Communicating with Estranged Adult Child: Why Do I Have to Hold Back?

Dear Dr. Coleman,

Re: your book, When Parents Hurt: “Would love to hear more about why we have to not argue, not demand of our kids, not tell them our feelings. I am willing to do it, and it does help, but I would love to hear more about that whole way of thinking. Thanks again for writing the book.

Dear Reader,

I get asked this question a lot and it’s an important one. I recommend this to parents who have been estranged from their adult children because I think it’s critical that they keep the door open long enough so that one day they can have a more mutual relationship. But, if things have gotten so bad that there’s been an estrangement (or it’s on the verge of one), it means that you don’t have the luxury of a mutual relationship in the way that you might with a non-estranged adult child. With the non-estranged, there would be plenty of room for both of you to talk about your feelings and even have more open conflict because the whole basis for the relationship is not on the chopping block. With an estranged child, you have to create the conditions where some time, maybe years later down the line, there’s enough goodwill for your child to either see you more clearly or accept your perspective. If they’re estranged, they’re probably not yet ready to hear your perspective. It may make them turn away because it makes them feel too guilty; they may think that you’re defending yourself for something that they just want you (wrongly or rightly) to take responsibility for. They may feel (wrongly or rightly) like you’re blaming them for their feelings.

This isn’t fair, of course. I know that. But I’m a pragmatist when it comes to families. We have to start with where the 2 of you are right now, not from where it should be.

You can’t be demanding because you don’t have that much power. It’s a little like a marriage where one person has a foot out the door and is willing to divorce. The person who doesn’t want the marriage to end doesn’t have the same power to make demands as the one who is okay with it ending. I know this is very hard to do, but it’s a good thing to do, nonetheless.

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  14. Mary
    Posted February 22, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    My son started dating a girl and after about a month he couldn’t cope with her mood swings and broke up with her, well she went nuts calling him all day and leaving horrible messages. Well a few weeks later she told him she was pregnant and after a few months he went back to her because of the baby. She was basically homeless and only had a bag of clothes when they got together. My son’s dad and I helped them with furnishing their apartment and when the baby was born I babysat for them full time (for 3 years) when the mother of the baby got a job, even buying diapers and formula because they couldn’t afford to. We tried to make the best of it and tried to embrace this woman, letting her borrow our car and driving her to work. They came by unannounced at lunch and dinner, so we invited them to eat with us on numerous occasions. Then they got a government loan and somehow bought a house and moved in with us until the loan was finalized ( about 3 months) she didn’t do anything but complain, she said she had OCD, but she was a slob, didn’t help with anything. Well as soon as they moved into their house she was done with us, she hasn’t spoken to her sisters for years, he dad for the past 2 years and she just started talking to her mom again after 2 years off no contact, now it’s my turn.
    My husband and I were very close to our grandchild, I had him more than his parents did and we haven’t had contact since November, we missed Christmas and his birthday. They live 5 miles away. I don’t think I ever want to see her or my son again. Never thought I could feel thus way about my own child!

  15. Barbara
    Posted February 19, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    My story is quite like all the rest here but she became estranged with me when I find needles and Harion on her kitchen table (we have always had key to each other’s house and just go in if we are’nt home) Of course I was hurt …..well you can imagine through seen. She said some hurtful things and so did I. I did write her apologies and judging not trying to understand..if I email her she will answer but doesn’t talk to me. We have always been so very close. Should I keep trying to talk to her or is that making situation worse by bugging her. Even with the dope within 2 feet of us she sit there denying using even with red dilated eyes. She did have this problem about 13 years ago and of course I tried being there for her.
    I have been to meetings.
    1

    • Desiderata
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Love. Support. Encouragement.
      ((or))
      Anger. Nagging. Accusations.

      Which are the qualities of a parent?

      At what point in your life as a parent will you realize that your child is her own person, and that being in her life as she is an adult no longer involves the running of her life? Your daughter is not an extension of you. She is her own person. She is showing you that. But it is not about you. She is showing HERSELF that.

      I wish her all the luck with her problem.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 20, 2014 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Been there, so I understand your situation. You cannot deal rationlly with her while she is on heroin. My only daughter was also a heroin addict who abandoned her chidren with us for 6 years. Keep in touch with her, dont giv her any money or rides or pay her bills until she goes to rehab..PERIOD. My daughter is now 4 months clean and doing great. It has been horrible, but you can get through it. Jst go on with your life.

  16. Maureen
    Posted February 9, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    I have two boys one of whom I am very close to and the other who I have not seen or talked to in 5 years. The one I have not talked to is married and has two kids. I was never told about the second child but have seen the first one 4 times and he will be eight next week.

    I went through a bad divorce in 2006 and both boys were living with me at the time so they saw what went on. I treated them equally. My son got married the year I got my divorce and things were so fine until then. I still saw him and his wife after the wedding but it got to be less and less. After the first baby was born I had to call to go and see the baby and when I was there they were not at all receptive to me. I was an intruder or at least that was how I felt.

    We then got together once a year for my birthday and I asked my daughter-in-law what the problem was that and that I wanted us to be part of each other’s lives. She told me that my son was not ready to discuss it yet. I told her I would be happy to meet anywhere to discuss this as I wanted relationships with both of my boys. I said I would also pay for a therapist if that is what it took. All she said was he is not ready to discuss it.

    I have not seen him for over 5 years now. He won’d take my calls, answer my emails or respond to certified letters. We never had any fights or disagreements so I really have no idea what this is about. I have gone over it in my head so many times, it waked me up at night. I don’t know what to do.

    He has not been in touch with my younger son either and I see and speak with him regularly even though he lives farther away. My younger son says that he was never a “fan” of the older boy’s wife. I don’t know what to do. I feel like I have exhausted everthing I can think of. I can’t go up there and confront him. He probably would not even answer the door.

    • Lisa
      Posted February 10, 2014 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Maureen,

      It’s impossible for you to know what went wrong in your son’s mind. It almost sounds like your DIL has taken control of the “situation” especially since he hasn’t or won’t contact his brother either. Until or unless HE makes the decision to no longer be estranged, there is little or nothing you can do. I hope for your sake that he comes to realize that you and his brother should be in his life and that of his children. Best Wishes — Love, Lisa

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 12, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      I have resigned myself, after unable to bear the grief and drama any longer, that my adult daughter and I are better off ‘divorced’ . It ‘s ok.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 20, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      You have to let them go. Send the children birthday and Christmas cards with a gift card. If the parents don’t give it to them, thats their guilt. Yu can connect with the gandkids when they are adults. One final short letter to your son should be your last attempt.

  17. Geneva
    Posted December 16, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    My husband is estranged from one adult daughter, the other is living with us. The non-estranged daughter just started living with us after her graduation from college.

    The primary reason for the estrangement is alienation during childhood. During and after the divorce, their mother basically punished both girls for expressing anything but contempt and hatred for their father. Two different therapists expressed the opinion that she had Borderline Personality Disorder, and discouraged him from fighting to see his daughters, despite court-order joint custody- because they feared the more he fought- the more she would enmesh them in the struggle. (one example – the girls were often encouraged to call on speaker phone to tell him they hated him- while mom whispered suggestions of things to say in the background)

    Side note: I was not the cause of the divorce. Mom left to be with another man. I did not meet him until he was on his own. But his ex did become angry that he found someone else.

    Fast forward to adulthood. The estranged daughter is a mother. We’ve seen the granddaughter about half a dozen times in two years. ED is about to have another child, a son.

    What can my husband do to help mend the estrangement with his daughter? Is there anything that I can do? Should we send cards and gifts to grandchildren, knowing that they will never be acknowledged and perhaps never given to them? What should we be doing to acknowledge birthdays and holidays with estranged daughter and her husband?

    So far, we have been giving them gifts and cards and texts for special dates. I’d like for my husband to send a letter, but he is reluctant to apologize.

    Both daughters seem to have developed complete amnesia about the rages and phone calls they were forced to be part of by their mother. They also believe everything their mother told them – even when there was ample evidence that it was not true. (example- mother told them she didn’t want them to see their father because he wasn’t feeding them- even though he filled the refrigerator and cupboards with special food they requested during visitation times)

    Sorry for this long note- my primary reason for writing is not to revisit the past- but to provide some context. ED is so angry and hateful – is it possible to go forward without correcting her misconceptions about the past? Just looking for what will work- don’t need to be ‘right’- just want to help mend this relationship.

  18. kristine
    Posted October 29, 2013 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    ahh flesh of my flesh…..almost blind /cancer…..betrayed and abandoned over money. black soul…greed ..denial..blame..no compassion..society has created outside beauty with no substance ..childless ..karma..lost…tomorrow no page..lost faith..death.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 26, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Not many would understand what you posted here Kristine….but I actually do….

  19. Joan
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I’ve been scouring the internet for helpful sites for parents who are estranged from their adult child. The problem is…it only makes the pain worse. Sometimes, it is not the parent’s fault. Sometimes there is an issue totally separate from them that causes the estrangement. No person is perfect, but sometimes, someone cuts ties with someone for reasons that having nothing to do with the parent. Sometimes, the adult child has problems of their own. If I had done something to cause this, I would be on my knees begging her to forgive me. I have listened to her…I have helped her when she asked…I have apologized for past mistakes in my life…I have forgiven her when she did something “wrong”. My crime is loving her unconditionally. She doesn’t want me to. Maybe she doesn’t think I should… She doesn’t like me, and I accept that. But, to not allow me to ever see her again? EVER? That is cruel, and I am broken.

    • Kelly
      Posted October 21, 2013 at 4:48 am | Permalink

      Joan,

      I am astranged from my Mother. It took many years to finally give up and it is permanent. My Mom is not capable of loving me and never has been. She is ok when she doesn’t have a man in her life but if she does then I rarely hear from her. I finally gave up and moved on with my life. I am the oldest of four children and her least favorite. I was closer to my Father who died in his 50’s of Leukemia. My Mom is a “divide and conquer” type Mom. She never allowed us siblings to be close with one another. I was disowned from my siblings but not her when my sisters husband made sexual advances towards me and she chose to be disfunctional rather then keep the family together. My Father would have never allowed it. After he died she went on a crazy spending spree. She had the will changed on his death bed cutting all of us kids from the will. She then blew almost everything he worked for. She hooked up with a user type man and spent a lot on him and on expensive vacations. When she found out he was a pedafile a few years later she dumped him and for a few years she was more friendly. She came to visit me and my son a few times a year but I couldn’t visit her. Then she met a man at her 50th high school reunion who was rich and she is helping him spend his money now. It got so bad that I would go for almost a year without hearing from her and could not reach her because she was on a ship in another part of the world. Then she split up her assets so she could retire and I got nothing but some dusty junk from her attic. Her fav children, my brother and younger sister got waterfront property! My son was her fav grandson and she gave him 40 thousand dollars. Still I called her or tried to keep in touch but then she said My son and I could never visit her boyfriends house which is less then an hour from me. She must have told him some things she didn’t want to be exposed. Then she got on Facebook and never told me or friended me. On her page there were pictures of my brother opening a coffee shop in Boston! It is sick how she keeps us all separated. She could never have me on her Facebook becaue once again I could out her for her lies. I never would but she could never take the chance. The last time I finally got a hold of her about her annual Christmas visit I asked her why my son and I could not go to her boyfriends and meet his children and she said it would never happen. I asked why and she said she was in therapy and changed the subject. I asked about Facebook and why she didn’t friend me and she again said she didn’t know why. That was it. I cried an let it go. I would not take her one call and she had the police outside my home that did a well check on me. She couldn’t come in person and ask me what was wrong although she knows deep down what is wrong. I think if your adult child will not speak to you then you need to pull your head out of the sand and be honest about what you did to alienate them. No excuses, just honesty about your part. My mother played me like a chess piece all my life but she can’t even see it. All I ever wanted was a normal mother and family but after my Dad died my family fell apart because of my Mothers manipulating and games. It just became easier to not engage in a sick relationship anymore and live in peace.

    • Janet London
      Posted November 1, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      I have an adult daughter (26) and she refuses to answer my calls or make plans to see me. She holds me responsible for not being there for her. Our home was a difficult place since my husband can be quite mentally abusive-we are doing okay now, but he does have lapses into that behavior-and neither my son or daughter acknowledges the effect of that verbal abuse. Also I had to work many many hours and all that combined made it difficult to be the kind of mother I wanted to be. I did many good things for my children, but I am not a woman of means so I can not offer finances as an incentive to stay in touch. When she does talk to me (which is rare, she is short tempered and often ends the call early). It is painful that she is not moving on, getting a decent job (she has two college degrees), or finding someone to start a family with. It is like I have no daughter and I have to question myself as to whether to include her in my will. I wake up in the middle of the night with a tremendous void since I miss what we could have which is not enough for her. So she is basically quietly cutting off ties and I know she is depressed. No one will help me get through to her and if I email my feelings, she will call it lecturing if she responds at all. She will hang up or leave if I try to talk in person or on the phone and I know she would refuse to see a professional with me. So I need coping strategies and other women as friends who are going through this.

      • kelvin tan
        Posted November 4, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Take it that she is doing okay. Don’t cling on to the past. We all go through life learning to be a better person. Just live life the best you can and know how. Look at the bright side and offer your blessing and loving kindness to all. Unless she open up, no point seeing a professional.
        Don’t worry unnecessarily.
        Take Care
        Kelvin Tan

    • Jessica
      Posted November 3, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Wow, the statement that you are thinking of cutting your daughter out of your will because your daughter holds you responsible for not being there for her……

      That says everything that needs to be said about you. Maybe she needs to hear from YOU how sorry you are that you couldn’t have been the mother you wanted to be. So you had kids with a man who’s mentally abusive but it seems you never left him and you feel as though you are not responsible for allowing your children to be around him and abused by him…..

      Gee, how do you not see what went wrong?! You were supposed to protect your children, but you didn’t, and you feel no responsibility for their childhood–it was always someone else’s fault, and you had to be gone for work long hours….. So you feel no responsibility for how their childhoods were. But their childhoods, while an unfortunate time for you when you were not able to be what you wanted, maight have been constantly very scary because of your husband, and that might be how they remember their childhoods: as a scary time when mom left them to fend for themselves.

      You say you email your feelings to your daughter and she doesn’t respond well–maybe your feelings are not the feeling that should be worried about here. Maybe you should be concerned about HER feelings, because it sounds as though you aren’t. Ever. This is all about YOU.

      Try a little humility, sorrow, regret, etc etc…… Otherwise it sounds to me like you’ve lost your daughter through your own actions, and yet you are somehow blaming her.

      Sad. This is very typical I’ve found.

    • abandoned parent
      Posted February 4, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Was stunned reading your note as it was as though I had written it. This is my first time finding online there are so many others going through the same scenario as my husband and I. We are the bio. parents, we’ve been married 38 years. Our home was filled with our children and all of their friends and then it changed. If only FORGIVENESS were still a virtue, all of us could heal and move forward. So sorry for your suffering, I know the horrible pain from all of this. Thank you for posting, and may God grant you more grace to get through this.

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  22. Free At Last
    Posted September 14, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    As an estranged daughter myself (my mother was emotionally, verbally and physically abusive while I was growing up. It’s pretty obvious she has some sort of personality disorder which makes trying to have a healthy relationship with her impossible) I would advise any parents who are (rightly or wrongly) estranged to read some books to offer insight from the other point of view. “Toxic Parents” is a really good one to start with. Be really honest with yourself to see if you recognise anything there.

    I am a mother of 2 daughters myself and I know how hard it is to be a parent. I have had an large number of challenges (not just my upbringing) that have made me fall way short of my ideals. No, I have not repeated my mothers abuse. But I’ve made mistakes.

    The important thing to keep in mind is that it is not usually the mistakes, per se, that do the greatest damage between parent-child relationships. It is the inability to OWN those mistakes, make genuine and heartfelt apologies for them without shifting blame. To really LISTEN, to EMPATHISE and be willing to change and make amends.

    After all, we all stuff up (not all mistakes are equal though, and it’s important to acknowledge that) to varying degrees. So being willing to actually be WRONG and admit it is a vital relationship skill. If you don’t value your children’s (even if they dont make sense to you)feelings you are essentially giving them the message that they don’t matter. And that will devastate any relationship.

    The other point I want to make is that as a parent I know that I don’t own my children; they are essentially on loan. If they continue to have a close relationship with me after they’ve grown that will be a bonus and largely a result of whatever work I put into nurturing the bond now. But, they owe me…nothing!!! I chose to bring them into the world and so it is ME and their father who have the responsibility to do right by them, NOT the other way around. I don’t expect them to be grateful to be fed and have a food over their head – that’s a basic human right! If they’re grateful for some of the other things I’ve done right then I’ll be very happy but there is no expectation. In my experience, girlfriends of mine who had wonderful mothers genuinely adore them and are grateful that they got so lucky when so many of us didn’t.

    • Free At Last
      Posted September 14, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      One thing I’m trying to say is that (if a miracle were to occur!) and my mother wrote to me and said

      “I know I’ve made terrible mistakes. I know you need to talk about all those things if we are ever to have an honest and true relationship. I am willing to listen to the whole story even if it is painful to hear. I want to so everything I can to make it up to you because of all the suffering this has caused you. I will not accuse you of lying or distorting the truth even though I can’t remember or it is too hard to face those truths. Above all, I will for the first time in my life LISTEN to you. I want to do anything and everything I can to have a healthy relationship with you.”

      Well… If she were to say those words my jaw would drop! But I would put aside my suspicions and defences and give her another chance. If she were to follow through and DO these things we would have a chance at a new and better relationship.

      I really don’t think there’s much chance of my mother changing. But I offer these words because maybe it will help another family.

      • Susie
        Posted October 2, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        I would like to make a comment what i have read so far. It sounds like my daughter, Wendy age 23 described about me being toxic, personality disorder etc. If you are a real mum, you should look deep inside of your mum’s heart. If she ever hurt you because she is over protecting you , and she knows the pathway you are taking, will affect your future etc. She has no intention to hurt you. If you expected that your mum will write a letter to you and asking you about your condition and patch back all the loves you both have shared , chances will or not be happening at all. My daughter Wendy, was a loving daughter and she was special to me and also spiritual too. Until she mixed with wrong people and wrong boy friend. she manipulated me of trusting her by putting money into her student account to earn interest. Why I should not trust her. I have no doubts about her. I have spent 23 years of raising her on my own after relationship with her father was ended when she was young- little toodler. I did not make it happen as it was a full of mistakes of the marriage as her father betrayed me and married to him. ( Hidden agenda) should not be happening if a person wants a good relationship and good foundation with another person. All have to based on honesty in terms of the past and also do not allow money to be a greed and thinking money and materials in relationship issues.

        You are not my daughter and as far as I know she will say : Free at last. I never expected her to look after me when i am old etc. She wants to be a medial doctor , i supported her all the way and even plan out for her in the long run. As far as I know, I have spoiled her by loving her and caring her. In other words, my care and loving towards her was not good enough for her in her life.
        she stolen money of $6,000/- and went holiday with this boy friend of her who has many issues from the time she knew him.
        I could not understand why she cannot resist sex temptation with him. I have found out that she basically wanted sex so much for a long time but waiting for a guy to come along then she will experiment with it. I am not against her getting to know the guy . If she knows a good guy and she has to brain to read – using her head instead of her heart, she will not ruin her future with him. This guy has already planned to pick any girl who has intelligent and capabilities to support his future such as luxuries holidays , and waiting for her to earn big bucks to get him expensive properties at the rich areas.

        To be honest, this guy has no motivation and behaving like a little boy from year 1. I met his parents and the guy when he met me at his house , did not show welcome etc. Totally a different person who i met him outside socially.

        right now, my daughter walked out from my life. After all i have done for her was to betray me because i do not support her relationship with her present boy friend.

        As a mother, I will never abuse my own daughter. I know and understood what is abuse etc. My parents was strict but not abusive towards me. Especially, my dad had a personality crashed with me so we unable to relate to each other. I told my daughter everything about my child hood etc. because i took her as my close friend and a bond with each other was strong. All what I have accomplished so far , is to make her to hate me and she even took me to court for violence restraining order against me. I did not appeal as I gave her what she wants. however, I am not hoping that she will contact me either. I am a principle mother and I do not believe Tom and harry sleeping around over guy’s home is an ideal relationship as far as a good girl will not perform any sexual acts before marriage. if she is a good Catholic girl, she knows ten commandments , she will refrain her desires for it. Yes, when she found a good guy with no manipulation and strictly good and motivated and good prospect in his own career then relying on her , I can say that the guy can look after her and it will be mature for a guy to be a good husband to her and to her children. this present boyfriend is a thief too. Stolen equipments from hospitals and overseas too. His parents also have no religion and they do not care , he is ok or not. Only view i know is about money and how to rob others in the future. Why i know so much about this guy , was because my girl sharing with me with all his problems. I have encouraged her contact with him but until three months later, he was planning her to stay over night to his house etc. then issues about his problems with works and over all etc. All about money status. I cannot see what future he has and I know if you have a good plan and a good person , a good guy should stop sitting around talking about money and money.

        My daughter even connected my home foxtel to his mobile phone who idea was that . It was his idea. My girl has committed a fraud by doing it against the contract with foxtel company.

        You tell me what I have done so far wrong. I told her if she did marry this guy in the future etc, i will not in her life. I asked her what she wants, She simply tell me that she is leaving me and not given a chance or days to discuss.

        To be honest, can i forgive her doing. Who is right or wrong. I can said that i did something to her in which I was not proud of. But she was gathering information from her friend advice that she should take me to court. Then i saw in the facebook etc. So she called me a thief and toxic mother etc. I started to write a full story of Wendy’s life , how she was brought up etc. what was she given so far in her life to display like a princess in this society. She was given a brand new car and all the expenses paid by me and her dad.

        Well, To be honest, i have also found out that she did not love me enough if not she will not do such a thing to me so far.

        Should i forgive her if she did contact me? should I forgive her . There is nothing to say forgive or not. I will be surprised to know why she wanted to contact me if she knows that she breaks my trust and can she gain back my trust or love.

        One day , when I am gone, it will be too late for her to say well, I should contact my loving mum. she can only feel the urge to do so when she becomes a mother one day. yes, I love my own parents. My parents accepted me good and bad times.

        Well, As far as I know she looks down on me and her dad. Why she sold bad remarks of her dad to the guy’s family. Her dad was useless etc. Even stupid enough to reveal to the guy’s parents that she is the only child and she will be inherited big goodies from the estate from her dad in even of his death.

        I am very deeply disappointed of her actions. Her mental evil and actions had allowed greed to take over. Yes, I would have given her all what I have so far in my life. Due to this incident, I have donated all my estate and assets to Charity for good. leaving her no cent to collect except I have the Will update that she had received the $6,000/- in advance from stealing money from me and $1/- in the WILL and a diary for her to read upon my death bed.

        I have been praying to God , why given me this child for the past 23 years and now she turing to be evil, snob, greed, elegant. Calling herself duchess. She keeps telling me that she is indigo child and she is old soul and she does not have to return back to earth. Is she talking to devil or real angels.

        To be honest, I have nothing to feel guilt because I did my part to guide her not to control her life. She took wrongly of me.
        During period of our life, when anger speaks out with words that does not meant it. Anyway, I wish her the best for her own decision. I have said to her when friends of her have mother to call home, she will have no mum to call and it will leave her a big hole in the heart for the rest of her life.

        Yes, she is young , she will not realise now, but she might not realise in her life time once she becomes a medical professional with their snob and elegant pride in her . Only god can save her soul.

        right now, she is living with her dad and filled her dad with all the lies. She is manipulating her dad , waiting for him to handle $200,000/- to her after 2015 for her lst home deposit. basically, count her dad death bed so that she can count her goodies in her basket how much she will be getting from his estate and super fund too.

        Some mistakes that make cannot make it right. In conclusion, i only hope that she will come to her senses. If she continues to behave this way towards her friends especially stabbing their backs by doing it for herself. What goes around will come arounds. Hopefully, her eyes and her mind will open wide
        enough to realise the truth about honesty, integrity and real love.

        If you are wendy , what will you think. Yes, I have not kept any of her childhood items with me since she left home 5th July 2013. All her childhood and teens etc, ( all have been destroyed) ruined my soul and heart. I do not want to remember of her because she is like a devil to me not a child.

        she thinks i am stupid to be Asian and a also a mum for her.
        she has not stopped telling lies about me that i am trying to steal her money from the bank. All she does, was to steal my money from my saving account to be transferred automatically every fortnightly into her student account. Therefore, the bank advised me to close the account to avoid any more funds to be made by her.

        Money is not an issue. of course, right now I am working hard to save as much as possible so that I can look after myself. Luckily I have cut my losses earlier because I would have given her the whole lot in another 20 years times when i am really old , most probably , no good vehicles for her etc in her life, she might be throwing me out of the street.

        she stated that I ordered her out of the house many times. That was not truth. She complaints about what I given to her not good enough and she also labelled me no PHD not fit to be her mother and she also labelled me for months as i was antisocial etc. she even diagonised me with mental disorder after her 10 weeks mental health clinical rotation in mental facility.

        Only god can save her . I have lost a good friend for this life.

        I can only talk to God when I get there one day.

        I am not expecting her to return to my door step. What goes around will come around in due times.

        Who expected children to be goods and to be repaid in future.
        I do not expect Wendy to repay me any conditions and financial that I given to her from the moment she was born until the day she left home. I just want her to be a respectable person with good heart and compassion person. She becomes like a snob , elegant and greedy person. Two faces personality to encounter social contacts with people around 409 to 50 years old.

        We all were young before, and she will be old one day. Well, what you mentioned in your context, is what my girl wendy will be using. However, I also suspect that You might be Wendy. Your communication sound familiar unless she copied from you. If you are Wendy, Free At Last!

        Only your actions and god will knows best. I just want to let her know that her mum has cut her loses and she will not contact her in the future. she can save all the troubles of renewing her Violence restraining order from the court after 2 years.

        Wendy, You have to open your heart and soul and not your head and sexual desires. Because what you are going on now, it will suffer big blow in your life. That is the only true. Board game or no board game , you answer your own actions.

        I answer my own actions as to allow you to leave and be free for yourself. We are not more daughter and mother .

        To be honest, I also begins to realise that I do not know you either. You might think I am mad. I am not. I am protecting by god not to be broken my human soul on this earth.

        god bless and hope that this message will reach thousands of readers.

  23. Linda
    Posted September 14, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    My daughter who will be 33 yrs. old October 2nd, will not have anything to do with me. She says that I am a toxic person and she wants me out of her family’s lives. I have three grandsons, ages six, eight, and fourteen who miss me a lot. My question is that I have a beautiful birthday card to send to my daughter but I want to write something really nice in the card. I cannot think of a thing to say that she will not take the wrong way or make fun of. Do u have any suggestions?
    Thank you.

    • Roxanne
      Posted October 22, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Hello Linda. I read your post and I am in the exact sqme position. My son will turn 32 on Oct. 23rd; I am sending outr a card and $100… In this case, is sometimes less is more?

      • mtnmamma
        Posted April 24, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        Why send $ at all?

    • kelvin tan
      Posted November 4, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      With Unconditional Love
      Peace Be With You
      Love From Your Mum.

  24. Petunia Mary
    Posted August 20, 2013 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    I was raised in a home where my mother and sister made fun of me, calling me ugly and excluding me. I always felt like I was unwanted and a third wheel. Dad was absent. I became very hurt by this and withdrew. I was also somewhat abused sexually by a stranger when I was 11 (no intercourse but forcible other). I lost boundaries and became very unsure of myself. At age 14 I began drinking heavily; I also began rebelling. I hated my mother for the way she treated me.

    I found God at age 22 and became a Christian. I had two kids then. Over the next ten years their father did a successful job harassing me to the point that I had troubles. The kids were alienated from me and went to live with him and his family. I admit I made mistakes with them and was not a good mom sometimes. I had trouble financially and was always stressed out through court battles that I could not afford. In other ways, I was a good mom. I spent time with them and taught them about the Lord.

    My family has still not forgiven me for basically not fighting in court for my kids. I stopped doing that when the kids were 12ish for several reasons: the kids did not want to live with me and told the judge so. They wanted their dad and his more wealthy family. I had nothing to offer them but me, God, and struggles in a trailer park. If I kept fighting as I had done for 12 years, I would have just prolonged the inevitable. My kids did not want to be with me. Their father and his family were what they wanted.

    I had no idea that my decision would result in my kids cutting off contact with me for the next twenty years or so. They treat me with disdain and remember no good times. I have had to cut off contact with my mom as she is constantly blaming me and telling me I cannot be respected at all. She won’t let me live a life.

    I have, through counseling and prayer, realized that my kids are in their thirties and able to reconnect with me if they desire, but they do not. I don’t try anymore, as I am tired of the rejection. I am tired of the hurt. My daughter and I almost reconnected, but she scares me. I do not trust her one bit. I fear giving her any of my heart; she will trample it under foot. She also still gains approval from her father if she shows contempt for me.

    I have repented of all my sins. I have wept over this loss. I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel guilty and so unworthy of even life these days. I want to quit work because I do not feel worthy of my job (daycare). I want to crawl in a hole. I do not want a relationship with my mom because she trashes me online and refuses a relationship with boundaries. My kids still relish in hating me and the approval that brings them, and the pity.

    Basically, I walk the narrow road with Jesus and feel really bad right now. I am very alone. I really sometimes hate myself as well. I must really be a crappy person to have so many family members hate me. I just don’t know what to feel anymore.

    • Vicky
      Posted August 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      Mary: You need to stop returning to your past and how your mother and sister treated you. Tragic as it was, it’s over. And to keep wallowing in it is to give your mother and sister power that they should no longer have. Today is the present. And the one thing that you can and should do is start to live in it. You alone have control over your mind and your thoughts. Make that control positive. Give yourself a chance. Live your own life and find pleasure in it. Do not let others control you any longer.

    • kelvin tan
      Posted November 4, 2013 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      You can overcome all hardships.
      Have a big heart with lots of compassion.
      Just radiate loving kindness to them with your loving heart.
      Live your own life meaningfully.
      Take care

  25. Maria
    Posted August 17, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Hi Patricia – if you get 2 posts from me, it’s because I wrote one before this and then it disappeared. Not sure if it was sent or not. I’ll try again. Firstly it is nice to hear from you. I’m very sorry to hear about the circumstances with your grand-daughter. That must be heart-breaking. The dilemma is whether to offer advice, intervene, or do nothing. Will anyone listen to you? If I were in your shoes I would try speaking with your daughter, your grand-daughter’s father, or maybe even directly with your grand-daughter. Some quiet time one-on-one, maybe. See if you can make a difference through those channels first. Bear in mind that not one of them may want to do this. They may not want to hear. And they may back away from you. I’m like you in that, when faced with an obvious problem close to hand, I want to help. But I’ll share a story with you when I tried this myself recently and it back-fired. A gorgeous young man in his early 20s has been part of my life since he was born. The son of friends I had known. He and I were very close, and I viewed him as a son. Problems started to brew when his mother became depressed some months previously. Happy get-togethers became tense. Everyone was affected, especially her son. Then one day I was approached by friends of this young man. They asked me to help. He was in strife, living a double life, was anxious, and didn’t want to tell his family. What was I to do? I couldn’t sleep with worry about him, and also his friends. His mother was going through a bad patch herself. Could I sit back and watch a potential train-wreck in slow motion? I had just watched a television program the night before about suicide in young men. So the potential for chaos and tragedy was highlighted. I tried a few approaches to open up some form of communication, and they didn’t work. No-one returned my calls or emails. So I never got to talk to his parents, or to him, about the issue. The problem remains. I don’t even know whether his parents are aware. But his friends are keeping me up-dated. And all I can do is watch. In some odd way, I feel annoyed that I hold a burden of this young man’s problems that should be for his parents to carry, or at least share. But it has landed in my lap and yet I have no way of helping. And the reality at this stage of life is that (unless someone tells me otherwise) people don’t really want my input. I’m like you – I cannot sit back and watch someone I care about heading in a potentially destructive direction. Because this is your grand-daughter, and a young woman you obviously love deeply, I would seek a professional opinion first. Is there someone you can speak with? Otherwise, follow your heart. Even if you are judged harshly for intervening, at least you did something. And that will rest better with you than doing nothing. Come back and update us when you feel like it. Thinking of you. Maria x

    • Patricia
      Posted November 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Hi Maria and Lisa
      I was able to have some one on one time with my granddaughters -thank goodness our relationship is still as strong as ever. It is very telling the things that they say to me, granted they are teenagers – but the world they live in is all about secrets. I am not that way and speak to them very truthfully. My oldest appears to be on track (as well as a 16 year old can be) and looks happy. With this site’s help I have moved on – there is still no money – her mortgage was up for renewal but I have heard not a word and there is nothing I can do nor is there anything I want to do. We all make our way with mistakes =but I choose not to get past the financial hardship she handed me. I guess I will never get how a 45 year old woman would not want to give back. The money was never a gift – that was made very clear – That is getting under control thank goodness. Hope all is well with you guys.

  26. Patricia
    Posted August 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    I have been estranged from my daughter for close to 5 years – with one attempt to make it better – as long as we forgot about the way she treated me. Yesterday my granddaughters were both to come and sleep over but the 16 year old decided she needed to stay home so the 14 year old came. My dilema is this-when I took my granddaughter home today – I went to the oldest granddaughters bedroom – now this is at 12 noon, I wanted to say hi – I opened her bedroom door and was completely taken aback by her room. Now this room was not a messy teenager’s room – the clothes on the floor were at least 6 inches deep -everywhere. I had to say her name 3 times – and she finally woke up- my issue here is what is my daughter is doing to handle this situation. We know clearly that my granddaughter is depressed – but the state of her room confirmed to me that this is a deep depression. I am caught here – do I report this to social services – I believe my granddaughter needs to be put in a hospital, not left to her own devices. My daughter has all the tools and help she could possibly need to deal with this – as she is a mental health nurse. I cried all the way home – I don’t want to be put in a position that I did nothing and she be successful in hurting herself. Yet, this weekend she is going camping with her boyfriend with no adult supervision. I just don’t get it – Completely know that my daughter will be so mad that I saw that room – (she herself is a hoarder on a small scale) and I can only hope that gets her moving on taking a stand with my granddaughter and getting her the help she needs. She lets my granddaughter dictate the situation – I know that- but stand up -and get something done before its to late. Hence the reason of the estrangement – she turns a blind eye to everything.
    Thanks for listening – Lisa and Maria – you always say very encouraging things to the people who post here -

    • Lisa
      Posted September 2, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Patricia,

      You are in a tough situation. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Like Maria said, follow your heart and do what you believe you need to do. It sounds like doing nothing will eat you up alive. Perhaps it would be a good idea to seek a professional’s opinion. I hope it all works out for you. Love, Lisa

    • Free At Last
      Posted September 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      I feel for you and at the same time can empathise with your daughters position. My mother would often overstep the boundaries when it came to advising me on my own daughters (which galled me as she was a crap mother herself!) so this can be a very tricky area. Can you make some attempts to build a closer bond with said granddaughter? Maybe she will get to the point of confiding in you? I fear that anything you say to your daughter will be interpreted as interfering. Is this so? This is a very awkward and painful situation and I hope your granddaughter has some support around her.

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