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Adult Childen Estranged from your parents, Please come forward!
April 14, 2014
9:51 pm
Nina
Guest

Enrique said
I am in such pain.  My mother has behaved badly towards my wife.  I haven't spoken to her in over a year. I am in such terrible pain…

You know what, Enrique?  I'm a mother.  The last thing I would ever want is to hurt my children and cause them pain.  Your mother KNOWS you're in pain yet doesn't come to you to try and alleviate it.  That's not something a good mother does.  Not every woman is a good mother.  Take care of yourself and your wife…your mother is obviously wanting this…let her and it go.

March 8, 2014
9:03 am
liz
Guest

NJ said
When I was 13, my parents lost custody of me. For years they had told me and my brother that their drinking was normal, that their all-night fights, which usually ended with them inflicting physical pain on themselves or the other, was normal. My dad was a victim of sexual abuse when he was young and my mother is diagnosed, non-medicating bipolar and when they weren't fighting with each other, they were causing mental and emotional abuse to my brother and I. Though I have blacked out a lot of what I endured, I am unable to forget their treatment of my brother – who has lived a struggled life ever since. We were fortunate that a cousin stayed the night and saw the mess first hand, which started the road to my mothers' parents standing up for us and taking us in. They were able to raise us and we have a good, if not very deep, relationship with that side of the family. 
I gave in many times to their requests to maintain a relationship, but each time went very badly. Their illnesses and choices have ravaged their lives to the point of there being very little redeeming qualities about them. They have nothing worth talking about in their lives (besides stories of bosses and landlords taking advantage of them, etc) and if I talk about my busy, but happy life, I get chastised to 'slow down' and told that I think I'm better than everyone. Ultimately I have little to no respect for them or need for them in my life. I would prefer to remember them only through happy pictures from my VERY young childhood and care about them without having any connection to them.
Despite not seeing them in 12 years and not taking to them by phone/letter in over 7, they continue to send letters and cards addressed to me at my employers (I have been in the paper or news from time to time with my employers). Of course, at businesses, all mail just gets opened and then directed to the right person or dept. so it's very embarrassing and unwanted by me. Now, they are reaching out to older, less in-the-know family and friends to try and talk me into giving them another chance. 
Of course, that is extremely inappropriate, and children of abuse do not have to explain to anyone why they won't speak to their parents. 'But they're your parents' or 'you'll regret it when you're older' are phrases that will only let guilt and negativity in. 
I know that I need to do more right now to move on from this situation. I am looking for some reinforcing mantras or statements for my situation. I'm also weighing the idea of writing them a letter telling them (in the most positive way that I can) that I still do not wish to try a relationship with them, and that they're attempts are unwanted. Has anyone done this? 

Writing a letter helps. I did it, but never sent it. You can't expect your abusers to change…they got away with this behavior for so long that it is ingrained in them. They see the abuse as being acceptable behavior. I am in a similar situation. I used education as an escape and was often put down or beaten for acting better than the rest of the family. Be firm and do not respond. If it continues, go to police and try to get a restraining order. When I get mail from mine I just throw it out and when I have voice mails I delete them. I saved the old pictures from happier times, too. When I look at them at this point I know that the people in them are dead, and that the monsters posing as my parents are not the real people who raised me.

 

March 8, 2014
8:50 am
liz
Guest

Well it's good to know I'm not alone. My dad disowned myself and his family for my step mother while I was in college. My mom has been lazy, self centered, and emotionally abusive for as long as I can remember. I tried so hard to get them to see the errors of their ways. Never worked. Finally at 30 I finished grad school and moved to NYC to take a job. It was 2010 and times were tough, but I knew I needed experience. I arrived with nothing but a job offer and suitcase. My ex's family (bf at the time) took me in so I wasn't homeless. His mom helped me buy work clothes and I helped her watch his little brothers. There was little space, but there was a lot of love. His dad never hit his mom to make her obey. When I asked about it once, his dad laughed and jokingly said she'd deck him before he ever had the chance. They tried to talk to my mom to get some sense into her. Never worked. My ex's mom was the one to make the downpayment on my first apartment. She bought me my first suit. When I tried to pay her back, she refused my money and told me to reinvest in my career with it.

I never forgot their kindness. Throughout this time my mom continually called to ask for money and complain that I expected her to work until she died (she drained both my college savings and retirement account while I was a teenager as well as taking out credit cards in my name and destroying my credit) . When I returned her calls less and less, she had her friend call me to leave leave threatening messages about what a terrible person I was for not taking her in (I told her point blank I could barely make rent, if she could pull my roommate's share of 900/mo then she was welcome to move in, she of course went into a tirade in response…it's not my fault she never saved for retirement). Then, last December things peaked when I found out I had a tumor that required surgery and a family member to check me in and out of the hospital. I called her sobbing, scared of what would happen and scared to ask for time off. In response, she was silent for a few moments, then asked, so does this mean I can't borrow any money?

 

….

It was at that point that I ended communication. To this day I still receive passive aggressive letters and voice mails from her. She refused to listen to doctors, has become feeble, and is now out on disability and lives in a nursing home. There just comes a point that you realize that you can never make them happy. You have a right to a normal life. Children are not commodities. I am now an assistant professor at a state university. I took out loans and worked, but I put my self through school. I have a right to a career, a safe home, and my own family. Things will never be easy, but I made it.

 

You reap what you sow, mom.

 

March 3, 2014
9:28 am
NJ
Guest

When I was 13, my parents lost custody of me. For years they had told me and my brother that their drinking was normal, that their all-night fights, which usually ended with them inflicting physical pain on themselves or the other, was normal. My dad was a victim of sexual abuse when he was young and my mother is diagnosed, non-medicating bipolar and when they weren't fighting with each other, they were causing mental and emotional abuse to my brother and I. Though I have blacked out a lot of what I endured, I am unable to forget their treatment of my brother – who has lived a struggled life ever since. We were fortunate that a cousin stayed the night and saw the mess first hand, which started the road to my mothers' parents standing up for us and taking us in. They were able to raise us and we have a good, if not very deep, relationship with that side of the family. 

I gave in many times to their requests to maintain a relationship, but each time went very badly. Their illnesses and choices have ravaged their lives to the point of there being very little redeeming qualities about them. They have nothing worth talking about in their lives (besides stories of bosses and landlords taking advantage of them, etc) and if I talk about my busy, but happy life, I get chastised to 'slow down' and told that I think I'm better than everyone. Ultimately I have little to no respect for them or need for them in my life. I would prefer to remember them only through happy pictures from my VERY young childhood and care about them without having any connection to them.

Despite not seeing them in 12 years and not taking to them by phone/letter in over 7, they continue to send letters and cards addressed to me at my employers (I have been in the paper or news from time to time with my employers). Of course, at businesses, all mail just gets opened and then directed to the right person or dept. so it's very embarrassing and unwanted by me. Now, they are reaching out to older, less in-the-know family and friends to try and talk me into giving them another chance. 

Of course, that is extremely inappropriate, and children of abuse do not have to explain to anyone why they won't speak to their parents. 'But they're your parents' or 'you'll regret it when you're older' are phrases that will only let guilt and negativity in. 

I know that I need to do more right now to move on from this situation. I am looking for some reinforcing mantras or statements for my situation. I'm also weighing the idea of writing them a letter telling them (in the most positive way that I can) that I still do not wish to try a relationship with them, and that they're attempts are unwanted. Has anyone done this? 

February 25, 2014
5:53 pm
Enrique
Guest

I am in such pain.  My mother has behaved badly towards my wife.  I haven't spoken to her in over a year. I am in such terrible pain…

February 23, 2014
2:20 pm
Thrasher
Guest

I have a long story that goes back to when I was 11, I am 45 now. But I have not seen or spoken to my mother and stepfather in over 17 years…long story tho, and don't want to put it 'out there'. long story short, mother gave me up for a very controlling rich man when I was young…

February 20, 2014
6:11 pm
ginger
Guest

I am so relieved I found forum. A lot of the stories give me comfort that I am not alone in my rejection and pain. I struggled with my parents until about six months ago I decided they were hating me and tormenting me to no avail. I was a pretty good kid, shy in nature and introverted. I got teased and bullied a lot at school. I also got teased and bullied a lot by my parents. My mom said she did not have a very big romance with my dad, but knew she wanted to be a housewife and have a family so she married him. He is extremely misogynistic and aggressive. He belted us when we were little, disciplined for nothing that was a big deal, and I lived in fear. My mother was his servant. She pampered and pleased him trying to not make him go off the wall crazy. She was so concerned with being hush about everything to the neighborhood she would criticize and belittle us into complying with her ideals of how to "present perfectly". My dad exhibited a lot of inappropriate behavior including walking around in his underwear and no shirt when I had a birthday party in grade one. My mother forgot to get me at school once and I stayed alone crying and afraid when I was five until a teacher found me. We were usually a disappointment to both of them, and there was often "hell to pay" I grew up thinking of suicide when I was 14 years old. When I was 15 my dad attacked us one night, and I wanted to run away. I was so young, and started shutting down. I started using drugs. I started getting more abuse from them that I rebelled. I was the baddest apple in the world to them, bad they became very self loathing and adapted a hard done by attitude. They started gossiping to the neighborhood that they have a hard time with us kids, and how saintly they are. I got so fed up I left at 19 to Europe. I struggled working, and travelling with my confidence shot. I still wondered about how good of a person I was. I took it hard all the treatment and I took it to my heart traveling the world. I gave up on myself and threw myself into the adult entertainment industry where a whole new set of problems arose. I went to the mental health center where I was misdiagnosed with Bipolar Diisorder, and anxiety and overmedicated to try to "fix' me as it was wrong to be me, and I believed it. When my parents found out about this diagnosis they used to put me down, and to call me "sick". Any time I questioned their behavior they put me down and went and talked to psychiatrists about me to try to get me institutionalized. The were torturing me, my mind body and soul. I was too blind to not stop talking to them, as I was still convinced I was a worthless idiot.

 My boyfriend died suddenly at a very young age and I was devastated. I was alone and went to them for support. They were not supportive. They did not let me grieve, calling me mentally ill. My mom got her friend over to sit in a lazy boy and yell at me for being such a failure, and said I need to go to rehab. I do not do drugs. I decided I was going to end my life, as I was convinced I was horrible, and nothing. I had also lost a very loving person that I admired, and wanted to get back to him. I was in so much pain I could not be. I almost died, but was found after three days when I was in renal failure from lithium overdose. My parents came to the hospital upset with me. They harassed me for a year putting me in mental institutions, and torturing me. I wrote in my diary that my dad had hurt me, and I was upset with them. He found it, and him my mom and the friend came to the institution and made me write a letter that this didn't happen and apologize to my dad. I wanted to die. I wanted my love back to help me, but he was gone. I realized one day it was time to fight. I came off of all the medications that were not helping me and I withdrew much to the dismay of the psychiatrist that was in charge of "straightening me up". It was hell. I thought I was going to die. No assistance was given and it was torture. They kicked me out of the institution, and on to the streets. My parents didn't let me stay with them because they "thought I would kill myself". It had not dawned on them that they might be contributing to this.

 

I won though. I got better. I got strong with all of the strength that I had left in me I rebuilt me life. My mom continued to harass me and criticize me for some time. She acted like I was dire, and a weak being in need of her help to "fix me up and make me better" while all the while not looking in the mirror. I moved away from them, and am in trauma therapy. I disowned them, and the pain is still there. I will never give them an inch again.

I'm hurt. I'm very confused. The fact the main message sent from these two idiots was that I am a horrible person and they are hard done by having me as a daughter has inflicted me. I have post traumatic stress disorder. They will never understand why their finger pointing and dissatisfaction of me is hurtful. They want things from me. My mother said "we are really disappointed in you because we expect more from you"

I really do not understand how they can be that naïve and not know they are doing something wrong. I have so much pain waking up every night feeling tormented. Sometimes I wonder what this life is for. It took me a long time to realize it was them that were causing me so many issues.

 

I am 31 years old, and so angry with myself for not leaving them earlier. I caused myself years of problems by reaching out because I still have a heart, and I still get lonely. In their minds it's everyone else that is to blame. I am not a good daughter, worthy of being locked away for no crimes committed and they are saintly.

I wonder if I will ever feel safe again. I wonder if I will ever feel okay in the world about myself. I wonder if I will have confidence again, and feel good enough without the worries and the second guessing. I hope I can. I have it in me. I am intelligent and got straight a's in the first two years of highschool before I rebelled. I have realized they will never be reasonable.

 

I hope the anguish will subside after another year away from them. I already feel better health wise and I am trying to respect myself. I pray the one that loved me is watching over me and knows the truth that I have a heart.

February 16, 2014
9:11 am
Axems97
Guest

Hi Kelly,

Thank you for sharing learnings from your own situation. I appreciate the advice.

It's like you are grieving something that never existed and that's hard to come to terms with initially but once you accept that it (the great parent-daughter relationship you thought you had or hoped you had) was just a figment of your imagination, no different than finding out that the sky is actually blue despite having been told your whole life that it's orange, I think it is a grief that can be managed.

You are so right about needing to find out what makes me happy in life and then making time and effort to do that--I have no idea what my interests are! Was it the same for you? I know what I am good at but I don't know what really interests me – regardless of whether I am good or bad at it. It will take some time to get this one figured out but I have my whole life.

Thank you again for listening and giving me some feedback on my own personal situation. I so appreciate it! Next steps for me include some therapy as well – specifically I want to make sure I am not currently or becoming or ever become a narcissistic parent like mine were. I am hyper-aware of my actions so I think I am already doing a pretty good job but it doesn't always come naturally to say the right things to my children. I find I often have to reflect in my head before I speak or act. I need some re-training so that it comes more naturally.  

Wishing you the best on your journey Kelly.

February 15, 2014
2:18 pm
Tiffuk77
Guest

It has taken me the last 6/7 yrs to realise my relTionship with my Parents is unhealthy.  I am the eldest child to my dad and mum, both of whom have been emotioally abusive since i was born.

 

today i have made the decision to remove them from my life for good. I did not want to lose dad but he glosses over her abuse and agrees with her all the time, and i can no longer tolerate the pain this gives me. They make me feel im always in the wrong, im always to blame and that its me with the problem, and i cant physically take it anymore. 

 

Tonight i lost and smashed up my house after hearing my dad tell my husband "not to believe the shit i come out with" and "she overreacts constantly", it was the final straw. I completely flipped with 37 yrs of pent up anger. Dad has tried the guilt trip, the "do you habe any idea how upset your mum is" etc etc, to whih i replied "yes im glad shes upset". 

 

Im scared and feel very sorry for myself but i feel relieved too. I have done nothing wrong, these people are supposed to support me not knock me down all time. I know its going to be hatd but i have to cut all ties for my own sanity.

 

good luck to you all too. 

February 15, 2014
9:03 am
kelly
Guest

Hey Axems,

As someone who has battled with similar estrangement for 3+ years.. and really, really wallowed in guilt over it.. I am proud to say I have learned this:

 

- you could actually spend the rest of your life grieving and trying to be responsible over what to do about the relationship, if you allowed yourself to

 

- you have to decide when your grief has *mostly* finished and then absolutely let go (this is one of those things that doesn't come with a manual, but usually productive grief is a very physical thing) 

 

- parent-child relationships are built by the parents, not by the children.  if your parents did not build a workable relationship with you from birth, it is not likely that YOU will be able to go back and create a healthy one now (it just doesn't work backwards like that so don't kill yourself trying!)

 

- figure out what your personal objections are to having a good life, and then write them down and throw them off a balcony or burn them.  every day in the shower, tell the light in your heart "im moving on and having a good life", tell your cells to tell all your other cells that you are moving on and having a good life as well.

 

- go get some hobbies and resume having fun!  

 

- you will not healthily be "present" to play a role in your family's life down the road unless you truly give up the grief and go on to live a good life, because your energy will still be low and gloomy, so dont worry about the future

February 13, 2014
4:26 pm
axems97
Guest

I was raised to expect the silent treatment for crimes that I had apparently committed but that were unbeknownst to me. I was raised to fear what others think of me and my family, to be private and always suspicious of others' intentions. I was raised to do what my parents wanted even when it wasn't what was best for me, things like staying with a controlling boyfriend, living where they wanted me to live, doing what they wanted me to do, etc. and when I had the audacity to do what I thought was best for me, well you can probably guess…silent treatment. When I was four years old my mother told me that she would leave and never come back if I didn't eat my meatloaf and when I didn't eat it she did actually get in the car and leave. Of course she came back an hour or so later but I was traumatized.

Now it's my turn. Not for the silent treatment or some petty act designed to achieve control, but for some much needed space and peace and quiet from their noise. I live some 3,000 miles away from them so seeing them isn't possible except for planned visits, which won't be happening any time soon if ever again. I have chosen not to return the two phone calls she made since the estrangement started in December 2013 (~6 weeks ago), both of which included a poor me message in a poor me voice that ended in "call me back if you want to" without any recognition, concern, or query of what may have caused me to stop communicating. It's me who ended it, not her, and certainly not all of her selfish actions throughout the years. I think I might be swayed if she could do the one thing I know she can't: admit that she hurt me and that she was wrong for doing so.

The past ~6 weeks have been peaceful but I'm still dealing with the feelings that go along with a recent estrangement (guilt, doubt, hope) and I find myself often wondering how she could give up on me so quickly. Being a mother of two I can say undoubtedly that there is nothing that would stop me from loving my children and from trying to reach them. But then I'm not a narcissistic borderline personality, I'm just the survivor of narcissistic parents.

Thank you for this forum. It helps to vent a little. :)

February 5, 2014
12:54 am
Elvis
Guest

I have not been in contact with my parents in 19 years. I do not agree with their methods or beliefs. My parents are estranged from their parents also. So they really understand estrangement.  The cycle of abuse stops here, I moved across the continent to have proper distance.  I feel safe.

February 4, 2014
5:02 pm
Bella
Guest

Wow…I did not realise how many adult children are estranged from their parents and thank you for sharing your stories.

I have become estranged from my father and stepmother 3 weeks ago for the second time.  The last time was for 12 months after he called my sons (aged about 8 and 10?).  This estrangement caused me alot of stress and probably helped with ill health that required surgery.  I finally rang him up and went to see him.  We had an argument and got past it.

 

This time I had some things happening with one of my sons (he had to have surgery plus some other 'stuff') and his wife projected her stuff with her son onto me (I kept telling her to stop and she finally did) and then my father proceeded to give me his 'opinion' (insert 'his truth") and would not stop so I hung up on him.  Due to something I said on facebook he rang me a week later and excaimed "there is no need for that!' – what a hypocrite.  From there the conversation turned nasty – he keeps saying nasty things about my son – had to hand up again and unfriended them on facebook.

 

I am ok with this estrangement this time….I have too much going on to have the drama that they cause.  I know he will never apologise or do anything else towards reconcilliation.

February 3, 2014
7:46 am
mccart
Guest

my name is mccart i never believe in spell casting, until when i was was tempted to try it. i and my husband have been having a lot of problem living together, he will always not make me happy because he have fallen in love with another lady outside our relationship, i tried my best to make sure that my husband leave this woman but the more i talk to him  the more he makes me fell sad, so my marriage is now leading to divorce because he no longer gives me attention. so with all this pain and agony, i decided to contact this spell caster to see if things can work out between me and my husband again. this spell caster who was a woman told me that my  husband is really under a great spell that he have been charm by some magic, so she told me that she was going to make all things normal back. she did the spell on my husband and after 5 days my husband changed completely he even apologize with the way he treated me that he was not him self, i really thank this woman her name is Dr Aluta she have bring back my husband back to me i want you all to contact her who are having any problem related to marriage issue and relationship problem she will solve it for you. her email is traditionalspellhospital@gmail.com, she is a woman and she is great. wish you good time.

February 1, 2014
11:06 am
K
Guest

I became estranged from my parents about 3 years ago when I was 17 after I had begun suffering mental health issues and was in a violent relationship that caused the relationship between myself and my parents to break. 

They didn't want to believe the concept that their own child has mental health issues, putting blame down to my diet, lack of sleep and exercise. That was until my doctor and psychiatrist pointed out to them that what teenager has a good diet, sleep and exercise to which they were made silent by but still to this day refuse to believe it after countless talks with different psychiatrists, mental health doctors/ nurses and others.They didn't want to except that they raised a child with this issue as it disgraced their reputation. They were also told part of the problem was they saw me as a seven year old that and that they held me back which caused me to fight more to gain some freedom. They accepted this (only at the time). They could not see, no matter how many times I showed them proof that I was treated differently to that of my siblings (which caused me to quote "Black sheep") They would generally take me trying to show and explain to them my thoughts and feelings as a disgrace, yelling and screaming at me of "How dare I" and name callings that put me so low in myself as I felt I had no one to turn too about these feelings. Surely as I parent that is what you try and do to sort it out.

I moved out, got myself a flat and on to income support while I finished A-levels and carried on my part time job. When times got rough I tried to contact my parents for help and support but it was usually met with the phone being hung up. It was my best friend that looked after me at that point.

After some time I moved myself across after a serious episode and at that point I started to get better. I was coming out of the darkness and was looking back on a person that was not me. I couldn't have acted the way I did intentionally and cannot describe to this day to anyone how it feels suffering with that condition because its so hard too.

However, the light at the end of the tunnel showed hope as I found out I could make it to University! I was overjoyed as this had always been my dream, to go to University to learn how to help others. The side note was I was classed as international and I was estranged so no student loans could be given.

I could have applied for estranged student bursary but  my social worker felt that my parents could pay if pushed – yes they did and our relationship began to build again to a happier and better one than before.

I felt so happy to have my parents back because I generally didn't want to be estranged from them, I loved them but I found it so hard to live my life when I was constantly worried on how to keep them happy and how to please them. 

 

First two years went by smoothly. I was coming home to my parents for the holidays and nothing was better than the relationship we built again. I couldn't have been more happier. Then, as the months went by they started to turn cold again, I walked in a room and their faces would be of thunder. I didn't know if it was something I did or something that went on in their personal life but I put so much effort into trying to keep them happy but also trying to keep myself happy too. This usually resulted in getting screamed at or silent treatment but they wouldn't explain it to me. Though I would hear them talking to my siblings with joy. 

 

I then entered a new relationship with a guy who I had known for a while but not realised how amazing he was to me. Compared to the last abusing relationships I had that my parents watched me go through I thought they would welcome him with open arms. He has been nothing but polite and courteous  to them and everytime he came to my house they gave him the cold shoulder and were hardly talkative to him and when they were it was very fake. They have done this with my best friend as well. Even when I said I was staying at his their faces would be a pure disgust and they would storm out. But everytime I asked what was wrong I would receive no answer. I thought it was because they didn't want to trust another guy but it's gone on too long and the effort my boyfriend has made with them has exhausted him and now i get embarrassed about how they treat him and now me.

 

So it came to a point where I asked them a favor as I made a mistake with getting home to see my boyfriend AND THEM (to which thy spat out it was only for him. Though when I left last time to go back to Uni I told my mum I would see HER soon) I aked them to borrow money to get back that would be repayed to them. Naturally they talked to me like I was stupid, ranting and raving about what I did (which was a simple mistake of mixed up dates) eventually I got sick of the abuse and stuck up for myself. Out of all their children I was the only one that got themselves a job for summer while at Uni and they seem to have forgotten that, I was using my hard earned money to get home but because of a mistake i need a little help. Yet when my sibling rings for extra money to see his girlfriend it gets handed to him (to which I was present for but if I dared say that to my parents they would no undoubtedly yell at me). I got called a disgrace, brat, disgusting child etc etc. 

I wont dent they have done a lot for me by paying for me to go to uni (living costs and travel home for holidays which is what they did for other siblings) but when I asked for help I did not expect parents to ever talk to their child like that EVER!

So from now on I do think estrangement was the best idea so I have to look into how i can still attend uni now that all ties have been cut with my parents. I'm sick of trying to please them and getting abuse, sick of asking for help and getting abuse and for all the things I have done going unnoticed.

 

Sometimes people just aren't meant to get a long, no matter if they are blood.  The sad thing about it is I know i'm going to miss them.

January 31, 2014
7:37 pm
TReed
Guest

Jess said
The fact is, when we grow up and have kids of our own; we start to examine how we want to raise our kids. I was forced to take a long hard look at my childhood when I had my baby. Instead of looking through the eyes of a scared and insecure child, I was looking at my past as a parent. i was heart broken and had to face the harsh reality that I was definitely emotionally abbused by my mother.

She was a drug user and big alcoholic. We never really got the attention that her boyfriends or the drugs got, and when we reached out and exclaimed our distaste for the alcohol/drug abuse; we were scolded. We were told that our father was a horrible person, we were punished if she thought we weren't showing her enough love. She was disabled and used that as an ongoing excuse to abuse her drugs, but in reality, her want for the drink and pills or needle would prove to always outweigh our worth.

I know that she was/is very sick. And I do believe that she loves us, but can't face her demons. However, as an adult and a parent, I can't be HER victim any longer. I have chosen to not have contact with her. But her birthday is approaching and I feel like a child again. Very nervous and shamed. (She would become very mean and angry if we didn't acknowledge Mother's Day Birthdays etc. even as very young children. manipulation is her craft) In truth, I have never felt secure in myself but with years of therapy I now know better. 

I don't expect her to change the past, but try and make the future better. When she refused rehab or any therapy that's when I broke away.. She can live her life now, but I wouldn't condone her lifestyle.

I would see small glimpses of the person she could be, big hearted, smart and funny. That's how I'll choose to remember her. Being estranged to me doesn't mean that you don't care for them. (After all, they are our parents) But it means that I will love you from afar and give myself a chance to love ME. To let myself be happy and free to be the parent that I always wanted.

I'll always have that small child in me reaching out for her mommy; that won't change I'm sure. All I can do is acknowledge that and be the best mommy I can be.

All my love to you guys out there for being so very brave. Sometimes the hardest choice to make is choosing to be happy and healthy. I hope all of you find your corner happiness, you are WORTH it!

Dear Jess – your words resonated with me on such an incredible level that I shed a tear.  While our situations are slightly different, they were similar enough to make me take pause when I read it.  I am in the middle of a fight with my mother because she refuses to take any responsibility for any of her past actions.   Thank YOU for your bravery and I honor the child you once were. 

January 30, 2014
10:43 pm
Ella
Guest

Jess,

Thank you for putting that so eloquently.  I'm still haunted by the wonderful times I had with my parents and the beauty that I saw in them at times when I was a child.  It's such a contrast to the reality of now when I see what they've done to themselves. I'm the only one holding onto those happy times, my parents have suffered enough blackouts and high stress living that they don't remember and would just get angry at me and attack should I bring them up.  Let us find peace and solace in living an honest, good life.  Stay connected to the earth, community, spirituality, human connection. there is no rule that we need to crash and burn too like our families. 

January 28, 2014
9:57 am
Jess
Guest

The fact is, when we grow up and have kids of our own; we start to examine how we want to raise our kids. I was forced to take a long hard look at my childhood when I had my baby. Instead of looking through the eyes of a scared and insecure child, I was looking at my past as a parent. i was heart broken and had to face the harsh reality that I was definitely emotionally abbused by my mother.

She was a drug user and big alcoholic. We never really got the attention that her boyfriends or the drugs got, and when we reached out and exclaimed our distaste for the alcohol/drug abuse; we were scolded. We were told that our father was a horrible person, we were punished if she thought we weren't showing her enough love. She was disabled and used that as an ongoing excuse to abuse her drugs, but in reality, her want for the drink and pills or needle would prove to always outweigh our worth.

I know that she was/is very sick. And I do believe that she loves us, but can't face her demons. However, as an adult and a parent, I can't be HER victim any longer. I have chosen to not have contact with her. But her birthday is approaching and I feel like a child again. Very nervous and shamed. (She would become very mean and angry if we didn't acknowledge Mother's Day Birthdays etc. even as very young children. manipulation is her craft) In truth, I have never felt secure in myself but with years of therapy I now know better. 

I don't expect her to change the past, but try and make the future better. When she refused rehab or any therapy that's when I broke away.. She can live her life now, but I wouldn't condone her lifestyle.

I would see small glimpses of the person she could be, big hearted, smart and funny. That's how I'll choose to remember her. Being estranged to me doesn't mean that you don't care for them. (After all, they are our parents) But it means that I will love you from afar and give myself a chance to love ME. To let myself be happy and free to be the parent that I always wanted.

I'll always have that small child in me reaching out for her mommy; that won't change I'm sure. All I can do is acknowledge that and be the best mommy I can be.

All my love to you guys out there for being so very brave. Sometimes the hardest choice to make is choosing to be happy and healthy. I hope all of you find your corner happiness, you are WORTH it!

January 24, 2014
6:24 am
Em
Guest

To SSAZ,

I just read your post this morning and I am feeling the same way at the moment.  I am in my 30's and haven't spoken to my dad for 10 months.  I have decided I no longer want a relationship with him because I believe in the end this will make me happier so I am taking charge of my own happiness.  Although there are so many wonderful things in my life, there is a little sadness hanging over me as well.  I, too did not imagine my adult life this way; without one parent.  The sadness is for my unhappy childhood, my troubled relationship with my dad, the fact that I wrote an extremely open and heartfelt letter two months ago explaining exactly why I have refused contact with him/how he has hurt me, his complete lack of response to my letter and how utterly disappointed I am in his lack of ownership of his actions.  How many ways can I count my disappointment?  I have many other very supportive individuals in my life that have been wonderful and I hope you do, too.  Please continue to make choices in your life to make yourself happy and remind yourself that you do not have to continue a relationship with anyone (not your parents, family, friends, etc) purely out of feelings of obligation.

SSAZ said
I am a 40 year old single, male who has been estranged from his parents for about a year and a half.  Lately I've been feeling like I wished I liked them enough to have limited contact, but every time I consider such a scenario, I'm reminded of why I broke things off in the first place.  It's almost a bit of a surprise to me – like "wow – I really AM unhappy when I'm with them and/or other family members."  I don't want to feel this way about them, but I do and when I sit and think about it for even just a minute, all the reasons why I have cut ties, come flooding back.  For all the happiness I've had in the last year and a half, there always seems to be a bit of sadness hanging over my heart.  Can't quite put my finger on it… maybe it's just that this is not how I imagined my adult life to be… estranged from my parents and all.  The rest of my life is pretty good actually.  Anyway, it's nice to have a sense of solidarity with others in my situation… 

 

January 23, 2014
8:25 am
Viajero
Guest

I have been estranged from my parents for over ~10 years now and they know it but refuse to learn to fix it. I grew up in India where they believe in choices in past lives influencing the current one.

I became deaf when I was ~5 yrs old and my mom has always called me a variation of "Deaf-dumbass" (in my own language), pinched my ears, pulled my ears, calling our family cursed due to her/mine/my dad's bad deeds for having a deaf kid + her losing her voice due to a throat cancer operation (the curses picked up after operation), tried to hide me from people (including kicking me out of the home when her boss visited). Yet at the same time she pushed me to do well in school/career so that she can be proud about me just like other parents. Yes, family rivalry/competition, abuse, motivation and support all rolled together. 

 

My dad was not involved in rearing much but he usually tried to make sure I understood people and just provide support. They took me to temples, doctors etc to try to cure me (i.e. make me hearing). 

 

When I finally got a chance to come to USA the last words I heard from my mom was – "You are our investment, don't mess it up". My dad was worried I would not be able to survive alone and tried to get others to "take care of me". 

 

Once I got to US and saw how much better deaf kids were treated here (and India as well – my mom is an aberration) – I realized I was abused. When I raised the topic I was told by mom – you are overemotional, sorry okay move on, you are mistaken, grow up, sigh!

 

Both parents pushed me to marry quickly – I could have withstood it but eventually tired of their insistence and married my gf (and now separated from a wonderful person who is not a good fit).

I have been sending money from my savings to India semi-regularly to support them. Lately they had a hard time with their business (throwing good money after bad) and now even my dad is looking for monetary support and won't talk to me after his patriarchal behavior during his last visit (demanding respect as an elder but not giving respect).

 

Lately they have been asking more and more money while at the same time asking to visit me – which means I have to drive them around, feed them, pay for their tickets/gifts, show them everything (or I get complaints about how mom is bored) and how other relatives are able to see everything (hint – they travel independently and take care of grandkids unlike my situation).

 

So to sum up.

Mom fucked up raising a deaf kid and now refuses to admit her mistakes or says move on/forget it.

 

Dad demands respect without giving any respect and demands to be heard – same problem with others in India as well.

 

Son – thankful for parental support/pushes. But guilty about not expressing it enough and too stressful to even talk to them on chat. so send small amounts in the hope it is not misused by brother, dad/mom in stupid business ventures where they won't share details. 

sigh! done!

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