Books

Sheri McGregor’s books
for parents of estranged adult children

 

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30 thoughts on “Books

  1. Kimberly

    Happy to have found a place to share without being told I am acting like a victim and being dismissed. After 15 years, starting when my son was 7, I have decided to walk away, grateful for the 6 years of joy, hopeful of a new beginning within my control and without the drama. 15 years I sat on the bench of his life, thinking it was “just” a stage and we would be able to create a loving relationship. I went to all of his soccer, lacrosse and football games both home and away. Every game I endured watching him involving his father and stepmom on the field celebrating, running through the tunnel of family and friends, he never so much as looked at me, being ridiculed for calling his name during a game. Going through university, I did all the heavy lifting, the moving and paying for his education only to be told to leave after moving him so he, his dad and stepmom could celebrate the newest milestone in his life. Pictures memorializing all their events together I packed, no pictures of me, his mom. I was invited to his wedding, to a woman I met once. He, his soon to be wife, his dad and stepmom had vacationed together, multiple times and ate together every other week. I spent 4 months painting, every day, a picture for a wedding present. The painting was thrown on the garage floor only to be ruined by flooding in the garage from a recent rain. 4 weeks ago, he turned his attention to my mom, his grandmother. His attention was accompanied by two open hands. I never told my mom of his behavior. He richly benefited by my silence over the years. When I told him enough is enough, he told me I will never be invited to any family gatherings at his home and I will never see my yet to be born first grandchild nor any other grandchildren that follow. I am on the path of accepting things as they are, not as I hoped hard as it is, it’s a healthier path then the one I have been on for the last 15 years. Thank you for this forum.

    Reply
  2. Faith

    I read this quote in a book on aging and wisdom: “if one is fortunate to endure long enough, that which we resist (letting go of adult EC), mysteriously transforms into something one no longer hopes to escape. Rather, one becomes willing to embrace the whole of it with a deep, quiet understanding of the bittersweet nature of life. Letting go of what once was, or might never be, no matter how hard we try to make an improvement is no longer a punishment, but a place so true and so deep, it can’t be spoken. ‘

    Reply
  3. Cheryl

    I knew I wasn’t alone in my abandonment from my daughter. It’s so good to read these sad stories about the same issues. Maybe at a later date I will tell mine. There are too many self absorbed children In our world.

    Reply
    1. Diana

      Absolutely, without a doubt. The adult children that cut off their parents or parent IMO are self centered, narcissist and extremely selfish. I have not shared my story either, I can share that without God in the equation there is and never will be hope. God is love & hope. I wish you well, know that you are not alone & please, take care of yourself, trust God

    2. Mimi

      For those of us with a Judeo-Christian faith, and have really read and studied our Bibles, we see that this is actually a centuries/ millennia old problem rooted in sin.

      This sin problem will intensify as the end of the age approaches:

      “For the son dishonors the father, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.”
      Micah 7:5-6

      God tells us how to handle ourselves in tough situations:
      “Whoso keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” Psalm 21:23

      “Whoso privily slander his neighbor, him will I cut off: him that has a high look and a proud heart will not I suffer…he that works deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that tells lies shall not tarry in my sight.”
      Psalm 101

      And, the LORD comforts you!
      “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” 2 Chron 16:9

      As alone as you may feel, the LORD knows the truth of your situation.
      “ .,.the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.” 1 Sam 2:3

      The Great Physician himself, Jesus Christ, will fix everything. Be patient and wait for it. ❤️

    3. Mara J.

      My daughter as well. Total blindsided. Never imagined with our close little family that this only child (creative writer) would do something that she knew would devastate my entire world. I wonder, as she goes through daily living, if she ever considers how I even made it through the day not knowing ANYTHING about her/her well being. I woukdnt wishbthis pain on my worst enemy.

  4. Marla

    Thanks so much for your blog, it is so helpful. My son has dropped out of my life, but only after unexpectedly telling me off, hanging up on me, calling me back and telling me off some more 48 hours before my breast cancer surgery. My husband had already abandoned me and my son was aware of this. My husband isn’t remotely capable of supporting me (or anyone else for that matter) due to untreated mental illness and his resistance to therapy and medication. His response to me telling him I have cancer was ‘I’m going to bed now’ and then 15 minutes later he came back downstairs to ask ‘have you seen my new paintbrush anywhere?’ That’s how out of touch with reality he is. Losing my son too is something I never prepared myself for and I can’t ‘un-realize’ that he’s actually left me at my most vulnerable time. I can’t even tell you how I entered the operating room – I truly felt I was in some alternate universe where I have cancer and am having surgery and soon radiation but I’m invisible as if it’s just another ordinary day. I haven’t cried once or shed a tear over my diagnosis – I’m more devastated about my son. Drawing a connection between what I’m facing and what I should be feeling is missing. I’m driving myself to every appointment – I’ve done absolutely everything alone and haven’t burdened anyone for any type of assistance or physical care. My younger son drove me to surgery which was very supportive but I have no ability to comprehend my husband and older son treating this way. This isn’t my son but it is and even if he comes back how do I reconcile this type of treatment? He asked me to never involve him in his father’s mental illness again because he’s resistant to therapy and I agreed but how does that lead to not talking to your mother as she undergoes surgery and radiation? It’s as if whatever he’s experiencing on his end is far greater than what I’m going through. I’m so perplexed. To me this means he must have strong underlying feelings of hatred toward me – he’s definitely kicking me when I’m down and leaving me only with the support of my 28 year old son. I’ve always been a good mother, I recently gave him and his girlfriend $15,000 so they could buy a house, I always give them little gifts because I love them both, and I’ve always been there for my son. I can’t think of one thing I’ve done to be treated this way.

    Reply
    1. rparents Post author

      Dear Marla,

      As I read your note, I couldn’t help thinking that I hope you will be there for yourself now. So much time and energy for a son who is self-involved, and who doesn’t recognize his own mother’s struggles or even seem to care. Maybe he’ll improve. Maybe he won’t. You must take care of yourself. Especially now.

      Hugs to you.

      Sheri McGregor

  5. Eleni

    Wow! I am so excited to have found this incredible website where many parents are experiencing the same pain and frustration I never thought would happen to me. I am a mother of four children three daughters and a son. My son has special needs so my three daughters were Always helping me raising my son since my husband worked from five in the morning till 8 PM every night. My youngest daughter changed when she went to college and initially I thought it was due to mental illness that she quit college right away. She came home and suddenly she discovered that she was gay. None of us even for a second thought that she was gay. To this day I think my daughter has female Asperger syndrome but I didn’t realize it until after she went to college. In any event I did not push her away when she shared her news with the family. I told her that it would take me time to get used to the idea just like it took her a 18 years tell us. About a year and a half after she came out she sat down and had this long conversation with her dad and myself and she told us that she want to be an advocate for her LGBTQ community. I simply made a comment and said that I don’t understand why you have to share with the world your sexual preference and label yourself. We come from a very conservative family and traditional upbringing. It was very hard for me to accept this news about her sexual preferences. However I never yelled at her and Always try to support her in making the right decisions. My daughter was a late bloomer so although she was 18 at the time she told me she was gay developmentally she was still about 16. Therefore when she became estranged at the age of 20 she was really developmentally 18. The next day after our a long conversation she got very upset with me because I was watching a video on female Asperger syndrome and sharing it with her grandmother. Perhaps it was not the right thing to do at the right time but my daughter and I had open conversations about her ADD HD and her anxiety and that possibly she maybe had another diagnosis that was not diagnosed because she had a lot of issues with OCD and so I didn’t think anything of it. In any event she left the house that day and she never came back and she has never spoken to me since then and it is now eight months. This is a daughter that I kiss the ground that she walked on and provided every opportunity for her and would sit on the couch and hug her unlike my other two daughters who are not as close to me. I can’t understand why she stop talking to me completely and wants nothing to do with me now. I’m trying to make sense out of this. Had I known that one little video would’ve made her that upset I would never have watched it with her grandmother: how could a child just forget about their mother after what we do to raise our children and stop talking to them. I could understand if I was a selfish mom but I sacrifice my entire life for my four children. I even stayed in a marriage that had a lot of verbal abuse so that my children had a family. I know my marriage and my family was not perfect but I don’t think I deserved to be estranged. I’m trying to make sense out of all of this. Any advice would be appreciated.

    Reply
    1. candleinthewind

      Hello Eleni. My advice is: sit down, put your feet up, have a nice cup of tea and a biscuit, open the window and listen to the birds singing.

  6. Christine C.

    I too have an estranged child. I have 4 total 3 boys and 1 girl my youngest. We have alweys been close while they were growing up. My oldest and youngest. The 2 middle boys were always closer to their dad. We divorced after he beat me and busted my eye socket. He went to jail for 6 months then I moved out of state with only my kids, car and our clothes. Long story but to make it short i remarried and we were close, she got pregnant at 15 and I was the only who supported her and the father. Which was a huge factor with my marriage failing, everyone wanted her to terminate. I supported her in any she decided. They eventually married, and after anout 10 years, she left him and me, have minimum contact. Her grandkids I never hear from rhem. I get a birthday wish or mothers day wish on facebook. She remarried and i was not invited. And nothing else. I leave her at that, she lives 20 minutes away. I used to drop off birthday gifts, etc off never a thank you. So this year I did nothing. And got the usual nothing back. She does the same to her brothers. We are at a loss.

    Reply
  7. Deborah S.

    My husband and I have been divorced for 10 years . Granted I asked for it , but my daughter has blamed me for everything for ten years . She completely stopped talking and associating with me for 8 years Of that time , I mean completely. Even the last two years she has only spoken to me for a total of 5 times , I have cried myself to sleep more times that I can count, it still hurts , my heart is still broken and I miss her so very much , but I think I have become numb and I just don’t think l about it anymore , not that I don’t care , or that I love her any less, I just can’t dwell on it. All I can do is take what little bit of love that she offers . I hope that one of these days that we will be able to have some kind of relationship, it will never be the same, I can only hope . I live her more than life itself, and I’ve told her that over and over .

    Reply
    1. Jan

      I know this feeling. My ex left me for a woman whose family has boo coos of money and homes property all over the country. My family has none. Zero! He has lied to my one and only daughter to make me look like the one at fault. Now she has nothing to do with me and it’s all over money. I am crushed beyond words. It’s hard to handle when you find out that all of a sudden you have no family and your child believes lies.

  8. Linda D.

    I’m delighted to find this group. The word discarded is fitting word for how I feel. It has been 8 years since I have seen my son. I don’t know why he became estranged.
    This Mother’s Day was extremely painful because my mom passed Sept. 2021, at the age of 93. I was her caregiver for almost 2 years at my home.
    Well intention friends and family sent Mother’s Day wishes that only made me sad. Mother’s Day has been difficult for me since my son became estranged. All I was trying to do was to get through the day. The well intended wishes caused more pain. A constant reminder that Mother’s Day is not a happy time. I don’t understand why people think wishing me Happy Mother’s Day would make me happy or give me comfort. I want to understand.
    A little background about me, I was divorced when my son was age 2. I was a single parent with wonderful support from both sides of the family. His father was in and out of our son’s life.

    Reply
  9. lisa r.

    my haiku this morning:

    entering year three
    of estrangement from my child
    slogging through, somehow

    After ten minutes reading your heartfelt and heartbreaking stories, I feel less alone. It is bewildering, I know.

    Sending love to all of you.

    Reply
  10. ANA ELVIA

    HOLA MI HIJO ACABA DE IRSE DE LA CASA DISCUTI CON EL PORQUE TIENE 21 AÑOS Y NI ESTUDIA NI TRABAJA NI NADA ERAN LAS TRES DE LA TARDE Y ESTABA DORMIDO SE QUE LO CONSECUENTE DEMASIADO POR TODO EL GRAN AMOR QUE LE TENGO Y SE FUE SIN MAS Y DESDE QUE SE FUE AL OTRO DIA ME MANDA MENSAJES Y MENSAJES DE CUANTO ME AMA Y QUE SERA FELIZ Y QUE ESTA BIEN Y QUE ESPERA UNA RESPUESTA DE MI PARTE….SE FUE Y ME DIJO QUE SE IBA EN BUSCA DE SU CAMINO Y SU RAZON DE VIVIR Y TAMBIEN PARA ESTAR CON UNA CHICA QUE ES IGUAL O PEOR DE TOXICA QUE EL, QUE YO LE HABIA SUGERIDO DEJARA POR ESAS RAZONES Y QUE ME ACLARO AL MOMENTO DE IRSE NO DEJARIA…..NO ME DEJA DE MANDAR MENSAJES Y DICE QUE LO SEGUIRA HACIENDO Y QUE ESPERA LE RESPONDA…..LO PEOR ES QUE NO LO DEJE LLEVARSE SUS COSAS SU CELULAR Y SU COMPUTADORA…..CARISIMOS AMBOS Y COMPRADOS POR MI A SU GUSTO Y ELECCION…..LE DIJE QUE SI QUERIA EMPEZAR DE CERO COMO DECIA QUE ASI LO HICIERA DE CERO……Y AL VER SU CELULAR ENCONTRE UNAS CONVERSACIONES ATROCES DE MI Y MI FAMILIA ESPRESIONES ESPANTOSAS HACIA NOSOTROS SU FAMILIA Y DESCRIPCIONES DE COSAS QUE NUNCA LE HICIMOS NI DIJIMOS QUE LES CONTABA A MEDIO MUNDO INCLUIDA UNA PSICOLOGA CON LA QUE HABLAYA….ENCONTRE UNA CUENTA DE ONLY FANS Y DE MAS COSAS PARA OBTENER DINERO FACIL Y SOBRE TODO QUE EL ESTABA BUSCANDO IRSE DE MI CASA DESDE HACE 2 AÑOS O MAS BUSCABA RECAMARAS Y OTRAS COSAS PARA VIVIR SOLO O SEPARADO DE MI DESDE HACE AÑOS…..MIENTRAS ERA UN HIJO COMPLACIENTE Y AMOROSO, CONSENTIDO, COMPRENSIVO Y MUY FELIZ……SUPUESTAMENTE ESA VEO NO ERA LA REALIDAD….LO QUE MAS ME ATORMENTA ES NO SABER QUE HACER……SI CONTESTARLE A SUS MENSAJES SI SIMPLEMENTE DESAPARECER DE SU VIDA COMO EL DESAPARECIO DE LA MIA Y DE LA NUESTRA PORQUE SOMOS UNA FAMILIA MUY UNIDA Y VIVIOS JUNTOS SUS ABUELOS MI HERMANA Y SU HIJA Y EL Y YO….SE SUPONE QUE ERAMOS INMENSAMENTE FELICES, UNIDOS, COMUNICADOS, COMPRENSIVOS Y DE MAS Y EN CONVERSACIONES NOS DESCRIBE COMO SERES PATOLOGICOS QUE LO ATORMENTABAMOS Y NUNCA FUE ASI DE VERDAD……NO SE EN QUE MOMENTO ESE BEBE QUE LLENABA DIA A DIA DE AMOR SE CONVIRTIO EN ESE SER QUE DESCONOZCO Y QUE HOY NO SE SI DESPEDIRME DE EL O SEGUIR CON SUS MENSAJES Y ESTAR AHI PARA EL SIEMPRE BAJO SUS NORMAS Y NECESIDADES……..OJALA ME PUEDIERAN OPINAR ALGUNOS O MUCHOS PARA PODER TOMAR SUS OPINIONES PORQUE DE VERDAD LO NECESITO….ME SIENTO SUMAMENTE PERDIDA Y ESTOY EN CERO…..DE VERDAD LA ESTOY PASANDO MUY PERO MUY MAL…….DE ANTEMANO MIL GRACIAS……

    Reply
  11. Fern D.

    So sad to see all this pain in us. I’m absolutely devastated. I miss my lil grandchildren whom I spoiled for years. Can’t believe the money I’ve given and spent on my daughter because we had a wonderful relationship. I did nothing to her!
    Nothing!!! I cleaned her house, babysat, yard work, EVERYTHING. Loved helping her!
    And now I’m nothing to her! My sweet babies I miss so much!!!

    Reply
  12. Jacquie

    My daughter estranged herself from me after her wedding day 2 years ago this feb 28th. I brought her up myself and we were inseparable. Her husbands mother has always been down on me for being on my own and living in a rented flat. I spent nearly every day with my grandson for two years and he loved me since the estrangement I have not seen my grandson she had also had another child that was one in nov just gone that I have never met. I was devastated and sought alot of help with a counsellor and good friends. We live in jersey which is 9×5 so it’s been inevitable that I have bumped into her. I don’t play games and each time have said hello. But no response. All of my family have also distanced themselves from me due to lies my daughter has told but not one person has had the decency to talk to me. I had a lot of teenage problems with her and sought help for her and she turned a corner but then this. It’s as if the teenage years have come back. This past 6 months I have turned a corner as can’t change her thinking but am trying to live a happy life as much as I can. All I can do is hope now as Iv tried absolutely everything. But to be truthful can’t keep getting rejected. Hence trying to move forward and your books have been another lifeline for me so Thankyou

    Reply
    1. Cheryl D.

      It’s painful especially when the other grand-parents probably can do anything they want to. I have been in this situation for about 30yrs. My ex was a pathological liar and abusive. We got a divorce however that was not the problem with the kids. He wanted me to come back but the abuse would be worse. My kids and I were close. But then my ex didn’t see them for 4/12 years because his very wealthy girlfriend did want to be around our kids. Then the he wanted to start seeing the kids. They are millionaires, and as they all got together our kids and them the pathological lies from my ex began. Fast forward I got invited to my granddaughter’s wedding I was so excited. Don’t get me wrong it was a great experience and I love her to death. His wife didn’t care for us so we have seen them for special occasions and that has gone for 30yrs. My ex passed and I like his ex, but she is now grandma.
      I wanted to write to you because our situation is pretty much the same. You are not alone.

  13. Beverly M.

    Our son, 45 yrs. Old estranged son for 7 years already, he is married 18 yrs. & he & his wife, have 15 yr. Old twin daughters in 9th grade. In 2015 our son came to me & my husband as he bought into a Franchise l, he needed an extra $50,000 to finish renovations in a rented space in a strip mall. After a short time, for reasons we don’t know our son estranged himself from me & my husband & no longer we could see our granddaughters who were in 2nd grade. I tried and tried with our son, an only child, with cards, flowers for his wife, and much more to no avail. In 2021 my husband passed away, our son & family never came to his Dad’s Memorial, he never acknowledged his Dad’s death nor did his wife. It’s been 7 mos. Since my husband passed away and I keep trying with my son and his wife. My husband and I had helped our son with so much, we paid for his education in full, we helped him & his wife move several times, I drove to his city everyday for many months and 3hrs. home the same day, when my granddaughters were babies & toddlers. I never asked for anything ever. I honestly could write so much what all we did, helped, paid when our son needed help and even when his wife was his girlfriend. My husband & I were devastated when our son and family estranged himself from us. Now that my husband is gone, our son has never answered any em’s, cards I sent to him; he has never said why he estranged himself from me, his mother and his Dad. Everyday is very, very sad for me as I do not have any other family. I feel for reasons I don’t know I am being punished everyday. Thank you for reading and for understanding.

    Reply
    1. rparents Post author

      Dear Beverly,

      It is so unkind to be discarded. You are obviously a loving mother and grandmother and your son and his needs were very important in your life. It sounds like you have tried to reach out repeatedly to no avail. It’s fine to continue trying if that feels right to you but I hope you will make finding new joy and meaning your focus and do what brings you happiness day-to-day. Shelve all the trying and ruminating for a bit and seek peace for yourself. Or try limiting all the anguish to just a few minutes, after a meal maybe, and then shift purposely to the present and what you can do to make your own day good.

      Hugs to you dear Beverly. You are not alone. Your comment will help other parents here feel understood.

      Sheri McGregor

    2. Laura M

      Hang on Strong Sister! Maybe find some new friends and reconnect with old ones. Many Moms and Dads have to live above it

    3. MMS

      Just devastating. I feel your pain and I hope you can heal by trying everyday to love yourself. It’s so hard to do as I myself have trouble doing just that, but what is the alternative? So sad.

    4. Mary Beth

      Sadly, this seems to happening to so many parents of 30-40 yo adult children. My 45 yo daughter has banished from her life because she says I am crazy and delusional. She can’t tell me exactly how, just says I ‘always’ do something…no details, just something. I divorced her father many years ago, he was verbally abusive, a womanizer, a narcissist extraordinaire, and did NOT want to be a father or involved in their lives. I set out to make sure my kids had a better life than I did…and I think that is where I went wrong. I made sure they had everything I never had, they had a voice in ‘family’ decisions, I bought their first cars and made sure they were safe, I paid for education, I helped with anything and everything. I married again to a wonderful man, who became the father they never had. Sadly he passed away when only 51, and musch changed. By then my kids were grown and on their own, but when they lost work I made sure they didn’t lose their homes, had food, and bills paid. I didn’t mind, I could afford it at that time. Then I sold my house to my daughter for much less than it’s value, because she couldn’t get a bigger mortgage. Suddenly after that I became the crazy ‘bitch’, not welcome in her home, and denigrated to anyone who would listen. What had I done? I don’t know. I never attached strings to helping either child out. Yes, I have my opinions…but never expected anyone to agree with them, or not disagree with me. I thought we had an open relationship and could discuss anything. Never beat them, wasn’t a yeller either. Took in their friends in need many times. Hosted parties and family gathering where everyone was welcome.

      I have come to realize that I failed to let my kids learn their own lessons in life, when I was trying to ‘protect’ them. Life is full of ups and downs, and I certainly had to learn to navigate them…but I failed to let my children learn those lessons. I am still learning as I go in life…but this one is perhaps the most painful one, learning to let go. I have always been a survivor, and I will survive this too. I just don’t like the process at all.
      ((((HUGS)))) to all on this most difficult journey that none of us ever thought would happen!

    5. rparents Post author

      Mary Beth,

      You have been a kind and loving mom. There are some adult children who appreciate such kindness. There are others who suddenly change. Substances? A mental disorder? A third party adversary? Please don’t take another ADULT’S failures upon your shoulders.

      I hope you will find some fun now. You’ve worked so hard for everyone. Time to give yourself that kindness and dedication now.

      Hugs to you and all the hardworking parents who loved and gave so much.

      Sheri McGregor

    6. Christine

      I just found this website and I am so thankful . God has answered my prayers ,crying of course. I’m praying for you . It’s hard to believe we raised people like this . It is in comprehensible. I hope you find so peace .

    7. Maryle P.

      I can not say my story is the same as yours but similar and I am trying to work through the pain. I just found this site and ordered one of the books that will arrive soon. My husband and I married 61+ years ago. Have a 60 year old daughter and 57 year old son. Both grew up in a loving home. It is our daughter that has had nothing to do with us for over one year, and her 28 year old daughter is doing the same. I do feel it must be some mental illness. I can think back to her teenage years being quite rebellious. I live in Wisconsin and she and her husband and married daughter live in TX. To make a long story short, I buried my dear sweet husband, her father today. Not a word from her or our Granddaughter. She had only visited once in 6 years. She knew we would always pay her way.

      I have made up my mind that I am not going to let either of them make me feel like a victim. Also I don’t need to beg to have someone love me. I have no idea what is going on in her brain, but I can not fix it.
      She has shown her colors and her husband has shown his colors to us in the past. Right now I am putting one foot in front of the other and trying not to continue trying to figure her out, because obviously I have not been able too.

      I wish you and everyone else the very best in healing. But remember not all sores heal 100% and we then have to endure. This is my sore.

    8. rparents Post author

      Maryle,

      My heart hurts for the struggle you’ve faced. Yes, take charge of yourself … because you can’t fix someone else’s issues. Mostly, my condolences on the loss of your dear husband. One foot in front of the other as you said. Baby steps.

      Here’s a strong hug!
      Sheri Mcgregor

  14. Kathy

    My son seems to use other reasons to pull away but I do believe my sister has played a part in it. She has had a Bible in one hand and a wrecking ball in the other. I do believe alot is political. After the election and trump lost it got worse. He has totally cut us off. My heart is broken.

    Reply

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