When your adult child wants nothing to do with you: Is it time to go with the flow? 

By Sheri McGregor, M.A.

when your adult child wants nothing to do with you

Photo by Gëzim Fazliu from Pexels

Have you read about that man in Munich, Germany, who floats to work every day? He got tired of the stops and starts of traffic, the long waits that got him nowhere fast, and the road rage. This man, Benjamin David, did something different. He looked to what was in his environment to help him, decided on a plan, prepared himself, and plunged into the river. Now, he floats along with the current each day—and it delivers him effortlessly to his workplace. He goes with the flow. 

Maybe it’s a stretch to compare this man to parents rejected by adult children—or maybe not. Especially as estrangement drags on, it can feel like we’re stuck in a sort of traffic limbo. We may be the recipient of anger we don’t deserve, or get angry ourselves. The tiniest breakthrough can get our hopes up and then drop us into a pit. Like when the cars go from a standstill to a crawl and we breathe a sigh of relief… only to get snagged in another snarl of traffic up ahead. 

CHANGE DIRECTIONS 

Like this man who made a change for the better, parents rejected by adult children can assess their situations, realize they’re getting nowhere, and try something different. A realistic analysis is the first step to a solution, and new direction that drives progress.  

Parents around the globe continue to send holiday cards or gifts yet remain estranged.  As the holiday music jingles and the messages of family and restoration abound, they feel a mix of obligation, hope, and confusion. They start to ponder whether to reach out again this year.  

They may worry that not reaching out may be used as proof they don’t care. Or that a heartfelt message of love will be viewed as a manipulation tactic to “guilt” the son or daughter into responding. Grandparents who want to make sure their grandchildren know they’re loved face a dilemma: How can they choose gifts for the special family members they no longer know? Or worse, will their gifts given to innocent grandchildren be subverted to the trash bin?    

WHEN YOUR ADULT CHILD WANTS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU:
START A NEW ERA 
 

As this year comes to an end and a new one begins, I implore you to consider what one of my adult children who is not estranged recently said about estrangement from the sibling who is:  

“We’re about to start a new era.”  

We really are beginning a new era, moving into the third decade of the millennium, and far beyond the time when our estrangement from one adult son began. It’s a new era for our family as a whole, with fresh starts, changes in direction, and a time of renewed joy. Being stressed over something we couldn’t change has no place in our family’s future.  

How about you? As 2019 comes to a close, can you ring the holiday bell to end an era of heartache, and think of the season as a time of rebirth and joy? 

GET OUT OF THE TRAFFIC JAM 

Make decisions that move you forward rather than keep you stuck. If you’re pondering whether or not to reach out this holiday, reflect on a few critical questions. Consider using a pen and paper to fully explore your thoughts. Ask yourself: 

  • Whether or not my estranged offspring has ever replied, has my reaching ever made a difference? 
  • If I’m worried about how my behavior will be construed or misconstrued, what are my fears specifically? Do they make sense? Or are they keeping me stuck? 

Don’t Stress 

There’s an old story about a woman whose daughter asks her why she cuts two inches off each end of the roast and throws them away. “That’s the way my mother did it,” she says. Curious, the daughter asks her grandmother the same question—and gets the same answer. Dying to know why it’s so important to cut two inches off either side, the girl calls her great grandmother to inquire. She’s surprised when her great grandmother laughs, saying, “Because the roast wouldn’t fit the pan!” 

At one point, reaching out may have kept the hope that you would reunite alive. Even when your adult child wants nothing to do with you, it has been a way to demonstrate (at least from your point of view) that you still love your child and were ready to forgive. But what’s the purpose now? Is it helping, or keeping you stuck in a cycle of hope and disillusionment? Is the expended energy doing you good, or are you only throwing it away? 

Times change. Feelings do, too. At what point do you listen to the message your child’s silence (anger, gossip, abuse. . .) sends? Is it time to decide to put your energy toward your own life, your emotional wellness, and the people who love you?  

Like the man in Munich did, is it time to take the plunge … and go with the flow?  

To prepare and plan for your new era, get a copy of Done With The Crying. Its advice and information based on current research and the input of thousands of parents rejected by adult children will help you take the plunge into a happy life beyond the pain of familial estrangement. Or, if you’ve read it once, now might be a good time to do some of the exercises again (the new Done With The Crying WORKBOOK: for Parents of Estranged Adult Childrenwill help). 

This holiday season, give yourself a supportive gift: permission to go with the flow. 

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109 thoughts on “When your adult child wants nothing to do with you: Is it time to go with the flow? 

  1. Patricia Y.

    My (our) first Christmas, shunned. It’s gut wrenching. Heartbreaking. There is an Influencer, but we’re still in shock as we process daily, our beloved daughter could be persuaded to estranged herself, her wife, our granddaughter, and her newborn baby boy – a grandchild we have not met, let alone held in our arms.

    Reply
    1. Marcia S.

      I know, I have a similar situation. I don’t know what to do. We have emailed back-and-forth and all I get is everything that I do wrong. He makes me feel like a terrible mother. My husband and I are in shock, I don’t know what to do here. God bless you, and just take a lot of Xanax. And have A wonderful Christmas with your friends.

    2. Hella P.

      Your article is so timely for me…The anger, confusion, guilt, sadness, anger etc…I know now I am not alone…I am being verbally abused by one and hearing passive-agressive comnents from the other…I didn’t grow up with that kind of behavior…I am a loving mother..but it is so confusing to be treated by them with hateful language..It hurts and is confusing to me..This article hits home and helps me make new and better decisions for myself!…Thanks

    3. Susan M.

      I am at a loss it’s my 2nd Christmas with out my kids I don’t know what to do my heart is just scattered. I have a new grandson I haven’t meet yet I don’t know what to do…

    4. Tricia

      I am there friend, my daughter had her baby in June. We fought because she took 3 hrs to call me. Yes she was distancing, I believe due to her husband of 2 yrs., and she has denied me any contact. This, our first grand, Broken I am. Yes it was an evil divorce from her dad. He is bad news. I think her husband has been unhealthy and we live manY states away. I know I am a good woman, but I have had enough.
      I tried hard to connect, but she has no love for me. This is unthinkable. Go forward, find your beauty, as you know your good, step out and help others, it is healing.

    5. TooHurt2Bresentful

      It’s our 3rd Christmas of estrangement. I don’t have backup kids to enjoy. Once again, I sent Christmas presents because I care although I’m guessing they will see it as emotional warfare, when it’s the opposite. I’m the one crying. My son is dead and his adult sister wants nothing to do with me. She started her estrangement before my son died but completely cut me off over two years ago. Most of my expensive gifts get returned and I lose the money. This year under their names on the address label I put “if you don’t want, donate to toys for tots or Salvation Army” I got screwed over in October when I sent 2k in clothes and she rejected them and Macy’s has refused to give a refund.

    6. Oddogg

      It’s terrible to find comfort in other people’s suffering. I am so sorry for those who feel this gut wrenching pain. There’s no escape. I think about suicide daily but I am too afraid to do it. I had the best marriage and family two years ago. My husband got cancer and suffered for a year. I was his sole caregiver. None of my family offered to help. All I asked for were phone calls and I would pay their way to come see us but they didn’t. I was so hurt. I was exhausted. I watched my sweet man slip away bit by bit. He never complained. He could not swallow anything. Everything had to go through his j-tube. He had a huge wound from a thoracotomy on his back that never healed and was always in pain. I wasn’t a nurse but I learned quickly how to care for him. I gave him IV antibiotics, took him to the ER multiple times. I was afraid he would die at anytime. He did on 9.6.19. My entire family has not spoken to me since before he died. His family has been wonderful and I have many friends who can’t believe what my family has done. I can’t either. We used to be close and no one will tell me what I have done to deserve this. My youngest had a baby three days after my husband died and never told me. I was a devoted mother. I never abused them or neglected them. They have college educations and were always loved and supported by me. I was there for them but they have abandoned me. I think my oldest daughter has lied about me to my sister and they believe her. How can they be this cruel? I lost my beloved husband, daughters, sister and grandchildren in one day. If it weren’t for my husband’s family and my friends I don’t know what I’d do. I just want to go to sleep and never wake up. My daughters said they would go to group therapy but I am terrified of my oldest daughter. I don’t think I can ever trust them again. I don’t even know if I love them. This is parent abuse! We raise them, love them, put up with their lies and abuse and then we are supposed to confess our sins and they don’t take any responsibility for the pain they cause us. I don’t want to be in the same room with them unless they show some compassion and empathy for me. This is not love. How do I live with this? It’s torture and I can’t find my bliss anymore. There’s no peace, no joy anymore. If I got a terminal illness I would be grateful because then I could be euthanized and be with my beloved husband wherever he is. Unhappy New Year.

    7. rparents Post author

      Oddogg,

      My condolences for your loss. I hope you will speak with your doctor about how you feel. A general doctor might refer you to a therapist or grief counselor. I’m so sorry this has happened to you and so many other kind and loving people. Please take good care of yourself and write here anytime.

      Hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

    8. Teresa E.

      I have 2 sons, each with 3 children. My husband & I raised our boys to be strong, independent men. We provided them with the ability to obtain college educations as well as home & auto ownership. We supported their marriages & welcomed their wives as daughters. We enjoyed frequent visits with our grandchildren. We all gathered here for Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter celebrations. Then, 4 years ago my husband died from cancer. And, my family was gone. I was suddenly & silently ostracized from my family. It has been devastating. It was as if my entire family had died. There are no words for the pain & confusion. I would reach out for a explanation and receive nothing. However, through third parties, I believe that I know what has happened…I am a strong woman with a clear compass. I was highly respected and loved by my husband and he expected the same from our sons. It seems that I was a “queen” in our family. I now have come to see that this family has always resented the way that our family was structured. Now, I am to be shown that my sons will structure their families themselves & establish family traditions of their own & their wives are now the ” queens” in their households. In essence, this is what has happened within my family. It appears that I am to “demanding”, do not have “boundaries”, do not “know my place”. I want to say here that these estrangements are nothing more than juvenile, stupid “head games” on the part of these children who are attempting to force me – a strong, principled, independent woman – to become ” compliant”. If I sound angry, it’s because I am. And, hurt to the depths at the disrespect shown to me. I am who I am. The sum of my life experiences, beliefs & principles. It is what it is. I deserve the tolerance & acceptance that I extended to them through their lives. Period. That I don’t receive that is their failing – not mine. Yet, I suffer? Please, I welcome any thoughts and/ or advice…

    9. rparents Post author

      Hi Teresa,

      I’m not absolutely certain that I understand. Are you saying that you feel you should be the queen of your sons’ households?

      I have a good relationship with my daughter-in- law (not the estranged son’s wife). I believe she is the queen of her household. I think she has that right, and I wouldn’t try to usurp it. I don’t try to impose my ideas on her because of that, and I recognize that my son has an alliance with her. It’s right for him to… They’re partners. Unless it were something really huge, I would not try to impose my rules at their house. It’s not mine.

      At the same time, she’s not trying to run my life either. (And she is a good person, phenomenal in many ways!) I guess I am just not absolutely sure what you mean here.

      Are your sons and their wives telling you how to live your life? Telling you not to travel, make new friends, join an organization that keeps you busy and provides meaning? Are they telling you to move to a tiny apartment or not to get a pet if you want?

      Can you explain more?

      Hugs to you. I am sincerely trying to “get” the situation.

      Sheri McGregor

    10. Stuck in the Middle

      We waited for our first grand baby. And were allowed to see her for four months. But suddenly my daughter and her significant other decided they didn’t want us around their daughter anymore. My daughter told us that she had dreams about her dad/my husband hurting her, but she wasn’t sure if it was true or not. We actually did not hear it from her. An ex girl friend emailed us and told us that my daughter had confessed this to her.My daughter also told her boyfriend/father of the baby/significant other and now we have become estranged. My husband denies anything ever happened. He has had to go on medication since all this happened. We no longer hear from her and she has broke contact on all our media accounts. She first broke off contact with her dad and then when I told her I didn’t know what to think but I didn’t think what she dreamed actually happened she broke off contact at with me. Have had no contact with her for 3 months. I feel like I am stuck in the middle and I don’t know what to do. I feel like a terrible mom.

  2. Carolyn S.

    The book validated my thoughts, feelings, & helped me with moving on, “going with the flow,” and focusing on loving, serving, & being there for all others in my life. THANK YOU!!!

    Reply
    1. Kelly g.

      Yes this book was a turning point for me. It’s so true does the reaching out and gift giving make any difference? In our case it did not.
      I am so done with the crying. It’s been years now of being estranged from our ADULT children. That helped me so much when I read this book and realized…yes these are adults, with adult choices, adult minds and hearts. Our door has always been open and no one has ever been blocked on our phones and told not to come by. So if adult children choose to not call, come by, or acknowledge us that’s their adult choice. We hope they’re well and happy.
      As for us…as the book says we have a good life to live! We are moving forward and living this one life that God has created us for.

    2. Myriam O.

      Oddogg: Your post really touched my empathetic heart and I just want to suggest a few things that have worked for me.
      First, I did not give up on seeing a therapist and after almost 4 yrs I am coping and not devastated as you seem. Find a good therapist and don’t give up helping yourself. They have great tools to help you.
      I have finally accepted my new normal without my ES and his 2 children. I do not send grand children cards gifts nor money because I feel it’s a waste of my time and feelings.
      I believe if they all truly loved me they could not put me through this suffering.
      The one son I am close to went first yr out of town with my 2 grandsons so my husband and I did not have any family celebration. We went to Flanagans
      with a niece who asked to join us with her new baby.
      What I am trying to say is that even though I objectively realize the magnitude of this loss I have been ok through this Christmas. Our total separation has been 7 yrs in feb. with 12 yrs in between where daughter in law made the reconciliation happen and I am grateful for those yrs I got to know my lovely grand daughter and grandson and here we are again .
      Nothing serious happened but we are estranged again.
      I realize this is not normal but they are not normal and I cannot force or change how they behave or feel . I was a better than average mom who always worked hard.
      I have come closer to accepting this and not trying to force love. As my husband says you cannot control other people’s feelings.
      If they ever had a miracle or epiphany I could never trust them again but I am accepting what is and not expecting anything.
      There is always hope but we must go forward and be with those that want to be in our lives and some are not family just friends.
      Do not allow them to destroy your will to live. Don’t give them that power over you. They are not worth it.
      I saw my ES on US 1 and I beeped at him and waved. At first it started to affect me deeply but I talked to myself and I was ok. Not great but OK.
      I can’t believe this has happened to me but I must accept it and adapt to this situation which is not normal. I pray you can snap yourself out of this deep sorrow. Thank you everyone for your support and kindness and especially to Sheri for writing her excellent book and this site. Miritadc

    3. Laura

      I am so grateful for the book, this blog and the analogy of the man floating to work, which is very comforting.
      I am still awake at 5.00 am with work in the morning, trying to decide whether to write to my 29 year old daughter again who has cut me out for the 2nd time this year. I have two daughters from two relationships, my first partner left before our daughter was born. My elder has lurched from one crisis to another from the age of 13, very much due to rejection of her dad. I brought the girls up myself and struggled when my elder daughter rebelled in her teens with drugs, alcohol, a baby boy at 15 who was later placed in care and still is. She met the after of her two young children 6 years ago who turned out to be violent and abusive. Last year she suffered multiple pelvic fractures when he ran her over with his car and she is now in constant pain. I have had to look after her and my grandchildren and work which is taking its toll but fortunately now I have a supportive husband who is amazing, we married a year ago. I feel sorry for what he has taken on in the last year but am so grateful to have him in our lives.
      My younger daughter as you can imagine, lost out on a lot of my attention over the years and in 2005, her father committed suicide. He was not in our lives then but it affected her deeply. She has had so much to deal with. Added to this, my step father has always favouritised my elder daughter, which is what he did with my sister even up till recently, while undermining me in front of my kids as they were growing up. The favouritism has made my younger feel unloved and rejected by the family and she blames me for not doing enough about it, even though I made a stand a few years ago and things have since improved a lot, thank god, but she still feels second best.
      In spite of these problems I have always had a warm and loving relationship with both girls, but this year my younger one has been accusing me of neglecting her and favouritising her sister. In fact the abusive ex was never charged for assaulting my elderdaughter with his car, and he is even taking her to court for full custody of the two little ones. My elder also has a mild learning difficulty and personality disorder and I am having to support her with the custody case which goes to court in February. My grandchildren are also subject to child protection because of the violence they have witnessed, so i am trying to support her with this as well as various other matters which she struggles with, even though she is now doing much better and is now a good, responsible parent.
      Meanwhile, I am very worried about my younger one who I know is very low and depressed and she has completely cut me off and also defriended me on fb. When i last saw her she accused me of not validating her, although I don’t know what she means by this and blamed me for not supporting her enough, emotionally and financially. It has been 3 months now and i have written, texted, emailed, turned up, called, but she will not speak to me. Ironically she is now in touch with my stepfather and other family members while I feel she is punishing me for things which i dont feel i have any control over, e.g. she is not working due to depression and wont claim benefits t help with her rent. I am paying a proportion of my elder’s rent because of the high rents in London which she cannot afford. She lost her home due to the violence last year, and without my help she and the kids would be homeless and more likely to be placed in care. I don’t feel i have a choice about this. My younger is resentful and has hinted that she also needs financial help. As a charity worker I just can’t afford to pay out any more. At 29 and without dependents i feel she should be standing on her two feet but she is also in trouble right now. Meanwhile, I know that if i dont initiate contact with her she will not contact me and neither will she reply to any of my attempts at contacting her. I am so sorry this is such a long rant, and I know it sounds like I am always trying to fix things. But i am terrified of losing my little grandchikdren to the care system as well.
      I am sorry for rattling on so much. My heart goes out to the other parents, thanks for sharing your stories, i dont feel as alone as before. I tried blogging on another site but the trolling and judgemental comments were so hurtful that I shut down my account. A big hug from me.

  3. Ann

    This year my spouse and I will be celebrating Christmas in Jamaica, in order to avoid my yearly Christmas tears and depression. This year, I will spend the money on myself, and my happiness, rather than wasting it on my 3 adult children, who are puppets to the parental alienation induced by their father, a narcissistic abuser. When he could no longer abuse me, he elected my children to do it for him, because he knew there was nothing more important to me, than my children.
    Funny thing is, I have ”Mom guilt” over not sending them the magical Christmas presents I normally do, and I know they will use it against me, to say that I don’t care, even though they won’t have anything to do with me.
    Thanks to this book, I am healing, and slowly moving on. Somehow knowing you are not alone, makes everything seem a little less shameful.
    Merry Christmas to anyone who is suffering with being a parent erased. May peace find you.

    Reply
    1. Andrea H.

      Thank you. Have a wonderful time in Jamaica.
      Hopefully I will be somewhere next Christmas for me, 3 yrs sitting waiting for change is long enough. I found this site yesterday already I’m getting stronger to move on.

    2. TJ

      I found this book so incredibly healing and I also found an amazing psychologist. My son has now reconnected with us but it was through us moving on with our lives not chasing him or pleading with him.
      2017/2018 were so hard.

    3. Barbara

      I definitely share all of your sentiments.
      Time to move on and be gentle with yourself.
      Why not live your life in peace, rather than in pieces.

    4. Oddogg

      Thank you. So hard this Christmas. First Cheistmas without my husband or my children or grandchildren. I worry about my grandchildren. We were so close. What are they telling them about me? I can’t sleep or eat. I look for anything to distract my thoughts but they are always there. I was always a positive healthy person, no mental illness. Now, I feel like I am losing my mind.

  4. Brenda

    My daughter chose to put me out of her life 17 years ago. I have at times sent holiday cards, and birthday cards to her. One year I called her home because their area was being evacuated because of floods. Soon as she answered and I said who I was, she said “not now” and then hung up. A couple of mother’s days I sent her a card or letter. They have 2 daughters, one who will be 18 years old in July 2020 and will be going to college about 30 minutes from where I live. When she was only 6 months old, I flew from South Carolina to California where they were stationed to visit for the weekend. That was the only time i’ve ever held my granddaughter. Things seemed ok, a little strained but ok. We communicated a few months through email and phone calls until not long after, her email told me to stop contacting her and to “stop with the supposed phone calls”. When I would call, her husband would answer, and she apparently was never home when I called. The other daughter, i’ve only seen in photos i’ve managed to find online. I don’t know if her husband has anything to do with this situation or not. She has my contact information, so seems to me that IF she wanted to contact me, she could do so from work, so her husband wouldn’t know, IF he is part of the problem. The only reason I can think of as to why she is gone from my life is because I divorced her father, and shortly before the divorce was final, I was involved with a man, who I have now been happily married to for 12 years. She once told me that I didn’t need a man to be happy. Other than that I have NO CLUE as to why. This Christmas I sent gifts for her and both girls. I don’t know if those girls even know I exist. My ex husband has remarried right before I did, and from what I know, they all get along good. Seems to me that he should be encouraging our daughter to contact me, but I have a feeling that’s not the case. I’ve tried calling him to talk to him, but his wife always answers the phone saying she will tell him, but there is never a return calls. My daughter lives only 2 hours from me, and it breaks my heart knowing they are so close, yet so far. My son, seems to get annoyed when I ask him about his sister. I think maybe she has asked him not to tell me anything. Not fair to him to put him in the middle so I don’t ask anymore. They are always on my mind, most days I don’t dwell on it, but other days I do. As a mother, my heart simply won’t allow me to give up. I don’t want my daughter or granddaughters to ever be able to say that I didn’t try.

    Reply
    1. Heidi

      I have a similar situation. I do not feel guilty about leaving a man that paid no attention to me and was never home. My children were living their own lives, and so was my husband…. so I finally left after 29 years.

      My lawyer told me my children would side with the weaker parent – and they have.

      I only wish that as their father he would tell them cutting me out of their life is wrong, but he didn’t stand by me while we were married so I shouldn’t expect him to do it now.

      After 1 year, my daughter finally came around, but my son continues to ignore my attempts to reconcile… and to this day, I have no idea exactly what the reason is for cutting me out – so I can only guess. Sometimes, I feel they are punishing me for breaking up the family. I’m so hurt and angry…

    2. Barbara

      I share your sentiments as I have walked your path.
      Why not live your live in peace, rather than in pieces.
      These are adult children who have decided to make adult choices.
      It has taken me years to realize what has occurred and come to grips with the situation.
      Be gentle with yourself.

  5. Melissa

    It’s taken years, but I’m finally FREE! I know there’s nothing more I can do but move forward with all the forgiveness and love I’m my heart. If things change, I’ll keep loving. Thanks for your good work!

    Reply
    1. Momma B

      F them kids. I became a surrogate mother and grandmother to my new husband kids and I’m flowing. I have many neices and nephews that love me for me. I was glad when my kids found someone that they could look up to and encourage them. I always have and will love my children and still be there for them when or if they call but as I told my son. I’m done and you do you. Same for my daughters, who have husbands. Live your life. Fortunately, I’ve had to bite my tongue many times for the sake of my grandchildren. I’m flowing… Not rocking the boat.

    1. Louanne B.

      This makes our 3rd year. I still wait for a text from my oldest son as I send pkgs to my grand daughters. My middle son refuses to answer any texts or calls. I have sent a text once a month for 3 yrs. I am still adjusting to the pain. I hope to go with the flow this year even tho I have a grandson I haven’t seen
      I have read your book that helps me thru the year but holidays are the worst.

  6. Cynthia T.

    Thank you for posting that. Perhaps it’s just how I am feeling at the moment, but I’m not sending gifts or cards. Maybe I’m in the anger stage, or maybe I’m thinking clearly. I have given and given of not only my time, energy , but also a tremendous amount of financial support. If I’m not good enough to be included in the family then neither are my resources. I just don’t think I need to stay stuck in this place where I’m trying to “ get accepted” I think that’s demeaning. I am valuable, and I going to find the love and respect I deserve. I still love my boys( my grandsons) but I do not feel like sending gifts while I’m not being accepted is a good message. I see it as a slap in my face and continued disrespect. If my daughter isn’t successful in alienating my grandsons completely, there may be a day when they come looking for me. I don’t think sending gifts or cards, that my just get confiscated, is going to make any difference. It may just get me angrier. I may put something away for them should that time come , but continuing to subsidize their holidays doesn’t seem reasonable to me. I used to spend a fortune on those boys. If they believe I don’t have any place in the family then neither do my gifts or money. I’m not giving them the satisfaction of thinking I’m trying to be accepted. The boys aren’t being told anything good about me ,and sending a gift isn’t going to have any influence over that . It may not even be presented as coming from me. I’m going to try to follow the advice you shared and rebuild my life. I would love to see more posts on how to go about that. I need to stop living in this limbo of pain. I’ve though of different things, such as foster grand-parenting. I still have so much love to give and maybe learning some new hobbies. I’m alone and It’s difficult getting out there after all this.

    Reply
    1. Kate

      Cynthia, I am like you, completely alone and this time of year is especially hard to get through-but I will. Also I agree with you, if I’m not good enough to be included as even a member of the family-then I’m done with sending money and gifts to my daughter and grandson. It’s been almost 9 years of me trying to have a relationship with them (and not one word to me or visit from them since February 2011). That’s a long time to be ignored. She’s cussed me and lied about me to him and everyone else and on facebook as well. A couple of years ago I found out that the gifts I gave to them were all thrown into the trash can. So yes, it’s a good idea to learn to do some new hobbies, etc. When I’m busy working or just doing something I enjoy,I feel so much better. And Sheri’s website has helped me so much to not feel so alone in this awful situation that none of us ever wanted to be in.

    2. Liz

      I agree Cynthia…this is the last Christmas that I will be sending small gifts! I deserve to be treated better by my adult children!

    3. Franafly

      Hang in there my friend. I’m in agreement with you on not giving money and gifts when you’re not even there to see them received and appreciated We don’t need to buy love or pay to be loved and excepted.. You are GRANDMA , that is an honour and they should honour you.
      Im so disappointed that I didn’t buy one gift or send one card. I’m going to focus for the first time on the real meaning of Christmas… The birth of my Saviour . He is with me so I’m never alone. Merry Christmas sister.

    4. Debra R.

      Cynthia, I have not spoke to my daughter or grandson since Jan.2019. I sent her, her husband and my grandson birthday cards, gave my grandson a Visa gift card for birthday, and sent him one for Christmas. He was 17 in April and is high functioning autistic. I had given him my phone number in the card for his birthday but never got a call……i doubt he got the card itself. I did try to call last night,rang twice and went to voicemail.I will never try again, and will not be sending anything else. My heart is broken. I love my grandson, was close to him. But this has to stop somewhere. ((hugs)) Best of luck and keep moving forward.

    5. Eeyore

      I’m new here and have tried to post before but I’m not sure my posts are getting through. This was my fifth Christmas to be ghosted. I did have two Christmas’s in between with my daughter. This time she has ghosted me for one year. Last time it was three and one half years.
      In the beginning I sent checks which were always cashed in a timely manner. Then I was afraid my ex was taking the money as he’s done before so I sent gift cards he wouldn’t steal. I just began to feel used so now I pay for goats, chicks, ducks, etc. to be sent to the poor in Africa. I chose world vision but there are many other organizations out there that do similar things. I have found this to be rewarding. I do this on birthdays and Christmas. At least I am helping someone.

  7. tiredmom

    This came at the best time as I was contemplating an attempt to contact ED. It’s been 5 1/2 years since she cut off communication/not even invited to her wedding last year. Time for me to concentrate on friends and family and learn to “float in a positive direction.”

    Reply
  8. Gail

    I don’t miss the drama. I don’t miss my husband and me walking on eggshells in case we say or do the wrong thing. My oldest just had some setbacks and I reached out in an email to make sure she and the grandkids were ok. I told her in the email that I was sorry for whatever I did. She told me it was not one thing just “bad dynamics” ….my husband thought I would invite them for Christmas. I said that I wasn’t thinking of doing that as I was told by her she needed space. I feel the ball is in her court to reach out and that gives me some peace… My youngest two will be with us and when the eldest comes she brings drama- she makes snide comments and looks for slights. I DO NOT want that in my life. do I feel guilty – yes….do I miss the grandkids – yes….but do I want that tenseness and worry about saying the wrong thing and then months later it’s held against me- no way. So maybe I’ve moved on….I might be able to live my life without her in it….I might not have a choice and I’m almost at peace with that.

    Reply
    1. Franafly

      Right on!!! … I’m there too.
      Enough is enough. I will focus on those who genuinely need me and enjoy my company without judgment.

    2. Kelly

      As much as we hope to be reconciled to estranged adult children…
      I believe not having them around is way better than having them around and not being able to just be yourself. Moved on also.

    3. Stephen

      Gail, I am in the same boat. I too had that daughter that brought tension, snide remarks and looked down on us, because we are not the way she wants us to be. She has set expectations that most can not reach and her life value is nothing we had ever heard of, except what you see in fairytales. I gave up and reversed estranged her and she flipped a lid. I blocked and cut off all other contact that she hadn’t already done. My door will be open to her (and I did tell her that, before I cut contact), when and if she can forgive, apologize and to completely move on, in order to move forward. Until then, we don’t need the drama. We are going on the final “Giving” holiday of the year and it has been nice. No tension, no snide remarks, no expectations of are we going to even get a card or gifts that she has never done before (but gives to everyone else) and we learned to accept that. Only gift we are sending is to grandchild and we don’t even know if he will get it. Other than that, it has been a great, stress free holiday. Now, if she would ever want to come back into our lives, we would become scared and hesitant, wondering if she will be bringing back the drama she so much loves, back into our lives. The epidemic is growing because these late teens and adult children are telling each other, that this is what they are doing (regardless of if it works or not) to gain what you want and if not, let them go. It is put in their head and they will use spouse and grandchildren to gain what they want. No one likes to be rejected, so me rejecting her, only stopped my growing pain of her rejection and finely, life is going on…..

    4. Oddogg

      I have tried to spin it like that. No more drama, no more walking on eggshells, but the pain is still there. It’s always there. Maybe I will find my flow soon. My mind knows what I need to do but my heart is so broken that I can’t find the strength to always flow. I can’t live like this. This isn’t living. I wish I had never become a mother. It’s overrated.

    5. Kathy

      Your message sounds so much like our situation with the drama, looking for slights and especially having whatever “We did wrong” being held against us months later! I’ve always wanted to know what we did to deserve being abandoned. “Bad dynamics” is probably what our daughter would say too- if she even wanted to give us a clue! We were very close for years and helped her and the grandkids with whatever they needed, so like everyone else, being rejected was a huge surprise. We also have a son and young grandson who are happily in our lives. This second Christmas of rejection was hard, especially since she invited other relatives to her home and left us out. I hope I can figure out how to move on and enjoy the years I have left. My family was everything to me.

  9. Ann L.

    I have two adult children who have vanished from my life. Our oldest son hates his father and avoids even speaking to him on the rare occasions when we see him, like at my mothers funeral. He moved 1500 miles away, has a wife who is very close to her family and so does not encourage him to reach out to us, and two lovely daughters who at one time spent two weeks with us every summer. I feel a huge gulf has developed between my granddaughters and I, and it breaks my heart.
    My daughter has just walked away from my entire family, and my attempts at reconciliation have been met with such drama and demands that I actually got up the nerve to tell her that I felt that there was no way to fix our relationship and continually going around the wheel with her was tearing me apart. So, she is polite and curt with me, but we are not included in any of her or her kids activities. Again, our grandkids are becoming strangers. I have one other daughter who does not talk about her siblings. I think her feelings are deeply hurt by both of them, since they both have also excluded her from their lives as well. She is gay, has a lovely wife, and they are expecting twins next summer. So, I have a stream to float on. It is hard to say that because of the estrangement of my grandkids, but the hardest part of all this is admitting to my friends and family that this is my situation. I fear being judged, plain and simple. I continue to keep it in my heart and pretend to the world that my family is still the same, normal, happy family that they always were as children.

    Reply
    1. Angelina

      It was so nice to read your post, admitting that we cannot tell the people in the town or friends as they will judge us as just bad mothers. I pretend all the time, we are busy with work so no time for kids to visit. It’s hard to admit but if you do it enough it starts to roll off the tongue. I hate not having contact with m6 daughter, it’s been 11 years. I think about her every day, my two grandkids, who probably don’t know I even exist. Sad but life has to move forward. We all can’t be bad mothers. We would never have done that to our parents, it was called respect. Even if we didn’t like what our parents said or did we respected them. Time to move forward. Being a parent is one of the hardest things, and if I had to do it over and know what I know now I wouldn’t have had them, saved myself a lot of heartache and tears. Thanks for listening. I feel comfort knowing I’m not alone.

    2. Oddogg

      Ann, I tell everyone what my children have done. I am sick of feeling guilty. It’s time to put the blame where it belongs. I am sick and tired of it always being the parents who are at fault. I think many millennials lack empathy and are selfish. They had it easy and we fueled their self esteem to the point of narcissism. I would never have done this to my mother. Ungrateful brats!

  10. Eliza

    My estrangement has been going on for years. My son went to live with his high school girlfriend 12 years ago after a verbal fight in our home. I was a single mom, asking for help around the house but he often refused because he and the girlfriend had other plans. Her family has loads of money. take opulent vacations and have pricey items. It is a larger family than ours and the entire family, siblings, spouses and grandchildren enjoy all vacations, birthday and holiday celebrations together. I am rarely included in celebrations or events. My son recently married into this family. Since he has been with her and is part of her family, he has been like a stranger to me over the years. Any time I do get with him, his “wife” is with him, she controls the amount of time he has with me and she evens speaks on his behalf. If they do come around at all, the visits are at best 30 minutes because “they have to meet up with other family members.” I did not realize the extent of how bad things were until recently when a statement was made to me by him that “WE decided not to …xyz”. I need to come to terms that this new level of estrangement is what it is. It is painful beyond measure and I am having a hard time processing all of this. I am grateful to know I am not the only one grieving on this front. I am so hurt.

    Reply
    1. Janice

      It is comforting to know I am not alone. We have 3 sons who were very close to me, especially our first born, who was the first to estrange himself from the family 20 years ago. We did reach our after his 3 children were born but this only lasted for 3 years and then no contact again. Then 6 years ago our youngest also estranged himself from us. We now only have our middle son whose wife really does not include us in much. It is all about her family. The first time was very hard, disappointing, embarrassing and heart breaking, I really could not function, then when it happened again the rush of emotions came back all over again. Our 3 sons do not speak to each other, each one choosing their wives family over the one they grew up with and ignoring our feelings. We have 5 grandchildren that are growing up without their fathers parents. I have opted to not send gifts or cards since the beginning of the estrangement. We will go today to our middle sons house just for a short time to see the grandchildren because her entire family will be there and it is always uncomfortable. It does get better but I live with this everyday and wonder why me. I plan to buy your book and am so glad I found this site knowing I am not alone

    2. Gina

      I feel your pain I’m going through the same thing my daughter is Marion very well to do that owns many hotels and businesses I really see year and she lives in another state she told me that I should not need so much and that she doesn’t need me anymore explain heart I cry all the time I wish things were different I wasn’t laughing enough to have so many other children so it’s just her so no you are not alone

    1. missmyson

      This was the first birthday without my son and will be the first Christmas without him. My heart aches constantly. He changed his phone number so I cannot call or text him. I know the town he lives in but not the address. He lives with 2 friends that have turned him against us. It has been 8 months and the pain is excruciating. We were so close when he was younger but the last couple of years he has been sullen, ride and distant. That’s when my husband told him to move out. Move out, not cut off all contact. I miss him so much.

  11. Christine S.

    It was just before Thanksgiving that I came to know that that my oldest son of three finds me a contemptible human being . He and his wife want nothing to do with me, though they have also assailed my husband for his faults. I am the primary target, however. Having to come to terms with this during two family oriented holiday periods has hampered my ability to deal with the situation.
    After a week of sudden tears and lack of sleep, I ordered Sheri’s book. It helped me on so many levels, as has knowing that other parents share the same sense of shame, confusion about what went wrong, etc.
    In my emails to my son, I have expressed my dismay that I have done anything that would hurt him or cause him anger. I literally begged for the opportunity to meet with him so I could seek forgiveness for any and all words or actions that were the source of his desire for distance from me. His response was that the very fact I would request such a meeting demonstrated my lack of respect for his “boundaries”. I had no idea what the boundaries were as at that point I was getting my information about his upset from third parties. I later received a list of reasons why I am a toxic person. That made me question everything about who I thought I was and how others perceive me. Am I a decent, but imperfect, flawed individual, or am I the sum total of my flaws with nothing good to be found in me?
    As there had been no communication between my son and me since the week before Thanksgiving, I made another attempt yesterday to reach out to him. I again sought his forgiveness for things I have done to bring him to this point. I once again offered to meet with him at a time and location agreeable to him and with or without a counselor or mediator of his choosing. I guess I made a grievous error in asking him to consider joining us for Christmas, as much of our extended family would be town. My other son pointed out that the would be viewed as manipulation. I will be more careful in the future and walk on the proverbial eggshells.
    What is most disturbing about this break in relationship with a son I love dearly, is that he is an ordained Christian minister. He teaches at a prestigious seminary and he heads various outreach ministry groups. It is very difficult to listen to his sermons on the internet in which he preaches about love, forgiveness and reconciliation, yet will not extend those principles of Christian living to his mother. That he cannot, must make me truly evil, right?
    Being spurned by my son has certainly eroded my sense of self and yet, in times of clarity, I stand on what I know. I am flawed, but I am also a person known in the community and within the rest of my family for a spirit of generosity and extending sacrificial love to strangers and friends alike. My life is about serving others both in volunteer roles and professionally. In my deepest moments of despair over my son’s rejection, I remind myself that I simply can not be the horrible person my son has painted me to be.

    Reply
    1. rparents Post author

      Christine,

      Write down the real you. Refer to your list often. Keep that image.

      There’s an article here at the site about the shadow of an adult child’s abuse. Look it up in the search box. Step out of the shadow. Reminding yourself who you are helps.

      Hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

    2. Liz

      Christine, You are not the horrible person your son has said you are, just as I am not the horrible person my five alienated adult children say that I am! Hugs…

    3. Jennie53

      To Christine,
      I too have a son who is an ordained pastor and I too have felt that I must be a truly bad person to be rejected and cast aside by a pastor! I read all the accolades of how much love he has for others on FB and I feel shame, am confused, and hurt. HIs wife died of cancer recently and his fb has turned into a living memorial for her. She too was said to have had so much love for everyone but for some reason it was not extended to me. I fell thru the cracks and she acted like I was a non person and basically not worth the effort (I guess) or maybe I didn’t come up to her standards of what a mother in law should be. (That seems more like what it was). I have noticed that since I Have been coming here and reading the posts the hurt and humiliation of this estrangement is not so “raw”.
      Evidentially my estranged daughter also sees me as a “contemptible human being”. At the daughter in law funeral last month she totally ignored me and has never introduced me to her two boys. By sharing a bit I seem to have been able to come out of the shocked/stunned phase if that makes sense. My heart goes out to you.

    4. rparents Post author

      Jennie53,

      It does help to read and know about others’ situations and that you’re not alone. I’m so glad you have found the site and everyone’s input helpful.

      HUGS to you!!

      Sheri McGregor

    5. Eva

      Christine,

      I have been reading many posts but yours is the first one which mentioned a son who really leads two lives – one that preaches love, forgiveness, and reconciliation as a minister and the other reality of his existence in which he has hurt his own mother. My son too leads two very different lives although not a minister like your son, my son a doctor actually wrote me purporting his wonderful self as being a “contributing member of society and a doctor who cares about his patients” – all in the same letter telling me he wants no contact. I read that in disbelief that he could not recognize the incongruity of his thinking. I wonder what his patients would think of him if they knew what he did to his mother.

      Many of your words also were similar and I wonder if our sons are a part of a generation who have bought into the idea that anything can be eliminated or thrown away. Boundaries is their buzzword for them asserting control with righteousness. Manipulation is their buzzword for anything you might do that they may consider grievously wrong.

      I too questioned my value and worth – asking if I am really such a bad person that my son would want to disown me. I am glad you have found peace with yourself to know you are actually a good person. I don’t thing children who decide to cut ties with a parent necessarily does so because of what a parent has done or not done. As an example, why can a son or daughter who was raised by a mother who did little for that child as they were growing up – still be treated with love and respect? And conversely, why can a mother who worked hard to raise a good child be thrown under the bus for no reason? I walked on eggshells and still got the boot.

      I am finally coming to accept after weeks of crying and deep heartache – that the reality is that no matter who we are, what we have done or failed to do does not matter. Our sons have other influences that can corrupt and corrode any of the influences we provided in their lives. My husband reminded me that we were able to influence and guide our son for his first 18 years but others have now been able to influence him for the last 18 years.

      I am now working on acceptance that although my son is “my son” it does not mean he has some strong connection to me to say my mother is “my mother”. The world has changed.

    6. carol

      I too have daughter who is married to a preacher, that his mother controls him, my daughter and also their kids, whom I haven’t seen in years, My daughter done a 90 degree turn around when she married him. He is obsessed with obeying his mother, and we was told that we was never allowed any sundays visits, even a few hours. it was his parents special day from morning to nite. We also was never allowed to watch their kids while they worked, so really haven’t seen them in 15 years. He only wanted his mother, On their honeymoon which they was suppose to be gone a week, after just 2 days, his mother called and told him to come home, as she wanted them to go on trip with her, so he obeyed her. my daughter was furious, they argued over his mother constantly, but he put his mother ahead of her every time. Ever year they went on vacation, daughter would beg him not to take her, he would lie and say he wouldn’t, but always at last minute, said he is taking his mother period. His mother told him he couldn’t take a very lucid high paying job, he desperated wanted, as it meant he had to move about 4 hrs away, and she wouldn’t allow it. His mother controlled everything they done. Then he controlled my daughter, told her what to wear, would never give her any money, even tho she worked too. wouldn’t allow her to visit us without him. He would erase my phone calls and never told her I called, I had heart surgery about 5 yrs ago, and spent 6 wks in rehab home. and they was in same town and they never did come see me. so I finally had to realize that he and his mother has finally brainwashed her. It just breaks my heart and I still so grieved over her, I still sent her birthday and Christmas gifts, sometimes she may text me back and thank me and that is all, I begged her to call me and told her I could meet her anywhere to talk things out, but deep down I know she either don’t want to or not allowed too. I know they have told so many lies on us, even on facebook, and want everyone to believe it is us, so they can get sympathy and attention for theirselves.. Know my daughter has always been jealous of her other younger sister,(that recently lost her husband) and her husband don’t allow her to have contact with her either, Know I done everything possible to try to make amend and apolozied many times for things I know I didn’t do, but so loved her, willing to do anything. My other kids says mom she don’t care nothing about you, and don’t want nothing to do with you, but it hurts so bad . I”m 75 and I keep praying for her to come and make things right before I died. it been so many wasted years .I know I got to get over her, and try not to dwell on it ,as I know her husband has brainwashed her against us.

  12. Linda

    I’m tired of feeling guilty and beating myself up. My daughter is 56 years old and can’t talk about what her issues are with me. I have 2 other children who love and and close to me. 2020 is going to be a new era of concentrating on me and the people who want me in their lives. My mother was a good women, a perfect parent, no. Did I recent her at times, of course I did; but, I took responsibility for my own life and didn’t blame her for every bad decision I made. After I became a mother, I realized she did the best she could with the resources she had raising us. Many of these estranged children are just self centred and immature. They are not grateful for their loving family and are constantly trying to justify their mistakes by blaming their parents for their “terrible upbringing.” I’ve had enough if she wants a relationship fine if she doesn’t it’s her choice. I’m 75 years old I not spending the rest of my days letting this nonsense destroy what life I have left. I’m truly “Done with the Crying”.

    Reply
    1. Andrea H.

      With you Linda. I feel you took the words from my mouth….I’m done with the heartache and crying.

    2. Rosemary R.

      I think you are right , we can’t buy Love. I love ❤️ the idea of foster grand parenting!
      Many other things to do as well.

    3. Kathy

      Thank you Linda. Your situation is almost the same as mine. I’m 74 and my daughter is in her 50’s. She has never given me good reasons for betraying and leaving her father and I. I just know she thinks we are unforgivably “flawed” in some way. But not so flawed that she couldn’t accept a great deal of support, money and love from us her whole life:) I’m beginning to think she ( and the others we are talking about) grew up “Entitled.” They received endless help, love and support without any thought of helping others and returning the same to those who loved them. My daughter fits the definition of a narcissist. I’m amazed that I never saw how much I was being manipulated and emotionally abused by her all these years.

  13. Nancy H.

    My heart aches for each and every one of you. It is inconceivable that such animosity exists in our fellow humans…unlike any other form of animal existence, I believe. All of your stories are agonizing, and I resonate with all of them.

    I’m new to this group, although I’m not new to estrangement. What makes it particularly difficult for me is that I only had one daughter, and one granddaughter who barely keeps in touch and is away at school in China. I refer to my daughter in the past tense because, after three years of estrangement, and several attempts on my part to reconcile only to be met with her agenda of rehashing and laying the entire blame for everything on me, she has announced that she’s moving on (to another state), hates my guts, and never wants to see or hear from me again.

    She piled boxes on my front porch the other day…in the middle of my Christmas decorations, blocking my rocking chair where I enjoy much comfort as I sit and rock my dog and tell myself everything will be ok.

    I don’t like feeling sorry for myself. It only makes matters worse. And, I’ve always been a person who sees the glass half full. I’m a holistic dance teacher, and my first principle is joy of movement. So, how did this happen to me? I’m supposed to be the poster child of special moms/grandmoms who teach others how to move joyfully through life!

    I hear many of you say (whether it’s been a year or twenty years) that you’ve done everything you can, and it’s time to move on. My question is this: how do you know when it’s time to move on?

    Reply
    1. Nancy H.

      PS. Those boxes were things I had stored in my daughter’s attic, and forgotten about, in the days when she would tell me often that I was her best friend.

    2. rparents Post author

      Nancy, moving on doesn’t necessarily mean you would not be willing if things changed. What it means is to go ahead and live, be happy, find joy, live a meaningful life. If things change in the future, you’ll be stronger and more prepared.

      Regarding gifts, cards, reaching out … Only you can decide when that is no longer doing anything for you. Ask yourself if it gets your hopes up uselessly, sets you up for disappointment, etc. And don’t get stuck thinking that if you decide one thing now, that it can never change.

      Take care of yourself. Many hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

    3. Rosemary R.

      I think a lot of the words here make sense to me … but one word no one mentioned is “Entitlement”. I think a lot of these alienated adult children feel a sense of entitlement. What they missed from childhood! When they weren’t “understood”. How we embarrassed them… we weren’t rich enough or good looking enough… etc, etc. it’s like they can be so unrealistic and seem to have no appreciation for the love or family… etc. It modern day spoiled IMO

    4. Stephen

      Just like a divorce, you will go through many emotions and have many up and downs. A lot of estranged children hold on, just enough so they can pry into your lives or sting you once in awhile, so you won’t forget. When you realize, nothing you can do will hange their mind and trying over and over and over, just doesn’t do anything for you, but bring you down. Just then, you start to contemplate the cutting the tie that bines. I learned after the over 3 years, including my apology tour that did not work, nothing was going to change the way she feels and that all she is doing is making me pay deeply and slowly. This is when I decided it was time to cut the string. It has been good, ever since and I do not look back. It is now like she past away = we love her, we wish she could be here, but she just can’t because in our mind, she is not on this planet anymore.

    5. Su

      Also new to this site, your bewilderment feels so familiar to me.
      It is just beyond my understanding to read all the comments from parents..and mostly mothers who absolutely do not know what they did or said to cause such a horrible final irreversible sentence to be passed on them.

      Just some reflection on my part to see the very same words and phrases that I have been using reflected back to me in the words of other anguished parents, namely ” walking on eggshells” and being “thrown under the bus”. In fact I have used those very words in describing my feelings to friends just this week.

      Speaking of friends I am also feeling that it is so hard to share this pain with them. I do, but afterwards I always feel a lot of guilt and Shame and also fear of driving them away eventually. For that reason, I have decided that even though it is a financial burden I will have to continue with a professional Therapist

  14. Barbara W.

    Some comments here have sentiments and beliefs that resonate with me.Underlying the posts is the pain,grief,sadness,well,heartbreak many of us feel.Even my BFF who is the most insightful,compassionate person,who was there from the “beginning”,who “was” my eldest’s godmom,who is a family health clinician..just now text me “you dont know what the future hold,good or bad”.I am sooo tired.When your eldest has been estranged as many years as you even knew her (she left at 14,now 27), when your other daughter tells you “my therapist is supporting me to have no further contact with you”,when you (ie me) take responsibility for ways my children were hurt (but they have no idea i do or it is absolutely meaningless to them..”too little too late”), you are faced with the reality that nothing you do or dont do will change the relationships for the better.Yup,that label “toxic”,”manipulative” have been bandied around.Feels like there is a societal trend of support for estranging from a parent.I can’t influence that or my daughters.I barely can have moments where I am not filled with regret and remorse about things during their childhoods (and there were things,) I dont blame my kids.I have compassion for them.But not for this “toxic parent movement”.I am angry about that.
    This is a terrible time of year.I want the next weeks to pass. I empathize with all of you.I so much do.

    Reply
  15. Linda

    While I understand that ones childhood certainly has an effect on personality development; I also think, it is often used as a excuse for bad decisions. My daughter is 56 years old, she suddenly sees all her poor decisions in life, as my fault. I can’t accept this, because her behaviour was always kind and considerate. It only started to change when she married a very high maintenance man. Both were both fine with my “past behaviour” for all the years my grandson needed a babysitter. Now he is a grown man everything is my fault. This idea that childhood is responsible for every bad choice one makes is nonsense. It would mean that no one has free will or agency. I’m not talking about child abuse, which is a different matter. Do we make mistakes in raising children? Of course we do, we’er human and have faults and frailties like everyone else. What strikes me , is that our “estranged children” don’t realize their own children might just model their behaviour when they are adults and then what?
    We did our jobs and raised our children to the best of our abilities, including our mistakes, now it’s time to let go and wish them well in their life’s journey. I often wonder, do third world countries practice all this navel gazing? Do their teenagers get to demand the attention they get in North America? Or, are they too busy trying to scratch out a living and being a productive member of their own family. What about children living in refugee camps will they grow up to resent their parents for fleeing from a war and cut them out of their lives? If they survive, that is? If I sound angry it’s because I am. My daughter’s behaviour effects not just me; but our whole family. Everyone walks on eggshells. Her siblings feel bad and feel forced to choose to see her or me. They fear making me upset if they go, I do the gracious thing and back out , so they don’t have to choose but boy it just frosts me.
    I am starting to look at my daughter’s behaviour as “parent abuse” . I have reached the point where my ability to tolerate this abusive behaviour has come to an end. Life is short and I have 2 other grown children that love me and respect me, I will concentrate on them.
    I know it’s not that easy to just walk away from this but what choice do we have? Spend a lifetime worrying and fretting about something we can’t change or accept that ‘it is what it is”. I hope that the parents affected suffering from this abuse will think really hard about what is best for them in 2020.

    Reply
  16. grace

    I have the same problem. Three sons one of them the youngest estranged. Hates his dad, a dad that thought him how to do carpentry and today he is able to support himself with what he has learned, and now doesn’t want to talk or see him ever again. That broke my husband heart and now my husband has dementia. My son blames me for his lack of self esteem it was my job he says to give him confidence. Didn’t know he lacked self esteem, was popular in school, had girlfriends, everyone still tells me what a nice kid he was, so how was I supposed to know he lacked self-esteem. I lived for my boys, I’m closed to the other two, but I miss the youngest one terribly. It’s been three years now he doesn’t come around, doesn’t call. I tried everything, I even asked for forgiveness and to try to start over, but he said NO. My head tells me to let go, but my heart still wants to try to get him back, but nothing works. Now I go see a therapist so I won’t go crazy, It hurts more now as time goes by. Will it ever get better?

    Reply
    1. Better4it

      Yes, it most certainly gets better and it starts with you and the people that surround you. My remaining family and I have a daughter that exiled our two grandchildren, and herself, from us. We miss the children horribly, but we have come to terms that they will learn more about their mother as they mature, my granddaughter once told me she was afraid of her own mother.

      My daughter has a history of violence, lying, adultery, bipolar and personality disorders, and has exiled herself before. We stayed in the relationship to protect the children, but once she removed them we lost all contact. We still get information about the children from outside sources.

      There is strength in numbers, as a family we have found that we needed to band together, find happiness in what we had left, move forward as a whole and stay stable. If the children come back to us, they are going to need a strong base.

      In order to get better you need to start with yourself, eat better, exercise, start new projects, get a distraction; clean the slate so to speak.

      I had already given my daughter all her personal items in good times, but what ever was left, no matter how small, I no longer held onto. I am not a public storage facility, I cut the cord. It was freeing beyond means.

      I have no time for anyone who told me that her father and sisters, who she was extremely violent to, were dead to her, I was okay because I had a checkbook, time and never said no to being available for the children. I have no time for anyone that did not reach out to my brother who had cancer, an uncle that was good to her.

      I will not reach out or chase her for love, that she cannot show or truly demonstrate. I know she cannot be trusted, and I do not need another accusatory conversation, but I will respect the boundaries she wants.

    2. Psimmons

      It does get better. I used to think it never would. I’m now in my twilight years and the hurt has subsided. I think of my youngest son and what he could have been but I quit crying. His dad and I stay busy and are going to enjoy the life God has given us. Staying healthy and taking care of each other is what we do now. Truly we have to think of ourselves. It’s such a waste to try and change these adult children who do not and will not ever come around. There hearts are hardened and only God can change them.

  17. Linda M.

    Grace, I am sorry to hear your story. I know it is devastatingly painful. Especially when you are unable to even talk about their issues are. I think perhaps they really don’t know know what their issue are. It’s just easier for them to blame someone else rather than look at their own behaviours. Who hasn’t felt low self esteem at times? It’s part of growing up and finding your way in the world. Confidence comes from doing and making mistakes and learning from them. No one else can give you self-esteem. Perhaps they never really grew up emotionally. Their behaviour would suggest they are incapable of taking stock of themselves. My daughter and her husband were in marriage counselling, he’s a successful man who is never satisfied with life and extremely difficult man to live with. The marriage counsellor told my daughter, she was an enabler and this was because of her role in her family growing up. Up until then, she was a kind, loving and caring daughter. Now everything is my fault and she treats me they way he treated her. It’s a complicated business and it takes it toll of families. You have two sons that love you, spend your time loving them and their families and give your youngest son the space he wants.
    You have a lot on your plate, a husband with dementia is a huge thing to deal with, please take good care of yourself. Hugs to you.

    Reply
  18. Tumbleweed

    A sad time to be left alone. However I’m sitting around the Christmas tree reading Sheri’s book. (Done With The Crying.) It doesn’t make my Christmas any more Christmassy..but it sure helps in knowing I’m not alone. I never realized there are so many parents dealing with this.
    My question to members…
    Most of the stories I read about here, the estranged child is so far away.. Are there any others who live really really close like I do ? It seems way more difficult to live only a few blocks away but it’s like you don’t exist. It’s surreal.

    Reply
    1. rparents Post author

      Dear Tumbleweed,
      I hear from many who live just around the corner, even next door, and even in the same house!!

      It must be really difficult.

      Hugs,
      Sheri McGregor

  19. sue

    This is the 10th Christmas my will have been estranged from me. We were so close the first 20 years of his life, such fun and laughter and openness abounded in our mother/son relationship. I thanked God everyday for blessing me with such a loving, helpful, funny and caring child. One day, he just stopped communicating with me. Stopped answering calls and emails. Didn’t contact me on Mother’s Day, my birthday, or ever. I continued sending him cards and gifts for his birthday and Christmas, still no response unless I messaged to ask if he received to which he replied, “yes, thank you” and then even those responses stopped. I know he’s alive because I can see him on Facebook when not in my own account (he blocked me). I have no idea what’s going on with him. I sent him a registered letter letting him know I love him and am sorry for anything I said or done to hurt him, and no response. This is the last year I will reach out. I can’t handle the pain of the loss of him in my life and need to move on. I will always be open to having him back in my life but I am going to respect his silence and stop reaching out. Hardest decision I’ve had to make.

    Reply
    1. Ellen W.

      You told my story. I too have a son who I would describe exactly like you described your son. Then one day i received and email stating he did not want any contact. I remember sitting there thinking what just happened. I immediately replied with if there is anything I have done to create this situation I want to make amends. No response. It has been 2 years. I have not stopped loving him but I think for my own sanity I am going to stop reaching out. This is a hard decision.

  20. Elizabeth L.

    This is my first Christmas without my daughter.
    Reading everyone’s stories is heartbreaking but all too familiar…the sudden inability to communicate, the accusations that the parent never listened, the sudden unfavourable comparison to a new boyfriend/family/set of friends.

    I really feel for us all. People who haven’t lived long enough to understand the complexities of life, just using a ‘one size fits all’ to discredit and humiliate.

    I haven’t yet ordered a copy of the book, mainly because I’ve been so busy selling up and moving off to the country, but as soon as I’ve settled into my new home it’ll be first on the list. Right now I can’t concentrate to give justice to such an important read.

    This is the first Christmas without tantrums and total compromise to keep the peace. First Christmas I’ve not been mocked and had myself spoken about over my head, while I sit there listening.

    The first Christmas where I could peacefully eat my own choice of meal at my iwn speed and clear up when I want to ( which is quite soon after eating, rather than leaving it till next morning).

    A peaceful , successful, healthy and fulfilled Christmas to everyone

    Reply
  21. River

    Life is a mystery that we cannot always solve. There is; biochemistry (personality disorders etc.), the influence of others, unforgiving natures, not being able to see beyond oneself (to the point of illness or dysfunction), and not being able to let go of particular narratives that may be of a very limited, skewed perspective that all can contribute to the heartache of alienation. I think I am gradually reaching a point in which I am resigning myself to our own personal tragedy, and understanding that this is a real thing that can happen to anyone. We have apologized to our adult child for what we honestly felt we could. Now we end any communications as soon as they become abusive towards us. We are reaching out less frequently as any contact leaves us feeling depressed and confused.

    I like the floating analogy. Yes I need to resign myself to the mystery of life and acknowledge that life can be really hard and involve tragedy. From my heart and mind I send lots of love and positive energy to my estranged daughter and my grandchild because I will always love them and know in many ways they are suffering too. I suspect a lot of my daughter’s thoughts and behaviours are beyond her control so I’m trying to let go of anger and hurt.

    I will float down the river and I’ll carry her and my grandchild with me as I take on new adventures, enjoy my quiet times and engage with others.

    Many blessing to all of you. Please take good care of yourselves.

    Reply
    1. Psimmons

      I love this post. I too believe these estranged children do have their own serious issues that they haven’t begun to deal with. Until they figure it out they are most miserable. Probably more so than we are as parents. Do you agree that we are faced with a generation that is very angry. Angry with everyone and everything. They seem to have no coping skills and they lash out at those who love them the most. If we can’t fix all their problems then they hold us responsible for everything that’s goes wrong in their lives. At least it that way with our son. As his mother I am the one that has becom him doormat. I too have decided to float on by and avoid the hassle.

  22. Chris

    Despite the consuming despair and the continuous questions and searching I do to figure out what I did wrong….even to the point of a suicide attempt two years ago over the situation….I still grieve mightedly and after 22 years of no contact with my daughter, I am slowly coming out if the darkness too live again. We have all been there but it doesn’t make it an easier to survive the holidays. Of the many things that I do to stay at the edge of the abyss my Lord and Savior knows my heart and He is the reason that I can endure this and one day to understand…

    Reply
  23. Roselyn R.

    Excellent story. I have finally learned to go with the flow. Whatever time I have left on this earth I will not spend it thinking about EDS. I am at a good place now and I have even given up seeing my grandchild. I just don’t give a dam about all of them. I have a new attitude and I’m going to enjoy life with my husband and my doggie. Thank you Sheri for all of your help to get to where I am. Love Roselyn

    Reply
    1. Myriam O.

      I too am making it through this holiday even though the son and 2 grandsons I am close to took a
      trip so today my husband and I celebrated at Flanagans nearby which is lovely and yesterday had dinner with a niece and her new baby. The 4 yrs if therapy and Sheri’s book and this group I am better and have made it through. I have not celebrated with family but am ok with this new normal. I can either accept and flow with new normal or ill be destroying myself and I don’t want to give my ES that power Over me. I must work through the anger of the suffering he has put me through. If he really cared he could not do this do I console myself that he does not care in spite of having one patent me. His dad died 2009.
      His personality is one of indifference and ignore so after many years I’ll do the same. Thank you for this group it really helps us get by. Miritadc

  24. Julee

    I feel for you all as each story of yours is a part of mine (son, jealous daughter in law, jealous daughter, doctor son-in-law, physically/emotionally abusive ex to me (and unfaithful multiple times) and the kids who my children were duped into accepting him back into their lives when he lost a leg in a motorcycle accident (he was drunk -2010), four grandkids between them all under 6 yrs old). But, I am still single after 15 yrs divorced because I felt I had to be the “strong, sensible, supportive parent for my kids (I divorced him). They are all in their mid- 30s and were actually more mature and loving towards me in their early 20s when they didn’t have spouses or kids – must have been my financial/college/car support while dad was off with the new girlfriends on the motorcycle. When I closed the “mommy-bank” after paying for their weddings (dad backed out in his $ promises), and the babies were born, the jealousies of my daughter and daughter in law started to appear as the babies bonded more with me than them (grandma experience). Then both of them went after each other this past year and got in a big fight when I’d watch my grandson and the daughter in law got jealous as I was very close with her daughter (my first grandchild) even tho I watch her and her sister too. For some strange reason, they are all now spending this past entire month doing things together and sneaking around me with lies and canceling plans with me. I recently became a flight attendant two years ago and all seem jealous of my traveling the world and now saying I am “choosing to distance myself from the grandchildren” which couldn’t be farther from the truth…I travel to avoid being home alone and ignored by them as I am today on Christmas (again). I’m only home today (flew yesterday and fly tomorrow-daughter has my schedule) They only live 30 min from me as the son encouraged me to move to AZ to get that time with my grandchildren…now the grandchildren are pawns and I’m only invited to my daughter’s if it’s a gift giving event and only for a few hours and not invited to my son’s at all. I’ve learned about all their “family outings together “ when the 5 year old blurts it out innocently and I can already tell they are coaching her about things they don’t want her to bring up …although she forgets and then she feels bad when she realized what she just revealed. It’s so sad. I did write my kids out of my will two years ago and listed only the four grandkids. I included a special section that says they are “intentionally” being removed from receiving any assets. This (and my new flying career where at least I’m around people and crew) has been my only saving grace each time they hurt me (they don’t know about the will) but they do know I am financially responsible and think they will have an inheritance. Haven’t purchased the book yet as I’m afraid it will depress me more than I care to be knowing so many parents are being treated this way. Heartbreaking to say the least.

    Reply
    1. Su

      Your story struck a nerve with me since only six months ago I gave up the most beautiful home on 5 acres by Lake Superior in a community where I had independence, freedom and friends, in order to move across the country also to be “closer to the grandkids” . Within a month of my arrival everything unravelled, based on a terrible misunderstanding by an angry daughter in law who my son will not stand up to.

      So it seems to me like travelling might be a lifesaver. It is either that or what feels like a living death.

  25. Lori N.

    This has been a different Christmas this year. It was especially difficult at the first of the month when it was my Granddaughter’s birthday. And I didn’t get to see her during the holidays. But I have been able to occupy my mind with other things. Slowly the grief of not being able to see her is slowly lifting. I have a strong faith in my Lord and Savior. So, I have turned the problem over to him. Mom

    Reply
  26. Terrie K.

    I have read and reread all the posts of this year because it is good to read how others describe the events which lead to their estrangement. I won’t go into my story right now but I do have one question I keep asking others who are experiencing this epidemic.

    IF something were to put the relationship back to a more normal one how in the world do you learn to trust once again? I give trust to all upfront but once someone shows me they are not trustworthy I would have a hard time letting them back in my life always wondering when something new would happen to begin the estrangement cycle once again. And then, we start all over again and I am not sure at age 75 with only one son I would want to relive all this heartache.

    One thing I have seen over and over again is the fact that many women, those who never had a good relationship with their own parents will not help foster a relationship with the new man in their lives thus mother becomes non important and son follows his new love.

    Reply
    1. Ellen W.

      I think you ask a very important question. I too have wondered the same thing. Trust is such an important quality in relationships and it has certainly been damaged with estrangement.

  27. Katy O

    Alone again this Christmas, but making the most of it with excellent music events everywhere. Hiking helps. I saw that my son and daughter in law were not including me in their lives, which became glaringly apparent after the birth of their daughter. Tired of living close by and never included, I sold my home, moved and opened my heart to a relationship with a good man. He’s with his kids this Christmas, so I chose to spend the holidays with neighbors and new friends. There is a lot more freedom when I finally set aside my personal expectations of what “family” should look like. I’m learning that love is love wherever and whenever you express it, and receive it. Blessings to all❤️

    Reply
  28. Kris

    Inquiring minds want to know: How does the German guy in the video get back home? What other means does he use when he can swim the river e.g. storms, cold weather etc.?

    Reply
  29. Mike P.

    I’m not a mom. I’m Dad and Grandpa. Our first Christmas alone. Our youngest daughter and family are overseas on the mission field. Thank goodness for FaceTime. We are estranged from our oldest daughter. She is 38 yrs old. Battled Bi-Polar Disorder for 15 years. Twice in those 15 years she dropped the kids on our doorstep saying she didn’t want to be a mom. So, In essence, we raised them both until 3 months ago.
    My dear wife is a mess. I’m just mad. The things she is telling the family are outrageous. Thank goodness they don’t believe her but that just drove the wedge in deeper. Our 15 y/o grandson was/is more of a son than a grandson. He would likely move in with us but doesn’t want to leave his 9 y/o sister.

    Reply
  30. Ruthie L.

    Haven’t had contact my daughter 30 yrs. never met her husband or grands. She once physically went to her grandparents with a letter full of bizarre accusations
    But I have come to see that if she believes her delusions are truth, I wouldn’t want to be in contact either. My son had to cut off relationship with her long ago. He is 50 never faced or worked thru the abuse of his dad. We divorced when he was 13 & daughter 10 bitter ugly divorce. I have found much peace by applying Gods Grace all these years. The book Done with Crying helped! I have no more tears & learning to go with the flow. First few years I tried everything to try & talk it out so willing to apologize for my part, willing to pay for mediation etc. I see now that it is ratt cowardly of her to run, estrange from all her loving family with no chance to talk. Mine has been sooo long she would be like a stranger now, sooo sad! Life way too short for her bitterness. My son estranged from his dad most of these years but his dad too prideful to reach out. Such heartache for all. I have been able to completely forgive as a Christian because I have been forgiven! I pray for them all wish them well hold no bitterness nothing but love & pity for them. They are missing out on so much. I pray for all the parents facing this!! The first five years I couldn’t even say her name w/o bawling but in mercy I have moved on. I choose to surround myself with sane people who love me. I had so much remorse & blamed myself but as a single mom for five yrs I KNOW I did best I could. I am now in a 32 yrs happy marriage & so grateful for this second chance!! The heartywill always be with me but she doesn’t know who I am now & how diligently & hard I’ve worked on my healing. To run & firmly shut door with no chance of reconciliation is on HER.

    Reply
  31. Sharon O.

    Thank you again everyone for your bravery. We are all trying our best to hold our heads high, and some days, especially holidays, find ourselves slipping into happier memories and gentler times. I have had to remove photos and paintings of my son and his wife from the walls in my home because seeing their faces left me too raw. Perhaps one day I can look upon them again, but this first year it was too much to bear. I am so glad Christmas is over as I find it very hard to celebrate without my son. But I have decided that this year I am going to focus on today and not let myself spend so much time looking back. I am going to remind myself that my son’s decision is out of my control. Rest and take care everyone.

    Reply
  32. Martha Z

    I’m counting sleeps til holidays are over. The hardest part are family celebrations around me & Christmas music. I can handle my daily life with distractions quite easily. I had to decide what was best for me and it’s certainly NOT family drama & Ativan. I feel I was a good mother and when I’m ‘allowed’ to be with my grandkids, they remind me I’m still loved…..that’s all that matters now. I’m too old, just turned 65, to play games or be bullied like school children in a playground. Hang onto the positive memories and simply let go. I put a note above my bunk bed that says, ‘take care of you’. And by reading all these messages, we are obviously NOT alone. Spend time with your friends, travel and buy yourselves gifts you deserve. Blessings for a Happy 2020, a new decade! Each of you are very special !

    Reply
  33. Eeyore

    I’m so sorry for all the reasons each of you is here but it feels good to finally find a group of people who truly understand. As I mentioned before my daughter ghosted me for three and a half years, came back for almost two and had been gone again for a year. I have no idea why. She never tells me what the problem is so I can’t “fix” it. She is almost 25. I found out a couple of weeks ago that she is engaged! Of course I’ve never met the guy. She is my only child.
    I’m still embarrassed to say that I lost custody of her when she was six because her dad took her and it took days for me to find them and by that time he had already gone to the court house, wrote a bunch of lies on a dvo report and the rest is history. I fought is all the way to the state court of appeals but all they saw was the lies he told in the beginning. Did I mention that her dad is also my rapist! So “co-parenting “ has been nearly impossible.
    I fought him all of those years and now fighting her to see her! That’s just crazy.
    The first ghosting I did the walking on egg shells thing but it seems not to have helped and I’m tired of play acting and being used. This time I’m just mad. I’m also generally the types of person who doesn’t give anyone any crap and I take very little. I’ve stop sending gifts and only send cards. I’ve also completely cut her out of my will which felt very empowering.
    Now I just worry about what I will do when I grow old. The majority of my family is older and so are the few friends I have. I’m frustrated with this but I refuse to beg her to love me.

    Reply
    1. Louweeza

      I just read every single one of the posts and cannot believe this: words like shunning, entitlement, throwing me under the bus, ring so true to my situation that it is scary. Yet my story is a bit different. Two daughters, 40 and 48 now. Two granddaughters, 21 and 11 now. Have been estranged from 48yo going on 3 years. She blames me for helping the 40yo, who has an opioid addiction. Told cops I was a “scumbag” and reported us to DCF, lost custody of 11yo for almost 6 months, finally got her back because she told judge she wanted to go home with Gramma. 48yo used our credit to buy a truck and owed $25K to American Express. Got angry and cut us off because we “made her pay it” In the meantime, became engaged and never asked what we might contribute to the wedding financially. We had limited contact and still do, via text only. I didn’t know I was cut off and was excluded from the bridal shower. My sister and sister in law went. I met with her at a restaurant and she kept referring to her sister’s addiction to drugs. ( This whole family abuses alcohol, mind you) I kept being told by various family members to “apologize “ and then I would be allowed to be included in the wedding festivities. WHAT I was to apologize for was NEVER stated by anyone. Ever. To this day, I have no clue and am told “some things can not be fixed” My whole family then joined in and shunned us and the 11yo for punishment. All supported her and went to her wedding and we were NOT included. Felt betrayed by my brother and sister because they went to the wedding. I would have NEVER supported their children against them and gone to their weddings if situation was reversed. I would have told them “No, fix this with your parents or we won’t come! “ Which is what my brother and sister up north told her! We were sent an invitation to the wrong venue and were never called with the new venue because she wanted to be able to say “I invited them!” The same when the 21yo had a birthday. Texted: “You can come, but it will be awkward and uncomfortable “ Have since been disincluded to all holiday gatherings. I have cried an ocean of tears and feel nothing anymore. It is as if she had died, the grief is never ending. She is somebody that I used to know at this point. Have not seen the 21 yo in a year because she is afraid of her mother. In hopes of a reconciliation, I have extended so many “olive branches” that I could build a dam tree in my yard, and have received only Horse” manure” in return to fertilize it! I have been sad, depressed, angry resentful and hopeless for so long. It is hard to believe in God anymore when His Absence is felt more than His presence…I now feel guilty and wimpy because so many posts state estrangement for up to 20 years and I have only been suffering for 3 years. We live in same town. She was given MY grandmas house and was sent to private Christian school and had a charmed life. Yet she is ungrateful, disrespectful and has dishonored her parents. This all because we “don’t know how to “parent” her and her sister(?) Newsflash : We stopped “parenting” when they became adults. One chose drugs and remains close to us and sober for one year, struggling to make her way back. And the other remains bitter and jealous with a sense of entitlement as if we owe her more. Would she have rather been addicted to drugs so that we would have paid more attention to her? I am sick of this crap and feel empowered enough by reading the posts and I will get the book. I am too old (65) to continue to suffer like this and raise an 11yo child. I am taking back my life and shame on me if I let Any of them continue to treat me like an outcast! Piss on them if they don’t like me!

    2. Louweeza

      Does it take some time for a post to show up? I wrote one that may have been too long and I can edit it if need be. Thanks

    3. Louweeza

      Hi Eeyore,
      I notice you said your daughter is engaged and getting married. Prepare yourself. That may have been the worst part of my whole thing. To be excluded from the bridal shower was my first clue. No one in this family had the guts to tell me,but dam if they didn’t all go party with her anyway! And I paid for her wedding dress before this crap started! The wedding was hard and we went out of town. What mother doesn’t want to be at her daughters wedding and get dressed up pretty and just smile as she walked by? Her husband (to be) is such a good guy too. I wanted to text him that day and say “Run!”
      Sadly I know you don’t care how this will affect your daughters father ( or DNA contributor) I have to tell you that you are a strong woman to deal with the circumstances of your daughters birth. Does she know? Does she have a clue what you must have gone through? Seems to me she has picked the wrong parent to have no contact with. I am so sorry…
      My little princess robbed her father of walking her down the aisle and a father/daughter dance. He didn’t treat her like Daddy’s little girl and he yelled at her when she goofed off with schoolwork though, so the fact that he was there and available every single day of her life and doing electrical work in her house or changing tires or picking up her child from school ? Does not count. Don’t get me started on what I did for her. A wedding should bring families together but she made dam sure it split mine in half !
      This year will be better, I am moving away from these people that used to be my relatives.

  34. LifeGoesOn

    I have been estranged from my adult son for almost 5 years. He is 35 now.

    He had said so many hurtful things that made me cry for months into years. He said I was manipulative and always guilt tripping him, making me sound like a horrible mother to him, so I told him that if I am that bad of a mother, then he doesn’t need a mother like me. So, have a nice life was what I told him last.

    He got married and didn’t invite me, which made me sad but I was glad I wasn’t as I would have not gone anyway

    I took all of his photos down, written him off from my will.

    Interesting enough, he texted me the day before thanksgiving, He said hi and I was cordial and replied. He told me what he had been doing lately, etc, but no apologies. like nothing ever happened. I don’t feel anything for him, anymore now, feeling so numb.

    At this point, honestly, I do not want him in my life anymore.

    I am a happier person, have lots of friends and wonderful family (Siblings, nieces and nephews) that I see often. They love me and are always wanting to spend time with me.

    The hurt things he said to me was too painful. I do forgive but I can’t forget. Its unfortunate but life goes in and I will not allow myself to be treated that way again.

    Reply
  35. Dora L.

    I’ve read all of these post and my heart aches for each story.
    Mine is a little different. This was my first Christmas without my son and daughter in love and 18 yr. old granddaughter.
    My hus. Died Jan, 2018 after 6 mos of lung cancer diagnosis. I was his caretaker. My heart surgery was delayed till March of 2019. Then I spent a year selling my lake home living alone, packing and showing my home to buyers.
    I then made the decision ,since I am 75 to buy a house with my younger son rather than wait until I was needing a caretaker.
    I had always told both sons everything would be equal at my death. So the older son felt I had done him wrong by buying the home with my younger son. I wanted to stay in my area , my friends, my doctors.
    My house sold and I had 30 days to vacate, my decision happened so fast . I thought I was doing what was best for me. He will never forgive me tho I’ve tried to explain, I’ve begged his forgiveness. I was not wanted at my gdaughters graduation .i drove 3 hrs and turned around and went back home. My gdaughter wrecked her car begged me to come. My son said no it was not something he wanted to deal with.
    My heart breaks, and I know his does as we’ve always been very close. I know we will never be close again.
    My new normal has to start or I cannot survive.
    Dora

    Reply

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