Parents rejected by adult children: Looking for the good

by Sheri McGregor, M.A.

parents rejected by adult children

If you’re a parent rejected by adult children and you’ve come to this site, you’ve probably read some of the comments and realized just how many are affected by parent-and-adult-child estrangement. Couple that realization with all the other chaos that’s happening in the world lately, and things can start to look negative all around. Bad stuff plays incessantly on the news and topples off tongues in almost every social situation. That means if you don’t actively look for the good that’s still around you, it may be obscured. Don’t let positive energy, kindness, and joy get buried. Look for the good.

National dog day

Did you know that August 26 is National Dog Day in the United States? When I think of my dogs and how much pleasure they bring to my life, I can’t help thinking that they represent everything good. What better time than National Dog Day to look for good in the world?

First, I’ll share this very short clip of a squirrel shaking its tail.

This guy loves to stand in the Japanese maple tree and tease my dogs. They stand at the slider waiting for him. Let’s just say I use a lot of window cleaner. . . .

Everyday is dog day at my house.

Want to find out more about this special day? Here’s the official page. Be sure to watch the video at the bottom too (you might need Kleenex).

Random acts of kindness

When things get crazy and sad, it’s easy to start thinking the world (and the majority of people in it) have gone mad. A steady diet of bad news isn’t good for anybody. Especially parents rejected by adult children who may already be feeling down. If you’ve been wondering if you’ve entered the set of some crazy version of Invasion of The Body Snatchers, then you need to take a closer look. There are still good people in the world, and this YouTube channel proves it. Watch the video and a zillion others they share.

I dare you

Now it’s your turn–and it’s a two-part dare.

First: Just as keeping a gratitude journal can be good for you, so is sharing with fellow parents rejected by adult children about anything you’re grateful for. Were you the recipient of a random act of kindness? Did a lizard share a nap in the sunshine on your porch today? Did the deer leave at least one rose on the bush to bloom? Did your package arrive on time? Did curbside pickup go smoothly? Did the checker at the grocer smile?  We can all think of something–a kind interaction, someone we love, or just a few moments of peace in an otherwise hectic day. I challenge you to think for a few moments and leave a comment about something good that happened to you today (or yesterday or this week).

Second: In the near future, be a random act of kindness. That means doing, saying, helping …. Think of a way you can make another person’s day bright. Even making your pet happy counts. Doing something nice for another person is good for you, me, everybody.



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90 thoughts on “Parents rejected by adult children: Looking for the good

  1. Debra M.

    I have read “Done with the Crying” and truly benefitted from it. I am still in a quandry about the grandkids that my adult daughter is blocking me from. it has been a year since we have talked. I have tried many times but she has blocked me. She has also, obviously, told her kids not to correspond with me. They are 10, 12, 14. Gosh, I love them and it has been so hard. I did go to a football game that the oldest played in. They really didn’t have much to do with me – which is so opposite of the past! They were so loving and attentive to me!. I’m not sure whether to continue with gifts for birthdays, Christmas, etc. seeing as they never responded that they even received them. I am trying and doing fairly well with my daughter’s estrangement, but now sure how to proceed with my grandchildren ???

  2. Beth

    Sheri, I placed a comment a few days ago which I see has not appeared in the latest comments section. It was basically a piece about my son and DIL. Was there something wrong with this post that it does not appear on the site? I have found the site and your books very helpful, I am just in the early weeks of estrangement and trying my best to accept, breathe and move on.

  3. Celeste

    My 29 year old daughter has been estranged from me over 2 years.
    These stories and comments so distress me more but it helps to know others are experiencing the same, if not worse, pain.
    I pray for you all. Some stories sound much worse than my own, if it’s possible to categorize the pain level of missing your child so much.
    God Bless You All and God Bless Our Children
    May they grow up and mature, realize and be convicted by God for the time wasted and gone.

    1. Theresa

      Politics has ruined my family. My husband and I accept our child without conditions. We have to change in his opinion. I never dreamed this would happen.

    2. Diane Z.

      Quite some time ago, I realized that I had to give all the pain and sorrow I felt to God. Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder why my grown kids don’t want to be in my life. The sadness comes and goes tho like waves sometimes. I try to think of something positive…anything that takes my mind off it so I can function in my day. I will always have good memories of my son who is now 44 and my daughter who is 37. No one can take those memories away. It will be almost 4 years since the last time I did anything with my kids. I miss them everyday.

  4. Debbie

    I gave up everything for my only child. I went back to school and had to depend on my own parents for child care until I graduated and got a job that paid enough for me to take care of us, I was a single mom. My own mother has always had a dislike for me I didn’t understand and undermined me as a parent and tried to keep my daughters affections to herself for reasons I still don’t understand. After she turned 11 our relationship started becoming strained. I believed in setting boundaries and my own mother used this against me with my daughter. My daughter is now 24, and is in the manipulative stage with both me and my mom now. Worse with my mom however. She just rarely has anything to do with me, rarely includes me in her life now that she has a boyfriend and they have a child. She only includes me when she thinks it’s needed to convince my mother she should give my daughter something else. My mother pays her car payment, her insurance and now my daughter and her boyfriend are moving into a house my mother owns, are getting married, and my mother is not invited to their wedding reception or house warming. I know how it all happened, but it still hurts some days to the point I call in sick to work because I can’t, I can’t function. I’ve decided I’m going to stop this one way relationship with my daughter. I have to pay her phone off because it’s in my name. Once that is done, I’m done. I will be using the things I learn here to try to help my mother out of this too.

  5. Elizabeth L.

    Well, today’s my estranged daughter’s birthday. She’ll be 31. I’ve tossed a coin and eventually decided to send a birthday card to her last known address. She ( very unwisely, IMHO), moved into a boyfriend’s flat that his family own. She pays them rent.

    I haven’t had contact with her since 2019, when she started a text with ‘ I’m told you emailed me…’ her bf is a security techie, so he was screening her emails!

    On 1st January this year I texted her to say happy new year and at the time got a reply ‘ who is this’.

    Today I thought I’d try phoning the number and got ‘ call forwarding’. As she might be working from home on a work shared number, I left it.
    Half an hour later I get a call back. When I answer I get a random guy. She’s changed her number, so maybe even in January I got this guy and not her. As I say, her bf is a security techie, very insecure guy, controlling.

    Leaving the estrangement aside, I wonder how safe she is, and if some day I might get a call I dread.

    1. Linda B.

      I have thought and done everything you have done. I have not seen my 45 year old daughter in 10yrs. I have called and text her a few times a year. I get one word responds. I am not sure I will ever see her again before I die.

    2. Barb

      Your story is so much like mine… our daughter has been gone now for 4 years and has totally cut off all contact. She went to live in another state with someone she met online… a much older man. We have always sent her cards and sometimes a gift for birthdays and holidays but this year her birthday card came back.. return to sender. I lost it. Some days I feel ok but I always keep hoping and praying she’ll reach out just to say hi. It’s just so hard to accept.

  6. Janice L.

    We are still in the pain stage of estrangement. Our only child married a woman with “issues.” Now they have a child with health problems and were relying on us for free babysitting, along with others. My husband unknowingly passed Covid to the child, even tho we are both fully vaccinated. We are no longer allowed to see or talk to them unless we quit our jobs and live like hermits. We are retired and the pt jobs give us a cushion for emergencies, in fact earlier this year we paid off one of their cars. This is not the first estrangement we’ve had and I’m not up for any more.

  7. kimberly

    I just miss him so much.

    I don’t know where we went wrong and I feel like I’m dying of a broken heart.

    Hes gotten married and had a child he won’t even let me or my family know.

    I failed him as a mother, I thought we had come to a good place again but this nightmare just won’t end.

    I’ve prayed every prayer I can think of and now I’m starting to pray to just come on home.

    I don’t even know how to be happy without him.

    I just miss him.

    1. VANESSA

      Kimberly ~ I am so sorry that you are experiencing this unbearable pain and I feel it with you. Your words touched my aching heart and I’m crying for both of us.
      It feels like I cannot breathe at times. I used to look for him while I was driving, hoping to see his smiling face before he saw me and became hateful again. I miss who he used to be, like a miniature version of myself, but in the form of a son.
      Please know that we can only do our human best to survive this process and that you’ve found a resourceful site to help you take care of yourself now.

    2. Martia

      The last time I saw my daughter was Mother’s Day. She blocked me from her social media and won’t return text messages. All I have left now is me and my dog Sprout. Someone she “talked to” told her I was a bad mom sometimes when she was little, which is a bad lie. How do you go from making your mom dinner on Mother’s Day to NO contact at all???

    3. Colleen F.

      I’m missing my only son today also. Today is his 28th birthday. We’ve been estranged since Mothers Day 2020. I feel your pain. God bless you and knowing there are more than me makes me feel not so alone in this awful heartache. I’m already estranged these past six years from my middle child, a daughter and don’t even know the three grandsons I have but I am ever so thankful for my oldest, a daughter with two sons that I get to know and love even though we are separated by distance but she is always here either physically or emotionally as I am for her when she needs me and for this I am grateful. My heart feels lighter just being able to share because the shame itself is so hard to bear.

    4. Judy

      I’m so sorry & understand completely.
      My daughter abandoned me just after her Father died so I’ve lost my husband & her as well as her twins who are nearly 17 & I looked after the twins for 16 years.
      She said she will never see me again in my lifetime. It’s all because I have depression & I was grieving badly after my husband died. She said she’s sick of my depression so that’s why she’s gone from me.
      I’m absolutely gutted & trying everything to get help with coping with all this grief but it’s so hard to go around with a very broken heart. I can’t see me ever getting over this pain.

  8. Hazel N.

    We were estranged from our son for 6 years due to our daughter in law. Our son is a disabled veteran and she used his disability to her advantage and he was estranged from all friends and family. She only allowed one distant cousin in his life who believed her lies. We found out by a friend stalking fb they were getting divorced. We found a way to reach out to him and he was as hurt by the estrangement as we were. She had him believing we were ashamed of him and didn’t want him in our lives. She left him to move in with a boyfriend. we have since been able to see our grandkids for the first time. We just are fearful that she may change her mind and he will take her back for the kids. During the estrangement we were sick with worry and blocked at every move to communicate. But, I learned not to give up hope, miracles do happen. But to embrace moving forward when it is the hardest to do so. Life does continue and we had moved on more than we realized. So, it is best to embrace it and take what enjoyment you can. A friend told me during our darkest hours, the story is still being written, and we don’t know the ending. So embrace every chapter.

    1. VANESSA

      Hazel N ~ May you and your family be blessed with healing time together and a protective bond.
      Thank you for sharing the wise words your friend told you because it gives me a blanket statement to concentrate on that is both truthful & loving.

    2. Colleen F.

      Don’t fear. Surely your son knows by now she does not hold his or their children’s best interests at heart. Prayers for you and your family from me and I’m sure from many others that you may hold your son and grandchildren’s love in a fair way. Those children may always love their mother and they should hear nothing negative about her except if it is detrimental to them but she should also never try to keep them from loving or seeing their dad or their grandparents. Keeping an open line I think (maybe too late for me and mine) is so important and healthy too. I truly wish you the best.

  9. Vanessa

    In the spirit of gratitude, I am most thankful for the health I am currently enjoying, as I recently had quite a medical scare in early August. I’m so grateful for the concerned people who inquired through phone calls & texts about me while I was indisposed for 3 weeks.
    After literally circling each other in the same city & neighborhoods for 20 years, but never seeing or meeting until 6 years ago, I am blessed to be married to the love of my life that I finally found (better late than never). This man truly makes my life easier, as he’s a helpful and calm individual. We plan to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary in December.
    Finally, I am appreciative to have found this site for all the assistance in healing that is provided to help myself and the vast, untold numbers of hurting parents everywhere, who are experiencing the absolute unthinkable devastation of losing interaction with their child(ren) by the child(ren)’s own choice. It will never make sense to me and somehow, my stubborn self still refuses to accept the reality. I walk around feeling like I am sporting an open wound, wondering how people can act so normally around me (because they don’t see my heart bleeding in pain).
    As there is no other reasonable explanation, I am convinced that sometimes horrible things happen only so that we can have the ability to help others through the same terrible things.

  10. Goretti

    I joined the Group (subscribed to the newsletter) when I was at my lowest. I am happy to say that I am better now. Constant prayer and the belief that God would see me through all, helped.
    Today I received a beautiful video from a friend “The Power of Gratitude”, which I in turn sent to other friends. It was a truly uplifting and inspirational video made by a 96 year old doctor.
    I am trying to “Look for the Good” as Sheri has said.

    1. rparents Post author

      Dear Goretti,

      Could you send it to me? You could email it by replying to one of my newsletters. Or, you can reply here with the link.

      Sheri McGregor

  11. Carrie-Ann

    Good Morning Beautiful Sheri!!
    I was reading the recent comments early this morning; had to leave website to feed my “Gatos Gordos”…I had read Sue’s comment and did not get a chance to read the other 4 posted…as when I returned awhile later they were gone and 5 new ones (Strong’s & yours) were posted…Is there any way we can access the previous past comments?
    Also, Much Gratitude for your Kind, Caring, and Helpful work you do on this website…and now your cool YouTube channel…
    May You and Each One In This On-line Community have a Peace-Full, Joy-Full weekend…
    In Gratitude,

    1. rparents Post author

      Good morning!

      You must be looking under “recent comments.” You can click on whatever article and click on the # comments (at the top) and it will take you to them all. Or, you can just read them all after each article.

      Sheri McGregor

  12. Allison

    When you’re feeling sad and lonely and everything is just too much try hard to recall all the human angels you have met and remember you are not alone x

    1. Emily

      Hi Alison, thank you for your lovely thoughts i had a very bad low week, my daughter lives in Australia and now decided that my lovely beautiful 7 year old grandson cannot speak to me, this has been going on for the last year, hes my only grandchild. Her cruelty is beyond words, I live on my own but have good friend and a brilliant family, 6 sisters and 4 brothers. I’m so thankful for my 3 older sisters, I dont think I could survive without their support Hope you have a good day

      Take care

    2. rparents Post author

      You’re right. It’s very good to focus on the wonderful “angels” we know and have known. I lost an aunt this week, and I have been thinking a lot of her today.

      Hugs, Sheri McGregor

  13. Dee

    Since our only daughter pulled away from us and finally cut us out of her life completely (no explanation at all) my husband and I have gotten closer, and we’ve been doing a lot of power walks on the beach and through local park trails. We walk at least twice a day, especially since this COVID pandemic began. I am grateful we have the parks and beaches where we can walk. Another nice experience since we began walking is the people we encounter. We always hold hands on our walks, it is amazing at the waves and smiles we see and people stopping to ask us how long we’ve been married, making a point of telling us how nice it is to see a couple holding hands. We are so grateful for these sweet encounters that make us smile!

    1. Bonnie

      Wow Dee, You are so lucky to have your husband. All I have is my pet which for me is great do not get me wrong and I work full time so in the weekends I am just wanting some downtime but I to have an adult child a son who is married and three little girls and I just lost my mom in May and my son now is treating me worse now since his grandmother died. Very sad and discouraged because we very rarely talk and have not seen him since my moms burial which I had to go to myself because my son and his wife could not even pick me up for. But I am glad you sound like you finally have some peace and happiness. I guess I am not the only one who goes through this.

    2. rparents Post author

      Thank you for sharing this, Dee.

      Right now, it is very smokey where I live due to nearby (horrendous) wildfires. You made me think about good times ahead, beautiful trails, and fresh air that is sure to come. We will nod and smile to all whom we meet.

      Sheri McGregor

    3. Vanessa

      Dee ~ Thank you for sharing your beautiful good habit to help counteract the heartache. It’s so encouraging that there are the unexpected benefits as well. Your comment made me smile!

  14. Sandy B.

    I am a mother of a 49 year old son that has not spoken to his father or me in 2 years. He waited till he was 45 to married. He married a lady with 3 children, 3 different Dads. We could do nothing right. Bought too much, too little, one of the children got to close, everything we did was wrong. I’m a dog groomer, sent her to school, came to work with me, didn’t show ip, some days, late everyday and left early. Never said a word. Then found out she was going home talking to my Son about me, said it would be best if she found different job, that when the arguing, the real her came out. She called me names, I wouldn’t repeat, told me how toxic I was and on and on. My Son took her side, wouldn’t even listen. She physically abused him, he came home for 2 was, went back, she started therapy, was diagnosed with 3 mental illnesses from childhood. We were so close, my whole world fell apart. Depression set in, did extensive therapy, even admitted myself to hospital, nothing seemed to help. Isolated myself, health problems. Now it’s to the point where he ghost us. The silent treatment. Doesn’t respond to any text. The only way left to get a hold of him. My husband is 72and I am 69. Recently, I have had test run for serious issues, no results yet. I did a dumb thing and text him, no response. Why do I keep doing this? He told a mutual friend, I’m looking for attention and sympathy, he knows me better. We gave him everything, his whole life. Not just material things, love, support. I’m trying to go forward, I am reading, Done with the Crying, hope it helps. Wish I would of never written an Amends Letter, didn’t agree with most of it. As a parent if I have one of the cancers they are checking, I Pray to God, I can get a Hug from him. When my role as Mom ended, I lost my identity. By the way, not just us, anyone that was close to him, he cut out. We have given them thousands of dollars, at the start, for bills, so much. He has a good job, she doesn’t want to work and receives, no child support. We even paid for the wedding. To end this, her Mom, who gave her away at 12 is wonderful. Only her Friends and Family, in their Life. Please Pray for my test Results Ty, for listening and for this group and for Sheri, I would love to meet her❤️

    1. Diane

      So sorry to hear you have a toxic daughter in law …me too.
      The son who has been so bad to us with abusing us and swearing at us and said did not want us for parents anymore. I have now let go of it took over two years to come to terms with it but I’m strong and we are better off not watching our grandchildren abused also.
      These people are not worth your pain and tears. Move on I say and live your life.
      I feel now I would never trust these people again anyway….so why would you want them ??
      Notice I don’t even say the word son because I have none.
      I will say a prayer for you and hope your results are happy ones.

      1. rparents Post author

        Good morning, Strong,

        Hmm. I show that you have had 12 comments “approved” here at the site. Currently, there are several in moderation. Maybe yours is among them. I do my best to review comments promptly. When it’s busy, the long ones sometimes get pushed behind others. Some comments may have other reasons such as including personal information or being antagonistic, etc., but I can’t know if this would apply to any you might be missing. Judging from the number (12) that have been approved, I doubt this is true of yours.

        I wish “perfect” was doable, but I learned a long time ago that’s not possible. I’m doing my best here.

        Thank you for your patience.

        Sheri McGregor

    2. A. N.

      I think a lot of these situations are because the adult children get to thinking their Mom or Dad is going to need help or care, and they don’t want to be bothered, so they just cut you off now. They don’t want their lives interupted with anything of this nature, as it would be a burden to them. That’s JMO

      1. rparents Post author

        Dear A.N.,
        Some parents have been told that very thing. It’s a sad state of ingratitude and unkindness as well as discriminating against their future selves.

        Hugs to you.
        Sheri McGregor

    3. rparents Post author

      Dear Sandy B.,

      I’m sorry that you had to endure this sort of triangulation between her and your son, and that he has been so unkind. The injustice is always so hard to take.

      As you read Done With The Crying, I hope you will take the energy to do the exercises. Please take your time with it all, and go as slowly as you need to reflect and put your heart into it. You mention the amends letter … and have probably read that part in the book where I address this old tool that is ill-advised yet still recommended by some. The quotations in the book from parents that represent the typical results are clear examples of why they are bad advice (in general). The examples of parents who wish, as you said, that they had not written one and apologized for things that they were not in the wrong about is striking. All the apologizing adds more fuel for them to aim back at parents who are trying so hard to get along that they would do almost anything—-don’t. There is more about this and some of the other “expert” advice in my next book, which will be out very soon.

      Sandy, you mentioned some tests. Know that I’m thinking of you, and that other parents here have read your responses and will have you in their prayers, be thinking good thoughts for you, and sending healing energy and good vibes.

      Maybe one day we *can* meet. There are so many of you who are kind, lovely people. I’m in your corner, Sandy B. It’s actually crowded here in your corner because it is filled with all sorts of parents reading your note and feeling for you.

      Big hugs for you,
      Sheri McGregor

    4. Vanessa

      Sandy B ~ Sending you love and hugs to comfort your aching heart. Please remember that no one else’s opinion can alter who you really are as a person. Like if someone declared a REAL DIAMOND to be only a worthless cubic zirconia… it doesn’t make it true! It is one of the most heartbreaking pains in the entire world and I feel it with you, daily, and I then remind myself that I am a REAL DIAMOND. It helps, sometimes.

    5. Colleen F.

      You are NOT looking for sympathy! You are looking to get back the love a child has for his mother and there is nothing wrong with that! You did the best you could with what you had and I’m wiping the tears off my phone screen. God bless you and give you peace. I never realized until today actually reading about so much pain that I didn’t realize I’m not the only one.

  15. Tracey

    I am too new to this and the pain is just so raw…I cannot find anything good today. I want to hear my daughters voice.

    1. Lisa

      I am hearing you. I lost my beautiful little dog this week and that grief on top of the grief of losing my daughter to estrangement is absolutely unbearable some days ☹️

  16. Sara

    My daughter cut me out of my life one year ago. I find that baking and cooking then sharing food with people in my life provides me a great deal of happiness. My heart is heavy and sad but the act of creating something delicious and sharing with others helps alot. Thank you for the books and this site I felt very alone until I discovered you!

    1. rparents Post author

      Mmm. I bet you bake delicious things, Sara! Thank you for your kindness. I’m going to go bake a batch of muffins in your honor!

      Hugs, Sheri McGregor

  17. Catherine

    I am also a rejected parent. I am trying to move on with my life. I am grateful for my neighbor who came by today, just to say hi. I am also very grateful for my little Yorkie, I have had him for over 3 years and I couldn’t imagine life without him.
    God bless

    1. Bonnie

      Least you have your little Yorkie. I also have a pet of 11 years and I to would not know what to do without him. My mom recently died in May and after that I thought it would bring my family what is left closer especially my son. He has been estranged off and on for years. He did not talk or see his grandmother for over a year and spent two days with her while she was dying she never even got to see her three great- granddaughters never. But either did I. And the thing is either one of us ever did anything wrong to his girls oh my god and now it is to late. My son only texts me maybe every two weeks if that. Never calls me to actually talk to me. He is cruel and mean to me but he is my son and I promised my mom his grandmother despite the toxic wife he has I would try to get along but it is getting hard. If I text him he says I press him and hound him. ‍♀️So I am really thinking and considering putting him on call block and that is it. My mom is dead and my own son treats me like dirt. The sad thing is my mom loved him so much while she was alive.Now I just have my work which I love and my pet and a few neighbors. My sons wife has alienated her husband my son from me and my family what is left. No respect for me but total respect for his wife’s family always. I have three granddaughters I will never ever get to know. One is four and the other are three almost. I would of never did that to my parents when my son was little. I was a single mom all my life and my son says I did ok but could of done better for us both. My answer was : I did the best I could with what I had and the help from my parents. Little does he forget he gave me problems for ten years! Two DUI’s a summer in jail. And me and his grandmother never threw him out to the trash . Thanks for reading

      1. rparents Post author

        Dear Bonnie,

        This is not intended to “fix” your son’s attitude, but it might give you back your dignity to not allow his treatment of you. If he is unkind, rude, or “cruel and mean” (as you said), you have the absolute right to say that you will no longer accept this treatment.

        A grown man (or woman) who bullies an aging mother is in the wrong.

        It doesn’t require meanness on the person’s part to refuse poor treatment. It requires looking in the mirror and realizing you don’t deserve such treatment … from anyone. It sounds like you are at that point.

        You mentioned a promise made to your mother. You and she may not have the same definition of “getting along.” Then again, you may, and I know that she was very important to you. However, did she expect you to accept abuse?

        Hugs to you as you step forward, expecting your son to be nice to you, as you would expect any other adult to be.

        Sheri McGregor

  18. Paula O.

    My husband died almost 2 yrs. ago on our anniversary trip out west ,we would have been married 50 years this coming Oct. 20th. A few months after that my son and daughter-in-law became estranged from me. Have not seen them for 1 and 1/2 years.

    My neighbors came over this week-end to help me w/ some things of my husbands and I got a BIG HUG, it felt so good. Such kindness!!!

    1. Vanessa

      Paula O ~ Sending you hugs and heartfelt condolences. I will be thinking of you around your anniversary time, as it is a memorable date in my family as well. I’m so happy that you have kind neighbors!

  19. Sharon E.

    Sheri, I thank you for your wonderful words! I pray for all of us every night and hope that all outcomes are positive. I have read and re-read your book and keep it in my i-pad, never to be deleted. Some parts make me so strong! Other parts make me cry.
    I encourage everyone that has been affected by this odd phenomena to get your book and hang on to do the lessons when they need to.
    God Bless All with Motherly love.

  20. Sharon E.

    I heard from my girl yesterday. It was a very odd conversation. I think she has been brainwashed or something. She told me not to ask her for Anything, and not to email. She sounded distant and like she was talking to an enemy. My sister had asked her to call me. I started out by saying ‘do you remember Disney World when you were 3′” She gasped. ‘Yes! she said. I went on to ask her if she remembered this or that and with every one she was honestly remembering them for the first time. She has been so deeply absorbed in the negative of her childhood, she has forgotton all the positive. We ended by saying she would call on Sunday. I said ‘whenever you want’. I don’t think she will call on Sunday. And I feel she is not well. And any help that way would just make her back off even more. But I have an idea now why she turned her back on me. A 40 year old mistake left a scar that has started burning. And I didn’t know.
    How can you protect your kids when they are little if they don’t come to you? And they don’t! Something happened to her when she was 7 and I never ever knew about it. If I had…we would not be going through this now.. My heart is breaking for her. But I have had stuff thrown at me, screaming and yelling and adult tantrums and I did not know why all because of this ‘happening” when she was seven. She make up ludicrous things so she could blame me on whatever that didn’t make sense, but never would she tell me the real truth.
    Just wanted to let some of you know and I will update this next month.
    Motherly love and kindness, always

  21. MonaLisa

    My estranged son recently gave us his Border Collie because the dog is getting older and he can’t deal with the extra care the dog needs. Although he “officially” gave the dog to his dad, he knows that I’m the one who will care for him. This dog has been such a wonderful addition to my life! I feel like all of the love that my son is rejecting from me, has now been transferred to his dog!

    1. rparents Post author

      Well, MonaLisa, that sweet border collie is like a surrogate then. I’m so glad that you have been given this gift, and your son is losing out on you and the dog. Keep your sweet furry friend safe.

      Sheri McGregor

  22. emily38

    There are so many things I could name for which I am grateful in my life.

    But today, here, I am grateful for the commitment, sharing, encouragement, personal growth, safety, understanding and support found at this site.

    Above all I am, and will always be, most grateful for everything Sheri does, and continues to do, to teach, encourage and help wounded parents heal. Sheri gets, and deserves, my gratitude shout-out today….and every day.

    Sheri has shown us that even the wounded, the damaged, the devastated as she has been too, can find good in or through, or despite, a dark experience. And because she has, I can name those things for which I am grateful, because they outshine the darkness now.


    1. a

      You are not alone in this.
      The press focuses on abused children, and ignores those of us who have estranged adult children.
      We too suffer, but go unrecognized in our agony.

    2. rparents Post author


      I can’t thank you enough for these kind words to me today. Your thoughts here bring me great joy for you! I know what it is like to see darkness and wonder if you’ll ever glimpse the tiniest speck of light. You really do have to go out and find it or make it!

      Thank you for being a bright spot for me. Your words are encouraging. Thank you from the bottom (middle and top) of my heart.

      Sheri McGregor

    1. Nancy H.

      It is helpful to know others understand the open hole in our hearts from the loss of our children. If the loss wasn’t rejection, we might be able to heal more readily. I try to look back at the happy days we had and how beautiful they were as children. I like the idea of a gratefulness journal and will begin one. God bless each and every one of you, and I pray that in some way your pain is lessened, as I know it won’t be relieved. Susan, thanks for understanding.

  23. Elizabeth

    Ah dogs…some of the best friends we have ever had!! The last one we had, died now a decade ago but she was the best and we often speak of her and long to have her again!! It is doubtful at this stage of life that we will ever have another…but we are so grateful for the great dogs we have had!!

  24. Mimi

    Hi fellow moms and dads,
    Does anyone else feel that constant need to nurture? It is that mothering/parenting instinct that never goes away. I observed a young gal trying to pay for her groceries. Her card was declined. She moved off to the side and started making phone calls. When I got to the register, I secretly paid for her groceries and left the store quickly. I didn’t want her to know it was me paying. It was important to me to not get any credit but that she would instead thank the LORD above from whom all blessings flow. But, I felt love in my heart for this struggling girl that could have been my daughter. May the LORD protect her.

    I have decided to always be on the lookout for “mom opportunities “.

    I even saw that nurturing instinct in my female Rhodesian Ridgeback. She adopted 5 tiny kittens that had lost their mother. Luckily, the kitties were old enough to start learning to drink milk from a saucer. But, my Rhodie guarded them with fierce motherly protection.

    1. Intelife

      What you did for that young woman was a Mitzvah. In the Jewish Tradition ( that not all people of our faith practice unfortunately), doing an act of kindness without any expectation of any reciprocity.

      I felt for 20 years that I had bent over backwards to create a relationship with my daughter in law. But just like a previous comment here it seemed that everything I did or said was wrong or taken the wrong way, even though I had always been so verycareful to never meddle or give advice.

  25. Cindy M.

    Kindness doesn’t take much effort. Just being patient with people who are working at grocery stores, restaurants, Drs offices, with a smile and kind word has amazing effect. I have this outlook and it becomes a habit.
    I have estranged grown daughter and your book has saved me. Thank you so much for giving me my life back.

  26. Cory M

    As I type this my rooster is crowing. He does that all day long. I am thankful for my faith. It’s been an anchor in the darkest times.
    I am thankful that my mother comes home tomorrow from the hospital following a terrible fall. I am thankful my gardens which has given me enough to share with others and for the frames of honey I have gleamed from the hive. For the memories although bittersweet or my children and grandchildren. I am thankful for Dew on spiderwebs in the morning and the crisp scent of fall in the air. I am thankful for this site and reminding me today to have a heart of gratitude.

  27. Jan P.

    You write about looking for the good and practicing gratefulness. One thing that has helped me through this trying time of estrangement from my daughter is the journal I found—“Best, Worst, Grateful—5 Minute Mindfulness Journal.” I take a few minutes before bed each night and write the best moment of my day, the worst moment, and what I feel grateful for today. As time has moved on and I have adjusted (as best I can) to the new reality of life without my daughter and her family, there have been some days where I can’t think of a “worst” moment of my day. There is usually a best and always something for which to be grateful. This journal and your Workbook for “Done with the Crying” (as well as working with a therapist) have been the most helpful to me in “looking for the good”. Thanks for all you do for those of us rejected by our adult children.

  28. Lindsey

    One of our neighbours brought us two portions of his famous Spanish sausage casserole yesterday. We were really grateful as we were busy building wardrobes and hadn’t had time to cook something. These small acts of kindness remind me that the vast majority of people are essentially good and kind. I am estranged from my daughter who has decided I cannot see my granddaughter either (9 months old) She has written me a long letter asking for apologies for all of my “wrongdoings”. These “wrongdoings” are a list of events, occasions, discussions that she says have resulted in her having mental health issues. No-one else who knows me understands where she is coming from but as her mother, I have to accept some responsibility. I have apologised many times but she has refused to accept them saying I must prove myself in other ways. Im stuck as I genuinely don’t know how to do this if she refuses to have contact with me. I have not told anyone about this situation – even my parents do not know. I am still far too embarrassed.

    1. Kathleen H.

      Lindsey thank you for sharing. I felt like I was reading about my life. My daughter our only child has done the same to us. She sent me a list of wrongdoings too and will not accept an apology. I also have told only two people outside of my husband because I am embarrassed and feel like a failure. I just want to thank you for the post because it was letting me know I am not alone. I am sorry you are experiencing this but again thank you. You have helped me that may sound strange but you have

    2. Page

      My son recently wrote a letter citing all of the reasons he wanted to cut off communication with us. No one in the family understood the conspiratorial nature of his accusations and found them quite bizarre. He lives with his brother who also said it was “crazy”. I have know for awhile that his failure to launch has been due to depressive issues and now understand that what he has been spiraling into is a type of personality disorder. We have tried to get him help but he refuses. In the letter he said he wants to disconnect but he still wants us to help out financially with his growing debt. Money has been given but it doesn’t solve his problem. Manipulation thru intimidation and the fear that this disorder may lead to something worse is truly gut wrenching for me. I am getting ready to make conditions for any further help i.e. getting a therapist and permission to discuss issues with the therapist to support my son in the best way possible. I have my own therapist who has been helpful in helping me reclaim my “power” and understanding how ill my son really is. The heartache is still deep but I also understand that the mental illness is as well. I wish you the best with your situation. All of us have our own stories to tell but the end result is profound sadness.

    3. Valerie P.

      I too am estranged from my daughter. She will not tell my why so maybe take some comfort in having a list. I was embarrassed and ashamed by this rejection but now when people ask how my kids and grandchildren are doing I say, one is doing well and the other doesn’t talk to me. I am amazed at how often people acknowledge their own family issues – maybe a brother who hasn’t spoken to the family in 30 to 50 years, a child who they have no contact with or that they did the same to their mother years ago. It is hard at first – I thought saying it would make it real, which it is, and I did not want to further alienate or embarrass my daughter, but after 2 years there is some freedom in just stating the truth.

    4. Muriel B.

      Dear Lindsey, I understand your situation more than you can imagine. My daughter now 52, will NEVER forgive me for divorcing her cheating father and depriving her of family, so I could pursue what she derisively calls my “precious” career. I have explained and apologized a million times, but she has remained emotionally separated from me. Finally in only the past three years I have stopped trying to explain, and have allowed myself to be emotionally separated from her, to the extent I have written her out of my will. I am tired of her sense of entitlement, and her continually punishing me with her rejection. I have in my life several young women who I have been mentoring through personal and professional challenges, and they have each been the daughter I wish I had…but I don’t, and I have made peace with that. Now at age 82 I am working seriously with a therapist to understand and forgive myself for having tried so hard for so long to try to make my daughter “happy”, but I’m tired of trying. So I’m working on being the best person that I can be for ME. I will always be ashamed of my daughter’s rejection, but I believe that that shame is giving her too much power over me. I urge you Lindsey, to try to make peace within yourself, and console yourself that YOU are not the problem. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Smile, cheers, Muriel…

    5. Pam

      You are not alone….I relate with your story very much so. I’m estranged by my one and only daughter. It’s been a rough road to say the least. I’m not allowed to see my grand babies (My Little’s). My granddaughter is 5 and my grandson is 3. Being estranged by my daughter for the second time is devastating…now my Little’s I’m destroyed.
      I’ve been working through Sheri’s both”Done With The Crying” book. As hard as it is it has been a life saver for me. Maybe it can help you…..Please don’t sit with this alone…reach out to your family….they love you and knowing what’s going on they can support you.
      My thoughts and prayers go out to you, my heart breaks for you. It’s hard to believe we are where we are at with our daughters. Love wins eventually….I hope. Take care

    6. Chris N.

      You are not alone. Both my children have blamed everything bad that has happened to them in their lives on me. I have tried to talk to them but they have cut off all communication. I have apologized over and over again but I am unclear what I am apologizing for. I have a 1 year old grandson whom I have never seen! All my friends say my children are missing out on knowing and having a relationship with such a wonderful person. I only wish I knew what horrible thing I did to them….maybe that would make it easier to deal with!! It has been over 2 years now and there is not a day that goes by where my heart does not ache over the situation!! However I have to be positive, live my life to the fullest as Sheri encourages us to do! I also have realized that I can not make anyone love or like me, they have to WANT to do it. I can only concentrate on myself!! I hope this helps!

    7. Donna R.

      Hi Lindsey,
      I too have apologized many times to no avail.
      My son wants something from me but not sure what? I have been thru this for over 10 years now,
      apparently I caused all that is not right in his world. We both know the blame game gets very old! My last conversation with him sealed the deal on my going it alone, no more blaming and verbal abuse.
      I am so sorry you don’t see your grand baby, that’s just cruel. Estrangement continues to hurt everyday but now the tables have turned as I will no longer be his punching bag. I am loving myself, trying to find my own peace & joy, we deserve it.

  29. Tia

    I got a rescue dog. We’d never had a dog when my estranged child lived with us. I wanted an excuse to start walking more and stop wallowing. That rescue dog rescued me. I’ve lost 25 pounds and my outlook has changed. He has taught me about unconditional love and even though my daughter has not asked given me the ability if it ever comes to be able to forgive. If you are on the fence about getting a dog, rescue one and he will end up rescuing you.

  30. Grace G.

    We are close to our youngest, who has also been hurt by our estranged ones (yes, sadly, plural). She lives in Scotland and had a special occasion, so we traveled to be with her.

    In these days of covid, travel is complicated and scary. For us, all has turned out well. We tested NEGATIVE the three required tests; the required quarantine policy was dropped for fully vaccinated Americans just in time for our trip, and the weather has been magnificent.

    I am so grateful for this time we’ve had together, and, by the way, for Sophie, our dear dog, who awaits our return.

    1. rparents Post author


      That IS good news. You are brave and I am sure you have been careful. Continue to enjoy your time (I am envious).

      Sheri McGregor

    2. Wilson68

      I not “glad” but relieved to see I’m not the only mother dealing with a plural estrangement. I also have a youngest who hasn’t bought in to the alternate reality of the 25 year past childhood of his sisters. It’s nice to have at least one of your children validate the truth as you remember it! Glad you enjoyed your trip!


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