Tag Archives: Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children

In Estrangement: Intervene for yourself

by Sheri McGregor, M.A.

Have you seen the television show called Intervention? The few times I’ve watched, the stories are heartbreaking, and the interventions have limited success. But something in the show the other night stuck with me.

estrangementIntervention: Who gets help?

If you’ve have ever watched the show, you know that the addict’s family members have suffered. Sometimes a grandparent cares for the addict’s child. Family members have tried to talk sense into the individual, and have offered all sorts of help. They may have felt as if they had no choice but to enable the adult child with money so he or she doesn’t end up on the street. But nothing has worked. They’ve watched their loved one’s life unravel—and often, parts of their own lives have unraveled too.

The family’s decision to do an “intervention” represents more than helping the addict. The family members are helping themselves. They all agree that enough is enough. Something must change. They can no longer enable and allow the addict to interfere with their own happiness. By setting up boundaries to support themselves, which includes things like disengaging from the relationship, no longer giving money, and letting the addict suffer the consequences of their behavior, they hope the addict will agree to get immediate help.

How’s this apply to estranged parents?

In the episode I’m referring to, the family waited for the addict to arrive at the pre-intervention meeting as always. The counselor brought up some important points that apply to estrangement from adult children.

First, the counselor said: Whenever you think or talk about the addict, it’s a mood-altering experience.

estrangementThe family agreed. No doubt, parents experiencing estrangement from adult children can relate. Thinking about an estranged adult child brings them down. It’s a mood-altering experiencing. And it’s no wonder. For most parents, it’s difficult to even believe the estrangement has occurred, let alone try to accept it. The emotional trauma of estrangement is tough to contend with and bleeds into other areas of parents’ lives. It can be so draining. That’s why I wrote my book to help parents of estranged adult children cope, founded RejectedParents.Net, and am sharing with you in this article now.

Next, the counselor told the family: The thing is, the addict may never change.

It’s the same with estrangement. Many parents hope for their estranged adult child’s change of heart, and for a reconciliation like the prodigal child. But it’s important to realize that this may never happen.

Finally, the intervention counselor told the family: You cannot be casualties of the addict’s behavior.

Parents estranged from adult children need to think the same way.  Your estranged adult child may never change. Don’t be a casualty.

No intervention for your estranged adult children

For absolute clarity, let me say outright that I am in no way suggesting you do an intervention with your estranged adult child. Many families have tried this, and of the stories I’ve heard, the results were not good. I’ll share a few of those experiences in a future article, because I hear from parents all the time who are wondering about the tactic.

Estrangement: Focus on you

In Done With The Crying, there are examples of how repeatedly reaching out can become hurtful to parents of estranged adult children. Suffering rejection over and over again can further dismantle self-esteem, and puts parents at the feet of a child to whom they’ve handed all the power. Reconciling may not even be wise if the relationship will be hurtful. Coming to terms with estrangement involves examining the situation with clear eyes rather than through rose colored glasses.

As the New Year is set to start (or any time!), draw the curtain on the dark thoughts such as where you must have gone wrong. If you’re like most parents, in estrangement from your adult children, you’ve beat yourself up for every possible mistake.

Starting this new calendar year, let go of the worries and what-ifs about your estranged adult child’s possible future regrets. Instead, focus on the good you did, the times you tried, andestrangement the effort you made to be the best parent you knew how.

Don’t be a casualty. Do a personal intervention on yourself. Join thousands of parents who, despite estrangement, have embraced their lives and moved happily into the future.

Happy New Year!

Related reading

Estrangement from adult children: Five ways to move forward

New Year NOW

What don’t you know?

 

A thank you

by Sheri McGregor, M.A.

I’d like to express my gratitude to:

  • Members of my forum to help parents of estranged adult children
  • Parents who have written to me
  • Facebook page members
  • People who comment here at RejectedParents.NET
  • Reader reviewers
  • Fellow writers and industry reviewers
  • Estranged parents who helped in my research

mother with estranged adult child
Thank you to online support forum members who encourage others. You lend a broad shoulder to those in need of understanding and care. Your heartfelt posts in our judgment-free zone inspire.

Estranged from adult children, and moving on: a sampling from the forum

Recently, many forum members have moved beyond the anguish of estrangement from adult children, and publicly declared your independence. Thank you. You have inspired others as you courageously stepped forward to—as I say in Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Childrenenjoy your lives!

Some move on with a flourish that’s likely reminiscent of their personalities and their lives—such as this from “Mountainview:” Goodbye-Aufwiedersein. . . .

Others make difficult, important decisions with a steady hand that demonstrates their stability and strength. Such as this mother, who came to a sensible conclusion, and shared it as part of her good-bye: “MJMom’s:” A Journey of Acceptance

Some dance on into their lives with glee. They’re free! As in “Joyful’s” cheery note.

And some move on because they reconcile. “Linwinning” has a story similar to Abbey’s in Chapter 7 of my book, and shared it in her goodbye note to offer other parents hope that they will also one day reconcile.

I’m so glad that you have found some peace, and are confidently walking forward. Your words are important, and help other people.

From Facebook, and in online reviews

mother with estranged adult childThank you also to the mothers and fathers who have sent messages, emails, or posted on the Facebook page . Your comments mean a lot to me and fellow page members. I so appreciate your likes and shares, and am grateful to be a tiny part of your journey. Thank you for your kindness and generosity. There is so much wisdom among you!

To those who share their own experiences of acceptance, hope, and wisdom in reviews at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in comments at various blogs and discussion sites, as well as here at RejectedParents.NET—a heartfelt thanks.

Your input, insight, and inroads to peace and happiness help others who experience the trauma of estrangement from adult children. Your voices of reassurance and support uplift other parents. And your thoughts enlighten a society that still knows very little about the subject of adult children who estrange themselves from loving families.

Professional help

Let me extend my gratitude to Susan Adcox, grandparenting expert at about.com for her Review of Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children. Susan’s site is a valuable resource to many readers.

Likewise, Joi of Self Help Daily offers a plethora of resources to living joyful lives. It’s an honor to have her review of my book among good company.

And thanks to the Nonfiction Authors Association, which recently spotlighted me as member of the week. Much of the posted interview focuses on what led me to write Done With The Crying to help parents experiencing estrangement from adult children, and continues with topics probably of interest mainly to other writers.

The silent majority

Not all of you write letters, or post publicly about your pain or progress. According to recent research, the ratio of those who remain in the background to those who write online for all to see is 90 to 1. I respect your privacy, and appreciate your help—you are among the thousands who have responded to my research survey without further contact, and thereby help others in the same boat (or to get out of it as is advised in the article The Boat!).

Hugs to you as you journey forward on your own unique path. All of you are part of something bigger, a network of kind souls around the globe. As I continue with this site, and potentially add other options to support parents of estranged adults, you help light the way forward for others in health and happiness.