind games” – anyone who knows me at all knows that. Playing sick games and hurting people to cover your own guilt, is something I want nothing to do with. I went through that already with her Father, and can’t and won’t do it again. You can’t ignore someone for years and then claim they owe YOU anything! COMMUNICATION means everything to me – she knows that too. She is not the daughter she once was, and I don’t like who she has become.

    Reply
  19. Shirley B.

    I have two grown up girls one 45 and the other one is 34 years of age they never left home until they were 28 and one of them came back when she was 32. My problem started when my eldest daughter met a guy 14 year ago and from the moment he came into our lives. life was never the same we have hade solicitors letters have the police around twice been assaulted by him in a church the worst thing they did to us was taken our grand daughter away from us I do think she has mental problems and he is narcissistic they have lots of money but for ten year she was leaving him and coming home to me and her dad would stay three days then go back to him. Very sad but we have tried writing to her asking what did we do wrong we paid and asked them to come to mediation only to be told me.
    Shirley B.

    Reply
    1. Sophia

      Shirley, I’m so sorry and sad when I read stories like yours. Estrangement from our children is not what we signed up for when we became parents.

      Some estranged children do have mental illness or personality disorder. These are largely inherited. They are evident in young adulthood. Unfortunately, without professional help, these illnesses do not go away. We as mothers are often the convenient scapegoat.

      My 27 year old daughter is estranged. She chanted overnight after becoming involved with a man whom I believe to be a narcissist — very controlling and manipulative.

      Right now, it’s a journey I thought I’d never make in my life to try to accept that she may never reach out.

      Like you, I was not a perfect parent but I’d did more that was good than wrong.

      Let’s continue to share our experience and support each other’s here.

      Hugs

  20. Sue

    Why? What did I do? I have never gotten an explanation. Would I believe it if I got it? What if it was something I do not remember? How difficult that would be for my child who might remember some incident or sadness vividly while I have no memory of it at all. Whatever it is, it has ravaged a loving and supportive relationship. I am hopeful, but I am also living my life and enjoying my other children and grandchildren fully and gratefully. Good friends, laughter, walks by the lake, wonderful nieces and nephews, a new home, great neighbors, and lots of love and appreciation are my life. It is full. I am fortunate. I feel no less love for that child than I ever did.

    Reply
    1. Tami

      I admire your attitude. My detachment is new, within the last year. I just learned that my daughter is expecting her first child, our first grand daughter. Today my son and his wife just their 3 son, our 6th grandson. The two older boys know us, but the third never will. I cry all the time. My husband, not their father, says to stop crying over it, there is nothing you can do. It doesn’t make it easier and how do you stop thinking about your children and your grand children.

  21. Keith C.

    Thank you all for sharing your stories.
    My daughter in the last 3 months has decided that I have been guilt tripper and manipulating her all her life and is now indicating she does not want me to be part of her family, I thought it was my family .
    This is the first time she has behaved like this. I am not sure what or who brought this on, I am very afraid she will cut my connection with my grandkids who I have been very close to.
    This is crushing me.

    Reply
    1. Trish

      literally my story to a T! All of a sudden after 20 years of sacrifice love support I am toxic and do nothing but guilt trip her. Now ive been cut off from her and my grandson whom i worship. 2 weeks in theropy for her depression and I was dropped like a hot potato. Says ive traumatized her and ruined her whole life. And here I was thinking we were best friends and she was my whole life and source of happiness. I pray for us all

  22. Brittany C.

    My 22 year old son started dating a 21 year old girl, they met at work and in two months knowing each other they are living together and engaged. I haven’t seen him since he moved out with her. He hardly calls or texts me. He won’t tell me where he is living, I text him and call him he doesn’t respond back. At one point he blocked me. He is smart and a hard worker she made him quit his job, she doesn’t work either nor does she have a driver’s license. She also has a one year old son by another man. My son and I have always had a good relationship he up and left. I’m shocked devestated and cry all the time.

    Reply
  23. Lynn

    Our youngest daughter, “B,” almost 36, married a man from LA, and after the birth of their first child, moved from Boston to LA to start their life. Now, they have a 4, and 2 year old and a new baby due in the fall. “B” has gradually been withdrawing from us by way of lack of communication, not answering phone calls, emails or texts, except when she wants something.
    She asked for a “loan” for when they bought their home, and needed extra money for renovations, years before that, there were requests for expensive baby gifts, car, etc. Recently, she has just stopped answering either of our texts, emails, or phone messages.
    Her 2 year older sister, “E” had some mental health issues about 9 years ago and “B” mentioned to us years later, how rejected she felt since “E” was getting all the attention. “E” is better, but still has trouble with empathy, and is quick to give unwanted advice to “B.” This has subsequently caused “B” to “cut her off” totally.
    I’m not sure to what degree their relationship has had on ours (as parents) with “B.” Maybe she is just too busy with work (she started a business from home, and her husband gave up his job to work with her), and the kids, new house, and the in-laws, who live close by and are a big part of their lives.
    My husband texted “B” to let her know we are going to Colorado to visit friends and plan to rent a car and drive onto LA after visiting several states out there. He wanted to make sure they would be home. She didn’t reply until after he sent another text many hours later saying, “Am I to take your silence as a way of saying you don’t want us to visit?” She quickly responded that she was busy and couldn’t get back, but that she does look forward to our visit.
    Where we stand now.: Still no phone calls, FaceTime with the kids, or answered texts.

    Reply
  24. Marie

    My oldest son has disowned us. His younger brother still lives with Dad and I. He came out several years ago after so much struggle that his brother had been molesting him when they were young. I had to stop my older son from visiting our home since I was fearful they might kill each other. For 5 years we visited him and our granddaughter at his home regularly. A new woman is in his life and she doesn’t understand why they can’t come to our home. Of course he will never admit to what went down so it is best for him to eliminate us from his life. I miss my son and my granddaughter. The hurt is so deep and sometimes seems unbearable. In all this mess my family has become I turn to Jesus for strength and comfort and he is always there. I know he will never leave me. Prayers to all who hurt so deeply. May you find peace in Jesus Christ.

    Reply
  25. Tyrsi-Rose

    Not that it doesn’t hurt, (God, knows it does) but I have accepted that the infamous mother’s day weekend is painful, but I’m hopeful (not that there will be a reconciliation: that ship has sailed). But that every year, I’m a step closer to not wanting to scream, “I WAS A GOOD MOTHER!” I used to think that a support system was paramount, but this year, I’ve weekend-blocked everyone. My “well-meaning” friends make things worse. Someone asks how I’m doing. I say, “You know, Mother’s Day is difficult for me.” They respond: “My kids sent so many flowers that my home smells like a forest! ” or: “God, I’m grateful I don’t have that problem.” This year, my dearest of friends dropped a sympathetic eye on me and said, “Poor Mommy.” I WAS A GOOD MOTHER! The only thing I’m sorry for is that I didn’t pick a better father for my children. They are just like him. I’m sorry for everyone’s pain, all year round, but especially this weekend.

    Reply
    1. Pauline Y.

      How many of us have been cur off from our children because of a husband or wife’s bad behaviour. ?

    2. Stef

      I’m in the same boat. Horrible divorce 10 yrs ago and lost 3/4 adult kids to Dad. I’m still a good Mom but I wasn’t cruel to the ex. It’s not my style but now it still doesn’t get any easier. No weddings, grandchildren, holidays. It’s all I dreamed of while raising them. I just don’t know what to do at times. I hope the best for you

    3. Suzann

      I SOOOOOO feel your exact pain! I could have written your comment. Here’s hoping we will both find peace by being able to let it gooooooo 🙂

    4. Broken

      I too scream out “I WAS A GOOD MUM”!! All I ever wanted to be was a mummy, from when I was a little girl, I just had a love for children (even my whole career is looking after and caring for children) and couldn’t wait to have my own and be a mummy and I was….no I AM a good mum. Did I make mistakes -yes, did I get things wrong – yes, am I riddled with guilt – yes, am I human – yes, but I did my best and always with the best intentions and with love for my children. That is the thing I am sorry for too – that I didn’t pick a better father for my children, he washed his hands of my 3 children, took nothing to do with them, did not provide for them in fact actually did everything he could to avoid providing for them and has no contact at all with 2 of them, as during the difficult teenage years where I was left to do it all on my own and try to discipline and set rules and boundaries, despite not having seen or spoken to his father for 7 years (his fathers choice) my oldest son went to live with him (10 years ago) which was when he cut me from his life and I believe he was heavily influenced by his father. He now has his own place and his partner is expecting my first grandchild in January. Not only did my son cut me from his life then but he cut out my side of the family including his grandparents who doted on him (their first grandchild) and never had any contact with his brother or sister. I tried relentlessly to see him and have contact, never missing birthdays and Christmas etc. which were always returned to me with an abusive note from his father telling me to stop sending them, which inevitably broke my heart further. So I stopped sending them and instead put them away in a box for him to receive one day and know that I never stopped loving him or thinking about him – perhaps that won’t be until I’m gone. Then when my daughter got to the teenage years she done the same and went to live with her father, I understood that she missed her brother and perhaps had to find things out for herself and learn if her father actually cared for her but it really broke my heart, I honestly didn’t think I could go on and honestly if it wasn’t for still having my youngest son to think about I don’t think I would be here today. I was terrified that I would lose my daughter too and the same thing would happen again. She was not allowed to contact me or see me when she went there, she lost contact with her younger brother and began self harming. Her father couldn’t handle that and she told him she wanted to come home so thankfully she is home now and has not harmed herself since – she has also not heard a thing from her father since she came home which was almost 5 years ago now. She still has contact with her older brother and very recently my oldest son has reached out to his younger brother and has had some contact which is great for him and I am glad that all my children are building their relationships again and the birth of my new grandchild will likely bring them even closer but I am so hurt and completely heart broken that I am not part of “my family”, i just don’t think I can handle any more heartache.

  26. Sad Dad

    My son has totally cut me from his life. He’s done it before, but I think this time it’s for good.
    I’ve grieved in the past for the poor relationship we have, but now I’m grieving the total loss.
    It hurts.
    He told me he wished I was dead and that I should just kill myself.
    He said he hoped I died alone and miserable.
    He is now 26 and I am 48.
    His mother and I divorced when he was a toddler. I felt my relationship with my son has always been pretty good. When he finished high school his mother kicked him out of her house because of his bad behaviour and he was fighting all the time with her and his stepfather.
    I had never seen any of his bad behaviour. His mother said, “You will. Good luck.”
    I was single at the time and lived alone, he came to live with me. His mother was right. I asked him to leave after about 6 months.
    After another year or so went by, he said he needed somewhere to live, and he came back to live with me. But this time I was living with a partner. At first everything seemed okay, but then his attitude returned and we started fighting and so I asked him to leave.
    I tried my hardest to rebuild the relationship after that, but it was never the same.
    As far as I know, I have been a good father. Everyone who knew me when my son was growing up said I was a good father.
    I don’t know whether it’s drug addiction or he just has psychological issues, but what he said to me really hurt.
    In the last conversation we had over the phone, he was angry with me because I had contacted an ex-housemate of his to find out if he (my son) was okay. And that former housemate contacted my son and told him I had spoken to them. This angered my son. He says it was an invasion of his privacy and that I was stalking him. But I didn’t know what else to do when he wouldn’t speak to me for more than 6 months.
    I just kept saying I’m sorry because I wanted him back in my life. But sorry wasn’t good enough.
    It was extremely difficult to talk to him because then told me about half a dozen other things that I supposed had done, but none of them were remotely true. It was like he was living in a parallel universe.
    How do you say sorry for things that you know just didn’t happen? At first I tried to say that he was wrong about those other things, but then I realised it was getting nowhere and that he has a lot of issues and I just started to say sorry. I must have said or done things that have contributed to his anger, but I know in my heart I have been a good father.
    He told me during that last phone call that from now on if anyone asks about me, he will tell them I died.
    The grief I feel is overwhelming.

    Reply
    1. Janet

      I feel for you, sometimes our grown kids just do not make sense. Keep trying to communicate with him but do not try to hard and call several times a week. Maybe send him a birthday card & Christmas card. See if he will meet you for lunch sometime. Be positive do not bring up stuff unless he wants to talk about it. Life goes by so quick find some happiness and peace in hobbies or dating. Remember God knows in your heart how you feel about your son. Pray one day you can have a relationship with your son again.

    2. Craig

      I can sure relate! I had always been sacrificial for my 2 daughters and stepson. Their mother was the alcoholic and drug addict that constantly overturned our lives. I always stuck it out and cleaned up the mess. After the last big relapse of hers I went back to Alanon and introduced the girls to Alateen. After that mistake and they decided poor mom was misunderstood and I was the controlling one it’s gone down hill.
      The oldest girl had spent the last two years engineering a complete alienation from me and it’s beyond words painful. While they get together for holidays and special events Im unwelcome and not a word is shared or care given for me. Was all the sacrifice worth it? Staying married? Taking on the college debts for them? Right now Im lividx with anger, hurting beyond belief, and desperate to stop this pain. I’m not going to chase after them or play this passive aggressive game either. But I’ll be damned if I’m staying home and being miserable this Christmas. I should go some where else, but where? My 80 yo mother knows my situation and lives 2500 miles away with her own life and husband and his kids and grandkids. I don’t think I’m welcome there either. I’ll not be the martyr this time that’s for sure. If they want a divorced parent unit it’ll not be my choice, they can pay for it and take over my financial responsibility for sweet old mom at 62..

    3. rparents Post author

      Dear Craig,

      I don’t blame you for feeling angry. Sounds like you got a raw deal. It’s not a bad thing, anger. It can give us energy and make us feel better…in the short run. Eventually, if a person keeps hold of that, it can stall them and even hurt physically. There are a couple of “anger” situations in my latest book (Beyond Done). You might find it helpful, sincerely, especially because it sounds like you have decisions ahead. A couple of dads deal with it and one sounds a lot like you–a man who did his best to do all the right things and still got the short end of the stick. Unfair and crappola.

      Take kind care of yourself, ok?

      Hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

      I feel for you, and know a bit about anger and justified anger.

    4. tina

      you will just have to let him go – he is taking delight in hurting you – he is enjoying it – get a life without him – you will feel much better – social media has made humans into monsters

  27. Justine

    Yet again my daughter has cut me off. I wonder how long it will be now. I don’t think she even likes me. She adores her mother-in-law, calls her mom..and her first marriage she just adored that mother-in-law too. I know the grandbabies are asking about Grammy. They love me so much. My daughter had a happy childhood…Im starting therapy for this. My son would never treat me like this.

    Reply
    1. Amanda M.

      I’m in the same place I raised my niece since 8 years old she turned against be at. Teen put me through hell. Met a nice guy actually at 19 with family money had a baby and know I’m nothing can’t do anything g wright and for the second time has disowned me – I’m partially at fault this time as I was listening to her rave on one day we were to get together and I though I muted the phone to say to my husband I don’t think I can’t deal with this today – ugh anyway now I’m out again!!

  28. Linda E.

    I recently saw this group decided to join.
    Thankyou for existing.

    I struggled for a few years as my adult daughter changed her perspective on life.
    Some of the things she started to say and do were very hard to accept as healthy but she was an adult and all I could do was watch.
    There was no room for me to comment so I didn’t.
    It is of course a huge story too much to say here except that we now fully estranged.
    I keep hoping that our ability to enjoy each other’s company and laugh would return.
    But so far it hasn’t, and her stories grow to the point of me having no idea how i could go back as what she expresses is so toxic towards me I have no idea how to find common ground.

    She has a on line following that has taken more and more scary turns in the last few years. I’m scared for her mental health and physical safety. We also live in different countries.
    She tells frightening extremely abusive neglectful stories about her childhood.

    In the beginning she told me it was a performance and her livelihood but it got so dark that I finally had to call her on some of the things she was saying because it was increasingly cruel.
    I asked her to please stop.
    She replied that it is her truth and I am in denial showing me she now believes what she says.
    I’m so frightened for her now.
    For the last 5 years when we talked I was on egg shells I had to pick every word I said careful not to question any thing she said
    When I finally set a boundary by saying I remember some things differently than her she cut me off telling me I can send her email only, she never replies.
    I just send small letters not bringing up anything personal between us talking about the garden, seasons changing and how that looks or pets that she has loved and wish her well.
    I’m sad to think we may never resolve the things that did go wrong in her childhood because of all the memories she says she has that I can only call delusional.
    I wake in the night my heart pounding after dreams of her as a little girl where I can’t find her.
    I sometimes look at the public things she posts outside her patreon content just to get a glimmer that she is ok, when it takes a savage turn I stop reading but I at least know that she’s still alive.
    I’m going to counseling for my own mental health.
    I would not wish this on any one.
    I send my best wishes and health to us all.
    Linda.

    Reply
    1. Angela M.

      I had to reply to your story as I am in exactly the same position as you.
      My adult daughter sent me a text message on 1st December to tell me to return any Christmas presents that I had bought for her and my 6 year old granddaughter as she didn’t want to see me over Xmas. She said her mental health was suffering because of the way she had been emotionally manipulated when she was growing up – I am so upset as I love my daughter and I know I have been a good mother. I have no idea where this is coming from although I’ve heard from my son that she has been to see some sort of therapist.
      She has never mentioned anything to me about this before even though sometimes I have noticed her mood swings and the change in the way she speaks to me- like you I often had to walk on eggshells but we enjoyed some lovely days out together and she got me some lovely presents and cards for my birthday a few months ago. This has come as such a shock to me and I am heartbroken at the thought of not seeing her or my granddaughter again. I am struggling to get through each day, constantly crying and not coping with everyday life.

    2. D. R.

      Your story is similar to ours. Thank you for sharing it.
      Our bright, sensitive, young adult daughter adopted a dark, angry, secretive perspective on life. We became concerned for her health but any attempts to address it became tension-filled arguments. We gave her space, but her resentment and isolation grew while her online connections increased. We never knew what would be the “thing” that would set her off. She insinuated we were abusive. She talked about trauma, neglect, PTSD, anxiety, memory loss. She expressed hatred for her childhood. She persuaded a local charity to pay for counseling and medications. While our home is not perfect, it very stable and loving and she has never done without. It upsets our son for her to talk like this. They were close growing up and had most of the same childhood experiences. He, nor us, can understand how her memories are so distorted. People who know us know these things are not true. People who don’t treat us as if we have something to hide.
      She disappeared almost a year ago and left everything behind except her ids and a laptop. We later learned she had a small online following and that strangers were sending her money. She erased her online presence and has no public records.
      Law enforcement doesn’t take our concerns seriously because she is an adult, although an officer once got her to send a short, one sentence email to indicate she was alive.
      We don’t know where she is or if she even still has that email, but I regularly send notes of well wishes, updates, stories about the family pets, hobbies, etc. She never answers. She has cut all family and old friends off.
      I try not to let my imagination go wild, but it’s not easy. I pray for God to help me with these feelings of fear for her safety and sorrow at her absence. It makes me sad so many of us grieve over an estranged child, and yet less isolated knowing I’m not alone in this.
      Thanks again for sharing.

  29. Stephanie C-B

    My son cut me out of his life too He’s changed as in becoming a cold hearted person and seems like he doesn’t love his family anymore( his siblings and me). As I read everyone’s comments, I cry. I have not spoken to him for almost a year. My son is a marine with PTSD, so he shuts down his emotions and don’t want to discuss any issues and it’s easier to cut us off. I sometimes have anger, hurt, sadness , hope, and sometimes I feel like I am ok with trying to accept him gone, but then I think of him and all our times together and i feel so heartbroken. I decided to look up how to cope the loss of a child because that’s how I feel it is.. I lost him.. I will continue to try to accept my loss and life without him. I pray one day he wants to be a part of our family again. Good luck everyone!

    Reply
    1. Military Mom

      I am at your side. I’m a military Mom too and our stories almost mirror each other. We went through so many sleepless nights, worrying if our Sons would return from deployment. God blessed us with their return, but also with damaged souls suffering from PTSD. And here we are. We have been forced out of their lives. I thought that deployments, were a living hell for parents, but this is living hell. I feel as though I will never be the same. Life is short and you only have one Mom. I would do anything to have another day with a loved one who has passed. I don’t know if they will ever realize what they have done to us. Sending you peace and strength.

  30. Janet

    It seems a lot of children born in the 80’s are very self absorbed. They need you when they get into a situation your money comes into play. They bring up stuff that happened 8 yrs ago but at the time still allowed their children our grandkids to spend days and nights with us. They are having problems at home and trying to get it a secret. If they stay away and ignore you and you have tried to sit down and talk things over but it only makes manners worst. Most likely they are not happy with their lives and making excusing to you to stay away. You can not trust them anymore. Continue to Love them from afar and let them know your door is always open to them. You have to get involved with people who really appreciate you and be happy. Happiness is a choice its not what happens to you it is how you handle it.

    Reply
    1. Suzann

      Janet, I love your comments and totally agree. I also see a HUGE lax in simple manners with my kids (38 and 43) and definitely NOT the way I raised them. It always blows me away.

  31. Allison K.

    I have an estranged son, who cut me out from his and my grandchildren’s lives because I had a panic attack when I was visiting them. The irony is that I could sense him getting increasingly angry at me while I was down there, visiting with my daughter. I sensed it, and when he started to get verbally abusive that is when I panicked. I got out of the car at a stop light, stepped onto a median and then waited for it to be safe before I crossed over and entered a gas station convenience store. I was trying to get control of myself, when the people who worked there called the cops. They got me some water (it was a hot day in Texas) and helped me to calm down. It all felt like a test I didn’t pass, a no win situation. That was 7 years ago, and he has slowly started to cut me off more and more. I have sent presents for the grandchildren and he does post pictures, but just recently he moved and won’t give me his new address. I love him, my daughter in law, and my grandchildren so much! I’ve prayed and tried to be strong, but it’s just so very painful.

    Reply
  32. Jackie H.

    I’m glad to know that I’m not alone. I’m at the point of giving up. My husband supports her in everything she does so I feel very alone in the situation. I don’t worry about my 36 year old daughter as much as I worry about my 14 year old grandson. She has remarried and I’ve been hearing that my grandson doesn’t get a long with him. Now that I can’t see him or talk to him I worry even more. His dad is in his life which I am proud of but, his dad doesn’t care if my family sees him at all. I feel like he will think none of us care about him.

    Reply
  33. Vicky

    People don’t understand the pain sadness.worst of itis to greave someone’s who is living.its like a complete chapter of my life is gone.
    I try to put in back of my mind .I have found the strength to move forward. But still have good and bad days

    Reply
  34. Pamela S.

    My 18year old daughter very recently cut me out of her life. She is living with her father-we are divorced-and I don’t know if there is any influence there. What I can say is that I have been unable to function. (Work etc…) since this has happened. Nothing is more painful, especially given how close we were in the years before she left me. My friends are tired of hearing me talk about it. I feel completely powerless and alone.

    Reply
    1. Jeannie

      Hey Pamela did your daughter tell you why she is cutting you out of her life? How long has it been since you and your ex divorced? All you can do is tell her you love her and nothing will ever change this and your doors is always open. We have a strain relationship with our married son. It is tough but when they grow up and make their own decisions and their ideas change specially if there is someone brainwashing them against you. We all make mistakes. Go out and do stuff with your friends or make some new friends stay busy always helps! You metioned your friends are tired of listening about it maybe its time to write a letter express your feelings and then tear it up!

  35. Steven

    I am going through the same with my adult son. Just think about yourself and what makes you happy. We can’t make anyone even our own children love us if they don’t. Move on with your life. We are not perfect and didn’t come with instructions but I believe its extremely selfish for any child unless they were extremely abused to just take off and never speak to their biological parents ever again. I don’t even try anymore.
    Now I make me happy !!!!

    Reply
    1. susi b.

      Thank you f the info . I never knew anyone else whose kids just went MIA and blocked you out. I rarely mention my son been almost 4 years since I spoke to him,The only way I know he is alive is the little teen credit account he used and still does, I ask my bank lady to pay 102 dollars on it each month, but she cant tell me anything. He is very autistic and the fact that I told his school people once I found this issue out, he has been hateful and mad constantly. So I wait but live!
      My daughter is also cut out same as me, but she has mental issues, millenial ME syndrome. She expects me to give her his share of the little they would share and has mentioned it often . She lives w me due to rents being unaffordable.
      She is resentful bitter etc from terrible education choices she did herself .I just try to avoid her in my own home since I am treated like an employee. Parenting must be my worst failure but I did my solid best 100% effort alone 100% . Anytime you want to write pls do! It is a bit of comfort to learn how many other parents find themselves with ???? and just go on daily w one’s life. I have p ets and they are always great!!

  36. Ann

    My Grandson’s Birthday is this Wed, he will be 7, I haven’t seen him since he was 2. I was out to a restaurant with them and looked across the table to his Mom, and I said “I don’t get to see my Grandson often enough”. My Grandson was 2 he had been to my home once, my daughter in laws relatives live in the same town, and they would go there, but never to my home, even for the Holidays, my Daughter in law never came for the Holidays….My daughter in law said, “are you attaching me”. I said no, but I guess I better be going, my son walked me outta the place and said “Mom don’t worry about it”. I haven’t seen or heard from them for the past 5 years….I have cried, I have gone to counselling, I have emailed, I have written letters, I have texted, I have called, and NOTHING. I send something to my Grandson at least 8 times a year and nothing. They have taken the greatest joy of my life away from me, I sit here crying right now, I just wrote my son an email again this morning. I’m asking for help here if anyway can think of something that I haven’t already done. Thank you for reading my note, and for any future ideas..

    Reply
    1. Jeannie

      I know exactly how you feel. We haven’t seen our two granddaughters in 4 yrs. Our daughter-in-law use to let them come spends night and day with us. Since they both were 15 months old. They are 8 & 10 now. We all live a short distance from each other. Our son’s wife has be throwing hints to me their entire marriage last 15 yrs she thinks our granddaughters may loves us more than her parents or her. She always finding excuses why they do not come around anymore. Your son needs to bring your grandson by and she doesn’t want to come then stay at home. Our grown son’s need to stand up to their wives. They would not like it if our son’s decided to treat her parents like she has been treating us. Our son’s will not act the way she does we raised them right. Relax and be patient our son’s one day is going to get tired of all the drama and lose interest in her and drive him away. Stay busy and you will be fine.

  37. Beverly

    I too, am finding it hard to move forward. The emptiness is there. I stay busy but when I lay down at night and say my prayers. I ask God how long? My daughter has not spoken or tried to get in touch with me since 2017. It hurts. I pray for each name I read . I know we will survive but at what cost.

    Reply
    1. Ellen

      Hi Beverly, I am asking you to pray for me, I have been going through the same thing for 2 years and my grandson we took care of for 3 years we haven’t seen In those 2 years….I am learning to trust and relinquish it to God , but it still is such a grief…I have tried to reach out to my daughter but with to no avail…I will keep you in my prayers as Well Beverly…I know how hard this is and how hurtful

  38. Marilyn

    One son passed away then other one says I have nothing more to say to you .More than ten years. Glimpses on other’s social media-not accepted on his- his wedding and birth of children and his in law’s visit with them in a foreign country
    My old age entering in and his special needs brother are here to take care of in our poverty and uncertainty.
    I’ve found certainty ,though, in Spirit’s guidance but once in awhile, like now, I feel sorry for myself. It won’t last or linger like it used to. It will end when I resume my Course in Miracles studies and let it lead me to smile and help others. You too can find hope. God bless.

    Reply
  39. Susan

    Hi linda I am so sorry another mother is feeling the anguish and pain of having a child who is estranged from them. My son and family have been estranged for 4 years when my x husband left.
    The only people who truly understand are those that know the pain. The inner yearning and lonliness are so raw, living with the fear that could another one of your children do the same. You put on a mask that few ever see….you are definitely not alone ….hope is always a part of me…warmest wishes susan

    Reply
  40. Ria

    My daughter does not agree with my disicion to help a less privileged young woman . She now totally ignores me and cut me out of her life. The young woman decided that she does not want to become between mother and daughter and left. I feel so guilty because I love my daughter but how can we live happily ever after when I know someone else is suffering. My daughter still doesn’t speak to me even when I chose . How do I live with a bad relationship with my daughter ánd the guilt of not helping a person in desperate need

    Reply
    1. Angela W.

      Your daughter sounds selfish. So, thats on her, not on you. It’s not your job to help everyone in need for ever. You can help those in need who need the help. Join a church or a charity. You will make friends, and feel useful and liked. This will minimize the focus on what you feel you lost.

    2. Jean C.

      I recently suffered the same fate. My nephew started to date a friend of my daughter. She did not approve of the relationship. She blames me and said I should have stop it. My nephew is 48 years old and the woman is 50 years old. I had nothing to do with this. How can you control grown people. My daughter call me and scream at me that is all my fault. Now she refuses to speak to me. I tried to contact her and sent her a nice letter asking her what this is all about. But she refuses to answer. Before this happen ever thing was find between my daughter and myself. My daughter is a very controlling person. My nephew has since stop seeing the woman, he realize she was not the woman for him. Also he is very upset about all the trouble it cause me. I am almost eighty years old and I cannot believe my daughter is acting like this. My nephew and I are very close, I think she resents our relationship. She does not like her cousin. My daughter has never acted like this before.

  41. Linda H.

    After reading about estranged children in the article, I already have been lifted up from the life without my daughter after my husband’s death five years ago. Feeling alone really hurts, and not knowing why.
    Thank God I have found other’s that I’m not alone. Sincerely, Linda H.

    Reply
    1. SweetMom

      Don’t forget that in Heaven we’ll be reunited with our children and husbands and our kids will be holy and pure and love us like we deserve and we’ll be with them forever. They will see with the clear light of the Holy Spirit the wrong they’ve done and the pain they’ve caused you. They will ask your forgiveness and you’ll love each other forever.

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