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Estranged Child - Should I set the record straight?
April 13, 2015
12:38 pm
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survivor
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And as for your other, non-mentally ill estranged mothers and fathers, my heart does go out. After all, relationships are hard. In the dynamic of a parent/ child, there is a shift especially when the child becomes an adult. In an attempt to give my adult child space, he sees as me not caring anymore. Can it be possible that he enjoyed my nagging? I had no idea he felt this way. He felt very hurt actually. I was grateful that he shared with me. I expressed how I understood how he was grown now, and he is. Only HE can get his medical records, contracts, etc.. He is going through all this, telling people its OK to talk to his mom, but THEY refuse, since HE is the adult. 

My point is, unless he actually told me, I would've never GUESSED his point of view not in a million years. In fact, I feel that treating him like anything less of an adult, is insulting. I am trying to grow up too, since I am no longer changing his diaper. 

AND at the same time, I am treating his younger siblings, differently, becuase guess what, they are very young children, and they need me in a different way. This infuses a strange type of jealousy from him.

I feel very grateful that he opens up to me, and that he expresses his point of view, even if it takes some prodding. But I cant imagine how it would be, if he just made up his mind, and decided he was angry indefinitely. 

Sometimes, it IS actually better to not say anything and slowly drift away. With my parents, I did express myself, but sometimes, it just seems easier to say, "this relationship has run its course". without actually saying anything. 

To those parents reaching out to their children, wondering what they've done, here is my point of view. I would absolutely love to receive a letter expressing this. "What have I done? Can we please discuss this? Did I say or do something?" And this ONLY applies if its the first time. It doesnt count if you done this before, only to argue and deny the other persons feelings and talk about how wrong they are. 

I never received such a letter, but thats because my parents, arent capable of the idea that they hurt. And if they did hurt, they still say, so what. 

But to those that really care, and STILL are shunned, my heart does go out. All you can do is what you can do, honestly. Sometimes, some things are truly out of our hands. 

I reached out to my parents many times before the final NC. My mom would call, and insult me, and say something just really nasty , like accusing me of not taking care of the baby, not changing her diaper. I say, "why are you asking me if I change the baby's diaper? Why do you ask me these dumb questions?" and she says, bristling, "They are not dumb!!! In fact, if you think they are dumb, then YOU have a problem and you are probably NOT changing her diaper." and I say, "mom, not only are they dumb questions, but they are out right insulting. You dont see the insult in that question?" and she snaps,  "NOPE!" and I say, "well, that is so very unfortunate. This is one of the reasons why I dont come around anymore".. 

This was one of the milder insulting conversations. She doesnt like my husband, we are mixed couple. She spits at my child, responding to her like racial slurs. Her flying monkeys inadvertently tell me things she says about me and my husband behind my back. Honestly, until my daughter was born, I did not know that she was so racist. I was shocked. 

But, she will write non-apology letters, "I've always been supportive, and its time for you to forgive." "just because your life is bad, dont take it on me" (my life is not bad, these are the letters she sends)

 

My father is demanding. He says things like, "you will come here and apologize! I dont want to see you until you do!" when I am the one that doesnt want to see them. This was one of his angry notes he left on my door to the old address. Now they dont know my new address. 

When they found out that I wasnt living at the old address, he wrote a demanding letter, saying something about getting the state police on me, demanding. "give me your address".. Thats it. 

 

But to those who honestly want to know what happened, my heart does go out. I am parent too, I didnt realize that my son was hurt when I stopped nagging him when he turned into adult. His issues have more to do with not wanting to make a mistake, and fear of growingup, etc. but I am grateful I got the chance to talk to him.  I would be really hurt if he just cut me off without expressing himself. 

April 13, 2015
11:44 am
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You are so right. At first, their responses were absolutely shocking. At first, I did feel like I was personally going crazy, that had to go through such extremes to protect my privacy and boundaries. Even after they still came to the address, knowing that I would make good on my promise to call the police, they still did it. Like a typical criminal, they did it anyway, but making sure they ran away and did not get caught actually trespassing. 

What I definitely did not anticipate were further crazy making gestures. When I went NC, I didnt think my parents were actually mentally ill. In fact, I thought that my father was decent, but he is not. He is just abusive in a different way. Where as my mother would plan out and plot her attacks on me and my children, for days, months, years.. My dad didnt do such things. I was able to have genuine conversations with him at times. At the same time, for most of my adulthood, he wasnt there. He had a secret life. But he was the closest thing to kind that I knew growing up in my tortuous household. It actually wasnt until AFTER NC, that he really started to throw temper tantrums, making demands at me, and spitting at me for standing up for myself. He writes these horrible letters, demanding that I apologize to my mother.. Makes no sense at all. Its not like he too didnt see what she did consistently and time and time again. 

In recent times, he has fell ill. My mother is resentful that she is his caretaker.  This happened recently. We havent spoke for 10 years. I am the closest family member as my brothers have moved across the country. They are demanding that I give up motherly responsibilities, drop what I am doign, and have ME the one the change my fathers bed pans, etc. I just ignore all correspondence. And too, they are wealthy. My  mom throws her money around, trying to sabotage and seduce my kids, but even they see through it. Apparently they dont forget her maliciousness either. 

I am estranged from the whole family, as they were my mothers flying monkeys. In the beginning, she smeared me, and everyone thought that I was the enemy for enforcing my boundaries, but now, I think they are figuring it out on their own. I think her flying monkeys got sick and tired of being used. 

I dont wish them any ill will, but I truly want to be left alone. By now, they should know, I am never coming around. I wish they would stop. Now, I dont think they ever will, until they die. This is all very sad, but a much happier life without them in it. 

Thank you for your response. I wish there was another way besides a restraining order. In my state, they have to call a hearing between two parties, and to have a judge decide grant it. I cant imagine serving them, and seeing them in court. 

April 12, 2015
8:27 am
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onestepatatime
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Survivor, You took back your power by telling them how you felt or how they abused you and their inability to respond properly or have sympathy or remorse showed you who/what you are dealing with. I am sorry your parents are such poor parents and harmed you like they did. Setting the record straight can work with parents who are not so selfish or self involved and who want to know what they did wrong and are willing to change. Unfortunately setting the record straight with mentally ill or narcissistic people does not change them or the situation but as you found, it can make one stronger. Sometimes though, the lack of proper response can make the estranged child feel worse off, more alone and perhaps even "crazy" like their parents say they are. Narcissists, for example, are incapable of absorbing another person's viewpoint or feelings. I am glad you have moved on in your life and it sounds like you have come to some peace about going no contact. This forum is a mixed bag of people, some have real personality issues of their own and come here to bash their estranged children, and others are the children who have suffered from terribly bad parents. And yet others are the good parents whose children have estranged themselves because of reasons not the parents' fault. Thank you for sharing your story.

April 11, 2015
12:16 pm
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I just realized, I didn't respond to the post, "should I set the record straight."

I feel good that I did set the record straight. How my parents responded, helped me understand the deepness of the abuse and how much better off I was with out them. The hurt was very very consistent and persistent through out my whole life. It was something I addressed time and time again, which fell on deaf ears, or prompted a more vicious attack. Finally, I just stopped communicating with them, and they would come at me with anger, attack and vigor for not contacting them. I felt good that told them my boundaries. Of course they attacked me. They are my parents. And if they've had a bad day, they think its reasonable to just walk up to a child and hit them until they are bloody. As adults, my parents would call me out of the blue, and start attacking me for no reason. I didnt understand these attacks as lashouts. Like the wife beater that comes home, and beats the crap out of his wife because the dish towels dont line up. I get it now. 

So my point is, even though I was attacked for setting the record straight, I am glad I did it. I have a sense of closure and finality. 

My parents of course didnt acknowledge my power. They disappeared, then reappeared demanding this and that. But I am still happy that I basically said, "well, I understand that you are incapable of respectful communication and having a non-abusive relationship. To that end, for sake of my health, distance is best for me and my family. " I kept repeating that in the beginning, when my father wouuld call, and say he missed me, I would say, "I understand, distance is best" and now, I dont respond at all. 

They didnt beleive the permanence of it. And they magically thought that some day I would have a change of heart. they never apologize and they go around acting like victims. they think they have the right to be jerks. I understand why they are confused, they too were abused, and their parents were real jerks too. But it makes no sense for me to die, and sacrifice my family becuase they get off on hurting people. 

People like to hurt, and they know they are doing it. The difference is that they feel ENTITLED to it. I noticed that I was never able to have an honest conversation with my mother. She would project, and make horrible insults at me, (when she was really talking about herself). But the second you set her straight, she would bristle, run away, or feel incensed at the common sense response. This type of behavior just got worse and worse. She started to act like a real lunatic. She would spit at my child, call her racial slurs, and when I stood up to her, in the same breath, she would accuse of my father of doing it. It was lunacy. He would just stand there like an idiot and not say anything. 

I set the record straight, and like a criminal, she denies everything and calls me crazy. I just let the facts speak for themselves. Her other kids hate her too and dont come around. When people stop talking to her, she just blames them for "going through something" and not her own obnoxious behavior. 

 

It would seem that me setting the record straight fell on deaf ears, but I am so glad I did it. 

April 11, 2015
11:46 am
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I personally think that parental estrangement is very very common. I am convinced that my parents had me for the benefit of me being a sacrificial lamb to their actual and proverbial attacks. 

As long as there are mean people in the world, incompetent people, dominating people, etc, etc, etc, there will always be estrangement. The difference is that as children, we dont have a choice, and we dont have a sense of context until we are adults and get out into the world. Then, we start making choices about who want in our lives, who we are attracted to, who enriches us, who drains us, etc. 

Often times, we find out, that our parent(s) is a horrible person, like mine are. But my parents arent only nasty to me, they are nasty to everyone, and no doubt, such behavior has left them abandoned by many many many people. My parents continue to stalk and harass me after a full decade of no contact. I  never respond. I think their attacks are because they are running out of people to harrass, and as their child, they beleive they have the unalienable right to stalk me and lash out at me. They still have my work email, and they use different accounts to order me around and make demands. Like the previous 10 years, I just ignore. 

They send me ridiculous letters lashing out at me, ordering me to come and visit in person and apologize. These people purposely and consistently hurt me and my children, and were beyond abusive and disrespectful. They are well aware that their presence is not invited as I made it very clear to them, and told them the next time they stop by, I will call the police. They dont know my current address, but the last address even after this warning, they still came by the house, rang the doorbell, but then would run away, leaving nasty notes on the door. 

Recently, we saw them at a public event one of my children were featured in. They had the nerve to come up to my youngest and hug her, and she just looked at her like she was an alien. I finally said, "goodbye" and at first she wouldnt leave, but just standing there staring at me, while I said "goodby" she finally left. As she was walking away, she would say, "promise you will call me" Its been 10 years. 

 

The more and more they harrass me, the more and more crazy and delusional I think they really are. I really dont think my parents have any sense or moral decency at all. They called my family racial slurs, and they derisively refer to my children as very cruel slanderous things, like they did me growing up. If my mother hears something about me, she pretends I am the one that told her, like we are still in contact, and then goes around distorting the truth to make me look like a nut job. People are all confused, becuase my mom plays this game, pretending we are best friends, when everyone, (not just me) hates her guts, and treats her like the anti christ. She must complain to my father, and my stupid clueless father takes her word at face value, and then he goes around making demands about how much eveyrone is hurting his stupid wife. They are both such a catch. 

They dont know where I live. I've disconnected my phones. They do have one of my emails, which they sneak in a nasty message every now and again. I really dont understand what they get out of harassing me, and reaching out to someone that never responds. But I guess that is one of their signs of mental illness. 

March 20, 2015
9:38 am
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carolyn
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Mother of 1,  I can imagine how wonderful you feel having your daughter interact with you even if just be text, email.  That is what is comfortable to them especially in their busy lives.  I would suggest you let her bring up getting together.  With my daughter we took baby steps and it took 8 months before I was invited to visit, actually by my grandchild in a thank you note.(not sure if I wrote that already).  I was so nervous and so afraid I would blow it and say or do something wrong.  It was great to see them all especially my grandchildren.  She did more venting but I really tried to just listen and not get defensive and take responsibility where I was wrong.  Her biggest issue was with her father who has passed 10 years now but she said since we were a unit I was just as liable even though I did not have much of a voice in our marriage.  So I really had to just swallow my pride a lot and say I wish I could have been stronger.  So I can understand you being nervous about meeting.  Just be prepared to listen and watch how she reacts.  It's more about letting them have their say than how we feel.

Thank you for your concern with my other daughter.  I agree that the dynamics in a family change when someone new enters the picture.  I was happy for her at first when she started dating in her 40s since I wanted her to be have someone to spend the rest of her life with.  After all I not going to live forever and she relied on me quite a bit.  I liked the fellow at first even though he was more my age than hers.  But then it turned into a bad relationship with them breaking up more than they were together.  He made it very clear that he did not want to marry and would just fly in when he had time.  You get the picture.  It bothered me as well as her daughter that she kept going back to him.  In my heart I blamed myself that I set a bad example by staying in a bad marriage, 38 years until he passed.  I tried to stay out of it but she could tell how I felt.  In fact I never met him since every time we planned to met he didn't show up that weekend.  To make a long story short she moved away to CA without telling me for six months, in fact made me believe she was trying to get to where therapy would be beneficial for all of us.  I had offered to pay for therapy for all of us.  There's so much more but too much to explain.  I have done all the amends, etc as I read Dr. Colemans book and took most of his seminars.  It worked with my one daughter but not with her, yet.  But everything I learned helped me to look more at myself with an unvarnished look but also to have compassion and forgiveness for myself and daughter.  Mostly I have learned patience.  No matter what we do or want it will not work until they are ready and willing.

Didnt plan on writing this much.  I understand about being "overbearing" as I can be that way also.  We see it more as loving them and being a Mother but unfortunately they see it more as us not trusting them that they know what they are doing.  I had to learn how to keep a lot of my opinions to myself and even if they ask to not disagree with them.  That has helped with my other daughter.

my best advice is just be patient with your daughter and relish and enjoy the interaction you are having with her even though you would love more.  I'm sure that time will come.  Take care.  Peace,

March 19, 2015
8:19 pm
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Mother of one
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Carolyn: so sorry about your one daughter treating you poorly... It must be tough for you, especially when she models bad behavior for the grandchild. I think a lot of these problems relate to issues involving divorce, single parents, etc etc... Got to be hard for your daughter as a single mom, and I'm sure you realize what happens when there is a relationship between two people (say mother and child) and a third person enters the relationship (regardless of whether it's Mom's new boyfriend or new spouse, or the adult child's new significant other, boyfriend, or spouse. In fact my psychiatrist mentioned that the entry of the new person is often related to the estrangement, not because the new person does anything, but because it changes the mix. I think he's right.

As for me, Daughter wrote me again tonight, following up on my last comment about an interesting book I'm reading that I told her reminded me of her and son in law and I suggested she would like. 

So tonight she followed up (totally out of the blue!) sending me a text telling me the book I recommended last week was on her list of books she wants to read, and she followed with a recommendation for another book I might like. We talked a bit abt iPads, kindle apps... Etc. Kept it light. 

Im so nervouse about even suggesting a get together for coffee or other short meeting.  A little scared here... Shouldn't I let her suggest it? My husband says he thinks part of what she doesn't like is that I'm (to use his words) overbearing... Thoughts? 

As always Carolyn, you and both of your daughters remain in my prayers. 

Mother of one  

ps... On a light note: do I detect the math at the bottom getting harder? 

March 16, 2015
8:02 am
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carolyn
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I am so happy for you, Mother of 1 that you received a positive response from your daughter.  Suggesting getting together for coffee is a great way to start.  I would let your daughter set the pace as to when and where.  I agree with you about keeping the conversation light and positive.  Again I would let your daughter set the tone of the conversation.  If she does bring up issues that are hurtful (this happened to me),  just let her vent and get it out and apologize and say you were wrong.  When we know better, we do better.  We cannot change the past but we can change and move forward.  They really just want to be validated and know that they have been heard. That what helped me with my daughter that I have been reconciled with for over a year now. Thank you for your prayers for my other estranged daughter.  I continue to pray also for you and those of us who live with this pain.  Who would have thought when we raised these loving children and giving them our all that we would be experiencing this treatment today.  I finally have come to accept that I do not know who they are anymore (my daughter and granddaughter).  When they needed me in their lives, my daughter related to my sister that she doesn't know what she would do without me.  She is a single mother and we were very close, which may have been part of the problem.  Our problems started when she began dating in her 40's and I became a burden to her.  She started treating me with disrespect and verbal abuse and would allow my granddaughter to do so also. When I finally stood up for myself she wanted nothing to do with me.  I pray that the way she is treating me today will not happen to her by her daughter someday.  After all she is setting that example to her.  Sorry for rambling on but thankful I have a place where I can let it out.  Very cathartic.  Please keep in touch and I pray that you will soon have a positive meeting with your daughter.  Stay strong and be good to yourself!

March 15, 2015
7:37 am
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Good morning, Carolyn: I thought I should give you an update. After talking more with my psychiatrist, and realizing that the timing of my daughter's initial pulling away seemed to coincide with my marriage to my second husband, I decided Thursday to write my daughter a short text message and identical email of Amends. I modeled the text on the simple language Dr. Coleman recommends. Without going into detail, I simply wrote titling the text and email "amends" and telling my daughter I was working with a psychiatrist and with a specialist in estrangement issues to deal with various issues in my life including our estrangement. I said I was writing because I know I did not provide her what she needed in terms of a mother daughter relationship, and said I'd like to make amends. I asked her to try to find it in her heart to forgive me for failing her, and adding that I hope we can try again. I told her "I love you and I miss you." That was it. 

I sent a "PS" two days later telling her I hoped she was enjoying her last year of law school and noting she should be exceptionally proud of what she has accomplished. 

Yesterday morning, a few minutes after my PS text, I got a lovely reply thanking me for reaching out, telling me she was glad I am working with counselors, and telling me she's slowed down law school and will be graduating in December. 

I responded positively noting i ting I thought that was a good idea, noting I was glad she realized that life is a journey not a race, that I thought she'd enjoy law school more by taking fewer credits per semester (after all, Carolyn, you may recall she is also working full time, going to school nights and has a 3 year old son and a husband). We had a few more texts back and forth, and I told her I hoped she would continue to correspond. She told me she thinks of me often and has been hoping I am well. 

I wrote a little more, again expressing my apologies for past events, and telling her I love her and miss her, my son in law and grand son, and ended on a high note telling her I was reading a book that reminded me of her and my son in law (because they were both rowers and the book is about the 1936 Olympic rowing team.) anyway, Carolyn, I though you and others reading would be pleased and encouraged. 

Now ow I just have to figure out the next step. Since she is not taking summer classes, I might suggest coffee soon. I think I'm best not to get into details with her regarding the past when we meet. Just keep it light and positive. Do you think that might be the right approach, Carolyn? Your thoughts would be appreciated. 

My my thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your daughter.

Mother of one.

March 5, 2015
5:02 pm
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Mother of 1
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Carolyn, thank you so much. That is truly inspirational and gives me great hope. My Easter basket to my grandson sent last year along with my Grandson's 2nd birthday present did get a positive reaction. My grandson is obviously too young to write a thank you note, but my daughter sent a text message thanking me for my thoughtfulness. My grandson's Christmas gift (2014) was not mentioned, and no text, but I did get a text message wishing me a happy birthday. 

My grandson's Easter basket is already to ship. I make a great deal of effort with it ordering special items from the country my grandparents emigrated from. Birthday present is ready too since my grandson's birthday follows Easter closely. 

Im taking as a good sign that my son in law has told his dad that this year, rather than sending the presents to my daughter's father in law, I should ship to a nearby UPS they use (because boxes on their stoop have been stolen.) so I'm viewing that as a positive thing. My daughter's father in law also shared Christmas pictures with me, so at least I can see my grandson as he grows. I just hope he remembers us or will be open to us when we are allowed to see him again. My daughter's father in law says she is still overwhelmed with work, law school and motherhood and that it is likely things will improve when law school is off her plate. I'm praying so, and working to get myself ready so I react properly when the door opens a crack. 

Thanks again Carolyn. Hope we can stay in touch. Prayers to you, your daughter and her family. So glad you and the grandkids are doing so much better. It really does give me hope. I won't give up. But I'll be careful not to beat down the door as that would not help. She needs some space and I'm giving it to her while letting her know I love her and her family and will always be there unconditionally. 

Fondly, Mother of 1

March 5, 2015
9:41 am
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carolyn
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Thank you, Mother of 1.  I just want to add that you should never give up hope as I am reunited with my other daughter who had been estranged from me three times over 10 years.  We now have a much better relationship and are able to communicate more openly.  I feel that both parties have to grow and be ready to make it work.  Like Dr. Coleman suggested, we need to take an "unvarnished"  look at ourselves.  It has been over a year and half that we have been reconciled and the best part is that I am able to visit my daughter, husband, and twin grandsons and give them the hugs and kisses that I wished them over the years.  If your daughter allows it, I would continue to remember your grandson at birthdays, holidays, etc. as they are innocent of the situation.  They need to know that you hold them in your heart.  I am thankful that my daughter always accepted my gifts for the boys and they always replied with a thank you note and pictures every year at Christmas.  The boys are so loving to me today and even tell me that I am the best grandma ever.  That is the greatest message a Grandma can hear.  Take care and my best to you and your daughter.

March 4, 2015
3:57 pm
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Mother of 1
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Carolyn: Thank you for your kindness and compassion. Those are excellent traits and we all can learn from your example. You and your daughter will be in my prayers.

Fondly, 

Mother of 1

March 4, 2015
1:49 pm
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LH
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carolyn said
LH, look into the mirror; you may learn something.

Oddly, that's what I said to Mother of 1.

March 4, 2015
1:48 pm
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LH
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carolyn said

Reading Mother of 1's description of her therapy sessions, would you say that her daughter did or didn't give her several reasons that their relationship was strained?

March 4, 2015
1:40 pm
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carolyn
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LH, look into the mirror; you may learn something.  Mother of 1, my heart goes out to you.  I can feel your pain and I have been where you are at and still after 4 years am still confused with understanding exactly where my estranged daughter is coming from. You can't make them talk if they do not want to unfortunately.  Our situation seems like it is getting better and then all of a sudden its back to no contact.  Right now I have stopped reaching out for a year per advice.  I so agree with you about having love and compassion for each other and I have finally come to where I love my daughter unconditionally regardless of how she treats me and I let her know that the door is always open when she is ready.  It is out of my control.  You are doing everything right and whatever you do, never let the behavior of others define who you are.  Love yourself and do not beat yourself up for the past. Today is today and we should stay in the present.  Living in the past causes depression and worrying about the future brings anxiety.  If only we all could live with understanding, tolerance, love and compassion of each other what a wonderful world this could be.  Even though my daughter does not want me in her life right now, I will not let her destroy my peace and joy.  I am in control of my life, not her.  My best to you and your daughter and yes, I will pray for you as I do for all of us who are suffering so from such traumatic pain.  Peace!

March 4, 2015
12:55 pm
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Mother of 1
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LH you are mistaken. But thanks for your thoughts. I prefer to engage with Dr. Coleman and my Psychiatrist. You don't have a horse in this race, so no need to engage with you further. Thanks again.

March 4, 2015
12:50 pm
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LH
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The speed with which you turned on me is unsurprising, although you had a much lower flashpoint than your earlier polite, reasonable behavior suggested.

In any case, Dr. Coleman himself has said that some of his patients start off by saying their children never told them why they were estranged, then it turns out that the parent was told and minimized or dismissed their child's concerns. There's also a section of one of his teleseminars, transcribed on pp. 22-29 here (http://library.constantcontact.....arents.pdf), that's applicable to your situation.

I'm not sure what you mean by "creating a filter" between estranged parents and estranged adult children.

  1. You came into our side of the forum to give us advice.
  2. I pointed out that the advice wasn't helpful because most of us have indeed told our parents, and our parents dismissed or minimized our concerns.
  3. You told your story, in which by your own account, your daughter told you why she was cutting you off, and you dismissed or minimized her concerns and then turned around and said she never told you why she was cutting you off.

You're angry because you hoped we would tell you your advice was wise and console you for the loss of your daughter, possibly even validate your own view of the estrangement. Instead I used your own words to show you that parents like you are why your advice doesn't work. In short, you came into OUR forum to lecture us, and don't like that it backfired.

So. You wanted specific advice?

Print out this thread and take it to your psychologist.

Read the Dr. Coleman webinar transcript I linked to.

When you feel the urge to about-face on a dime, remember that people are reluctant to take advice from people who can't hold it together. Especially when what makes them lose it is a suggestion that they take their own advice.

March 4, 2015
11:48 am
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Mother of 1
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Dear LH:

By googling "Dr Coleman" and "LH" I see that you are not connected to Dr Coleman and that in the past Dr. Coleman has written you acknowledging your desire to help others, but telling you on at least one occasion: 

"Dr. Coleman here. LH please don't use the forum in this way. You don't know this grieving parent and should not be lecturing her. She came here for support. If you'd like to offer support, please do. If not, please don't post. - See more at: http://www.drjoshuacoleman.com.....met/#.dpuf"

With that said, seems that I'm on the right track listening to Doctor Coleman, and my psychiatrist. I appreciate your efforts to help but it seems you have a history on this website of telling parents that they were abusive (when you don't know that for a fact) or telling the parents that their kids told them why they needed or wanted estrangement (when in some cases they did not, and you don't know the facts.)

Maybe you are projecting your experience on others when they come here for support. 

Thanks for your effort to be supportive, but I think I would prefer to follow the advice of Dr. Coleman and my psychiatrist. I hope others will do the same. 

Most Respectfully, 

Mother of 1

March 4, 2015
11:19 am
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Mother of 1
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LH said

Mother of 1 said
If you do decide to become estranged from your parents, please, please explain why. And if you can, put it in writing. Try to be diplomatic. Remember they are people too and have feelings too. But the kindest and most compassionate thing you can do is to explain why you are doing what you are doing. They may not agree, but at least it will give them a place to start if they really want to do what they can to correct any past errors, make reparations for past failings, and try to make amends.

One thing I noticed about your last few replies is that you gave at least five reasons your daughter told you she had problems with you. You didn't agree with them--she misunderstood you, or your intentions were different than she thought, or it was in the past and you couldn't do anything about it--but she did give you a place to start. With the help of your highly renowned psychiatrist, do you think you might be able to take the wise advice you gave above and use what she told you to make that start?

Frankly, LH, I have already followed my own advice. 

Given the limited explanations I received from my daughter, I have done exactly what Dr. Coleman recommends:

1) I wrote what Dr. Coleman refers to as an "Make Amends Letter," acknowledging my daughter has reasons why she feels it necessary to become estranged, acknowledging that given her views I must not have provided her the kind of parenting she needed even if I was trying to give her what I thought she needed. I let her know I love her, and that my door is always open when she is ready.

2) I have begun therapy with a well trained psychiatrist to examine myself and work on how to move forward.

3) I'm taking webinars with Dr. Coleman to learn more practical solutions to deal with my daughter in the future, and to better understand what may have gone wrong to lead us to this estrangement. 

So what else do you suggest I do, LH. Please be specific in you recommendations.

Also, LH,  please tell me, do you work for Dr. Coleman? Are you a trained psychiatrist, a psychologist experienced in family practice and estrangement issues, a social worker, or are you just a private individual who likes to provide your own advice on estrangement issues?

You seem to be interested in creating a filter on this web sight for thoughts expressed by parents and children, so I'm wondering if you are more than a self-appointed interpreter of the statements of others? Do you have personal experience with these issues that you would be willing to share with us? Where are you coming from?

i am most interested in understanding your personal reason for engaging others here. I've explained my reason for writing. How about you?

March 4, 2015
6:59 am
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LH
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Mother of 1 said
If you do decide to become estranged from your parents, please, please explain why. And if you can, put it in writing. Try to be diplomatic. Remember they are people too and have feelings too. But the kindest and most compassionate thing you can do is to explain why you are doing what you are doing. They may not agree, but at least it will give them a place to start if they really want to do what they can to correct any past errors, make reparations for past failings, and try to make amends.

One thing I noticed about your last few replies is that you gave at least five reasons your daughter told you she had problems with you. You didn't agree with them--she misunderstood you, or your intentions were different than she thought, or it was in the past and you couldn't do anything about it--but she did give you a place to start. With the help of your highly renowned psychiatrist, do you think you might be able to take the wise advice you gave above and use what she told you to make that start?

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