Forum

Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Adult Childen Estranged from your parents, Please come forward!
January 11, 2014
12:12 pm
Avatar
Kate
Guest
Guests

Dear starflower.  I just wanted to show my support of you here.  Each adult person owns their own behaviour and your parents are no exception.  You are  right when you mention that you are not the magical child any more.  An attribute of a child is the need to make their parents happy, believing that they are the cause of their parents unhappiness.   Reality is of course that adult humans make their own choices.   Are you their keeper?   They are not children, though they are choosing to behave as such.  They are making their own choices and have done so for many years.  Now its your turn.  

January 10, 2014
10:54 pm
Avatar
starflower
Guest
Guests

I have been estranged from my parents for over three years.  I made the decision to close the door on our relationship when I was 30.  I had had a close yet scary and tumultuous relationship with them.  I was their only child.

Mom was very dependent on my Father, they met when she was a single Mom when I was three years old.  She didn't have much support from her own family and my parents were very isolated and never had any friends or joined any groups even though we moved 6 times across the country and I attended 9 different schools by grade 11.  

They were very critical of others, and made it difficult for me to have friends sometimes.  They preferred to drink in dark rooms with music blasting, and always late at night fighting would erupt.  Sometimes my Mother would be dragged screaming from the room by her hair and locked in their bedroom.  From the age of 9 I would stare after them at the slammed door feeling helpless and sure that on this night someone would die and life as I had known it would end.  It didn't.  Year after year things just spiralled further downward.

My family refused to discuss the drinking, fighting, attacks on me and our dog on the mornings after.  I would spend hours waiting up on school nights with my Mom when my Dad went drinking after work and didn't call to say he would be late, supporting her as she talked about being abducted by aliens, her own history of abuse in her family, our financial instability, and her relationship troubles with my Dad.

At various times as a teen Id come home to find her naked, drunk and crawling on the living room floor having an asthma attack so bad that she wasnt able to take her medication, and I would have to kick my Dad out of bed to convince him that she needed to go to Emerg.  

Late at night my Dad would yell that he was leaving us, and drive off into the night.  I had the most horrible sinking feeling then.  I would be devastated and stay up distracting myself and listening for the garage to open again.  My Mother would be cackling and wailing and muttering obscenities about me and him from the couch below for hours until she passed out.  The house felt very cold and the world felt very terrible and grim. 

I would often cut myself, blood let, binge eat and vomit to manage the seering rejection I felt when they would scream that I was a lesbian, or reject me viciously from the house until I felt like I was going to die and would go be alone in a different part of the house.

When I was 21, Mom began to show symptoms of the MS that would quickly paralyze her.  She refuses to talk to anyone about the emotional issues, and so does my Dad, and so they have grown ever more toxic as the stress of the illness on their lifestyle has increased.  He neglects her care, refusing to fasten the seatbelt on her stairlift, and leaving her naked in her wheelchair with soaking wet hair while he watches porn for hours audibly in the next room and she sobs quietly because she cannot move her hands. She refuses to leave him because she doesn't want to go to a nursing home and give up her "lifestyle".  She is 58.

On the last time I saw her, Thanksgiving weekend, I walked into the house and my Mother whispered there had been a terrible fight.  She couldn't even speak what had happened.  My Dad slinked around silently in the background with brooding guilt. The rest of the weekend she was inconsolable, begging for assisted suicide in Europe.

About two weeks later, I began to wonder "how do you have a fight with a paraplegic woman in a wheelchair?"  Turning that over and over in my head, the impossibility of me ever being able to protect this woman from herself finally dawned on me after all of those years.  I couldn't stop crying for three days, or shaking, and I had to take time off of work.  My body was shutting down from the constant impossible problems.   

I realized that by being in their lives and coming for weekends, being their emotional support and punching bag, trying to give them hope, I was just enabling this cycle to continue.  

I stopped contact and eventually got the courage to inform mom's social worker of the long history of family violence.  I hate that I have done this... I feel devastated for my Mom who must sit all day alone in the chair, watching TV, and feel the consequences of this.  But I don't have any hope that they will get help - counselling, therapy, support groups, community, a church group, friends - and I cannot bear these horrible secrets on my heart alone any longer.  

I am no longer the magical child I once was, with endless energy to give to them at my own expense.  I must protect myself, I must tend to my own security and develop my education and career that have been so stunted by the first 30 years spent in sadness, trauma and chaos.

My Mother in Law to be does not know my story of course, only that I am estranged and naturally she is acting out at me, thinking Im going to make it my business to turn her son against her.  Not true.

I think about reconnecting with my parents every day, sometimes every hour, and my heart tugs.  But it took many many years to learn that I can't count on them to take care of themselves, let alone be available to be a family.

In life there are no absolutes really.. only grey areas.  Part of Buddhism is learning to sit with the grey areas, with what is.  And most things are grey areas.

I just have to trust myself in those moments I awaken in the middle of the night with a dropping feeling of dread about my reality... and trust that I made my choice so painfully carefully, because I always do.  

I find if I almost schedule a daily squeezing out of grief from my heart, I can have space to keep living, despite the sad circumstance.

 

 

January 7, 2014
5:33 pm
Avatar
Lynda
Guest
Guests

Last Friday my estranged father of 20+ years passed away. There are may mixed feelings. Sadness at the loss of a parent I never had, confusion because of the mixed feelings due to the troubled life he lived and the pain he inflicted on the many people in his life, including his sister and my siblings of whom I have no contact with either. The pain is palpable and very real. The loss is also combined with relief because he cannot hurt anyone anymore. But I also feel compassion for this person because without whom, I would not be here and I certainly wouldn't be the person I am now. I have faced numerous challenges, abused by him, neglected, absentee father, and a mother who also abandoned me when I really needed a mother to care for the child I was when my life was going through hell. But now I am 47, I have put myself through Uni, educated myself, got work, have beautiful children and an angel of a husband. As terrible and terrifying my childhood has been, I am now living the life I created with thanks to God and for the courage to stand up and make a better life for myself. I certainly have not had the help of those who were supposed to stand up and care for me. 

For those of you dealing with the loss of a parent/s, the truth is it is hard, one of the hardest things in life to deal with because we crave belonging. But by creating space for yourself to care for yourself and make a life of love with those around you who appreciate you for who you are right now is the most important stuff. Love truly does conquer what hate, revenge, anger and bitterness will destroy in your life. I do not feel bitter or resentful. I feel sad, and my heart hopes that he has made peace in his own way before he passed. In seeking peace does not mean the memories and the pain miraculously disappear but creates space in my heart to heal. I hope this helps others. 

January 5, 2014
8:52 pm
Avatar
SSAZ
Guest
Guests

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 5, 2014
4:44 pm
Avatar
Sad Mom
Guest
Guests

Thank you for sharing.  It is good to see the child's reality.  In this case, I was not a perfect mom.  I had anger management issues and was struggling in many ways while raising my daughter.  I love her dearly, but she has divorced me.  If this is what is best for her, I respect that.  I love her too much to see her unhappy.  If divorcing me will free her to be her best, then that is a price I have to pay.

I'm so sorry you have suffered.  There seems to be so much hurt in the world.  I have sincerely apologized to my daughter, but she cannot forgive or it hurts to much to do so.  

I hope your parents will apologize to you.

My best to you, dear.  

 

 

 

 

This is such a difficult topic. I'm 39 and have been estranged from my parents  for about 6 months. This wasn't the first time though. We had been previously estranged for 10 months and then smaller two month periods before that. There is no clear and concise way to explain the situation. In many ways I wish I could say that they beat me or try to run me over with their car. It would be easier to explain. Instead, it was a slow accumulation of insecurity and accusations that culminated into a moment where my mother looked at me and said, "I don't like you. I don't like who you have become. You are a monster." As an only child, they were fixated on me and that intensity only became more and more acute as I went to college, moved out of state for a job, got engaged, then married, then kids. It started in college with a mandate from them that I must visit them once a month and call every week. They would scream at me over the phone if they received a birthday card either too early or too late from the actual day of the event (too early meant I was trying to get it out of the way and didn't care while too late obviously meant I forgot). I became so paranoid that I Fed Ex'd a card just to ensure that it would arrive on a specific day, to which I also got reprimanded for wasting money. I had also been an independent child. I was a latch-key child in elementary school and took care of myself after school. I worked during high school and when I opened my first checking account, my mother got mad at me for not asking her to go with me. When applying for college, I asked for financial help and they denied me because they didn't want to waste their money (what if I partied too much and dropped out?) so I financed the tuition myself and worked my way through. When I received an internship in another state during college, they screamed at me for not asking their permission to go. When I tried to join the PeaceCorps they threatened to disown me (I had also been threatened to be disowned in high school if I dated any black men). Every year that I can remember since high school, there has been some "issue" that they worked themselves into and cut off communication with me. The pattern is that they get mad about something (frankly, it could be anything - late cards, not calling enough, etc.), they stop talking to me (ranges anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months), I beg for their forgiveness (since for the longest period of time I thought that having "some" family - no matter the quality - was better than nothing at all), then deign to interact with me again and we move on. Until it happened again the next year. My parents have a terrible marriage and hate each other, literally. My mother is a depressive but won't stay on her meds. They do not know how to communicate and disagreements typically end in her pulling a kitchen knife on him or breaking household items. Arguments in my house while growing up where violent and crazy scary for a kid to witness. I would hide in my closet. I feared my mother. She was violent, wild, and unpredictable. I didn't know what would set her off. The break in this pattern happened when I was in my late 20s. I had just met my current husband and, at the time, almost broke off our second date because I was so upset. I had sent my mother a dozen roses for her birthday but when I called her to wish her a Happy Birthday, she proceeded to scream at me, telling me how awful I was (the premise was that she believed I had forgotten her birthday and at the last minute sent flowers) and that she threw the roses in the trash. I couldn't seem to explain to her that I thought flowers should be sent the day of the event. It broke my heart. I adored my mother growing up. I grew up hearing stories of how difficult her childhood had been and the many injustices she suffered through. Then I spent my 20s hearing stories about how awful my father was and mistreated her through his alcoholism. I played the role as the therapist and enabler. I thought I was being a good daughter but now looking back I realized that I helped foster this dependent negative relationship. As my relationship with my now husband began to take root, my parents noticed the distancing and did not like it. After the flower incident, I had decided that I no longer could be my mother's therapist -  that my life could not revolve around her and her past. In the 10 years since then, the yearly fights have continued and gotten worse, with the periods of non-communication getting longer and longer in between. They thought my husband turned me against them (which is quite the opposite, he's the one who continually pushed me to try to stay in communication when they ignored my phone calls); that I like his family more than them (frankly, I do, they're nicer); that the reason I liked his family more than them was because they gave us money (his family helped subsidize the wedding because we were paying for it ourselves and my parents did not want to contribute because he had a larger family and, as a wedding gift, his mother gave us a down payment for a house to which my mother called me a greedy bitch). The reason I think they fixated on the money issue is that they have always tried to use money as leverage. For them, nothing is free. Not even love. Everything comes with conditions. That was why I never took money from them - it was like signing a deal with the devil. We moved on though. I had two kids and really wanted them to have a connection with their grandparents (don't ask me why). I remember, it was around October, a couple years ago and I mentioned in an off-hand way that we were about due for another parental blow-up. True to history, it happened, and we didn't talk for 10 months. I won't go into the details over that fight, that's another saga, but for me, it was like they had died. I mourned the loss of our relationship (even how crappy it was) and the loss of what could have been. I grieved. I sought therapy. And, eventually, I started to move on - not only for my sake but for trying to make myself whole for my children. My child (my youngest was still an infant) asked about her grandmother and I didn't know what to say. Then after almost a year, they sought reconciliation so we went to their house (with the kids because we thought it would remain civil, how wrong we were). There was the mother I knew - all venom and fire. Yet, here I was, her daughter - fear and anger right back at her. She tried to attack me, in front of my three-year-old daughter, who asked me later, "why did grandma tried to throw you out of the window?" We went to family therapy. We tried. We played nice. She blamed it all on my dad. I tried. Then this year, during my daughter's ballet recital, she fell on the pavement and scraped her face. I ran and got some wipes to clean the blood off her face the whole time realizing that I had not touched her in years. It felt like touching a stranger. I looked at her and saw how frail she was, how much older she had gotten. But it was like looking at a familiar stranger. After all these years, what did we have left between us. She had called me a monster. My own mother did not like me, did not know me and I think I felt the same about her. Was this to be our life? Playing our roles but with no substance? At no point, even during therapy, did they ever own up to their culpability in our relationship. It was, as it always had been, my fault. After the recital, I called and left a message for my dad for Father's Day. He didn't return my call. I knew he was probably upset that we didn't have a BBQ or some other event. And we not talked since. And I feel relieved. If anyone has ever been in an abusive relationship (talking emotional, not physical), you understand that they are all cyclical - you fight, you make up over and over and over again. The pattern never changes. The reason I feel relief is that it was too hard to be around them when I knew they did not like me and thought I was a monster. It's something I have not been able to reconcile. I already felt bad about myself - what type of daughter was I, why was I not good enough, why couldn't I make this relationship better, etc. - and it's time to make myself whole. I can't do that when they continually break me down. I need to focus on being a good parent and move on.  I didn't intend to write this much. I'm just glad I found someone to talk to.

January 5, 2014
3:22 pm
Avatar
BLT
Guest
Guests

My partner of 4 years has not to my knowledge spoken to his father, and on coming out to his mother seems to have cut off contact with her. The parents are divorsed. My partner lived at first with his mother, then ran away to live with his father then left home at 18. According to him he had no gifts as a child, his mother was Catholic turned Jehovah's Witness after her divorse never bought him a single gift to his memory. Of course his coming out has not been something she had a kind word to say about and he only told her about it last year at the age of 32.

The reason I write is that I feel I am not getting the whole story. He is a very caring and loving person to his friends and myself, but seems very reluctant to take on responsibility, for example having a pet, and the discussion of having or adopting a child is flatly refused. 

Unkind neglect I realise can have a huge impact on a young child's little soul, but I cannot get him to talk about what happened. I see no issues coming from his older brother (7 years older), they are very  close but he does not really know either. He tells me to ask his brother! That being said he is not being unhelpful as his mother tongue is not English and so he may not find it easy to explain.

Earlier in our relationship  my partner broke down over something very simple going wrong and said he did not want to be a failure like his father. There are clearly some deep issues here for my partner but am not sure how I can get him to explain what they are. Maybe he does not know how to articulate them.

My main concern is that I do not understand what has happened; I came from a home of very supportive parents so I need more help to empathise and to also know how to best support my partner. Could someone help me understand how I can connect with him over this?  Maybe  I am doing all the wrong things but I do know that being consumed by sad and negative thoughts can be crippling if not alleviated. Thank you in advance  for your kind  consideration.

December 30, 2013
9:42 am
Avatar
LH
Guest
Guests

To all of you who have posted, I'm in awe at your strength and courage. You've done incredible things to get to where you are now. Thank you for sharing your stories.

December 29, 2013
1:47 pm
Avatar
Kate
Guest
Guests

Citation: By CYNDI LOPEZ

 

I do not love; I do not love anybody except myself. That is a rather shocking thing to admit. I have none of the selfless love of my mother. I have none of the plodding, practical love. . . . . I am, to be blunt and concise, in love only with myself, my puny being with its small inadequate breasts and meager, thin talents. I am capable of affection for those who reflect my own world. – Sylvia Plath

There is a special place in hell for narcissistic mothers. Ms. Plath herself indulged in the ultimate narcissistic act when she committed suicide by sticking her head in the oven while her two young children were asleep in the same apartment. How thoughtful of her to have sealed off their rooms with towels so that the fumes wouldn’t consume them too. She needed someone to live on to remember her and care that she was gone.

Narcissistic mothers do not have children for the same reasons the rest of us do. They do not look forward to the birth of their child because they can’t wait to see what they look like or what type of personality they will have or who they will become. No, they have children for one reason only: More mirrors. They have children so that the children will love them unconditionally, not the other way around. They have children to do things for them. They have children to reflect their false images. They have children to use, abuse and control them.

They don’t see their role as a mother as life’s biggest gift. It’s a burden they didn’t expect. They thought they were creating little “mini-me’s.” They didn’t take into account the fact that somewhere around age 2, these spiteful, ungrateful (in their minds) little creatures start to develop their own individual personalities and wills of their own. For the rest of us, that’s the best part of being a mom — watching our children grow into increasingly independent, confident, free-thinking individuals. For the narcissistic mother, each step away from her is an absolute act of betrayal.

Children have emotions that they express quite freely. This annoying practice is squashed as early as possible since narcissists cannot handle emotions. “What is wrong with you?” and “You’re so oversensitive” and “You’re overreacting” are common phrases uttered to children of narcissists.

These mothers end up resenting all the work that goes into raising a child, having no use for them unless they are achieving, doing something or otherwise reflecting their false image onto them. Children are a nuisance to them, taking precious time away from their own agendas. They don’t like to have to shop for clothes for their children, prepare meals for them, do their laundry, pay for daycare, enroll them in activities, drive them to friends’ houses, throw birthday parties, pay for their college educations or protect them from abuse.
They will smother and overprotect their children under the guise that they are taking care of them. They will fail to provide age-appropriate information on such things as menstruation, personal grooming (make-up, hairstyles, shaving, etc.), budgeting money and dating. This all serves to keep her children under her control as long as possible. If they are ill-informed and overprotected, they will not feel confident to grow or move further away from her.

They will use their children as slaves. They will delegate all household chores to the children as early as possible. They will insist that they pay for their own personal items and clothing as early as possible. Older children will become responsible for younger children. No matter how many of her responsibilities her children take on, it will never be enough or be done well enough. They expect perfection and constantly remind their children that they fail to meet this expectation.
Of course, they train their children to believe that they are the ideal mother. Any evidence to the contrary is to be kept secret at all costs. They will behave much differently toward their children in public than they do at home. They will vehemently deny any wrongdoing on their part and most likely blame their children, completely rewriting history.

Narcissistic mothers don’t stop being narcissists when their children become adults. They will play siblings against each other. They will compare siblings. They will talk to siblings about each other. When they have a problem with one, they will talk to another about it.
They are jealous of their children’s successes, even though they brag to others about them (‘see how great MY kids turned out’). They will make snide comments if they think one of their adult children has a better marriage, house, job, etc. than they do. They are thrilled when they perceive that one of their adult children has failed in some way (although they never tell others about these “failures”; it reflects poorly on them). They are more than happy to assist when necessary because that makes them look good, plus, there is an added bonus of having favors to collect on. Asking a narcissistic mother for a favor feels like selling your soul to the devil. It’s emotional extortion.

These mothers steal their kids’ childhoods, identities and future healthy relationships. They will keep on taking and sucking the life out of their children for as long as they live, if their children allow it. It is incredibly difficult and painful to acknowledge that your mother never loved you without blaming yourself — she raised you to blame yourself for everything. But it is necessary to put the blame where it rightfully belongs in order to insure that this insidious disorder isn’t perpetuated generation after generation.

December 27, 2013
6:13 am
Avatar
Em
Guest
Guests

To SAL187,

I just read your post and I appreciate you writing and sharing your story because I am also an adult child dealing with estrangement with my father and although we don't have the same story, I take comfort in knowing that I am not the only daughter who has to go through this.  I keep having these feelings of guilt like I ought to have a relationship with him because that is what you are supposed to do to be a good and well-adjusted daughter.  It's been so hard and my husband has been very supportive.  I won't go into my life story to explain all of the reasons why but I will say that I have decided that my relationship with my father has always been one-sided and that I have always been the one giving but never receiving.  I have decided that I am happier without contact with him and in time I hope that I can let go of these feelings of guilt because I know I have a lot of very justified reasons why I do not want a relationship with him. 

 

I've read so many forum submissions from the parent's sides and I often read about how the parent feels in the dark about the reasons why their child is no longer in contact with them.  I have written an honest and heartfelt letter to my father explaining why I have not had contact with him this past year and I detailed his actions and my hurt over the years but he chooses to ignore his role entirely in this and has never even attempted to apologize.  I am sure it is because it is too difficult for him to take ownership of his actions because then he would have to feel guilty about how he has ruined our relationship.  It's extremely disappointing to me knowing how his own immaturity and selfishness has dominated his life.

 

I don't know if anyone out there will be reading this post but I want to say that life is too short to spend your time and energy on a relationship that has, time and time again, let you down, hurt you, angered you, left you feeling alone and left you feeling like the other person doesn't care about the details of your life in the way that you need them to; even if that relationship is with a parent.  You need to do what is best for you and what will make you happier in the end.  All relationships should be give and take and all you can do is be the best person you can be to those around you who have deserved your love and time.     

December 10, 2013
4:05 pm
Avatar
SAL187
Guest
Guests

This is such a difficult topic. I'm 39 and have been estranged from my parents  for about 6 months. This wasn't the first time though. We had been previously estranged for 10 months and then smaller two month periods before that. There is no clear and concise way to explain the situation. In many ways I wish I could say that they beat me or try to run me over with their car. It would be easier to explain. Instead, it was a slow accumulation of insecurity and accusations that culminated into a moment where my mother looked at me and said, "I don't like you. I don't like who you have become. You are a monster." As an only child, they were fixated on me and that intensity only became more and more acute as I went to college, moved out of state for a job, got engaged, then married, then kids. It started in college with a mandate from them that I must visit them once a month and call every week. They would scream at me over the phone if they received a birthday card either too early or too late from the actual day of the event (too early meant I was trying to get it out of the way and didn't care while too late obviously meant I forgot). I became so paranoid that I Fed Ex'd a card just to ensure that it would arrive on a specific day, to which I also got reprimanded for wasting money. I had also been an independent child. I was a latch-key child in elementary school and took care of myself after school. I worked during high school and when I opened my first checking account, my mother got mad at me for not asking her to go with me. When applying for college, I asked for financial help and they denied me because they didn't want to waste their money (what if I partied too much and dropped out?) so I financed the tuition myself and worked my way through. When I received an internship in another state during college, they screamed at me for not asking their permission to go. When I tried to join the PeaceCorps they threatened to disown me (I had also been threatened to be disowned in high school if I dated any black men).

Every year that I can remember since high school, there has been some "issue" that they worked themselves into and cut off communication with me. The pattern is that they get mad about something (frankly, it could be anything - late cards, not calling enough, etc.), they stop talking to me (ranges anywhere from a couple weeks to a couple months), I beg for their forgiveness (since for the longest period of time I thought that having "some" family - no matter the quality - was better than nothing at all), then deign to interact with me again and we move on. Until it happened again the next year.

My parents have a terrible marriage and hate each other, literally. My mother is a depressive but won't stay on her meds. They do not know how to communicate and disagreements typically end in her pulling a kitchen knife on him or breaking household items. Arguments in my house while growing up where violent and crazy scary for a kid to witness. I would hide in my closet. I feared my mother. She was violent, wild, and unpredictable. I didn't know what would set her off.

The break in this pattern happened when I was in my late 20s. I had just met my current husband and, at the time, almost broke off our second date because I was so upset. I had sent my mother a dozen roses for her birthday but when I called her to wish her a Happy Birthday, she proceeded to scream at me, telling me how awful I was (the premise was that she believed I had forgotten her birthday and at the last minute sent flowers) and that she threw the roses in the trash. I couldn't seem to explain to her that I thought flowers should be sent the day of the event.

It broke my heart. I adored my mother growing up. I grew up hearing stories of how difficult her childhood had been and the many injustices she suffered through. Then I spent my 20s hearing stories about how awful my father was and mistreated her through his alcoholism. I played the role as the therapist and enabler. I thought I was being a good daughter but now looking back I realized that I helped foster this dependent negative relationship.

As my relationship with my now husband began to take root, my parents noticed the distancing and did not like it. After the flower incident, I had decided that I no longer could be my mother's therapist -  that my life could not revolve around her and her past. In the 10 years since then, the yearly fights have continued and gotten worse, with the periods of non-communication getting longer and longer in between. They thought my husband turned me against them (which is quite the opposite, he's the one who continually pushed me to try to stay in communication when they ignored my phone calls); that I like his family more than them (frankly, I do, they're nicer); that the reason I liked his family more than them was because they gave us money (his family helped subsidize the wedding because we were paying for it ourselves and my parents did not want to contribute because he had a larger family and, as a wedding gift, his mother gave us a down payment for a house to which my mother called me a greedy bitch).

The reason I think they fixated on the money issue is that they have always tried to use money as leverage. For them, nothing is free. Not even love. Everything comes with conditions. That was why I never took money from them - it was like signing a deal with the devil.

We moved on though. I had two kids and really wanted them to have a connection with their grandparents (don't ask me why). I remember, it was around October, a couple years ago and I mentioned in an off-hand way that we were about due for another parental blow-up. True to history, it happened, and we didn't talk for 10 months. I won't go into the details over that fight, that's another saga, but for me, it was like they had died. I mourned the loss of our relationship (even how crappy it was) and the loss of what could have been. I grieved. I sought therapy. And, eventually, I started to move on - not only for my sake but for trying to make myself whole for my children. My child (my youngest was still an infant) asked about her grandmother and I didn't know what to say. Then after almost a year, they sought reconciliation so we went to their house (with the kids because we thought it would remain civil, how wrong we were). There was the mother I knew - all venom and fire. Yet, here I was, her daughter - fear and anger right back at her. She tried to attack me, in front of my three-year-old daughter, who asked me later, "why did grandma tried to throw you out of the window?"

We went to family therapy. We tried. We played nice. She blamed it all on my dad. I tried. Then this year, during my daughter's ballet recital, she fell on the pavement and scraped her face. I ran and got some wipes to clean the blood off her face the whole time realizing that I had not touched her in years. It felt like touching a stranger. I looked at her and saw how frail she was, how much older she had gotten. But it was like looking at a familiar stranger. After all these years, what did we have left between us. She had called me a monster. My own mother did not like me, did not know me and I think I felt the same about her. Was this to be our life? Playing our roles but with no substance? At no point, even during therapy, did they ever own up to their culpability in our relationship. It was, as it always had been, my fault.

After the recital, I called and left a message for my dad for Father's Day. He didn't return my call. I knew he was probably upset that we didn't have a BBQ or some other event. And we not talked since. And I feel relieved. If anyone has ever been in an abusive relationship (talking emotional, not physical), you understand that they are all cyclical - you fight, you make up over and over and over again. The pattern never changes. The reason I feel relief is that it was too hard to be around them when I knew they did not like me and thought I was a monster. It's something I have not been able to reconcile. I already felt bad about myself - what type of daughter was I, why was I not good enough, why couldn't I make this relationship better, etc. - and it's time to make myself whole. I can't do that when they continually break me down. I need to focus on being a good parent and move on. 

I didn't intend to write this much. I'm just glad I found someone to talk to.

December 6, 2013
1:21 pm
Avatar
glenn
Guest
Guests

Superbly said Eric.  You are a survivor and I hope have become a thriver.  

I read often the poem 'children' by Kahlil Gibran.  

For what it may be worth - you have my support here

 

December 6, 2013
10:48 am
Avatar
Eric
Guest
Guests

I'm currently a 27 year old man and haven't spoken to or seen my parents in over 2 years now. Frankly, I'm a little scared to post my story, because people have a whole lot of differing opinions about homosexuality. 

I'll make it as short as I can. When I was 15, my mom found out I was gay; I went to a fundamentalist Christian school my entire life and believed that being gay was a horrible sin. I'll skip the details on how my parents found out, but suffice to say I made a mistake in confiding in a teacher at my school for help.

My parents didn't really believe me. "It's just a phase" and "you don't really know yet". That didn't stop them from sending me to a therapist to 'counsel' me into how to be straight. In California where I live, this practice is now illegal for minors. Regardless of your beliefs, it's been proven to cause immense harm to young people and there's no basis in medical science that this is an ethical 'treatment'. All it did was create immense feelings of guilt. The therapist told me that if I trusted in god enough, he'd 'cure' me. 

I honestly believed I'd betrayed my parents, my friends, and god just for existing. My parents indirectly encouraged that belief...they even took me to an AlAnon meeting (at the 'therapists' request) to help me deal with my 'addiction'...

The depressing middle part of this story doesn't matter. Suffice it to say, if things had ended up slightly differently, I'd certainly be dead now. My parents told me once that they didn't think I was 'trying hard enough' and that the therapy was very expensive. I really didn't think I had options; I believed my life would only end one way. That began to slowly change as my beliefs changed. 

There are plenty of people that would jump up to defend them; after all, doesn't god come before everything else? I think most parents expect their children to follow their beliefs...but what happens when those beliefs are so restrictive the only 'ethical' thing (in a isolated, terrified 15 year old's eyes) is suicide? 

Now, they constantly ask me to forgive them and see them again, but I don't think they understand what they did wrong. Every time I read their email begging me to see them, I feel yet another pang of guilt...followed by immense anger. They still think being gay is a sin. I'm not at all convinced that they believe anything they did was really wrong. They may be sorry that things ended up badly...but that's all. They probably still feel they did everything correctly. Perhaps some people think they did. 

Parents...You made a decision to bring a life into this world and raise that life (if you didn't make that decision...well that's a whole different argument, isn't it...?); children don't ask to be cared for, or for love, but this responsibility is yours none-the-less. It's a one-way responsibility. No one ever said this was a fair deal. Grow the fuck up - if you wanted kids so that you could be a grandparent someday and live a picturesque cliche, you should adjust your expectations and just be happy that your kid isn't dead. I don't need my parents to care for me anymore. They seem to believe I need them. 

This is a tragedy all-around...and I wish it wasn't. I wish I had a family I could trust. I wish I had a place to be at Christmas time. I wish a lot of things were different. Sometimes, I'm still that 15-year-old that has no idea what the damned point is. Life isn't really a fair thing, though. 

Parents are not objective when it comes to their adult kids. How can they be, when they see their children as children...? Parents talk about the pain that their kids are causing them by not seeing them, but why is it that our society seems to forgive the pain of the parent but often views the pain of a child as little more than a 'tantrum'?

In our society, children are possessions of the parents; they no real rights, no real voice, and aren't entitled to their own opinions or beliefs. Abuse that position, and you will reap what you sow, and the last thing you deserve is sympathy or unconditional forgiveness -- it was *your* immaturity that caused all this pain to begin with. Maybe you deserve to share a sliver of your child's pain; maybe this will remind you just what it was you signed up for before giving birth. There's no contract signed between parents and children; you're aren't guaranteed to get anything in return for your efforts, and sometimes only earn the scorn of your offspring. 

Maybe you don't deserve being cut off from your kid, but your kid sure as hell didn't deserve their pain, either...and you're supposed to be the damned adult in the situation, right? So put your own selfish pain aside and consider that, just maybe, it is all for the best, and your child really is better off without you. Are you really so deluded that you believe your kid truly 'needs' you? Or do you think "my parents were way worse but I respect them"? Grow up! Parenthood isn't a damned contract, it's a responsibility; stop believing that responsibility entitles you to some absurd ideal of a nuclear family! 

December 5, 2013
1:56 pm
Avatar
glenn
Guest
Guests

Very well said Claredeer.  We dont remain defenceless forever.  

claredeer said
This site is a breath of fresh air. So many sites blame the adult children for the problems. In my case, I broke away from my mother over 20 years ago, because I couldn't take her drama and her whining while I was going through a divorce. I also couldn't afford to support her financially any longer.

My mother played my two older brothers and me off against one another, so that no one trusts anyone, and no one communicates. She decided at age 49, when my father died after an illness that lasted five years, that the world owed her everything, and that she wasn't going to work. She turned the middle child, who already had emotional and intellectual challenges, into an alcoholic psychotic with the pressure she put on him to support her.

From my earliest childhood, I never loved her or my father, perhaps because I could sense that they were both nuts. I wish I had a family of people who could treat one another like human beings, but I don't.

If any parents read this, please know that children don't remain defenseless and small forever. When they grow up, they will be able to make choices about their lives, and if they choose to cut ties with parents who abused them emotionally or physically, so be i

December 4, 2013
3:43 pm
Avatar
claredeer
Guest
Guests

This site is a breath of fresh air. So many sites blame the adult children for the problems. In my case, I broke away from my mother over 20 years ago, because I couldn't take her drama and her whining while I was going through a divorce. I also couldn't afford to support her financially any longer.

My mother played my two older brothers and me off against one another, so that no one trusts anyone, and no one communicates. She decided at age 49, when my father died after an illness that lasted five years, that the world owed her everything, and that she wasn't going to work. She turned the middle child, who already had emotional and intellectual challenges, into an alcoholic psychotic with the pressure she put on him to support her.

From my earliest childhood, I never loved her or my father, perhaps because I could sense that they were both nuts. I wish I had a family of people who could treat one another like human beings, but I don't.

If any parents read this, please know that children don't remain defenseless and small forever. When they grow up, they will be able to make choices about their lives, and if they choose to cut ties with parents who abused them emotionally or physically, so be it

December 1, 2013
6:56 pm
Avatar
Nel
Guest
Guests

It's nice to have found this site.  I just became estranged from my mother 3 days ago.  It has been a long time coming and it was with much thought that I decided to write her a letter and end our relationship.  

Basically I am the youngest of five kids.  I'm 35 years old and the rest are in their forties. We grew up in a home with an alcoholic and physically/sexually abusive father.  My dad would beat my mom and physically and sexually abused all of us and eventually ended up raping my 12 year old sister at the time.  After my mom became aware of the abuse and rape, for reasons I will never understand she stayed with my dad and he continued to live with us. They both made sure that we disclosed to no one what had happened. It was not until a year later when he beat my 16 year old sister that the police were called and he was forced out of the home.  Despite all of this my mom continued to see him and have him over to our home.  He would often sleep over and continue to sexually abuse me. Time and time again I would tell my mom what was happening and I would cry and beg her to not allow him to come over.  I even told her when he started touching my 10 year old friend. My mom continually ignored me and pushed my claims to the wayside.  Despite all of this they even talked about moving back together but thankfully they never did.  From the age of 5-14 I endured the sexual abuse and up until the age of 18 had to put up with him still being around.  

I absolutely hated and still hate my father but had such conflicting emotions about my mom.  She was a church going woman who professed her faith in God and by all accounts appeared to be such a pillar of the church.  Yet deep down I knew that it was such a sham because as far as I believe God would never approve of what she was doing.  I felt she was such a hypocrite but she was all I had for a "normal" parent.

Eventually in 1998 my mom tried to talk one of my sisters into letting my father walk her down the aisle at her wedding.  That's when my sister outted her to the rest of our extended family.  It took that and her pastor telling her to stop contacting him for her to do it.  Even that was like pulling teeth. It angered me that it took other people for her to do this and not our well-being or countless prior requests.

By this point all of my siblings had moved out and I was left living with my mom.  She continued to manipulate me into believing she was a good mom who was "blinded" by my dad, taking no ownership for her role.  She became the child and I became the reassuring daughter.  She was never there as my support but I was always there for her.

When I was 19 we got to a point where we could not afford our subsidized housing anymore despite her demanding that I pay more rent (she did not work by the way!) So she quickly found herself a room in my older sister's house leaving me to fend for myself.  Thankfully one of my other sisters took me in so I could focus on going to college.

I ended up pursuing a career as a police officer with no help or guidance from her.  I had to fend for myself financially and be my own support system. My siblings on the other hand stepped up and helped me.  

I  subsequently decided to bring my dad to justice despite her and two of my older sisters' unapproval. Even during this time my mom never apologized for what she had done and was looking to us to lean on during the trial instead of the other way around.  My dad was convicted and 5 years later deported.

I continued believing that she was a good and Godly person despite all of this and went on to marry the most amazing man (also a policeman) and have children together.  This was the turning point.....

I finally got what it was to be a parent.  The gift of children that God gives you to cherish, protect, love, value and and put their needs before one's own were never so clear as when I had my own.  It was then that I began to see her with crystal clear vision and could not get past my anger at her.  

For the past 6 years I have been in an emotional battle with having her in my life.  She continues to manipulate my siblings and trash talks all of us to each other thus creating conflict between us.  She lives with one of my sisters and will talk bad about her to me all the time which shows me that she has no remorse. She makes no effort to visit me or my kids and thinks that a phone call every couple of weeks is good enough.  My siblings justify her actions as being old school and set in her ways and refuse to hold her accountable.

This is why after a year and a half of therapy and prayer I decided I could no longer tolerate her indifference and her lack of remorse.  She did apologize to me but I never felt it sincere and it was only offered up after I confronted her and asked her for it.

I left a letter on her doorstep 3 days ago clearly stating my reasons for not wanting her in my life.  I then text my siblings as to my decision and since then only two of them have replied.  It appears that my two older sisters including the one she lives with are supporting her.  My brother sent me an email telling me to get over the past, find peace and to forgive my mom because life is too short and she is sorry! What?! Did we not grow up in the same house? Then again he lives alone, has no job and my mom enables him so I guess I'll take that with a grain of salt.  Only one of my sisters has shown support and expressed that she completely understands and loves me.  Wow, that is all I wanted from them but like my mom I guess it's too much to ask for for some.

I gave her so many opportunities to make it right with me. I defended her from everyone for years just to be kicked to the side like some homeless dog and to have her play the victim card.  She thinks I am the one with the problem and has my sister and brother on board too. She says she doesn't know what's wrong with me and that she will pray to God for me!

I will admit that I feel so sad that the only parent I had is gone.  I feel so alone and want to cry, and sometimes I do.  Sometimes I wonder if I am really the one with the problem and if I'm over reacting but deep down I know the truth.

November 25, 2013
9:02 am
Avatar
SKN
Guest
Guests

I found this site through googling. I've been low contact with my parents for 15 years, but they continue to have an insidious and negative effect on my life.  Though they provided me with all the material goods that I needed to survive, they never showed that they cared about me in any way.  As a teenager I took some pills, and my mother laughed at me.  At age 25, after another bout with severe depression, she took me aside and said, "we were so ashamed of you.  How could you do that to us?"  When I was 23, I lived at home, worked two jobs while searching for a full time job and she didn't speak to me for six months.  My mother simply stayed out of all this.  He may have seen the abuse and done nothing or maybe he didn't see it at all.  

 

I've recently been dealing with all these feelings again, and I've decided that I will minimize my interaction with them as much as possible.  I'm sure if my mother ever came to this forum, she would claim to have been a wonderful mother and she doesn't understand why I'm treating her this way.  The fact that I hold onto these incidents from so long ago means that I hold grudges and she has gotten over them, why can't I?  I'm going no contact as soon as possible.  I have a brother and I'm afraid of what going no-contact would do to my brother or how he would feel about it.  We're not very close, but I love him and I want him in my life and I don't want him to think badly of me.  We had different childhoods since he is a boy, and I don't know if he would understand this.

November 25, 2013
8:43 am
Avatar
SKN
Guest
Guests

"It's not like these parents are way out of their ballpark, seeking a children's only board and posting on there."

This is actually exactly the case.  You are way out of your ballpark, because this is a safe space for the CHILDREN that are estranged from their parents.  It's really triggering to have a parent in here trying to defend themselves.  If you care so little about your child's well being that you would infiltrate their safe space, then you are the one at fault.

 

November 18, 2013
7:14 pm
Avatar
Guest
Guest
Guests

I'm the adult child of an estrangement and unfortunately for me, my father, in his 80's, just passed away and we never reconciled.

 

Divorce was probably a big factor and a host of other things. In a macabre way for me, since he didn't make any effort on his deathbed to address things before leaving the planet, I'm relieved that I no longer have to explain how I'm estranged from my dad and deal with the questions and inspection of how could anyone let this happen. It's simple now that he's gone. I didn't find out that he was terminally ill until he died. He was in hospice care and there was ample opportunity for a final reconciliation.

Although I still wish we found a way to have some closure. Reality is if I received any request from him to see me, I would have gone in a heartbeat. His 2nd wife left me and my family off the obituary.

Other than in extreme cases, I believe reconciliation can happen, even at the end.  It's sad to see the family in such a state of disarray. 

November 17, 2013
4:18 pm
Avatar
Glenn
Guest
Guests

Hi Elayne

 

Just wanted to show support of you.

I was also called sanctimonious by Throwaway mom.

I was also told - rightly or otherwise - not to post on the website for estranged parents.  Then I find her posting here on the site for estranged offspring. 

November 15, 2013
6:56 pm
Avatar
elayne
Guest
Guests

Throwaway

 

First things first: 

Sanctimonious - Merriam-Webster Online

 

pretending to be morally better than other people

 
I never said I was better than anyone else. 
 
Second : You are mistaken in thinking my reply was meant for you alone, it was an expression of frustration towards ALL parents whining on here, not just you. Hit a little close to home maybe?
 
Thirdly :
 
I disowned my parents because they have never listened to what I have said, or validated my feelings in any way. You have just done the same thing in a space designated for me (an adult who is estranged from their parents). You also insulted me for being 100% honest in a place that was specifically set aside for that. Expression of negative emotions is a step towards healing. I am trying to heal ME, again nothing about this board is about YOU. 
 
So go ahead, attack me for using the space properly. 
 
Lastly :
 
If you are here, your children CHOOSE not to see you, they weren't "ripped away". Perhaps this behaviour is part of the reason. 
 
You do not know me, nor do you know who I have and have not been estranged from.
 
As for the future, I am not interested in communicating with you anymore, will not read your posts, not respond to you. I cut my own parents out for behaviour like this, what is a stranger to me?
 
Peace Out. Good Luck.
Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 887

Currently Online:
22 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1350

Members: 4

Moderators: 0

Admins: 3

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 8

Topics: 1326

Posts: 7160