Thanks for this forum. I'm a parent, and not a day goes by that I don't wait for a call from one of my two sons. It's been four years now.
I wasn't a perfect parent. They, however, we're perfect children.
I don't know what else to do but wait. Four years worth of giving them space seems pretty extreme, but I guess I'll wait—--and wait—--and wait.
I'm glad I read your post. Each situation is different, isn't it? Since this estrangement from my son, I am very sensitive about kids blaming parents and cutting ties. I know now, first hand, how awful that feels, as a mom. It's like my kid died, but I can't really grieve and move on, because every day there is still hope, and every day there is still disappointment. When you are a kid and screwed up, (me), people didn't stop loving you forever. They got mad, maybe punished, but in the end, you still belonged. This business of total and complete rejection for perceived screw ups is hurtful on so many levels. The irony is that I've had abandonment syndrome for a long time. I read books, fixed what I could, and am finally in a good relationship. Then, my own little boy abandons me for practically nothing…ridiculous misunderstandings that should have been talked out: so, here I go again, fighting the terror that I am basically unloveable: terror that has done a lot to hurt my current relationship. And, after working as hard as I could to be a good mom, now being labeled as "unfit to be around children". But, here I go…me, me, me. Just please make sure that cutting all ties is the only way before you do it. Yet, I also know that not all people. Or parents, are good. Some are self-centered, blind, deaf, and unable to even see that a little improvement might be in order. I'm sorry for you, and for all of us here who just keep getting thrown against the wall and broken over and over. I would never do that to my kids…give them such extreme doubts about who they are that they feel unloveable. Ever. I've chased down my son so many times that "stalker" would fit, but I have to stop, because for some reason, he believes I am the enemy. All I want him to know is that he's worth to much to me to give up on.,, even if he'd walk past me and not say "hello"; even if he'd have me arrested because I can't imagine the rest of my life without him in it. Hang in there….read, learn, heal.
Completely agree. There is no way an adult child would take the decision to cut contact with their parents lightly. Why would anyone choose to go through life parentless and unsupported by their families if they didn't have to? I don't believe ANYONE from a stable and loving background would disown their parents.
I'm tired of hearing about parents who truly believe they did nothing wrong. My own mother is like that. She physically abused me almost on a daily basis until I was 18, and continued to verbally abuse me until I was well into my 20s, which was when I decided to cut her off. However, she was careful about making sure there were no witnesses and was careful not to leave marks on me, so now she can claim to people that she was a good parent to me, and I am making things up about her. I believe there are a lot of parents like that out there… Maybe they are victims in a way, of mental illness which causes them to behave in this way.
I also can't stand the parents who use their own inadequate upbringings as an excuse to continue the cycle of abuse. Because of my hellish childhood, I could NEVER hurt a child. I can't even bear to hear a child crying, let alone be the one responsible for making him/her cry. It's really hard for me to understand how anyone could willingly hurt a child, or anyone really. These blameless parents really need to open their eyes and see what damage they've done.
I haven't read Dr. Coleman's book for estranged parents but I'm sure it comes loaded with all sorts of coping strategies and positive affirmations for parents of estranged children. On reading various forums for estranged parents and/or children, it's starting to bug me how many parents are taking the victim's role, like they are completely blameless in their children's rejection of them.
Granted, I'm sure some of these children grew up in fairly stable (albeit perhaps not perfect) households and are entitled little shits who, now that they don't depend on their parents in their adult years, think it is acceptable to disown them for such small things as being overly critical, disapproving of spouses, whatever. In this case I would feel empathetic for the parent(s) taking the victim's role.
I however grew up in a household where physical beatings, screaming, yelling, verbal abuse were all common and I was deeply jealous (and still am) of kids who got to grow up in households where they were free to be kids (judicious discipline of inappropriate behaviors aside) without fear of physical punishment for small crimes. Do I have a right to be angry and stop contact with my parent because of the unstable childhood I had? I think so. I am in the process of drafting a letter to my mother disengaging contact with her, yet to be sent.
Let's get one thing straight: if you gave your child a stable and loving household to grow up in, then you can feel confused if they suddenly disown you. As for the rest of us children growing up with piss poor coping skills and demons chasing us as we try to navigate adult life: we have a right to put as much distance between us and the people who terrorized our childhoods as WE feel is necessary!
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