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Adult Childen Estranged from your parents, Please come forward!
July 13, 2012
11:14 pm
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lisa
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@HurtingForever

Amen and amen, Oephaelia.  I have been estranged off and on from my abusive parents and siblings ...

I have a similar situation.  I think it's best to move on, Oephaelia,  Admit to yourself what they have done to you, how much it hurts, and move on, baby.  To stay stuck in your story drags you down. You sound like you need to heal.  The abusive peoply - even family - won't help you.  Admit how much it hurts, let it out and then, move forward.  Ask God for help.  Love yourself. 

July 2, 2012
9:12 am
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HurtingForever
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Amen and amen, Oephaelia.  I have been estranged off and on from my abusive parents and siblings for most of my adult life, often on advice--and even insistance--from therapists.

 I am the ONLY one who will identify my FOO's (Family of Origin's) behaviors as abusive. I am the ONLY one who has tried to stop the many cycles of abuse now that we are all adults with our own very dysfunctional families. Consequently, I am the Family Scapegoat. My FOO protests that therapy has "brainwashed" me. Now society judges me as "a crazy liar" because all of my siblings have openly turned against me and insist that 1) it never happened, or 2)whatever did happen was not abuse, or 3)I deserved what I got for misbehaving as a child, and ALWAYS most importantly 4) we know Mom and Dad loved us.

Desperately clinging to that belief that our parents were "good people who loved us" is the #1 necessity for my siblings' existence, and my open struggle for change, health, peace and safety is a serious threat to continuing their delusion.

 When I finally divorced my own abusive husband, they all took sides with him and deposed against me for child custody in court! They did the same again 3 years later when my child brought child abuse charges against her father. They  ganged up, and accused me in court of lying about the lifelong history of severe family abuse, and of manipulating my child to lie about her father! I never imagined that such a monstrous thing could happen. That experience broke me:  I finally realized they were capable of anything and would stop at nothing to silence and punish me--and more importantly, protect themselves in their continuing abusive behaviors.

Consequently, I have been pushed to the extreme of complete estrangement for the last 10 years.  I moved completely on the opposite side of the country from them. It is absolutely devastating for me. My mother died after we had been estranged for 6 years. Oh, how that still breaks my heart! Now, 3 years later I still cry daily for my long lost mother. I am immobilized in fear and disbelief at what my life has become.

They all still freely, vociferously throw around those 3 damning words, "I love you" even as they try to break me down in every way. And because they still insist "We love her," no one will believe me about what has happened behind closed doors.

This disbelief among other relatives, friends, and the legal system has left me completely isolated and destroyed in a Twilight Zone existence. Now in my 50s, I am in terrible health directly due to this humiliating, terrifying, public conflict. Therapists I have seen are completely shocked by my story, and thus far have been little help to me in finding a way to cope.

I wish, pray, and fantasize that somehow someone will intervene and "make" them see the truth--my truth--so that I can feel safe enough to reconcile with them.

I am all alone in the world and in even more distress as I grow older, with nowhere and no one to turn to.

 

@Oephaelia

I'm only going to speak on the topic of why children don't give reasons for estrangement when that reason ...

July 1, 2012
2:15 pm
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HerSide
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Thanks, Narnia!

I need to go back and find your posts. I hope you get responses, especially since we come here hoping to give and receive support... 🙂

June 30, 2012
9:29 am
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Narnia
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@HerSide
Greetings, forum!

I am brand-spanking new to this forum. I have read many of the posts with ...

I'm sure you've seen all my posts.  I'm new, too.  All posts except for one ignored.  I am sorry for your pain.  Some of the estranged children are more responsive than the parents.  I hope they reply to you.  I've given up here.

I am really sorry you hurt. There are other forums, too, where people do reply like estrangedstories.com

June 29, 2012
6:27 am
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HerSide
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Greetings, forum!

I am brand-spanking new to this forum. I have read many of the posts with great interest and even more empathy for other adult children who face the difficult choice of breaking away from narcissistic/abusive relatives.

I'm a 41-year old single mother with two boys. For the past few years, I've been sliding down a slippery path of ultimate estrangement from my mother. After decades of trying to please her in the face of verbal and emotional abuse, I gave up and decided to cut ties. I always forgave her because she lost her own mother at the age of 9 - to be rejected by her older siblings and raised by a mean aunt.

In addition to the loss of her own mother, I trace my earliest memories of mom as somebody who resented me for my relationship with my father. He was verbally and physically abusive to my mother, but I was his princess. He cheated on her regularly, and when I was a young adult, she spit these hurtful words at me: "You're light skinned with big boobs like those women your father likes to cheat with."

Her resentment of me continued into my adulthood as I continued to search for ways to gain her approval. She presented me to her friends and co-workers like some kind of trophy. She would always brag to them about my life, my job, etc., but those kind words about me didn't match her vile treatment of me behind closed doors.

Giving up the "fight" in my late 30's was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. We don't talk on the phone anymore and we only see each other for gatherings of our small family (me, mom, dad, my two sons age 12 and 19).

She seemed to hate how I grew from this and started dealing with her calmly (and not giving her the payoff of tears to indicate how hurt I was).

I don't know if external links are allowed, but I write about this at my own blog:

http://www.lovesbattlescars.blogspot.com

That blog started as a His and Hers relationship blog, but started getting mega hits when I began writing about this painful relationship with my mother.

Thanks for having me and thanks for listening. 🙂 

May 28, 2012
6:14 pm
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carolyn
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Thank you Dr. Coleman for you input.

May 28, 2012
5:44 pm
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Admin
Forum Posts: 46
Member Since:
January 27, 2010
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Dear readers,

 

 I do want to say without taking any sides here, that the SOLE purpose of this forum is to offer support. Advice is only welcome if asked for, and even then, should be given with an enormous amount of restraint because no one is able to walk in another's shoes, however similar situations may appear. I don't think that parents of adult children can judge other adult children's positions with their parents, and I don't think that adult children can assume that they're in a position to judge an estranged parent. There's simply too much pain on both sides of the isle for any judgement or criticism to be useful to anyone. I have had several people write me in the past few days saying that they'd like to post but are fearful of being shamed when they do so. That's not acceptable. There are plenty of places to have debates but this isn't one of them. It is simply a place to offer and receive support.

May 28, 2012
5:42 pm
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carolyn
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No need to apologize, Nancy.  Do not give LH the satisfaction that he/she has gotten to you.  If you know who you are and are comfortable with it there is no need to justify to us or anyone.  I wish you well.  You do not need the drama.  Take care.

May 28, 2012
5:28 pm
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carolyn
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Nancy, if you agree than please just stop fueling the fire.

May 28, 2012
4:39 pm
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carolyn
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Dr. Coleman, Is it necessary for these posts between LH and Nancy to continue.  Could you please step in and delete?   I thought these forums are for support and empathy.  Thank you.

May 20, 2012
1:23 pm
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Oephaelia
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Nancy, I did not say I was happy about the estrangement. There are things I am happy about and things I am not in my life, and the estrangement is not one of them. I also said I have a surrogate dad, not surrogate parents.
Your post sounds like you are telling me "Move along now, everything is fine here." It isn't. I'm looking for answers, just like you are in all likelihood. This is a forum particular to estranged children. I'll continue to post, thank you.

May 20, 2012
12:39 pm
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Oephaelia
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Nancy, I never said my Mom repeatedly beats me. Again, you are reading into my posts. I described two specific incidents.
And no, I know better than to diagnose mental illnesses. I do not have the qualifications for that and will not do it. I don't know why they do what they do. No, I don't believe they will ever change, but I know my mom is capable of insight.

May 20, 2012
12:34 pm
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Oephaelia
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Elke:

I never made demands or threats. I simply stopped calling my father. As for my mother, I started to insist that I not be part of the daily dramas and that I not be used to make another child feel bad. I asked not to be called at work or at home with requests to engage in drama that didn't have to take place at all. If that is "barking" well sorry you see it that way. I call it healthy boundaries.

May 20, 2012
5:32 am
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Oephaelia
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I'm only going to speak on the topic of why children don't give reasons for estrangement when that reason is not obvious - i.e., a psychotic break or a severe mental illness episode. In those obvious cases children may simply not be menatally able to communicate their reasons or may in fact have irrational ones.
And I'm only speaking for myself here. I don't think I would invest the time required to explain to my parents how it all came to this. I've already tried to be heard for years. Why would I expect them to hear me now, just because I've decided on estrangement? It seems a waste of energy.
What I would like is for them to use their own insight - I know it is in there somewhere - and ask themselves how they could have created such damage that their own loving child would feel no option but to walk away. And frankly the fallback of "I did the best I could" is not insight. It is an excuse. I'd like to think that maybe they would review what they exposed me to as a child, they role they placed me in, their recent interactions and ask themselves if they were behaving in a loving protective way. Also, continued loyalty from siblings does not prove that the EC is wrong. It often shows that these sibs were treated with favoritism, and/or shows that the other sibs are continuing the dance of dysfunction while the EC child has gotten wise to the dance and abandoned the role for the sake of his or her sanity.
I agree. Not many children chose estrangement on a whim. I also agree that it takes two. But in dysfunctional families, when one child wakes up and threatens the entire dysfunctional dance by demanding healthy interactions, that child will be further punished until finally, that child will walk away.

April 29, 2012
12:10 pm
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Rebecca
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Louise said

I have no problem telling my story now. For my whole life, deep down inside I always knew things were messed up in my family. My mother and father were very abusive and showed extreme favoritism toward one of my siblings. There was always excuses why I did not get things or why they treated me so different in a cruel and mean way.

Over time, I realized more and more how messed up my parents were..my mother was extremely emotionally abusive and my father enabled the abuse...so slowly I just withdrew from them, never called them back, never emailed them back and came to realize that I am way better off now..I have re built my self esteem, my self worth and my whole outlook on life. Granted, I will tell you this...I am very depressed given my lost childhood and some life experiences that I missed out on.

My father still makes excuses why he treated me like total crap...the man does not get it and I am not going to continue to allow them to abuse me..hence I do NOT talk to them because of the dysfunction and abuse.

I find it very interesting that many of these estranged parents blame the children and many do not thing they did anything wrong..I highly doubt that is true...they just wont admit it...like most parents.

Coping with the loss is difficult. The one thing I realize is that I want a son - father/mother relationship...I just want it with real parents...not the parents that I grew up with.

Mike...Oh Mike......I can only wonder why you would be so quick to judge other parents. It sounds as though you are harboring some deep emotional feelings of self-worth. It sounds as though your first concern refers to strictly 'MATERIAL THINGS.' Why would you even want to put blame on anyone else when you have absolutely no clue, in my opinion, of how to actually deal with your own feelings. You really should not throw all the parents in on the 'blame game.' I really have a problem of disbelieve as to 'all' of your circumstances. When I read posts such as yours it actually brings to mind 'a spoiled kid who thought everything should be handed to him.' I would suggest you first get your life in order by being open and completely honest if you can before putting blame where perhaps blame does not go. I am by no means saying that I am right. This is strictly an opinion and everyone is entitled to their own. I do hope you can find peace and get on with your life.

April 25, 2012
7:26 pm
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Whisper
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Elke said
My husband broke things. I did not. How old are you Elke? Please don't be offended, but it seems like you do not have much experience at all. Are you really under the misguided impression that abusive behavior happens all the time, every day? Because it does not. There ARE good times, and again, sorry, but how can you be so naive, and cruel, to propose that one parent's efforts and love do not count at all? If you knew anything about abuse at all, you would know that most people blame the abused (usually women) , which is exactly what the abuser did. That actually makes your kind of response as abusive as the one who hits and breaks things. You seems to have it all figured out, but you also do not read very well, and are very attacking in your response. I actually feel like I'm being interrogated. I won't be responsible for my ex's actions. I won't be made to feel like I deserve the loss of my son because our home WAS in fact, at times, a war zone. I will accept full responsibility for not being more careful who I married and for not having a better self esteem. I will not let a total stranger hit me for being stupid enough to be hit in the first place.

Please refrain from posting here when your intent is to cross-examine and blame, especially when you are blaming the victim. Also, maybe you don't quite get the meaning of "ex". That means I got out of the situation. yet, you, and my son, sem very determined to keep me there. Ive been divorced for 10 years. I suppose if the man I'm with now woke up tomorrow and smacked me across the face, you'd be the first in line to dish out blame.

Um, again, when did I ever say the home life or marriage was awesome? I said there were many good times too.

Yes, I am responsible for not leaving sooner. But, I didn't lose my daughter. I know to an inexperienced person, it seems completely logical to take that chance, because a decent woman stands up for herself, and there is nothing noble about choosing the less destructive option. If you had any real life experience or knowledge, you would know that sometimes there is not a good option....even in marriages where there was no abuse, but there was disharmomy. My daughter is very grateful that she grew up with me, not in another state with her dad only. I know you are thinking, like I did, that laws would protect me, but I learned in the divorce that the LAW is only as good as your lawyer, and waiting until she was old enough to make her voice heard was a good choice.

My tolerance for abuse is now much different than it was back then. I learned. I know that is very disappointing to you because you picture me as some low-life in a torn dress that was abused, and you want to show me the way! Again, that only shows your complete misunderstanding of emotional and verbal, and yes, sometimes physical abuse. I suggest you read "The Verbally Abusive Relationship". It is a very good book.

Finally, everyone has their own beliefs and ignorances, but people who think the way you do.... Who do not read carefully and who fill in the blanks with their own interpretation, and who would judge so very quickly, with a superior attitude, are very, very dangerous people. I hope the counselor my son went to see was experienced and knowledgeable, but I'm afraid it was someone like you, who so quickly berates me and picks apart every attempt to clarify by further hoping to trap me into a lie, to discount me, and needs desperately to prove that I brought all this on myself. I imagine you believe all people bring bad things on themselves. Partially true, but sometimes not.

Finally, I totally believe that if you are fortunate to have a good life, with love and stability, it is vital to your character to not think yourself exeptionally wise and somehow superior.

Now, to prove to you that I have learned a little bit about protecting myself, I will not read any more of your very condescending responses, but I will monitor this forum in case there is some other struggling person out there that you feel inclined to scrutinize and condemn. And , until you have lost a child, or had one blame you for doing a really bad job as a parent, I suggest you back off. It is the most awful thing in the world, and making some bad choices, as you call them, is certainly not grounds for permanent estrangement and a blatant refusal to forgive.

I can give you a longer response later, but for now:

In your original comment, you say "no one was really physically abused," and in your reply, you say that you and your second husband merely "fought a lot." You also say your husband broke your arm and bashed your head on the floor. You give a long list of the things in the house that were destroyed in a fit of rage (yours or your husband's, you didn't specify). That's not "fighting." That's a war zone.

You also say over and over again that it wasn't all bad, that there were good times--as though the good times more than make up for the bad times. That's like having a friend who's great nine out of ten times you get together, but unpredictably, one time out of ten, he grabs your head and smashes it into the door. 90% of the time, things with this friend are awesome! Does that mean that your friendship is awesome? Should you write off the split lips and black eyes as part of the price of a really great friendship? If 1 out of 10 times is too often for you, what percentage of head-smashing would you find acceptable in a good relationship?

The purpose of these questions are not to blame you for staying in an abusive relationship, but to help you to see where your own level of tolerance for bad treatment is set. Try comparing your answer to the theoretical situation with your real-life responses to bad situations, then compare your theoretical answer to the level of tolerance you expect others to have for your own episodes of "losing it occasionally."

April 24, 2012
9:24 pm
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Whisper
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It was sincere. This issue with my boy has made me really try to evaluate his childhood. I've felt so guilty, but I did not just set there and let some man beat him up. I'm stupid at times, but not that stupid. It took me most of my second marriage (es's step dad) to realize that emotional and verbal abuse was going on. I tried everything I knew to try to fix the relationship issues... communicating, fighting, reading, even counseling. Nothing worked and I just didn't get it. I finally read a book about verbal and emotional abuse and it described exactly what was going on. That helped me so much... being able to identify the real problem. I was able to stop reasoning and simply set limits, which led to the much-needed divorce.

I think maybe I didn't describe things well. I didn't habitally break thing or go around throwing temper tantrums. To me, there is a massive difference between losing it occasionally and being just a big jerk. I was in my early 20's, with an irresponsible husband, then a dead husband (he was murdered while we were separated). I had no job, other than part time, and a kid to support, alone. I went back to school. It was a lot of pressure and I simply didn't have the maturity to handle it sometimes. But, I didn't date, wasn't wild, and did really love my kid. I kept a clean apartment, bought toys, played with him, took him to do stuff, disciplined...all the parent type things.

See, I don't feel like I'm judging him because I'm NOT calling him bad or saying I can't be around him. He is calling me bad and saying he can't be around me. I've begged him to talk to me, offered to go to counseling with him, and even went to counseling without him, hoping for some insight, or at least to show him I'm trying. All I've received is nothing... Total and complete alienation: no phone call, text message, nothing from him. I've sent cards, gifts, letters, and have met him at his job three times in hopes of talking. He just keeps accusing me of being controlling and manipulative, yet cannot give me any solid examples of what I've done that is controlling or manipulative. Basically, I am his enemy. He can't really even explain why.

The hardest part is that I wasn't always his enemy. We used to talk and laugh. We rarely fought when he was at home. I taught him how to drive and have such fond memories of long car rides in the country. We could always talk about his feelings, my feelings, etc. He used to help me make sense of the crappy marriage I was in, and he'd tell me about his girlfriends, interests, and dreams.

Yeah, I know. It was supposed to be the other way around. So, I may need to lay off of the "he saved me". That doesn't mean I was a dependent weirdo. I wasn't. I just meant thar he gave me the determination to try harder. I think all children do that for all parents.

Hold on .... Not 20 years of hell. Not at all. He had a good mom, for the most part. We had happy times: movie nights, Halloweens, Christmas's, slumber parties: He had horses and cars to drive and a lot of love, but he also had a dad who he could never live up to and parents who fought a lot. I had that too. I think a lot of kids had that.

Actually, I'm defensive as hell. Sorry. I know he has things to work through. I bought him a book, when all this happened, about coping with the aftermath of emotional abuse. It made him furious. He took it as me denying the issues we were having we're all my fault.

Really? How awful of me to marry an abusive man. I mean, what an irresponsible parent! Because all abusive men wear a tag that says "Hey, I'm abusive". That's the very kind of judgement that bothers me. People just seem to think you simply either don't get involved or leave immediately. Gosh, all the stupid women in the world who don't leave. I think all women in abusive relationships are just idiots, don't you? Look what we put our kids through! It's not like there is any pressure to maintain a marriage or a family (we had a daughter). And you know what, when you are in a relationship, that is a separate thing. There is the marriage, and the kids. The kids and the marriage. One person doesn't control everything. Like, as MOM, we have a handy little remote that makes everyone act the way they should, and there aren't really tough choices like how can we make it financially, and what if he gets the kids, etc. If I had to do it all over again, I'm not sure I would. I think I'd vacation in the Bahamas and let someone else raise the kids. (Ok. Sarcastic).

Improvement? I got a good job. He wasn't raised on welfare. he had clothes and school supplies and could join the band because we weren't AS dirt poor. After the divorce I was able to continue to support him and my daughter, and I didn't get child support at all. He could be proud of his mom. Yeah, I say that's a big improvement.

I didn't steal, do drugs, or neglect my kids. I married a man with problems. Im sorry, really, and think I should just stop writing. Hurt hurts. As long as adult children cannot accept that mom and dad were human, with poor judgement and flaws at times, we will continue to have estrangement.

I thought it would help me to write to an estranged kid; give me insight. It just makes me defensive.

I love my kids with all my heart. I always told them to do their best in school and life and that was good enough. I did my best as a parent. One kid appreciates the heck out of me and one kid thinks I'm the wicked witch incarnate. I wish I wasn't defensive. Really. There is a massive difference between trying to work things out and just dumping your family. I know I'm an adult, but inside, I feel just as bad as my boy would have if I had dropped him off at a bus stop and never came back. But because I'm MOM...the one who worked and stayed and fought for a better life, I'm defending myself to my son and to a website.

I guess because MOM was a 20 year job and though there were screw ups, I really thought my kids turned out great. No drugs, no emotional problems (I thought), jobs,etc. Now, instead of even a crappy watch or pen, I get " get out of my life". I've learned one thing...an important thing. I don't like being a failure. I also don't like being told I'm not worthy of love cause I'm so bad.

I've learned a lot about myself from this post. I'm really angry. To my son I'd say, "I guess I wasn't what you wanted and needed. Breaking up with you is the hardest thing I've ever done and I miss you every day. Have a happy life. I'm sorry. Believe it or not kiddo, I really did do my best".

And I justify because that's what people do when they are being blamed. Because the other choice is to believe I am a failure. I know my son sees my journey as one messed up thing. I don't see it like that. I was there and for me, it was really, really hard. Desperately hard. It was one big trauma after another. Hard, hard work. Empty, mean relationships. Always more financial needs than money. The reward was the kids. I think I'm self-centered, for sure. I'm not about to discount it all, for if I do, I say I could have done better. Another woman might have done better, but she wasn't around. I know I could not have done better. I WISH I could have, but I know I gave iy my all.

blockquote>Elke said

Whisper, was your comment about not really being physically abused sarcastic, or sincere?

"He has judged me when he will never understand what it was like to be me."

He understands what it was like to be HIM--an innocent, helpless child living through your bad temper and your bad choices. Just as he won't understand what it was like to be you, you won't understand what it was like to be him; and if he's wrong for judging you without being you, you're wrong for judging him without being him. So trying to use that particular piece of logic won't get you very far.

I understand that you're hurt by his judgement, and that's natural and normal. But it doesn't mean that he has no right to decide for himself what he thinks of you as his mother.

"He'll also never know what it is like to be condemned and hated by the kid who saved me."

Holy parentification, Batman!

He saved YOU. YOU condemned HIM to twenty years of hell. It's great that your son gave you a reason to grow up and struggle on, but that was not his purpose. That's not a child's job.

And, frankly, it seems not to have worked. A parent is supposed to grow up, struggle on, and give their child a better life; you grew up, struggled on, and changed from an abusive young mother to an abusive mature mother with a college degree to an abusive mature mother with a college degree and an abusive husband. In what way was this an improvement?

Throughout your post, you vacillate between recognizing what kind of a parent you were, and justifying why you were that way. You say, in effect, "Sure, he had it bad, but he doesn't understand how bad it was for me!" It sounds like your brain knows how bad his childhood was, but your heart has no idea. It also sounds like what you really want is for him to empathize with you and validate your suffering, without really understanding the depths of his own suffering and without fully recognizing who made him suffer.

The degree to which you downplay violence is also worrisome. You mentioned in passing that as a young mother, you broke things. Then you say that during your second marriage, things were frequently broken, but you don't say by whom--interesting omission. That, plus your self-descriptions, make me wonder if you still have a violent temper. Maybe you don't think it's an issue because it's better than it was before, but "better than before" doesn't mean "good."

You say your son cut you off because of childhood memories, but is it possible that you reinterpreted his letter to spare yourself? Estranged adult children generally don't cut off their parents solely because of the past. They cut them off because the abuse that started in the past continues into the present. I suspect that the way you are now reminds your son of the way you were then. And you can't change the way you were then, but you can do something about the way you are now.

April 18, 2012
8:12 pm
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Whisper
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I will gladly adopt any kid who wants a loving mom...even a 30 year old one.

April 17, 2012
8:14 pm
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Whisper
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Before I reply, I want to tell you that the last thing I want is to offend you. I am hurting pretty badly from my own son's estrangement. My situation is not yours, so please read, think, and feel no pressure or insult.

I started out on my journey as a mother with a limp! ( Emotionally). I got knocked up at 20. I did take precautions, but not enough soon enough. The dad agreed to marry me, but he was very young, like me, and equally unprepared for parenthood.

What happened is that my son saved me. He gave me a reason to be better. It was a long and very hard struggle, believe me. His daddy had many "girlfriends" and partied a lot, and I really didn't feel right in expecting more since I had trapped him into marriage. We were separated a lot, and after three years of marriage, he was found dead, leaving me a widow. I finished college, determined that my little boy did not grow up with the humiliation of his mom being on welfare. Despite my good intentions, I was often not the best mom. I lost my temper, not so much because I was angry at my son, but because I was angry at my life. I felt so unloveable. Everywhere I looked I saw young couples with families, but I was just ME; no husband. I knew Inwas not giving my little boy the stability and loving family he deserved, but I swear I tried. I took him to church. We often went out for breakfast, even when he was just in a high chair. I took him bike riding, even fishing once.

But, I worked long hours, and I'm sure he didn't get the attention a more mature mom would have given him. There were times that I yelled, scared him, broke things, and just melted down. He remembers some of those.

I eventually remarried, rushing into marriage because my boy was six years old and had no daddy, no brothers or sisters, and I wanted desperately to have someone love me and give me that complete family both my kid and I needed.

Turns out I married a very angry, very immature man. But, I didn't leave. Not for 13 years. I kept thinking that "this is what it is". We has a daughter. No one was really physically abused, except for the time he smacked me and broke my arm, or the times he got right in my boy's face and yelled at him, or grabbed him, or shoved him. Radios were smashed, lights were knocked out with a hammer if they were left on, china cabinets and furniture got destroyed. In between we had normal times. We went to the park. We went to carnivals and the zoo and camping trips.

There were times that I got so furious and wanted to leave. One time our daughter was just a toddler. We were in this huge fight, and next thing I know he was bashing my head on the floor and shoving her picture in my face, telling me I'd never see her again if we split. I hated him, but I made up with him to keep him from leaving with her. From then on he made it clear that he would take our daughter if we split, and move out of state, but I could "see" her. I couldn't do that to her, or me.

Plus, in blatant honesty, I was terrified of being a single mom again. I was terrified of a break up. I simply didn't feel strong enough to go through with it.

In the meantime, my boy was constantly harranged. He hated coming home, and would spend time with friends as much as he could.

Finally, when he was 20 and in college, and my daughter was old enough to say she wanted to live with me, we did divorce. It was a very ugly, very messy divorce, and there were times that I was so afraid my then husband would hurt one of the kids just to hurt me.

That was ten or so years ago. I am about to get married again, to a man I've been with for six years. No rushing into anything this time! He's a good and kind man.

Two years ago my son and his wife had a little girl. About the same time I was hit with this long email from his wife, telling me how awful I've been to her and my son. It came as a total shock. Bottom line is that my son had so many negative childhood memories that he didn't want me around his daughter at all. He stopped speaking to me and sent me a letter saying he would call the police if I ever came to his house. I haven't seen him or spoken to him In two years, other than a couple of times I went to his work when he got off, hoping to talk.

He also doesn't speak to his sister.

I mourn him. My heart aches for him. It is just horrible. For so many years he was my little sunshine, my hope, my best pal. We laughed and cried and grew up together. He will never, ever know how very much I love him. Yet, I am also angry at him. He has judged me when he will never understand what it was like to be me. He'll also never know what it is like to be condemned and hated by the kid who saved me.

So, for all the people who spit and spat about cruel parents and how bad we were, maybe it is deserved...or maybe we just muddled through and made very harmful choices. And maybe love should cover some of those sins.

That's all, I'm so sorry that you are hurting and I'm so sad that your family hurt you. I don't know them, nor you. But IF, just IF you think maybe one of them loves you and is ashamed of their mistakes, please forgive. I pray every single day for my son to show up and just say "Mom".

I have no problem telling my story now. For my whole life, deep down inside I always knew things were messed up in my family. My mother and father were very abusive and showed extreme favoritism toward one of my siblings. There was always excuses why I did not get things or why they treated me so different in a cruel and mean way.

Over time, I realized more and more how messed up my parents were..my mother was extremely emotionally abusive and my father enabled the abuse...so slowly I just withdrew from them, never called them back, never emailed them back and came to realize that I am way better off now..I have re built my self esteem, my self worth and my whole outlook on life. Granted, I will tell you this...I am very depressed given my lost childhood and some life experiences that I missed out on.

My father still makes excuses why he treated me like total crap...the man does not get it and I am not going to continue to allow them to abuse me..hence I do NOT talk to them because of the dysfunction and abuse.

I find it very interesting that many of these estranged parents blame the children and many do not thing they did anything wrong..I highly doubt that is true...they just wont admit it...like most parents.

Coping with the loss is difficult. The one thing I realize is that I want a son - father/mother relationship...I just want it with real parents...not the parents that I grew up with.

April 4, 2012
9:49 pm
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Leigh
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after researching alanon, I did come to find that.
I personally, don't feel that applies to my situation, but I apprechiate the suggestion. Right now I'm participating in a greif support group, for the loss of my Brother a year and a half ago (at the end of this month), and I have found that it has helped my life in many, many different ways that I couldn't have other wise come to know. I think accepting one thing in your life, makes it easier to accept others, both good and bad. I've come a long way in the last year (since my Brother passed away, and thus begun the estrangment from my parents) and I've come to learn and live with the fact that I CANNOT CHANGE other people or the lives they choose to live. The only thing I can control in my life are my emotions (most days). Life isn't perfect, nobody claimed it would be peaches and cream 24/7, and truthfully, I wouldn't want it to be. I'm coming to grips with my life; the good and the bad, it is what it is, and I'm certainly not going to beat myself up everyday of my life over choices that I DIDNT make that have hurt me. You cannot control others, the things they say, the actions they make or how they think.
Say a prayer for them, and let God handle the rest. (Afterall, He is our Judge, not ourselves. If you're looking for a WONDERFUL read, "The Shack" provided me with alot of closure in that part of my life, and have me a much better understanding of alot of things in my life.

Thank you for all your help, kind words, and suggestions. I guess I needed to stop, look in the mirror and have a little epiffany of my own to realize what I wanted in my life, how I wanted to live it and who treated me right to be by my side.
~Leigh~

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