Parents of Estranged Adults: Reinvent Yourself

by Sheri McGregor, M.A.

Here’s a past article that’s still relevant for this season of renewal. YOUR renewal. See below, and read the inspiring comments as well.
Happy Easter to all! ~~ Sheri McGregor

parents of estranged adult childrenRather than another article on how parents of estranged adult children can get through holidays, let’s look at the spirit behind so many of the celebrations associated with Easter: renewal.

For practical advice on what you can do and ideas for enjoying the day despite the estrangement, see the related articles link at the end (these also have related links). Now, let’s look at renewal

One of the coolest things anybody ever told me was something my oldest daughter said one day: Mom, you’ve always been able to reinvent yourself.

That was over a decade ago. I’d begun going to college for the first time in my life. Back then, I hadn’t been setting out to reinvent myself. But years later, after my son’s estrangement, I had to. After all, I felt like I’d lost my identity.

A great many of the thousands of parents I hear from feel the same. They’ve lost their confidence. They feel as if they’re not the same person anymore, and wonder if they ever will be. Probably not. But they can be somebody even better.

This Easter, rather than sitting around, thinking of of your estranged adult child, and feeling blue, get started on the new you. Spring is a time of new beginnings. The long dormant winter is over. If you were a tree, you’d have been collecting energy. Pretend you’re like a tree. Figuratively sprout some new leaves, and let your blossoms show.

When we’re children, everything is new and fresh and exciting to us. That’s why something as simple as walking out the door can bring a child such joy. What lies ahead in the day? What new sight will they see? What will they learn? Maybe now we’re serious adults, but wouldn’t it be fun to feel excited again?

how parents of estranged adult children manage holidaysIn the spirit of spring and renewal, here’s a sampling of ways to recapture wonder and reinvent yourself:

Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do or try. Then investigate how and get started on at least one. These don’t have to be huge adventures like parachuting, learning to surf, or taking a tree house vacation in some remote jungle. Maybe you’d like to learn to sew, have always wanted to play golf, think it would be fun to make your own tamales, or wonder if your natural drawing talent could benefit from instruction in art. Is there an interesting volunteer opportunity you can do in your spare time?

Break your routine. If you walk in the morning, go in the late afternoon instead. If you don’t exercise at all, take a walk. Take a different route to or from work. Instead of doing the same old thing for lunch, try a new restaurant. Or pack your own lunch and take it to the park or to a mall. You get the idea. Doing just one thing differently can shift everything. One change leads to more.

Go on a quest for wonder. How many days are you oblivious to a gorgeous sky, the way the sunset paints the air a violet hue, or how puffy clouds sweep swiftly by? A lot of us only hear the sound of traffic, the annoying clank of the pipes in the wall, or turn the television to news all day (it’s mostly bad!). Tune your ears to soothing sounds. Do you hear the birdsong? The lulling hush-hush of a breeze? Find a bit of wonder. On your terrace, your porch, or around the block. Of course there are drives in the country, galleries, museums, your neighbors’ landscaping. . . . Open your heart to a renewing sense of wonder.

Whether it’s getting a new hairdo, stopping a habit that pulls you down, or deciding to smile at everybody you see, this spring, take a small step toward reinventing yourself. Who knows who you might find? So you’re not the same person you once were. Work to uncover someone better.

Related Articles:

Holidays: How to manage them

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39 thoughts on “Parents of Estranged Adults: Reinvent Yourself


    Hi Sheri
    Have you been watching me?lol
    That is exactly what I have been doing over the past year of so. I have taken up hobbies, joined a dining club and become self employed and hope to become a writer soon also and more. Don’t ask me where I have got the strength from – I believe it came from God – I don’t think he would have wanted me to crucify myself like he was. I am such a sensitive lady and so very loving and gentle – coping with the obvious fact that my son did not want to know me and the fact that he does everything his partner tells him – without a care for me has been more than I could deal with at times. I am only allowed to see my grand daughter via Skype and he gets married in a few weeks and he knows that because of my disability I cannot get there.
    Mothers are so very important – we help to give our children life and life is precious, our children should thank us for doing so much for them. It is disgraceful what this world accepts as acceptable behaviour from children towards their loving parents. A mother is there at the birth and should be there at the marriage.
    The fact is that his partner does not want me or his sister to have any contact. I don’t blame his partner totally although she has played her part – I blame him most because he knew me – we all have choices to make in life – no one held a gun to his head. The hurt and trauma he has caused me and my daughter cannot be quantified and I will never forget it.
    I have had to come to the point where I had to chose also – I chose myself and my daughter. His father did the same to me and that led to my having a nervous breakdown.
    If anyone now asks me if I have any children I tell them I have a daughter – it hurts too much to say I have a son when really I no longer have one and he no longer has a mother
    I have chosen myself and have reached out to life and am doing not so bad now.
    Had I not done this, I would have lost all confidence in myself – I have been suicidal on many occasions because of his behaviour – to lose my son is dreadful but I accept now that I have lost him.
    When you wrote that it is loss of identity it really struck a chord in me – yes I have lost part of my identity – that of having a son, even though I am still a mother to my daughter and always will be.
    I concentrate on my daughter now – she is the one who has always supported and loved me and it brings me so much happiness to see her getting on in life.
    My life is happier now without him or his partner in it – I never want to set eyes on him again – it is still difficult to accept this fact but it is true.
    Even if he appeared here at my door I would never again make myself vulnerable to him – I would turn him around and tell him to keep walking as long as it is away from me I don’tcare where he goes now. I don’t even know his address now. He is cruel to me there is no doubt about that. I have brought up both of my children totally alone despite being a survivor of sexual abuse – my son, like my daughter held my heart in his hands and he crushed it without a care in the world – I physically collapsed one day through the shock of it all.
    Now, just today I feel I have a future but I know its in my hands no one else’s and I am so proud of myself for carrying on when I had no strength left.
    I will be baptised a Catholic on Sunday my faith has never left me and never will.
    Thank-you Sheri for saying what I have been doing – the guilt can be crushing also – we invest so much energy time and money in our children and to have them put us in a place where we have to truly let go of them is so unnecessary, but some good can come of it but my God it takes enormous strength of character to move on but sometimes you have to in order to survive yourself.
    We do not own our children – they must be free to make their mistakes and successes in life.
    Sometimes I feel sorry for my son – he is losing out on really knowing me – time that can never be caught up on again – hurt that can heal a bit over time but that pain will never truly heal only fade with time.
    But most of all he has deprived his baby daughter of love from me and my daughter – THAT he will have to answer to one day from a higher authority than me.
    The bottom line? I would rather be me than him.
    God Bless Sheri you are so brave and strong like myselfxx

    1. ally

      Have just read this reply from Christina, and as I type this I have tears streaming down my face. I am in a very similar situation and have been for the past 4 years. I feel guilty about “moving on” but for the sake of my other son and my relationship with my husband I have to. There is life after estrangement, there are so many things that I have to see and do, and after a visit to the Grand Canyon I promised myself that this is exactly what I would do. Yes it’s hard and yes I have days like today where I hit a brick wall, and sought out this wonderful site. But keeping get myself busy at work and immersing myself in a new way of life is helping me to get through each day. Thank you for setting this up Sheri and thank you to you and Christina for giving me hope. ☺

  2. MovingON

    Wow Christina
    You also are a brave and amazing women., Congratulations for realizing now who is important and life is too short to carry this burden any longer.
    You inspire me to also let go of my daughter, the past hurtful memories and appreciate and enjoy my wonderful life now.
    It is their loss, as that time will never come back again for any of us…
    God Bless you for taking the steps on moving ahead and leaving the past behind.

  3. Sheri McGregor

    Hi Christina,

    I’m so glad you wrote! Thank you for your kind words. You are a powerful woman! And your note will inspire others here. Keep on keeping on … live your life in joy! (I will be doing so as well.)

    Sheri McGregor

  4. Anothercurveball

    I am into the grieving stage and find all of the comments on this website so helpful. It gives me the support I need for such a difficult situation. It is so good to know there are other parents out there coping and living life. Sheri you are wonderful for creating this site for people to share and connect. Thank you !

  5. SarahLeah

    Thank you to all who responded to my Passover despair. I took great comfort in hearing from others who are perhaps further along in this process than I am. My situation is compounded by the fact that I am unemployed and unemployable at this time, without siblings, spouse or boyfriend, and with a few fair-weather friends. I’m not trying to host a pity party; I’m just honestly expressing the loneliness that adds more grief to my son’s estrangement. I do volunteer, belong to a choral group, joined a temple, etc. But, being rather shy, and observing already established friendship groups/cliques, I find it hard to make new friends. It’s way different than it was in my 20s and 30s, even 40s.

    Has anyone ever written an “amends letter,” and did it bring you any closer to even a temporary reconciliation?

    Thanks so much for welcoming me into this community.


  6. vanessa

    I have apologized to my estranged sons by letter or text or phone call; little response and NO closer than we were before. They all are over 30 now, with partners and children. Nothing much has changed.


    Hi sarahleah.
    I totally understand your need to send a letter to your estranged child – I have wrestled with that many times. What I do is imagine how I would feel when he does not respond. In my situation it would not change anything at all – yes he may come – but do I really want to go back into that same situation again and let him and his wife hurt me all over again – NO. I cannot and I will not contact him. I must survive and put as much distance between us as possible, I really never expected what has happened and neither did my precious daughter. He crushed my heart twice in reality and that shows me everything. He is narcisstic like his dad and arrogant like his dad and selfish like his dad. His dad had an excuse to some extent due to being an alcoholic – but my son does not. On reflection he has been like this for the past 20yrs – there is very little chance of him changing – in fact I hope he stays like this for the rest of his sorry life so that I do not get tempted to invest any feeling in him again.I had to change my will because if I died he and his wife would have moved into this house and pushed my gentle daughter out. so now she is the only child who will inherit this house and she deserves it. He is cold in the extreme and so is his wife – I am totally opposite. I have to guard my feelings now where he is concerned – I have had more than enough hurt in my life.
    It doesn’t mean to say that I don’t have bad days – for the past two days I have been angry and in tears all the time. Its grief – I carry on with my new life but from time to time we need to grieve in whatever form that takes – but not too long – every day is precious. I am exhausted now lol – but its good to get all that emotion out of me.
    So think very long and very hard about contacting your child – for a change, think about how YOU will feel if you write and there is no response. You are important. your feelings are important and so is your future.
    Why not go out and buy yourself some flowers – just for you – take a photo of them to remind yourself how beautiful they looked and how they made you smile.
    all my love

  8. diane

    By typing the word”rejected”, I came to this site. Thank you! Finally, an intelligent, well spoken source of support and advice on a subject that at times has no words to truly describe the heartache and loss. My story, as everyone’s, is unique, but by reading the outpouring here, we are all parents feeling the same pain. One year now, without contact from my son and daughter, both in their thirties. The sadness never leaves, even if I am laughing with others. A raincloud that follows me everywhere. But, I work through it one day at a time. As I always told my son…you never know what tomorrow may bring.

    1. Susana

      What is it with our children in their 30s?? This seems to be a wonderful site. Thank you all for your sharing. So helpful to know we’re not alone.

  9. Caras

    It has been two years for me. I am very fortunate as I still see my younger child, and, I have a stepson who is a blessing. Two years ago my daughter cut off most communication. It does hurt your self esteem, causes great sadness, and seems such a waste (a waste to have precious years go by without a relationship between mother and daughter). I am fortunate that I am married (to my daughter’s stepdad), and my husband is very supportive. I am estranged from my daughter, but she will come over about 2 times a year if an out-of-town relative comes to my home……that is wonderful to see her then. She also makes me something for mother’s day ,which is wonderful. But she will not spend any time with me. Once in a while I get up the guts to ask her to go to lunch or do something together (she likes email so I email her) and I get no response. It HURTS, ,and then I wait a long time to ask again. Like many, I am divorced from her Dad and I’ve read estrangement is more common those times. We had a minor argument 3 months before she turned 18. she moved in with my ex when she turned 18. She’s never told me why we are estranged but I think she is mad about the minor argument. My point? In a healthy relationship isn’t it better to work through a disagreement with immediate family member instead of severing ties? It really hurts. (The reason she gave for moving out was my house and barely seeing me was that my house is a bit far from her school….meaning, I have never been told the real reason.) I am lucky I see her 2x a year when her aunt comes to visit. Again, I am lucky I see my youngest child a lot…..any thoughts?

  10. Carol

    I was just rejected for adopting a kitten. I was asked who would take care of the kitten in case I was indisposed (I’m in my 60s, but nevertheless…), and I mumbled that I have a son, but that’s not necessarily an option….Right. The adoption woman–these were HOMELESS cats, mind you–asked if I had any plans in case I were to die or be indisposed. I responded, with some shock, that I had not yet purchased a plot for myself! But my son would not adopt my kitten? (HELL, my son has dis-adopted me! And, alas, my emotions took over She: I would feel heartbroken if my child disengaged from me! Me: Well, yes. I do. She: It must be very hard. Me: Yes. It is.)

    I was offered a middle-aged cat. I needed to nurture a kitten. Whatever. Cats are fine. Just that right then, I felt the full shame of my son’s rejection, and the disengagement from my adored grandchildren.. No kitty substitute for me that day. I simply felt more humiliated.

    1. Lou

      Wow. I am so sorry that happened to you!!. I have found that the strangest things can trigger grief and that just feels like a sucker punch. Pets are awesome to help with the pain of rejection. I can understand wanting to nurture and love on a kitten. I have felt the same way at times. Like I need to mother someone. This work at just being ok and getting thru the day can be pretty exhausting. Thank you for this post and your honesty. It helps me and all the rest of us.

    2. Susana

      I am so sad to read your post, Carol. Such heartbreak AND humiliation on so many levels. Please don’t give up!

      My husband and i have a houseful of rescued companion animals. There are always abandoned animals needing homes. Ours always find us. Veterinarians often know of kittens or puppies needing homes. Rescue organizations, humane societies and animals shelters NEVER have enough volunteers or foster parents for all the homeless animals they serve.

      Our fur babies are a lot of work, money and also bring us such FUN and JOY! They force us to live in the moment. We have finally decided that if our adult children have pretty much cut us out of their lives, (and don’t really want us around our grandchildren, either), then our animals do appreciate us. They’re happy to see us when we come home. They always want and love our attention. They each have their own unique personality.

      Our present reality is that our family is our animals! We love them so much. They certainly don’t take the place of our estranged family. That hurts very deeply as you and everyone here knows. There’s NO substitute. However, we finally started to recognize that we DO have these sweet animals in our home and we need to appreciate their presence in our lives even more. And we do. We are so blessed to have them!

      Hugs to you, Carol xo

  11. Lynne

    I keep returning here to re read the posts. I’m also divorced. My son rejected me years ago and my daughter connects with me when she needs something. I agreed to buy her a house but she got upset with me during the negotiations. Now she refuses to speak to me and told me she would rather rent than live in a house I bought. I was willing to do anything for her because I was scared this would happen if I didn’t do whatever she asked. My children had a normal childhood but after the divorce things went very wrong and I don’t know why. Some days I’m sick over this. I don’t get to see my grandchildren either.

    1. rparents Post author

      Hi Lynne,
      I’m sorry your daughter has decided to put you through this pain. Welcome to the website. Yes, aren’t the parents here generous and kind?

      Sheri McGregor

    2. Wanda

      hi everyone
      I just joined the site and I m reading all the posts. I devorced 13 years ago. I was in a very abusive marriage with a narcissist. it was a long marriage and I have 4 children..My youngest is disabled and lives with me. I enjoyed raising my children and know I was a good mother. my X was not a father or husband.
      I do believe 3 of my children have many issues from having such a dysfunctional father. I should have devorced him long before I did but at 42 I became pregnant with my 4th child.I had no family or friends so I was stuck. I stayed until my son was old enough to leave. the divorce was long ,costly and it took it’s toll on me. none of my children helped or supported me emotionally. their father has money so they sided with him. he bought cars, did bail outs for them etc. Each of them has a major problem. one is an addict the other has a personality disorder and my daughter has just gone from one bad relationship to the next. she lives out of state and calls and visits her father. I grieve her loss the most. due to circumstances in the home we were very close. I never would have believed she could ever be the person she is now. she has nothing to do with me. I was the parent who nurtured,protected and supported her. I love her very much and grieve the loss. I have extended myself to her in many ways over the years. I have decided to stop this after reading all the posts. it only makes me sad and depressed when she doesn’t reply or acknowledge gifts for holidays. I have been going to a therapist for along time. she is a good support for me. I took a picture in today to show her my children . she said something that made sense. she said the children that you have now are not the ones you remember. life has taken a toll on them also and I finally will detach with love. I put them in Gods hands now. thank you for listening.

  12. Cindy

    Hi all,
    So glad I found this website. I am beside myself with grief after my youngest daughter seems to have completely rejected me. I don’t really know what to do with myself. I live alone and unfortunately my brother did the same thing to me 25 years ago.He just stopped talking to me, never told me why and invited all of my children to his wedding. They all went and thought nothing of me not being invited. I have 3 children – my oldest daughter is married and has my only grandchild. So far things are ok but I’m worried that she may decide to have her sister be in her life and not me. My son is 30 years old and hardly ever talks to me but he also barely talks to anyone in our family so I don’ t feel singled out. My youngest daughter lives only 10 minutes away from me and has apparently decided to simply cut me out of her life which is really difficult because we live in a town of only 900 people and she is friends with my friends it’s very odd and very sad and I’m just feeling very lonely. I find myself avoiding people and places because I could not stand seeing her and having her not talk to me. My brother did that for 25 years and my family never supported me or seemed to care that he did that.I was always the one to blame although I was not the one who stopped talking to him. I am simply so sad to think my daughter may never have anything to do with me and how that will affect my relationship with the rest of my children. Will they do the same? It seems to be an acceptable pattern in my family- what a horrible legacy to pass on. Feeling helpless.
    thank you for letting me share.

  13. Mirabelle

    I am new here and trying to work out what to do. My daughter and I got on well until 10years ago when unexpectedly she was (aged27) very aggressive on the phone. She lived a couple of hours drive away.
    I thought she would ring to apologise but no. Whenever I tried to make up and move on she was screaming and shouting. She had 2years of therapy and has told her father, who she adores that I had her hair cut when she was 7 and she didn’t like it. The therapist actually suggested that I wanted her to look unattractive to her dad.
    That’s my worst crime. She had previously fallen our with her brothers but now the whole family adore her and are polite to me. I cant imagine what she has told them I have done.
    She is coming for Christmas with the rest of them. If we are left in the room together she will walk out.
    I’ve cried for 10 years. I’d rather her not be here than have it like this.

  14. MJmom

    I understand how you feel. I invited my daughter to Christmas and after much thought rescinded the invite. Small talk on emails are all I can handle. Drama for others here is not worth it. Distance is your friend. I will meet other than holidays at a nuetral site with one other person. If the conversation gets out of line I leave.

  15. jossie

    I have 4 grown adult children, a son and 3 daughters. My son is the only one married, and yes he has abandoned me. It’s all about her and her family, my oldest daughter is the only one that has never totally disrespected me except once, but as for the other two daughters, they have totally abandoned me. Yes, it hurts, but im learning daily to move on. I too consider myself as having only one daughter, because she is the only one that keeps in contact with me. The fact is they are adults and they choose to be without me in their lives, so now I choose to accept and move on without them. God bless us all..

  16. jossie

    I went through breast surgery and reconstruction for removal of cancer, none of my 4 kids were there to help and two were grown at that time. Im cancer free all due to god. I was raped, had a breakdown, at that time my son supported me , but my daughter in law from hell, treated me like I was an idiot, infantile child, she talked to me any way she wanted to, the last straw was her pointing her finger in my face like I was a child. I mean when my son cooked I ate, when she cooked, she didn’t offer me no food, and put the extra food away. I stayed with them for a little while, but had to leave, because of her abuse,. Had no support from my other adult 3 daughters, and that was sad. I only have a relationship with my oldest daughter, and that’s only when she needs a ride, so it’s still not healthy. Im going to cut ties with her too, for my own sanity. And start rebuilding my life to make me happy, once and for all, God bless us all that are going through this.

  17. Claudia

    I have been estranged from my oldest son and my Grandaughter now for 6 Years ! I can’t believe it has been that long in some ways and then again it seems too long! I had my precious exam granddaughter fir 5 and half years, then we went to church line we a,ways do, she went home and talk about church and why they did not go! I was accused of putting her up too it , not to my face but other family told me. It was done ” cold turkey” no communication , just over. Will not allow me to talk to her or write her or they will not respond to anything! This is is cruelest thing a child can do to a parent. The first year I cried if my Grandaughter was mentioned, I thought I woukd loose my mind but with Gods help I have survived! God has brought some wonderful people into my life who love me and respect me! I have 2 adopted grandchildren and their parents treat me with kindness and respect! I have been blessed! I keep busy and I have a good loving husband , 2 other children , a step son , …. On and on go my blessing ! We must focus on what we have and the good, not what we do not ! Life is a precious gift , embrace it and pray for those who cannot!

  18. Jeannie

    It’s nice to know others are going through the same thing I am. I have two children 34 and 33. My son the youngest of the two quit speaking to me when I was on my second round of chemo after having a very large brain tumor removed. I still have no idea why he won’t speak or answer email, phone calls, texts and Facebook. Thier father passed away in their late teens. My daughter the eldest of the two made some very bad decisions and is now using some ver bad illegal drugs. Her daughter, my only grandchild was spending a little time with her, but there are several addicts in the house where she lives and she goes to work and leaves my grandaughter there. I decided I had to let the grandparents who have her most the time so they can better watch out for her safety. Now my daughter says she hates me and will no longer speak to me and I can’t have any contact with my grandaughter any more. I have never had much contact anyway they live far away and she never made sure I got to talk to her when she was with her daughter anyway. That occurred after my brain surgery also. My parents are gone and two of my sisters only two existing sisters. Sometimes I have trouble knowing how to go on and not allow this situation ruin my life.

  19. Robin2

    I never knew a site like this existed. I kept googling this and that trying to find out the answers to my problems and I think I have finally found a “home within my home” where I can talk and be myself. I am 72 years old and my 50 year old daughter has been estranged from me for two years now. My son, who is 47, followed his sister down that route as well. However, on March 27 (My birthday as well as Easter), he called to wish me a Happy Birthday! I couldn’t have been more thrilled. I was caucious though since he was upset and crying. I asked him how he was doing with his girlfriend and he just said, “Mom, I’ve just tabled that. I can’t do anything more until you and XX get straightened out. He started crying more – very brokenhearted – and so then the conversation ended. I have sent a couple of texts to him and he has responded. They were simple questions about this or that – nothing that we would start into a very deep conversation. I was quiet talking and loving and told him how much I’ve missed him and that I would love to see his handsome face again. My daughter: Two years ago she completely stopped any kind of communication. I know it has something to do with my son-in-law but I don’t know what. I spend hours and hours thinking about this. I send her flowers on her birthday and also valentine’s day. I’ve done this her whole life. No response. I texted her last week asking her if she knew how much longer the silence might go on between us because nothing of any consequence is going on right now. I assured her that I loved her and that I wanted so badly to see her. No response. Every part of me as a mother says, “you never give up.” At the same time, am I just playing into her hands? Is it a game? As long as I am responding to her then she might have some kind of assurance that I will be there. Is this all game playing? Well, it’s not fun. I have read all the above comments from you wonderful women. I’d like to have a group hug. Thank you so much for allowing me, Sheri, to be a part of this “growing” group of women and God bless you all on this Friday afternoon.

  20. Robin2

    I had written earlier today of my sadness over the estrangement of my daughter, but now checking, I see that is not here. Perhaps I did not do something correctly in the process. Can you help me out, Sheri?

    1. rparents Post author

      Sorry for the delay, Robin. Comments are moderated, which means they are held until I come in and approve them. This keeps spam out. Thanks for your understanding. I hope you and your son will continue to reconnect. You sound like a great many of the parents who want to make sure their children know the door is still open. I wish you a happy belated birthday! — Sheri

  21. Robin2

    It’s Saturday. My husband had to go into work today so the day seems extra lonely. Yesterday I was doing so good. Getting the house cleaned up from top to bottom and today, I just want to go back to bed with the covers over my head. I hear what some of you say about getting involved in projects and hobbies. I have the supplies for watercolor painting, charcoal drawing, a quilt pattern, etc. I love all these things but instead I’ve just been sitting and looking at them. One of you wrote (I’ll get the names straight yet) that our estranged children are not missing us because they are in their circle of friends, they have their jobs and their husbands. That stopped me in my tracks. She doesn’t miss me at all???? And of course you are right. If my daughter is not responding to any request made by me – phone call, text then I guess I have to consider that she does not miss me at all. Wow! I had not thought of that. What kind of a dream world am I living in? Two years and nothing. Even though I’m crying….I’m going to try and stop, go take a shower and then consider taking all those watercolor supplies out of the bag. It may not happen today, but I am going to get involved in these hobbies. Thinking about all of you with love.

    1. Julie

      Hi Robin ~ I hope you see my reply. How are you doing today. It’s been a couple weeks since you wrote your post. Did you get the watercolors out and go to work? I relate to what you said about one day you are productive and “ok” but the next day not. I am finding myself the same. The pain is always, always there but yesterday I worked and went out to dinner and I was ok. Today I am searching for something on this website with tears flowing down my face. I reached out to the internet. I have to accept that this may never end. Everything you said I can understand because I’m living it too, and I am amazed at the thought that the little girl who loved me so, now must not be able to stand the thought of me and I don’t know why or what happened. How can that be?? I hope today is a good day for you. I really do. J

  22. Candy

    Hello after a long time. Well, things were going well but I thought I would “try” yet again. I sent a birthday card to my son and wrote that I loved him and my granddaughter and wished him well. I got an email back telling me I was not to write to him again and if I had to talk to him only email. I had to face the fact that I keep trying to get him back, but this email after nearly 5 years was particularly hurtful. I cried, talked to my therapist and then it was if my deceased husband tapped me on my shoulder and said ” Let it go Candy, you did the best you could” Whether I am delusional or not, those words stopped my pity party and I have been doing well. I was a mom at the age of 21, had to work to keep clothes and food for all of us as did my husband. We loved him , educated him and gave him lots of money. But you know what my dear friends on this website, I have to be thru with this. I am recovering two months now from a perforated bowel, nearly died but I am here and thank you dear Lord. My fairly new husband called my son, left a message that I was in emergency surgery but there was no return call. I guess my brain has finally cleared from the anesthetic and I can think straight. I will always love my son, but he can no longer control me. I looked at all the friends I do have and they love me and only like me, but they have been so helpful since my surgery. I guess this is rambling but while going thru this I felt like an alcoholic who had taken a drink and was so sorry for the slip.

    Thank you all for reading this. I am grateful to be alive ( my tummy hurts but is getting better every day) and so thankful to you Sheri.


    1. Juliet

      Dear Candy
      I have a similar story… 13 years in the making. Our only child has played this on again off again estrangement game and now finally, I listened to my precious mother say “let it go now”…
      I had surgery for cancer, radiation and was very I’ll. Never got as much as a text message. I realized I raised a self absorbed, selfish and very inconsiderate daughter. I made a trip in April to see her, 2,000 miles away, mainly to see the three granddaughters only to get verbally and emotionally abused. I was supposed to stay 2 weeks but was back on the plane and headed home after 4 days. It was a nightmare. I was left to my own devices to get a shuttle and get myself and my luggage to the airport. Did I mention I have MS? Did a lot of soul searching on the flight home and decided I was done. I will not contact her again. I have to hold on to a shred of self respect and get on with what life I have left. I am changing my will and taking her off as beneficiary to my life insurance policies and retirement accounts. I am done. I feel very liberated and honestly wish I had seen the light sooner. We have an exchange student from 1998-1999 who is more of a daughter to us. We flew her here and she took care of me day and night post surgery. This was not a hasty decision, we purchased homes….cars…graduate degrees for our daughter and son in law. Enough with these entitled, rude, selfish adult children. It’s a high price as she has turned the grandchildren against us. It is what it is. No parent deserves this nonsense. Its over for me now. I wish her and our granddaughtes the best.

  23. Lilli

    Blessing to all of you and Robin, yes my dear, get up and do something fun for yourself.
    My daughter doesn’t hesitate to spell it is out that she has no emotion for me and she has not missed me during the last ten years, while I have shed so much tears each time I have thought about her and missed her badly.
    Paradoxically, this makes me happy and sad. Happy that she has found a mechanism to cope with her despair by closing her emotion, and becoming resilience by being emotionless. Did I really want her to be sad everyday and miss me ? Of course not.
    At the same time, it feels harsh on me, that I am chasing a dream of hugging her again, holding her hand again and it breaks my heart again and again that I cannot.
    Though I question myself: “why don’t I keep thinking about her but I do it in a happy and light way”. I would not give up reaching for her or loving her, but each time I think about her, I would imagine a funny situation where we both are laughing, where we are light in our spirit, where there is nothing to explain, forgive or cry for anymore.
    The past is gone, I even have a hard time to recall exactly, who did wrong or right, what should I apologize for or forgive, I don’t want to think about all those details.
    And I don’t know how long more I would live, and what the remaining future will look like, so all I have is this moment when I will hold her in my mind and heart with a big smile on my face and a happy heart. I am proud of her whether she like to hear that or not. I will love her and be proud that I was blessed by God to be a mother.
    Finally, I have realized, being a mother is not about getting a hug or thank you back from my children or hearing their approval that I am a “good mother”. Mothering is about the capacity that we have to carry this unexplainable love, the unbreakable connection with the children we make and we keep sending them loving thought through this energetic connections. and honestly, it doesn’t matter what they say at all.
    We are connected by our true nature and that is something to feel blessed for not cry for.
    Wish you all clarity, bliss, serenity and motherhood pride regardless of where your child is.
    ( I just add a disclaimer, that I mentioned motherhood, because I am a mother, and that could be simply changed to parenthood if you are a father and finding yourself in the same camp, the intention was not to glorify mothers against father )

  24. whenend

    I just joined this site today,I maybe in the wrong forum but just wanted to say thank you to everyone for their comments and thoughts. I havn’t seen my now 24 yo son in 8 years and recently my daughter (who is my granddaughters Mom) stopped talking and just found out today they are moving out of State.
    Ive been one big crying mess all day,to be honest my daughter and I never got along its the fact of not seeing my granddaughter that is killing me.Its grief and very recent I only pray with the grace of God I can let go of the pain.Thanks for listening

  25. Laura

    I too am happy I found this site. I feel very alone. After 31 years of marriage, my husband died last year suddenly of cancer. I do not have a support system; I do not have siblings and my mother died when I was 28. I have two older biological daughters and two children that I adopted from the foster care system that still live at home. My second oldest biological daughter is very resentful that I fostered and adopted. She only communicates with me if she needs anything. The resentment that she feels towards me and her now deceased father is toxic. She blames me for almost every aspect of her life; the fact that according to her I spent my money and time trying to help “other people’s children”. I know that I wasn’t the best mother in the world, but I tried the best I could under the circumstances. She had given us so much grief as a teenager and since I have always struggled with depression it was overwhelming. She wouldn’t listen to her father and I when we stressed the importance of an education. She is now 28 and lives with her boyfriend. She is unemployed and depends on me to give her money each month. The only time she makes contact is when she needs money. I gave her my car after it was paid off because she was driving a clunker (a car that was once fairly new when we gave it to her 10 years ago). I realize that I shouldn’t enable her but I feel so guilty that maybe I should not have adopted the children I now have at home. She claims that by fostering and adopting I had “abandoned” her. Her father and I were always there for her despite all the problems she gave us as a teen. Months before anyone realized my husband had cancer she sent a very hateful letter to him that he tore up. I know it broke his heart. I am 56 years old and I truly believed when I had children that they would be there for me someday. I never could have anticipated that I would be so alone in my middle aged years. Because I grade papers online and was a housewife for many years I never cultivated a network of friends; my husband was my best friend. My thirty year old daughter lives in another state with her husband and she is kind to me when she does communicate with me but it is usually once every two weeks and just a short text asking how I am. Which I am grateful for but it is not the loving kind of relationship I had expected of my two oldest. My two youngest that are now 15 years old and almost 18 as I stated above I adopted from the foster system. These two have been diagnosed with reactive attachment system which means they have trouble bonding to any parental figure. Consequently, I realize that these two will probably never be there for me either. They both have therapists and have given me a whirlwind of problems. This is not the way I envisioned my life would turn out. Sometimes, I am in such despair. There are 318.9 million people in the United States alone and yet there is so much loneliness. I realize that I need to stop feeling so guilt ridden and start living for myself, but I feel that if maybe I had done something differently then maybe my older daughters would have loved me more. I think most parents do the best they can. I envy those that have such loving family ties. My mother wasn’t a perfect mother but I loved her nonetheless. I don’t know if it is a generational thing that we are seeing; perhaps we raised a generation of children that feel entitlement and are so selfish. I realize that each and every one of our situations are unique. My heart goes out to each and every one of you.

  26. Caroline

    I don’t understand why they would abandon me like this. I feel like I was a good mother. I stayed married to their jerk of a father for 22 years for them
    I was supportive. I am a funny good natured person. I became a social worker and help students with special needs at our local college. Sure I had moments when they were growing up that may have been influenced by Pms but most of us do I did my best without the help of a supportive husband.
    We only texted now if I initiate the communications
    They don’t visit me. We live 600 miles apart. They’re in their late 40s & 50s. I’m 71. I never in my life would have thought this would happen to me. I feel like that whole part of my life was futile, wasted and worthless.
    What am I if not a mother. I always felt they were my crowning glory. The best part of my life
    What am I now

    1. suzanne

      this article came as a reminder of what this time of year means.Leaving behind the death of winter and being transformed by the promises of Spring with new life. I am beginning to see the same transformation in my own life. thanx for that reminder

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