Parents — share your stories of estrangement

Shared stories of estrangement from adult children help us discover important truths and heal.

Why Your Story of Estrangement is Important

Communicating helps.

Stories are powerful. They engage and inspire. By sharing our stories of estrangement from our adult child or children, we can help one another. We are not alone. Through shared stories, we find ways to feel better, cope, and move toward healing.

Stories connect people, foster empathy, and understanding.

Storytelling is part of the fabric of human history. In ancient times – – and today – – stories help us empathize with and understand others as well as help us define ourselves. A recent Princeton University study demonstrated than when people understand a story, their neurological activity synchronizes with that of the storyteller. When you tell your story about something as significant as how you came to terms with your adult child’s estrangement, how you’ve coped in a variety of related situations, or how you worked toward an eventual reconciliation or healing despite the estrangement, your experience can benefit parents who are suffering.

How to share your stories of estrangement, and help other parents with adult children who are estranged.

Most of us are already good storytellers. We share bits of our lives with one another every day. Please use the contact form below to help other parents by sharing your story. Note: For shared stories, as a standard for this website all names will be assigned a pseudonym. If you are a professional writer and want a byline or links, contact me for an individual evaluation. Options to share your story:

1. Send a short note that tells what you would like to share, and how you believe your story might help others. You may be contacted via email, and your story may be written up by a professional writer. Please read #2 below for more on story topics and ideas.

2. Write your own story. Submit an approximately 600- to 800-word personal story that provides background information about your experience with an estranged adult child such as how the estrangement occurred, what precipitated the break, and how long the break has lasted. Remember to include your emotions: how you felt, how you feel now, and/or how your feelings changed over time. Also please include some details such as whether or not your adult child is estranged from other family members too, etc. Please choose a focus, a focal point of sorts that draws your sharing to a close: how you came to terms with the break, how you handle it now, how you reconciled, an important lesson you may have learned  – – something you believe will help other parents to cope in their situation, persevere in hope, or in some way find peace. (Please also keep a copy of your story for your files.)

Note: I reserve the right to edit stories for clarity and content.

Share your story is temporarily disabled. Check back for an updated form.


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3 thoughts on “Parents — share your stories of estrangement

  1. Anna

    I have 2 adult sons ( 33 and 30) that have never been very close to me. Their father and I split when they were 7 and 4. I left the home to think and get a game plan, but when I returned he met me at the door and said if I tried to take the boys anywhere he would call the police. That because I had left the night before he had contacted a lawyer and he would file abandonment charges. At the time I felt powerless. In my state once the children are with one parent it is almost impossible to regain them unless there is abuse. My ex was a very manipulative and controlling person. I now see these traits in my sons. They keep me at arms length and I have to beg for the few visits that I do get with them. They now have children and I want to be able to see and have a relationship with my grandchildren. When I ask if I can come visit there is always an excuse (we are having friends over or we are going to get haircuts, ect). One son lives close to where I work and other about 1 1/2 hours away. My last grandchild was born in May and they made a facebook post announcing the birth where they tagged her parents and his step mother (their father is deceased). They did NOT tag me. This was hurtful! Recently my youngest (18) son, their half brother graduated high school. My step daughter (30) and my son (18) suggested having a friend, who is a photographer, take a picture with everyone. I explained that this would not happen and my 18 year old said, Mom don’t be so negative, they will if I ask them. So, I arranged the picture with the friend. I also texted my older sons and told them what I wanted to do. They had questions but did not say no. Backstory about 17 years ago the boys and my husband had words (you are not my daddy) sort of thing. Anyway their dad had his attorney draw up a document that stated the boys would not be forced to see or spend time with my husband OR his would file assault charges. My husband is in the medical field and could loose his license if charged (convicted). So, my husband has not seen them for 17 years. When graduation was over and time for a picture my 30 year old son stated it wasn’t going to happen so I dropped it. Unaware my 18 year old called my husband (his father) over and said guys I would really like a picture with all of my siblings and my parents. The 30 year old son said ” I love you man, but I just cant do that”. The 18 yo got angry and walked away. The 30 yo looked at me and said this is bullshit! I tried to explain that I did not know he was going to call his dad over, but he stormed off. 3 weeks later I try to connect with them and they texted back for me to stop playing the victim and that the entire graduation event was indirectly or directly my fault! I was ready to say ok son I will take the blame and let’s move on. My husband however says that I should in no way take the blame (nor should the 18yo). I feel like the older boys are using the past (25 years ago) against me and will always do so. I fear that I will not be able to have a relationship with my grandchildren. Part of me wants to throw my hands up and say forget them. But, I am their Mama and I just cant do that.

  2. Patty S.

    I’m so happy I found this site because my daughter has not talked to me since 2015. Everyday is a nightmare because I love & miss her so much!! I have tried just about everything to get in touch with her but to no avail. She just had a baby girl on October 15th & so of course I am completely heartbroken because I know I will never get to see or even meet my granddaughter. I think I am driving myself insane!! It hurts so bad!! My other daughter does not want to get in the middle of it & I don’t blame her. I know I need to seek professional help & I am going to but there’s nothing they can say to ease the pain. I just cannot believe I am in this situation. I have been suicidal over it but I could never do that to my other daughter. I will get professional help because I know my friends and family are tired of seeing me suffer. Thank you for this site I got to read others stories & I felt relieved in a way that I’m not the only one going through something so awful as this.

    1. Loreto

      hola, mi hijo comenzó a distanciarse a los 23 años , el fue diagnosticado como “ emotional handycap” en USA donde nació y creció. siempre fue especial con mucha incapacidad para mantenerse quieto o concentrado, pero era tremendamente cariñoso, respetuoso y muy buen hijo , deje que usara el computador para juegos que me parecía algo excesivo pero nunca pensé que podría Dañar algo en su cerebro como la capacidad de amar , el se volvió mentiroso , manipulador , desapegado y de forma natural comenzó a vernos a su padre y a mi como cosas , viendo de que forma le podíamos servir
      no tiene amor ni por su padre ni hermano ni por mi , espere 3 años y hace 2 días toque su puerta, llamo a la policía diciéndoles que yo estaba invadiendo su espacio , los policías llegaron y le dijeron que no debía llamar tratándose de una visita normal sin violencia , el insistió que era violento que yo lo visitara sin aviso. me da pena que no veo como recuperarlo o recupere la relación con su hermano o su padre , el perdió el amor natural y estuve un tiempo hace 4 años atrás dejándome utilizar económicamente por el , reconozco que al ver que no tenía amor por su hermano ni su padre yo misma provoqué el corte, para reaccionara , no a ocurrido , esta peor y el dolor es enorme, era un niño sensible , gracioso, muy inteligente , siempre distraído con dificultad para concentrarse se volvió egocentrico, hiriente , manipulador y no tiene amor por nadie ni por nada , se que hay algo en su cerebro que se disparó , no se que hacer , se que el no quiere nada pero pienso que mi deber como madre es no dejarlo que se pierda sin familia . Por otro lado si lo busco me ignora o es capaz de llamar a la policía y si no lo busco se que no lo volveré a recuperar , su hermano y su papá se dieron por vencidos, se que no hay magia para este dolor Entre aquí buscando ayuda , respuestas y apoyo , mi hijo recibió amor , buena educación y si no lo hubiese visto crecer con tanto respeto y carino hacia todos , pensaría que es sicopata pero se que no lo es . Estoy resistiendo este dolor , Loreto desde Chile


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