‘Twas the night before Mother’s Day, for mothers of estranged adult children

Mother's Day for mothers of estranged adult children
‘Twas the Night Before Mother’s Day
(for mothers of estranged adult children)
by Sheri McGregor

The night before Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May,
TV and radio remind of the day.
Rose bouquets, gift cards, and visits galore—
We’re shown family perfection, happy kids at the door.

But that’s not the reality estranged mothers see.
Since our rejection, we may not even know who to be.
In church should we stand up as all mothers do?
Or sit there, embarrassed? We might cry: Boo hoo.

Should we buy our own presents? Pretend we’re not sad?
Stay home with the curtains drawn? (It won’t be so bad.)
We could throw a big party; greet the day with a cheer.
Or turn off our cell phones; avoid calls we may fear.

Will that child we birthed so long ago phone?
Or will the adult we don’t know send a message we’ll bemoan?
We know from experience it’s just words on a screen.
Amid all the silence, it may seem just plain mean.

On this day and always treat yourself well. Let sadness go.
Enjoy others who love you, and do let you know.
Make a card for your own mom, and give her a hug.
Thank a motherly figure—at her heartstrings tug.

The day honors mothers for the gift they once gave.
For the diapers and sleep loss, for the life’s way they paved.
Honor your own self, on this day and all.
Do whatever feels best, and then heed the call—

Good woman, you’re worthy! Get up and have fun.
There’s life to be lived. You’re nowhere near done.
Get out and smile. Find people, find purpose, and joy will abound.
It’s beyond the next corner. Do look around.

Tomorrow the sun rises. Moon and stars too.
There’s hope and there’s healing. What will you do?
The world is an oyster, but its shell you must crack.
Search for the pearl. Tell the world, “I am back!”

Related Posts:

Mother’s Day when your adult child is estranged

Happy Mother’s Day

 

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48 thoughts on “‘Twas the night before Mother’s Day, for mothers of estranged adult children

    1. Karen

      Hello,

      How can I join this group, I really could use the support.
      I am feeling devastated right now.

    2. rparents Post author

      Hi Karen,
      Look under the word “community” and click”join.” Then, follow instructions.

      Sorry you find the need to be here.

      Hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

  1. Mary

    I have found the last couple of weeks even more difficult than usual. Second Mother’s Day with no communication from my son, I knew he wouldn’t get in touch but I’ve still tortured myself by holding on to the slimmest glimmer of hope . And I’ve found this royal interview with Harry and Meghan very disturbing- they carried out their very public estrangement from the family at the same time that my son abused us and erupted in anger to then ignore us. They really do believe their own imagined grievances, and enjoy the drama of shaming the people who have loved and supported them. I feel so sad for William and Kate, and Charles, who have lost their son and brother, and are having a grandchild and nephew withheld as we are – my granddaughter Olivia was 3 weeks old when we last saw her, I can’t even picture her face. Every time I see them on the tv or in my newspaper I see the parallels to my own situation, and yet we are from very different backgrounds, but I just see hurt parents and hurt families and it’s all so utterly unnecessary.

    Reply
    1. Gene

      Mary…I also viewed the recent Harry/Meghan interview with some dismay. Many of the words they used were unsettlingly familiar. As with my DIL, Meghan may be a sufferer from BPD causing her to “split” everyone in her life into “All Good” or “All Bad” categories…all due to inconsequential or even imagined affronts. Many, many of the commenters on this forum are in this same boat having a son or daughter that completely idolizes their emotionally impaired spouse and is willing to abandon their family that loves them to placate the spouse. And as both our adult children and spouses seem to lack the coping skills to deal with the situation it’s we the parents, siblings and grandparents that pay the price. We hang on to hope. It’s all we can do.

    2. Lizzy

      You are absolutely right about H and M. Maybe their selfish, ridiculous behavior being played out publicly will give our estranged children an opportunity to see how they, themselves, look: me, me, me…….the world should revolve around me……. I can’t get what I want from you anymore, so you’re TOXIC! WAHHHHHH!!! I’m dropping you from my life.
      My response: Hah! Good luck sucking out my DNA Honey.

  2. Jules

    Can I ask, & I know that this is covered in the book, but what do people say to people who you know or just meet when they ask about your children? I feel like whatever I say they know, or will guess that we don’t see our daughter or grandchildren, & I feel torn not being transparent and also like I really don’t want people to know as they may judge, and its personal stuff.
    So what do people say when people ask? I am just thinking of saying that this adult child is away at the moment? (they’d probably think prison or worse!), or just that we don’t see her much?
    Today, mothers day is weird for me as I actually don’t see my mother either, she took ‘sides’ with my adult daughter and despite us reaching out, she won’t meet with me or communicate, my daughter has changed her surname to match my mother’s surname, I feel like my mother is almost trying to push me to one side as a mother, has anyone else experienced family members being unhelpful?

    Reply
    1. Candy

      I fill the same people judge. I still get you see your kids yet ,I just say yes now ,,,it is sad ,but what can we do or say ,,,no one understands how it fills only us on here ,so glad I’m not alone ,,I can’t move on it bin 11yrs ,,I no my girls miss me but it’s there dad ,,I fault one day they come to me but they 8t me more for not trying I did ,but he at them he keep sayin they don’t want c me ,,it killed me ,I’m hurt bye them ,they are so crawl to me, money I’ve spent never once thank me ,no phone num they changed address, but I still beging them on Instagram ,mentle toucher, I can’t get over this ,I do try smile but life hard with out my kids ,he’s done good job on them ,,,brainewashed, I fill for all of u 2 u fill same as me ,

    2. Phoenix12

      Hi Jules,
      There is an entire chapter in the book about that, if I am recalling correctly, and many, many threads in the community if you would care to have a peek.

      I’m still trying to figure that out myself, practicing in the mirror, laughing, and telling myself, “And if you believe that, I’ve got some swamp land in Florida that you’re really going to love!”

      In reality, though, the best answer is probably, “Fine, thank you, and how are Susie and Jimmy and (insert names of person you know’s kids here) these days? Oh, that Jimmy, we never did think you’d manage to raise that one, and now look how he turned out! You must be one proud mama.” because people generally enjoy talking about themselves. They don’t really want to talk about your EC, the just want to talk to YOU.

      When I meet new people, I usually reply, “I have two chihuahua mixes, one blue siamese mix who thinks she is a dog, and more houseplants than most people think I should have.” and then proceed to bore them until they change the subject to the weather, your career, a book that they just read, or something more interesting to talk about.

      By no means is there an easy answer and by no means do I think that this is the best or only answer you will get to your question today. I wish I could just mutter something about “I guess I’m just not the maternal type”, but unfortunately, that would either not be a very believable lie or leave me with nothing whatsoever to interest the other person because I was a full time low income single homeschooling mom.

      But it might work for you if you raised your kids as a career gal or if your husband has always been your top priority or if you travel to interesting places.

    3. Phoenix12

      Jules, I am addressing your other issue in a separate post because I was just cancelled by my own parents with their own smartphones a few days ago, and it is still difficult to talk about.

      Yes, this is something that does happen these days. You are not imagaining things. Most likely that is exactly what your Mum is doing and most likely it is not your fault and there isn’t much of anything you can do about it.

      If you are still able to communicate with your Mum at all, you are going to have to decide for yourself whether you can prioritize her end-of-life care and practical needs over your very, very real need for a mother during the worst time in your entire life.

      Please be kind to yourself either way. If your Mum has other kids or enough money to care for herself, I would advise you to sit still.

    4. verley a.

      Yes. You are now learning the greatest lesson of your journey here on earth. Grieve, then when you are finished and you will decide when that is you will determine your future. Life sends us what we need to learn and I learnt I never have to justifiy another thing I do to anyone. I learnt I am not a victim but rather a victor. I can forgive, and send love everyday to my children. I am so strong I have overcome any judgement now tossed at me. I forgive someone who is not sorry, and accept an apology that is not given. Real Mothers love their children unconditionally but that does not mean we accept disregard or disrespect. Stars shine brightest on a dark night….. so dry those tears and shine bright because the best Parents are the mentors that are living their shorts lives with full love and passion in their hearts. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    5. Leah

      Yes i relate to everything you said i too am experiencing estrangement from my entire family. I’m so alone all the time and my own mom helped my hateful ex alienate and estrange all my kids and grandkids what a danger and robber she was always and didn’t have the words..I always felt so hatred towards her. It’s so clear whi she is when it’s too late my kids are adults it’s terribly embarrassing.. I want to still live and forgive and be myself!

    6. Jules

      thank you all for your kind and honest replies, I feel honoured that you have shared your experiences and have given me much food for thought. It is awful when other family members create more division rather than trying to bring people together, so sad and I for one can’t help feeling like my mother is getting a lot of power from her position.
      To answer @Phoenix12 my mother has another child, my adult brother although he has had drug and mental health problems over the years and I don’t think he would be particularly helpful with wills or end of life, my mother is quite unwell and its a shame that she has taken this stance because we would have wanted to help. She barely has any contact with my other two children – in fact she more or less ignores my youngest child (now 20) who herself really isn’t the type to take issue with her.
      I suspect that she does feel ashamed (she sided with my daughter but also she didn’t tell me or any of the family when my daughter had another baby, this felt like a huge betrayal and since then she hasn’t spoken to any of us) and frustratingly doesn’t know how to make things right, every time I have tried to talk to her its as if she throws metaphoric darts at me, she is really judgmental, clearly believes all and everything my middle daughter says without question (or if she does question she’s not doing it openly). She has not spoken to me now for 2 years,, and my dad who I was close to also refuses contact – I don’t think he wants to go against her.
      Estrangement does cause other problems in families, I can definitely testify to that!

    7. Danielle

      Oh my I can relate to all you share! It is so cruel for our own mothers to do this. My mother always stuck her nose in my parenting and she literally undermined my authority and completely disrespected me as the mother of my son. It is cruel… i have a very long story.. I mostly shut my mouth to keep the peace until things became completely unbearable and when I spoke up my mother gave me the silent treatment for over a year.. guess who reached out again to restore peace.. me of course… you just cannot get resolution with some people.. anyhow my mother is now deceased and my son acts like she was more his mother than I and acts as though she was perfect.. of course because she gave into his every whim and never called him to acccountability… `he is now a very selfish grown man who has disrespected me beyond words for decades… I am no contact .. long story and as for people judging.. I agree it is dangerous to share the truth with others as they can and many will judge which can only add more sorrow upon sorrow so in order to save myself more pain if people ask i decided to say my son lives in another country. God bless you and stay strong. This is one of the most heart breaking and cruel things for a mother to experience…

  3. Angela

    An adult child’s estrangement is an act of extreme emotional violence. Some adult children are emotionally underdeveloped, or even primitive; and so don’t understand the damage they have done. Others fully understand it, but justify the devastation somehow.
    I wish I had some answers. My children were loved, nurtured, and had every moment of my attention. After a divorce (not of my initiation) they estranged.
    I send gifts and cards on every holiday, but that’s like dropping stones into a well.
    Yes, over the years I have stayed busy, earning another masters degree, etc., but every holiday is a nightmare.

    Reply
    1. Jules

      It is sad when children side with other parent, is there anyone in your family who can mediate or talk to them? I am sending out hope for you x

    2. Anonymous

      My son does not realize that he was used as a pawn by his father when his father began his affair. I did not understand this at the time. His father left me three years later and now divorced almost five years, have NEVER received a phone call, card or anything. My grandson will be two next week and I have never met him. The absolute strangest thing is that my son states absolute lies about me! I have come to learn that his covert narcissist father “planted” these lies, but, I still do not understand his lack of memory. I too will be disinheriting my son and his wife ( I think he married Meghan Markle). I send cards and gifts to my grandson and will leave him a small amount.
      PS. My grandson was given my adulterous ex’s name as his middle name. I am crushed.

    3. Angel

      Thank you for sharing. I could’ve written this myself. Keeping myself busy attaining degree after degree. Working and studying to the point of burnout. Yet these holidays…when I m forced to sit with myself and think; it is torturous. The kind of pain I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. And I am known to be relentless and at times too blunt. But this…

  4. Anonymous

    My heart breaks reading these accounts. And they also remind me of my situation (total estrangement from our only child/son for 10 years and his wife and 2 young daughters).

    However, following are several important ways we’ve coped. Recommendations I hope others will follow, too:
    1) We are not ashamed of our parenting of our very much loved son. As such, though the pain of rejection never stops, we determined we will not allow rejection to mentally ‘cripple’ us
    2) Working with an attorney, we drew up a Will, especially important to us because we do not want he or his wife (the cause of this unreasonable treatment) to benefit from our demise (prior to the estrangement we were generous with them). We have arranged for our small assets to go the various charities and ministries
    3) We are *very busy* with community and church volunteer responsibilities. Although now retired, we’ve lived a lifetime of ‘giving’ of our time to church and community projects – even when holding demanding jobs. Our volunteer commitments just increased after retirement. Opportunities we enjoy
    4) We share holidays with others; typically making plans well in advance so we have something to look forward to, versus waiting for the card and phone call that doesn’t come
    5) Our faith in God and hope in His ultimate justice are of utmost importance

    Note; my husband was very ill (hospitalized off/on for more than forty days five years ago) and our son called one time, briefly. And since the estrangement our son has list three of his four grandparents, grandparents who loved him very much. His remaining grandfather is very fragile — though he is – and the others were, each in their right minds. IOW, they were fully aware of his rejection. The pain of his rejection of them never stops, for they do and did not deserve his treatment either.

    To recap, we stay busy and contributing. And the book Done With the Crying *really helped* — except that we were years into our estrangement before we found the book.

    Please put your chin up — determine to thrive. If your situation is similar to ours, *this pain is not your fault.*

    Reply
  5. T H.

    I love all of you and deeply share in this pain. The virus and now immunizations are adding insult to our injury. Its so important to share in this site. Big, big hugs to each of you!!!!

    Reply
    1. Phoenix12

      Yes, T.H., I completely agree. This is not the way any of us wanted our golden years to look like, but we can still take care of each other and help each other out. I am still young enough to be allowed into stores to get food for eightysomethings and they are still old enough to share the wisdom and perspective that I need and their own children rejected.

      We have all this unwanted affection for our children and grandchildren and yet we are starved for affection ourselves.

      Mine has got to go somewhere. I love you too, T.H. Please stay safe and don’t forget that there is a link at the top of the site that says “Community” if you run out of people to talk to in the comments section.

    2. Carol K.

      I appreciate this comment referencing the pandemic now. Yet the constant news about it almost always stresses how hard it is for families to be separated from sick grandparents (‘dying alone’).
      I’ve stopped counting the years my only child estranged himself and his kids from me. Five or so. And although I’ve come to terms somewhat (I’ll always love him as the child he was. But I don’t like or trust him now). I’m always at sea when it comes to my relationship with my daughter-in-law and my grandchildren. Through her, I’ve arranged Skype visits with her and the kids, on occasion. (Ususally big holidays and presents.) Feels off, with my son in the next room. I feel like I’m being gossiped about while simultaneously tossed away (‘There. We did our duty,’ I imagine them saying.) Part of me is so sick of this phony nice-nice stuff (when they’re acting nice) that I’m verging on cutting off entirely–this is a mock relationship, a quid pro quo (presents for the kids), showing they’re alive on a screen. Truth is, my health is failing. They may be aware. I don’t think they care. I get a text from dil every few months. Maybe. I no longer even hold hope of sorting things out, having my family back. I no longer feel that they care at all. My death may be told to them months after the event , if then. My son doesn’t deserve my respect. I wonder if many rejected parents eventually feel the anger and sadness, but mostly resentment? At this point I dread those fake smiley Skypes.

  6. Terrie K.

    Hi Everyone:

    I actually wrote something and then thought it was like everything else and I wanted to put forth a different idea to think about. We all know the feeling of being estranged from a child and what we have gone through wondering what we could have done to have something so final bestowed upon us without understanding how it is our fault. It is 3 years and I like you have cried and cried and then I decided I need to talk to a thrid party, not my friends who always side with me on this subject. The most important thing I came away with was when my therapist said, “He is an adult, he gets to make his own decisions”. Those words meant more to me because they made sense.

    Now, let’s look at this from a completely different angle, one I have never seen mentioned, or if it has been I had not seen it. I had to do a lot of soul searching within myself! I am the giver and my only child is now a 55-year-old guy who was spoiled from the beginning so in that it is my fault. Us givers are a unique breed as we keep giving but never look at the takers or ask why they rarely if ever, give back.

    So this is what I had to ask myself and I think maybe if you are honest you may find some peace in your answer. Is this child, the one you gave birth to and raised a person you would love as your friend. We love our friends for many reasons but for me the trust factor is huge and I do not trust my son would be there for me in a time of need! I will say that makes this whole thing a bit easier because I still have to wonder what I would do if he showed up at my door someday. I will not hold my breathe.

    Reply
    1. Karen C.

      Hello all…I would never have imagined that I would be writing a post on a site relating to this issue. I’m not estranged from my son, but our relationship has drastically changed since his marriage and the few years prior. I’ve come to realize that he and his wifes behavior toward me could be considered a form of bullying. It started with her disrespectful comments and his eventual piggybacking on it, including when I had a bout with cancer. I have been without boundaries for most of my life. Working on these issues in therapy, I’m learning to protect my dignity and will no longer be a doormat to try and maintain my relationship with my son and small grandchildren. Saying yes to favors, thinking I will earn their love and respect has only made them worse. I’m done. My love and kindness could be given elsewhere. This generation (30 somethings) seem to be lacking morality and respect..

    2. Linda F.

      Thank you for those words, I too am trying to accept that this is his decision, and I comply with the foolishness by staying away.
      The loss of my grands is a physical pain, I pray he never knows for him self.
      He knows where I am, he knows my door will never close.
      One day at a time I guess?
      With out this group , I wouldn’t have made this far.
      Starting year 4.

    3. Linda F.

      Thank you for those words, I too am trying to accept that this is his decision, and I comply with the foolishness by staying away.
      The loss of my grands is a physical pain, I pray he never knows for him self.
      He knows where I am, he knows my door will never close.
      One day at a time I guess?
      With out this group , I wouldn’t have made this far.
      Starting year 4.

    4. Lauri

      Terrie,
      These are wise words and give me pause for thought. My son is in his mid 30’s and I think that while I thought I was doing the “right” thing in parenting him, I feel that perhaps I gave the message of being “special” — too special. At that time, the message we were all told is to let people know they are special. I realize even for myself, I was trying to show the world that I was “special”.
      But none of us are special. When I realized this, it was like a huge relief and I let go of all kinds of nonsense that I had been holding inside me. What a crazy thing to strive for, and keep measuring over the years. What I came to understand, is that no one is special, BUT everyone is UNIQUE. For me that was the thing that transformed me. There are no measuring and comparing with unique. We can just be…..ourselves.

      As a parent, I gave my son the “wrong” message. I helped him believe he is special. But really, he is unique, like everyone. And he does not deserve special treatment. And he does not have the right to stomp on my feelings and treat me like dirt. I own my part. And that is very freeing for me. I do not have to prove anything any longer. I did my best with the knowledge I had at the time.

      warm loving hugs to you.

    5. Janet

      I agree Angela every holiday is a nightmare. I know my daughter doesn’t want to see me but I feel she is punishing her two children too by not letting them see me. They are 4 and 7 and I have not seen them in 4 years. My heart is broken. Knowing there are others out there like me helps a little but I cry almost every day.

    6. Danielle

      Yes I too have cried a sea of tears and like you a giver, an empath and one tries so hard to reach peace, and resolution in all my relationships. I came to the realization that my son is nothing like me.. he is a taker, selfish, unforgiving, careless and cruel. He also has made sure that I cannot trust him as he has also lied, slandered me to gain sympathy or some kind of control over me and manipulation… he is quite disgusting to me as a human being.. I know it is very sad and sound harsh to say your own child disgusts you.. but seriously what kind of a human being dishonors their mother in such a base manner as to slander her. It is very difficult to explain the feeling of walking into a room and suddenly being treated as though you are a horrible person and being perplexed about it.. only to realize.. oh.. my son has been bad mouthing me for sure.. anyhow I would not treat my worst enemey the way he has treated me so I do NOT want anymore of his cruelty. I am better off away from him and his hateful wife.. I do miss my beautiful grand children (all named after her mother and family) … anyhow I say all this to say I share your feelings.. I quit hoping and holding my breath for a while now.. Let them go… they choose this evil… we deserve better, far better. God knows. God bless you

  7. Phoenix12

    No, Diane; Lori is absolutely right; you don’t get over this.

    That isn’t biologically possible for any mother or many fathers. It’s like Nam or widowhood. Nobody who has ever experienced being disowned by their own children expects you to just slap on a happy grin and pretend motherhood never happened.

    That makes about as much sense as demanding that a quadriplegic jump up out of their wheelchair right this moment and flap their arms and fly to the moon.

    We have to live in a world that refuses to accept the fact that not all wounds can be healed. Time doesn’t heal this one, it just makes it different. I’ve been an off and on member of the community here for going on six years, but in light of the fact that the oldest of my ex-children must be 32 by now and she was 19 when she cancelled me with her smartphone, it’s been awhile.

    We have members of the community who share their wisdom of how to deal with the fact that a broken heart continues to beat, sometimes for 20 or more years after being irreversably shattered into a thousand pieces that, like Humpty Dumpty, can never be put back together again.

    It’s about living anyway. It’s about still enjoying the little pleasures we have left to us. It’s about carving a space for the person we have become where she will be safe and respected and treated with the kindness and care that we would treat any fallen warrior, any comrade in arms, any wounded soldier who darned well deserves medical care, food, water, shelter, and the basic amenities for survival after paying the ultimate price.

    It’s about doing the right thing.

    You are worth it, Diane. What happened to you isn’t your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. You were collateral damage in a battle, but that happens in wars every now and again, and just because you paid the ultimate price for the battle that was lost, that does not mean that we aren’t going to win this war.

    It’s about shining light on a horrible thing that happens to so many of us in the darkness.

    Reply
    1. Lil

      I am estranged from my children per their choice. I could either give in to their financial demands and emotional blackmail and abuse or suffer the consequences of holding adults accountable for their actions. I finally realized that I need to hold them accountable for their actions and if they don’t want to heal our relationship, then so be it. It doesn’t mean I’m not a mother. I celebrate my motherhood every year. My favorite tradition is to go to the local nursery and by a plant or two. I go to thrift shops looking for the perfect pot for my finds. I stop by a bakery and buy myself a treat on the way home. I cook something special for myself and celebrate ME. I end my day with a cup of tea and my bakery treat. I sometimes have pangs of sadness and I allow myself a brief time to grieve then remind myself that until my adult children can be RESPONSIBLE for their actions, I’m better off without their abuse. Ladies…celebrate YOU on Mother’s Day because the most important thing you can control is how you feel about yourself and how you treat yourself. I hope you reach the point where you can honor, love, respect, and celebrate YOU!❤️

    2. Marlene E.

      I, too, was canceled by my daughter. It has been over 26 years now. I gave up trying to find answers why. My ex husband turned her against me. I have two grand children that I will never get to see.
      And my worst fear is becoming an orphaned adult, as she was my only child. I like who I am. And I am hoping that God will send me someone to share life with.

    3. Angela

      Thank you for your insights. You really hit the nail on the head for me. Estangement is an act of emotional violence, and the damage is not going to be repaired or go away.

    4. C. F.

      Hi my xhusband took my 3 kids 1 boy 2 girls ,stoped me seeing them ,I’ve begged begged father let me c my 2 girls ,age 9 12 at time my boy well I lost him 1st to he’s dad ,then took my to dollys after ,bin 11yrs I at to give up courts as he put stop to it ,my mum sibbings left me for dead in way ,no help I ad no one only one I ad was people I cleaned for and I was a mess ,my family beat me up ,and i live right next to them ,,,but after 11yrs not talking only being beat up, we talking now ,but I’m a mess i got so much pain towards them coz I got mentle health problems, my girl txt me on Instagram sayin she want start again I was so happy ,but I didn’t ad no one sheer my joy,then just stop txt again just like that ,,I’m remarried to lovely man ,but I’m lost I just want my to little girls back but they r grown up now ,it there dad ,but they picked him ,I no they want me but can’t,,I can’t get away from it my sis married to my xhusband family so I’m stuck ,I got no one to go over stick up for me ,11yrs crying lost with out my kids ,,,but I no I need get help so I can stop driving my self mad ,,,it’s hard ,but I’m glad I’m reading all of yrs on here good luck to all ,candy

  8. trish

    It has been several years now that Mothers day (and all holidays for that matter) have come and gone without so much as a word. My oldest son (now 26) lives and works out of state with his GF from college and close to her family. I am happy that he at least has some family, some connection to what I’ve always believed is the reason we’re all here, with this wonderful life we get from God, and that maybe someday he will have reason to pause and reflect , perhaps wonder , dare I say, be so bold as to ask himself…. why he did what he did. My last email to him, in which I groveled and begged, ending with a Stone’s verse of “wild horse’s” was 4 years ago.. and I can honestly say, since then, much has changed with my emotional under-standing and mental capacity to accommodate such a devastating hurt that CAN live beside my framework as a “good mother”, that I don’t foster any expectations of a reconciliation. I have let him go, and I I am at peace. I have not torn up baby pictures, his HS graduation and college photo’s still grace my home, and at Christmas, I do still hang his stocking alongside his brother and sisters…(both of which I was blessed to have home for the holidays,… — a COVID blessing 2020)… Each year, his stocking gets a story from his mother. A happy story, verified with a happy photo of him … should he ever choose to return , whether I’m here or not, his brother and sister both know there is a stocking amongst the Christmas decor that is his, and that I’d like him to have it , should he ever make contact… I think sometimes, when adult children cut off family, they do so under the unfortunate hope that their new”love” ( infatuation) , fueled by untreated abandonment issues ( divorce) and a general low self-esteem (Asperger’s) , and yes,… a millennial grandiosity that our institutions of higher education “permit” parents to pay into… to re-mold the values they DID leave home with…that ALL was good… that we ALL were happly, and that should he have forgotten any of our happy memories… they have ALWAYS been with us, and he is free to embrace them, or repress them… but they are very REAL.

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  9. Phoenix12

    I love this, Sheri. I’m going to do it. I don’t know how, but I’m going to do it the same way I learned how to hitch hike and play the guitar and find food in dumpsters when I was a kid: because I have to.

    A friend from my past has resurfaced and refused to be someone I can hate and be jealous of. She is disabled and should never have been put in a position of having to choose between what is best for her daughter, who is a “long hauler” with the covid at the age of 23 and may well not live to see her 25th birthday, and what is right for the little girl who was her granddaughter up until about a year ago. The child says that my friend is her mother now.

    She can’t possibly raise both of those children by herself when her own health is so fragile, but as a fellow rejected parent, I also know that it is physically impossible for her not to try after losing all three of her other children.

    So my friend is going to get as much spoiling and pampering as I can do from 2,000+ miles away and the children, at least her younger one, need a different sort of adult in their lives, something more like a “fairy godmother” than an extra mother or a “Mom’s best friend” trying to fill the shoes of fathers that neither of her girls ever had.

    I’m not sure exactly what “mother’s childless unmarried best friends with hearts of gold” are supposed to do, act, and be, but I think I’m supposed to send the kids wildly inappropriate and outrageously expensive presents from some strange country nobody has ever heard of on weird holidays they don’t even celebrate, aren’t I?

    I also can’t send the little autistic girl a picture of myself until I can pick up some fairy wings and a magic wand, now, can I?

    The older girl, who is really a mother who has been rejected by a very young child through no fault of her own, is going to be a bit harder, but this family needs something that isn’t a mother and my ex-family doesn’t want me any more, so I guess I’m going to make a few mistakes with the new family too.

    I never said I wasn’t scared out of my wits.

    Reply
  10. Deborah L.

    It’s sad to read the comments and realize there are so many of us going through the same thing. For me it’s my 46 year old daughter. Last August, 2020, she cursed me with the foulest language and my husband sat in his recliner not saying anything. Not having his support was the last straw of many years of her abuse. I left my husband, daughter, my grandsons (one of whom is 22 and left home at 17 because of her verbal and physical abuse). The hardest part was leaving those grandsons, but staying wasn’t helping them, so I moved 1500 miles away to be near my family and friends who gave me love and support. (When we married, we moved to where my husband was from.) Recently I came close to a mental breakdown, but thanks be to God, he led me to a special friend who has seen me through. Right now I’m preparing to return to my lonely apartment 3 hours away, praying I can put your suggestions to use and not find myself in that dark place again. I pray each of you will find comfort and solace and be able to find joy in your lives!

    Reply
    1. Ellen W.

      My 46 year old daughter did the same to mEllene last December. Take comfort in knowing there are others out there going through the same thing. Hugs.

    2. Anonymous

      Big move! You are to be applauded for standing up for yourself. Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘Nobody can insult us without our permission’. By standing up despite your jellyfish husband’slack of support, you’ve sent the message you ‘are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore’. Yet, your apartment is lonely, you say. You must be past 60 and now have to create a new life for yourself. This could be a big strain. A big strain. Get busy with hobbies and doing good for others out there who really need your help via volunteering. This is a form of leadership for an undervalued person as you have been in the past. You will draw people to you and begin to enjoy companionship. And……….could it be over time, your mealy-mouthed husband will get his just rewards and take abuse from your daughter himself? Could love resurface as he realizes he misses you and that your are far more to him beyond serving as a whipping boy for your daughter on his behalf? Could very well be. Best of luck.

  11. Diane

    Elizabeth I have the same problem. Have to say if that’s there choice then so be it.
    I could never turn my back on my mother and there were problems. She had bipolar which made life difficult but NEVER would I shun her.
    Happy Mother’s Day from me to you. xx

    Reply
    1. Elizabeth Lewis

      Thank you so much Diane. I enjoyed my walk with a friend, have started planting up that hedge and whatever else the world throws at me I did my best for her, so there’s s clear conscience.
      I hope you and all the other brave parents as well as the grandparents had a great weekend, whether it was your mother’s Day or not!

  12. Diane

    We are strong and don’t deserve this treatment.
    I know cos I’ve kept it buttoned for a very long time.Sometimes I wonder if maybe we could have just gone on pretending things were normal but child abuse took place and I would not be a proper grandparent if I just ignore it.
    Of course this was the instigator to the problem which changed everything. Things can never Change now due to being honest.. life’s sad at times but we have to move on and up.

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  13. Diane

    My second Mother’s Day and still can’t believe there was no love there ! Really?…
    Can’t say it don’t hurt cos it does….. but obliviously not returned.
    My son has no family other than us but he still cares not. Wife is all . Says a lot about family to him.
    I have to just let go for our sake …..and I can do that……but late in the night when I am awake things run through my mind and I wonder !!!!! Can you ever get over this ?…

    Reply
    1. Lori

      No Diane; I don’t believe it is possible to get over this. It’s inhumane.

      Been over 5 years for me, and still no understanding of why???

  14. Elizabeth L.

    As usual Sheri, you picked up a time when I was just about to waver! Although looking back, I’m happier without her in my life, I still wonder if she’ll be giving her boyfriend’s mum what she never would to me.

    It’s no biggie, but I had a wobble earlier today when my troublesome neighbour made a big deal out of a bunch of flowers that arrived, making sure they were waved by my window so I could see.

    However, I’m going walking with a friend tomorrow, and I have my own planting to do – a new hedge for my front garden.

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