Presentation with Sheri McGregor: Goals Pt. One

Looking for part two? Then join the membership community — the part two live event with members and discussion took place on February 1, 2024. The replay is hosted in the members area..

A presentation on goals with Sheri McGregor, M.A., Life coach and author of the Done With The Crying series of books for parents of estranged adult children and the founder of this site (Rejected Parents.NET).

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26 thoughts on “Presentation with Sheri McGregor: Goals Pt. One

  1. Holly S.

    My daughter has been Estranged this time around 3 years, she will be 28 in a few months. I’m told I write novels so I will try to keep this short. She left home at 15 to live with her absent alcoholic father! She didn’t want to follow my house rules of no drinking or drugs, he kicked her out of his home when she turned 18! I’m guessing he didn’t like paying child support since she was 3. This time around was over a Christmas dinner invite I can count on 2 hands how many times I’ve seen her since the age of 15! All her choices. 2 years ago she told me she was with a woman now with 3 kids. I said how happy I was for her and support her in any way! She said I was offensive like her being gay was something I needed to approve of? Not at all! I’ve always told both my kids if they were gay I would love them the same!
    She’s reached out to me twice in 3 years time eluded to needing money..I didn’t offer because as a mom who worked 2 jobs when she was little so I could pay the bills and not ever go on welfare I feel she should know… to work harder and focus on getting her own life in order.
    I offered therapy she’s very abusive to me with words.
    My husband of 20 years lost his mom last year, not one word to him, he was an awesome step father to her! Her autistic brother she has walked away from abandoned him, I’ve had to clean that heartache up like my own to. Years of therapy just to function through this estrangement.
    I’ve reached out recently… all to be ignored. I’m angry with myself for trying. I didn’t want to be a bank to my daughter, I wanted a true love relationship bond with her. Not to be ghosted. I don’t think I can forgive all the family deaths she has chose to ignore.
    I was strong, I to run a very successful estrangement group and today.. I’m struggling from rejection. I have to start all over with my process of healing. And it is very draining.

    Reply
  2. Bob S.

    After 7 years of estrangement of our daughter, our grandson, and her husband, we finally took some action. We had been sending birthday and Christmas gifts thru our son (her brother) to them each year. This year (2023) we decided to stop the giving. What a relief! There was a sense of freedom that we felt. Earlier in the year we asked our lawyer to ask her about finalizing a legal arrangement where she would care for her brother (34 and disabled) after we both pass. She said no. That prompted us to take the action we took. Not sure if we would have done it if she did not cut him off. Nevertheless, we are happy with our decision and have made arrangements for our son’s care without her. Thank you, Sheri, for this presentation.

    Reply
    1. rparents Post author

      Bob,
      I’m so glad that you took action, which led to clear answers about the way forward. I bet that feels good to have this settled about your son’s care.

      HUGS to you and your wife.
      Sheri McGregor

      Reply
  3. Diane M.

    This was an excellent presentation! And Sheri has the most calming, beautiful voice too! I could listen to her forever! I have pretty much accepted my estrangement with my daughter and her family. But now, I’m rethinking my relationship with my 52 y/o son. He has a mental disability. I have to make all the effort in our relationship. I’m planning on stepping back a bit. Let him call or email me. He never does, never. Yet, he has time to go play pool, at a bar, with his friends. He lives in a Town away from me. I feel like I “walk on eggshells” with him. Afraid I’ll lose him too. Now, I will set some reasonable goals. Wait it out and see if he contacts me. Oh, I feel sorry for him and send him money each month. I may stop that for a while. For I’m very low income myself and live in a HUD Senior apt. I feel I’m doing all the giving. Any comments would be appreciated. Good luck to ALL of us as we set new goals!

    Reply
  4. Marianne L.

    Hello Sheri,
    Thank you for your video. It contained a wonderful review of your ideas for coping with estranged adult children. A great New Year’s way to refresh my determination to carry on with my goals.
    Sincerely,
    Marianne

    Reply
  5. Chantal

    Thank you, Sheri, you need a podcast!!!! Your voice is soothing and reassuring, as mentioned by another replier. Your books have helped me to accept the reality of the estrangement way sooner than I would have. The sadness remains, though. So I will revisit the goals section in the first book to refresh my memory as to what I said I’d do! Lol gotta laugh. Hugs and smiles xo

    Reply
    1. Serenity

      Yesss…Chantal…I too would Love to have Beautiful Sheri do some “podcasting”…I Love this Beloved Healing Community…

      One can become overwhelmed looking back at past…or forward into the future…As One can get “stuck” in the rumination…pain…confusion…of “coulda-shoulda-woulda”…

      NOW IS ALL THAT REALLY IS…IN THIS PRECIOUS MOMENT…

      Contemplating WHAT IS THE SINGLE STEP FORWARD In THIS NOW MOMENT?…

      BEING IN THE NOW MOMENT…One can go Within and have a conversation with One’s Inner Child about His or Her dreams & desires…One can also have a conversation with One’s Older Self about His or Her dreams & desires…IN THE NOW…WHAT DO YOU WANT…FOR YOUR PEACE…FOR YOUR JOY…FOR YOUR HEALTH…FOR YOUR ABUNDANCE?…Have a conversation with Your Body…Your Mind…Your Spirit…THEREIN IS YOUR WISDOM & GUIDANCE…

      “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…Lao Tzu”
      (What is YOUR next step???)

      May Each Beloved One & Beloved Sheri Be Blessed In Body…Mind…& Spirit…
      In Divine Gratitude…
      Serenity

      Reply
  6. Amelita

    Thank you!
    My son, has not spoken to me over 2o years. He is married, they have two children. Boy 20 years old ,and daughter 18 years old. I have not met my grandchildren to this day.

    Need I say more.?
    Thank You to everyone for sharing your loss.

    Fondly, Amelita

    Reply
  7. Trish J

    Thank you for this video, Sheri. first, I would like to say your voice is very soothing during this stressful time.
    Some of the things you said made me realize I have been estranged from my child for a long time and did not realize it. The only reason he even spoke to me was because I was always paying attention to his life and was always there to help solve his problems. I never stepped back even when he was disrespectful. I sucked it up and gave him whatever he needed financially, and I supported his relationships even when they were “not good”.
    I can hardly believe it but this estrangement as it turns out is what is best for me. Sure, I miss him, but I don’t miss how badly I was treated. When you said sometimes people need to be away from a family member, I see that is true. I also get that he needs time away from me.

    Reply
    1. Dia C.

      Trish,
      Yes, you are right on target…..estranged for a long time and did not realize it. The more my son mistreated me, the harder I tried to be kind and helpful. Like you, I sucked it up and gave him whatever he needed, emotional support and especially financially. When he lost jobs, I paid his house, expenses and car payments. Our last visit, he was so mean, I almost packed my bags, left for the airport and came home. It has been 7 years since his hateful email, sent on my birthday, telling me that he never wanted to see me or anyone in his family. His reason for not speaking to us; we are from Texas, can’t possibly have an IQ as high as his, and thus are stupid idiots. He was born and raised in Texas. His 98 year old grandmother calls or texts him monthly and has done so for 7 years. He has never acknowledged her. I grieved for a couple of years before realizing the estrangement IS better for me. Why did I tolerate his abuse for so long? Yes, I do miss him and pray for him. If he did contact me, what would we say to each other? I doubt we have much in common. If he did contact me, I promise, I would not tolerate his abuse at all, never! So, yes, it is better.

      Reply
    2. Rita W.

      Trish
      Your words describing what has occurred in your life sound just like my life. We have two daughters, both of whom treat us as your child treated you. We did not realize the inevitable but as we look back, we realize finally, that it was there for over 30 years. Painful, heartbreaking, depressing and even bringing on health issues for me. When it is quiet, I find myself at peace that something will occur and it begins all over. But if it makes them feel better to disown us then perhaps it is best for all of us and I along with my husband can have some calm and peace in our lives. Thank you for your post, I feel better reading it.

      Reply
  8. Ann

    Sheri, I love your site. It is helpful to read your thoughts/advice and everyones’ stories.
    It is a measure of acceptance not found elsewhere.
    I have a friend from grade school. We stayed in touch as adults. However the last phone call,
    I opened up to her (not easy for me) about my relationship with our son. At one point, she said
    I wish your son would read a book, which was about kids coping with difficult parents. She said “It really helped her.” I was stunned. What??? I was saying that I was cut off, crushed, lost, and didn’t know how to repair whatever happened that we went off the rails, and she virtually blamed me for the circumstance.
    Talk about support…not! This friend never had children and was clearly lost in her own issues. That said, it is tough to open up because the subject is so darn painful and so few people have walked the walk.
    Thank you for a safe place to vent.

    Reply
    1. Sharon R.

      Unless you have experienced the devastation of estrangement, it is so difficult to trust others with your pain. I recently made a leap of faith with a childhood friend when I explained some of the triggers I have with rejection. She was wonderful and we’ve reestablished a much deeper relationship. She listens without judgment and loves me.

      Reply
  9. Elizabeth

    Thank you so much for this Sheri. I’m certain there are a lot of us, parents of estranged children, who get so much from your care and support- but do not verbalize or acknowledge it. You really matter to all of us and you are making a difference in our lives!

    It’s been two years since our daughter wrote a scathing letter to us, telling us she no longer wanted us in her life. She had everything good, and more, growing up. And still…this. We gave her so much love and support and care throughout those 18 years.

    I am over it. I decided I would no longer pine away about the loss of a daughter and a new grandson. Life is too precious and goes by too fast. My concern, and why I’m writing this, is about my husband. Oh my gosh, he is such a fine and decent, loving human being, as well as a wonderful father. He’s done absolutely nothing to deserve this pain- and I feel every day for him. He has tried these last two years to reconnect, and has been met time and time again with silence, and even anger. I am sorry he has had to face this, because he still has hope that she will come back. I do not hope any longer- if she is capable of doing something so reprehensible, then, I do not want her in my life. I have seen him over two years lose much of his hope, sad as that is to see. Yes, it is hard to leave her, but it is much worse, and harder, to continually be met with rejection from another human being (the daughter).

    As you stated, I’m trying to get him to set goals and do what makes him happy. It is slowly working, as he is realizing as have I- maybe she’s just not worth it anymore.

    Reply
  10. Lilac

    Beautiful presentation and great reminder that life can go on even though it’s so hard. Peace and love to everyone going through this trauma! <3

    Reply
  11. Mindy

    It has been going on seven years since I have seen my grown son snd my grandchildren. As I write this it seems unbelievable that so much time has gone.
    I find of course the holidays and seasons change with no hope of seeing my child again is so sad. I have made the choice to move on last year. When I lost my mother. And no word from my son. I was so incredibly shocked and sad. Not to hear one word from My Son of comfort for the loss of his grandmother and the loss of my mother Over the years one particular thing I found difficult was what do u say to people who ask for how is your son. If people I don’t know well ask do you have children. I have learned to say. My son doesn’t live in my state do we don’t get to see each other. When in reality he lives 10 minutes from me.
    For people who knew us I say. He’s busy so we don’t see each other as much.
    I felt like a failure as a parent although I know I was not a failure. I was a good mother. When he married. His wife had so criticism of me although I babysit my grandchildren every single weekend I would get a call from My Son can I go over and help his wife she needs help can’t handle the kids even when she only had one at the first phone call for that I never said no so when they decided not to see me, I was completely taken off guard. I went to my sons house twice and he drove away from me twice and made sure I stayed back away from the window where the kids could see me because didn’t wanna hurt them if they did see me they loved me very much. It’s hard to still put my finger on after all these years is how they can do this to their own children who love me I always felt his wife didn’t care for me, but never dreamed that this would happen never
    I don’t like blaming another person when I think it’s my sons fault not hers because he could’ve been a strong man and said to her that’s my mom whether you like her or not, I always tread carefully around her because I felt it instinctively I knew by her personality to the point where I changed who I am, I’m a strong woman. I was fun with the kids. I was 10 years younger than her mother she did not like the closeness of her children with me. They didn’t have with her mother it was different. Her mother was a great cook, and had her , good points and I was fun brought the kids to their first restaurant to the parks They got very excited when I came over My Son had told me what one time they don’t act like that when her mom comes in Right there I knew I was in trouble
    My son loved my mother , his grandmother very much but the last three years of her life. He didn’t speak with her because she dared to say to him. What are you doing to your mother? He got angry at that.
    If I tell you, this is not the child I gave birth to I mean, that every fiber of my being my son, the son, I knew all the way up to six years ago would’ve never let this happen to us
    So I decided after my mom passed, and I had no word from my child. My Son. I was shocked, angry, so disappointed in him, and still in the back of my soul. I’ll always keep that anger for him that he didn’t have the wherewithal to pick up the phone and be there for me, he knows I have nobody in my life. He knows my life is lonely and the knowledge that he doesn’t give a damn is it is so heart wrenching to me.
    But after my mother, that’s when the last straw was for me the last hope of ever seeing him again was that day when there was no call from him now it’s been a year and a half since she’s gone I push thoughts back about my grandchildren and my son, every birthday of my two granddaughters and my grandson I push away every thought of my beautiful son, and I loved so much I was a single parent I raised him at 4 1/2 his father was killed by a drunk driver. I never married again
    My son had a wonderful life I gave him everything. I brought him up in a beautiful area bought a house got a dog we love animals. I gave him everything. Apparently it wasn’t enough.
    After my mother passed last year, I decided that was it, that was left of my life. I have to live it it’s a lonely road, and when I hear others talk about their grandchildren, I hear other women which was the hardest part when I was at work hearing holiday time, everybody happily Talking about going to see their grandkids or women, retiring and moving toward their grandchildren and children. I feel like what have I done wrong in my life to get this. I’ve been a good person in my whole life. I pray to God all the time and I keep moving , I don’t have photos of my son or my grandchildren around. I don’t need to torture myself. I stay healthy I try not to say it’s killing me anymore. That’s the first few years. I felt that way the stress I did to myself I’m surprised I didn’t have a heart attack , I don’t like to talk about it I don’t like to feel the sadness all the time it’s not in the forefront anymore, but it’s always there. My mother always wanted me to write a book. I was a writer when I was a girl when I was a young woman but I don’t take the action it’s not that I don’t have the time I have the time, I don’t do it and I remember my mom saying I want you to do it while I’m here when I’m gone so I can read it. I’ll never forget her saying that.
    I told her I’ll write a book. I’ll do it someday somewhere knowing inside that I would not I I just can’t sit myself down and start writing yet when I do things pour out of me, there are times I will sit and write again no pleasure gain no release not enough, so I just keep going, I just keep moving. I feel like a ghost in this world
    I unfortunately have family that I’ve thrown up your own son doesn’t talk to you that’s the most cruel thing they’ve ever said to me and three brothers and a sister it’s been said by my sister who I was so close to and one of my brothers who I felt. I had a very close relationship with when those words were sad, a bond was broken.
    I don’t speak to them as much as I used to anymore and my phone doesn’t ring from them either
    Look back on my life when it was so happy, and it was before my son met this woman before he married he had other girlfriends, and they were lovely this particular person I found that, and I don’t believe in coincidence that her father did not talk to his own mother because his mother Said an unkind word against his wife. There’s a parallel there, although I never spoke ill of my daughter-in-law not ever.
    Whatever the reason, I undecided that he and his children are better without me in their lives even as these words come across my lips, it seems real to me
    I have videos and photos of holidays past with My Son. Happy and smiling with everything you can dream of that was wonderful in life and now all gone.
    Didn’t mean to write such a large letter to you, but I would like to ask not the questions you probably get so much of because I’ve learned to live with it I didn’t think I could in the beginning I did think I would not make it I thought I would have a heart attack from the pain from the stress of it all specially, during holidays specially, when you’re working and you hear other mothers getting ready to go visit their family or families come to them
    I think I’ve given up hope of ever seeing my son again that he’s led all these years go by, isn’t indicated to me that that’s how it’s gonna stay when I first reached out to your organization. It was in the very beginning and I still had some hope thinking this can’t go on. He won’t let this go on.
    My only question is what did you say to people when they asked about your child in the beginning? I didn’t know what to say. I pretended that I had seen him. They were doing fine. Everything‘s fine. What do you say?

    Reply
    1. mani s.

      Dear One,
      Your story is heart breaking like so many others on this site! It is hard to fathom the cruelty our own child perpetrate onto us.
      I feel you on situations where people talk about their children and grand children… I have 4 adult children and 4 grand children, 2 whom I have met and 2 whom I have not.
      My reaction; I listen, I am polite, I say, how nice, sounds like this or that…blah, blah…I offer nothing back and if asked, I say I am estranged from my sons and daughter…that usually ends the conversation… or they say how sad and I say yes and that ends the conversation. It has happened that some open themselves and share that they can relate and that feels good. Believe it or not there are more people out there with dysfunctional families it’s just they don’t like to talk about it… not me, I am done being silent and suffering alone, as if I am the problem…don’t get me wrong, I will always carry the scars of their brutality but I have made it out of their mind games in which I was their scapegoat and door mat and I am carrying my head high so I can look beyond their self serving, narcissistic agendas.
      I like that you just keep moving! What else can we do!
      Sending big, warm hugs!
      .

      Reply
      1. Deborah R.

        “I will always carry the scars of their brutality”…
        so well said
        I also have decided not to play their game anymore.
        I have to guard my heart.
        I will pray for them until my dying day, but I’m not going to be a punching bag any longer.

        Reply
        1. Rita W.

          Deborah

          I wish I could come to terms with my situation as you have with yours. You would think after 30 years of taking their hurtful responses to me, beatings, lies, and overall dislike (except when they need something), that I would wake up. I can not keep from blaming myself that somewhere down the line I did something to deserve their treatment,but I have been told by medical professionals, counselors, pastors and friends that there is nothing that I did, it was something they perceived that I did. I wish I knew what it was. I have made myself ill over this with high BP and been told I need to get rid of this stress, easier said then done. I have been foster mom to 27 infants, my husband and I have adopted a special needs child (Heaven’s Special Child),who went to heaven 16 years ago so with his loss and the loss of our two daughters who feel that they are better off without contact again except if they need something like “money” than we are garbage. Time is growing short and perhaps someday they will wake up and realize the lost time we could have had together. I doubt it, but I can ot help but feel this is my fault and can not shake it But I try. I am inspired by your post. Thank you.

          Reply
      2. Vikki W.

        Dear Mani,

        I never tell people I estranged from my son. I talk a put my grandchildren from what I learn on Social media.
        Maybe I will be brave like you and start being honest. Thank you!

        Reply
    2. Melissa Johnson

      That is the question , I just had the death of an uncle and was at a family dinner honoring him , most did not ask me , they asked my husband when I was not around , he is very bitter and just told everyone “she doesn’t talk to us” personally I just try to play it off most of the time . It is TOO sad to go into . I echo everything that was said , I never thought this would happen , and it did not until she met her husband , we were not notified when our grandchild was born and found out second hand that there had been complications . The baby will be 3 soon , we have missed all the firsts and are heartbroken . The sadness leaves such emptiness and though we have moved on the bad dreams continue where the hope does not . As with you I cannot believe my daughter would not stand up for here relationship with us I have defined that as the hurt of the heart that refuses to heal even with the passing of time , just the knowledge that we were not worth fighting for .

      Reply
    3. Willow

      Your story is so similar to mine. Single mom, raised my son, worked hard, gave him all I could including so much love. Meets a woman, gets married, and it started there. Now we are five years into this estrangement. I would never of believed this in a million years. There has been no sign of remorse from my son, at least not to me. He has rewritten his upbringing to be one of neglect, he raised himself, his mother was a loser, it goes on and on. There were no evictions, arrests, drug issues, no losing jobs for me. I worked two jobs to support us. His father was gone from the time he was two and never paid child support. My son always told his college friends how much he loved me, how I did everything for him unselfishly and on and on. Yes, he did go to college and is very successful and now lives a very nice lifestyle (imagine that for a kid who apparently lived in hell his whole upbringing?). I have a beautiful grandson who was four the last time I saw him. Like you wrote above, my grandson loved me so much and would get so upset when I would have to leave. I watched him and did anything they needed from me. I knew dil did not like the way my grandson clung to me.
      The bar with dil just got higher and wider. If I could come for Christmas dinner at 4 they wanted me there at 2. If I couldn’t come when they wanted they would then tell me don’t bother coming. It was always something and I kept biting my tongue because, like you, I felt dil energy and intuitively felt something bad coming. But I had no idea the amount of cruelty this woman is capable of. I still feel like it is surreal. And my son never put his foot down, it’s crazy! I was blindsided so many times that by the time it all blew up I was exhausted. dil parents are held up like royalty. Her mother ten years older than me and has had the honor of being an only grandmother the last five years. Where do you put this kind of grief? I don’t know. Yes, I take care of me and yes I am determined to live my life. But will I ever get over this insanity, hell no….never.

      Reply
    4. Crystal

      Thank you for sharing, my mouth was open while reading because this is identical to my estrangement from my son. We were so close until he married into a clannish family and her father doesn’t have much to do with his father. My son started by cutting off my ex-husband and oldest son, it has been three years and they haven’t even met my two granddaughters. At least I had three years with one and even came up from another state to watch her while her Mom went to work. I feel it in my bones she is the reason for this; however, my son could stand up for me. Like you, I was a good mother and did everything for my children. I am in such disbelief that he has done this to me knowing I only live 5 minutes away and am alone. He has even shut off all contact with my parents who are in their 80s. How rare is it to be able to enjoy your great-grandparents, they should be enjoying what time they have left getting to know their great great grandchildren. They will never get this time back and he had withdrawn from his whole family. It’s only been 6 months for me and I get panicky thinking things will never change. I have been the the ER twice in the past 6 mos. And the last visit I thought I was having a stroke. I can’t let this affect my health. I am having a hard time trying to push the constant thoughts out of my mind throughout the day. I am so happy to have found this group and Sheri and her books. This has been very helpful. Thank you- Crystal

      Reply
    5. Su

      Well, you have poured your heart out, as have so many parents suffering so deeply on this site. I hope that at least you know you are being heard and understood.

      My stock answer when I’m asked anything about the relationship with my grandkids is ” well, I don’t see them that often. That usually ends the conversation.

      Reply
    6. Sharon

      My husband and I have been estranged from our 4 childrens for almost 2 years. And like you we devoted our whole life to our children. We were at all 5 of our grandchildren’s births, and now we are not aloud to see any of them. The grandkids knew us as Oma and Pap and it pulls at our heart strings to figure out what they must be telling their kids about us now. We did everything with us. As of now we just tell people the truth that we have no idea why they have banded together and threw us under the bus. We know we we’re excellent parents, and we miss our family and all the closeness we had, but even if there was a reconciliation after all the cruel things they said about us, it would be hard to have a relationship. We are even thinking about moving out of the state we’re our eldest daughter lives only 12 minutes from us. It’s just so hard for us to think about not being able to see our grandchildren. That daughter even had a new baby two months ago, and didn’t even have the respect to text us and let us know. Our son- in – law never really liked our go getter type attitude. If they needed something do we would always help in anyway. Not sure why he doesn’t set his wife straight, might be he is afraid of her? The final straw was when she posted terrible things about us on a fb post. Totally uncalled for. We never say anything bad about our kids, we love them and think they are amazing, but we are done sugarcoating the situation. Stay strong and know you are not alone.

      Reply

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