I have been thinking about you, MO1 and am very happy that everything seems to be moving in the right direction for you. You are so correct. It is important that we minimize ourselves and make it more about them and let them take the lead. The time will come when they will be asking about you. That is what worked for me with my daughter. In fact, last week she called me everyday about a new position she is interviewing for just to talk things over. We have a better relationship today than in the past. It really comes down to when they are ready. It can not be rushed. We just need to love them unconditionally and have compassion and forgiveness. Take care and keep us posted. Peace!
I am a parent of an estranged daughter. I can't speak for all situations, only for mine. What seems to help in my situation is that I started working with a local psychiatrist getting therapy about what might have caused our estrangement, and at the same time I found this website and started following the advice of Dr. Coleman. He's very wise and seems to be able to offer excellent advice.
i wrote my daughter a short text message under the title of "Making Amends," and told my daughter that I was writing to make amends for not providing her the mother daughter relationship she needed. I didn't identify specifically how I failed her, but left that open. I did not try to excuse or defend my actions. I just admitted I didn't give her what she needed. I told her that I was working with a psychiatrist to focus on my own issues, and with a psychologist who specializes in estrangement issues (I.e., Dr. Coleman). I said I'd like to try again if she is willing to forgive me.
My daughter thanked me for reaching out. We exchanged a few good words (nothing too substantive), and that was it.
Every weekend end thereafter I dropped a line by text. Told her I was thinking of her, commended her for things I knew she was doing n her own life (e.g., told her she should be proud that she would be graduating law school soon), and mentioned a book I was reading. We talked about the weather, the fact she is running regularly, stuff like that. Nothing controversial. I waited and let her bring up the grandson. At one point when we were talking about her getting a latte and studying, she suggested that after exams we get together. I said we should wait til she is ready, and she said after exams would be a good time. I told her I'd like to hear more about one of her classes. Just this week she sent me a picture of my grandson.
Bottom line: I think it helped tremendously that she knows that I'm working with Dr Coleman, that I'm trying to give her what she needs (not what I need), and that I am not pushing her, but I am letting her know I am here when she is ready.
Thanks Dr Coleman for all of your excellent advice, for the support of the good people on this website, and for your great assistance in helping me reopen the door.
Mother of one
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