i have read many articles and posts on estrangement from a child. Yours is probably the best, so well expressed. Thank you.
I have been wrestling with my recent decision to just ‘let go’ and let things play out as they must. I’m weary of feeling guilty, right or wrong. So your post has allowed me to feel more secure that I’m doing the right thing for everyone concerned.
Thank you and peace to us all.
I only wish I had come across this site 8 years ago when it all began. It is a very long story, but my daughter (now 44) has been married and divorced 3 times. One beautiful son from her first marriage and 2 beautiful daughters with her third husband. Her marriages always ended with her finding someone else. We made the mistake of buying a 2 family home and sharing it with her last husband (we adore him) and the 3 children. I really thought she had finally found the right guy and this would be it. My "retirement plan" was to have our own smaller side of the home and they had the larger side. I have always been very generous to my children and now my grandchildren and enjoy it. The problem came when she found someone else in another state and had her husband move out. This new guy was absolutely nothing like her husband, a total loser and user. He didn't have a car so she would drive the kids 8 hours each way to pick him up and bring him back to the house. Her car was no trustworthy at all and I worried like crazy each time she did this. She focused all her attention on this guy and when they weren't together they were texting or talking on the phone. The kids took back seat to all this. The girls were 5 and 7 and my grandson was 12. She was no longer able to pay her part of the mortgage and expenses because she didn't have a job and we ended up picking it all up. At this same time I lost my job and had to take another one that paid $7 an hour less. I was 60 and cashed in all my retirement, at a loss, to pay down the mortgage so we could afford it. My husband was retired and was completely remodeling our side of the house at the time. This boyfriend nailed all the windows closed on her side and bolted all the doors that prevented us from getting to that side. We even lost access to the attic where all our important papers were. My husband had to climb a 20' ladder to the third floor and shimmy the attic window open each time we needed something. She was on the deed and realized that we had not thought hard enough about "what if she separates again and finds a creep that we don't want to live with!". She would not get off the deed and it cost us another $30,000 in legal fees to do that and also appear in court multiple times trying to get restraining orders against her boyfriend and this other witch she moved in. As you can imagine, we were frustrated, angry and really frightened about what would happen if we couldn't keep up with the payments. Many words were spoken that are now regretted, the many times in court became ugly and sinister, and after 2 years of that she moved to another state with her boyfriend because the judge determined she needed to come off the deed. The kids' dads ended up with custody of the kids and there she went, 8 hours away. She completely hates us and feels we stole the house from her. We were the ones who did all the down payments from the sale of our previous house. We have always loved our daughter deeply and still do. She has had 2 more kids with her boyfriend, which we are not allowed to do anything for. I tried buying them a bunch of beautiful clothing for Christmas but she wouldn't accept them. I've reached out to her by email letting her know I love her no matter what and I am sorry for my part in all this. No answer from her and I've been blocked from her Facebook page. I pray every night that God will heal our family and I believe He will, but the waiting is still painful. My hat is off to all of you who are sharing this same grief.
Thank you so much for your post. It really it home. I was the oldest of three. My father was estranged from his parents at one point, for ten years. One of my brothers moved out of our parents house as soon as he graduated from high school. My father told me years later that this brother had changed his last name, and I had heard at one point he was homeless. This brother never spoke to my parents (or me) ever again. The youngest brother joined the Navy to get out of the house, married an Australian woman, moved to Australia, had two children, and got divorced. He is estranged from his children and didn’t speak our parents for the last two years of their life.
I have been estranged from oldest daughter for four years now so haven’t seen my two grandsons in that time. I had to go back to work when she was a baby and was solely responsible for her care at that time. Women were just starting to go to work at that time and the mindset was we could do it all. Years later, when her sister arrived, I was able to stay home. I also learned to expect more help from husband. The oldest has always been jealous of her your younger sister and has treated us like we can never do enough for her. We had tried therapy for years. My husband hasn’t understood why she and I don’t get along although I think he is starting to realize. My oldest and youngest haven’t spoken in years. I know I have made a lot of mistakes and could have done better. At the same time, I wonder how much is genetic.
Wow. Powerful post for me. So happy I ran across this forum and your words. I am overwhelmed with recent events and working to heal my heart right now. Please know that your words struck a chord with me. Thank you for giving me a slightly different perspective that I hadn't yet considered.
Thank you so much for your post.
I've been struggling for years with estrangement and found this site. Your post was very helpful and appreciated!
I was in therapy for years but it's been awhile and now my 31 year old son has mentally abused me to the point where I had to cut him off (4 1/2 years ago) for my own sanity...I am the scapegoat and his father (my ex...) is the hero though he was mentally abusive to me before the divorce. He also thinks he is white though he's half Asian (my side)....
Even 10 years of therapy doesn't prepare you for this.
I gave my life for him...he was 3 pounds 10 Oz and I almost died in the hospital weeks prenatal. I think my biggest mistake was I spoiled him with too much love...though I definitely was not a 'Smother.'
My therapist thought I was the best mom. I would discuss (& validate) my son's feelings with him whenever he needed but not force...was extremely respectful...apologize way too much (as my parents never apologized to us kids.)
Anyhow, my parents who were also very disrespected by him helped and supported me to break the cycle finally after 20 years of abuse. They encouraged me to disconnect and protect myself.
I blame myself for the disconnection but I know I had to stop his abuse and disrespect despite the pain. It had to stop.
Now he is depriving me of seeing my one year old grandchild but I need to make peace with that as I cannot tolerate his behavior until he decides to treat me with respect and love instead of contempt. I'm fairly sure he blames me more for the divorce.
Thanks for reading.
Felt alone until sporadically reading online websites/blogs/forums the last few years.
Christ and His word is my lifeline as is my parents and my beloved husband of 13 years.
- This was beautiful. Thank you it definitely helped me to read this tonight. I've been dealing with my twin estranged sons for 10 years. It is so heartbreaking & gets very lonely. They were products of divorce poison by my X & he did a permanent job on them. It's hard to believe that he could wipe out 18 years of them loving me by using manipulation and money.
I have been estranged now for 7 years. I have had the full breakdown, the trips to therapy, listening to every CD possible on human growth, mindfulness, kindness, been on Estrangement Forums, "warning" there is one estrangement forum, that actually estranged me at the worst time it possibly could have as "one" individual believed I wrote similar to another member they once had. That was both insane, cruel, and mind bending.
The one "good/bad" venture estrangement will do for you is if you will allow yourself force you to look, at who you were as a child, what happened to you, how loved were you, were you mothered and then go beyond your own birth and navigate through the relationships of aunts and cousins, uncles, your parents and their parents what were the relationships, and most likely this hidden silent epidemic you are believing is a recent breakdown in millenniums is truly the ongoing genetics of many families. In your children you will find those members of your family, who years ago were the black sheep, the scapegoat, and you will find the bullies and the perpetrators, and you will find your own childhood and what was lacking. It's a journey that is not for the person with a light heart, you need strength, courage, and time to work out all of what you will find in your past.
In calling this a good/bad venture ~ it will hurt you to the core, it will open old wounds that have never been dealt with and the people are gone, and those wounds even if they belonged to someone else, affected you, yet you can recognize them, acknowledge, and store the information flow as it builds to where you are in your estrangement. For those parents who will never reconnect I truly believe after doing this journey, it is to be one of the most valuable journeys one can make. Eventually you will find, the reasons (real) for your estrangement, and be able to figure out if you can stop it or not, if you can heal the family, or if you have to accept the fate of what it is.
When other family members who were products of the same background are involved in your estrangement, in which you were the scapegoat, they will continue with your children to make you the scapegoat and it does not end. When oral history is perceived and told by people of another person, who they don't even know, the scales will never be even.
When realization of where you are, it helps in making your decisions and reclaim your life and know that living forward is more important than living backwards.
There is nothing that will ever give closure, and is often why estranged parents in many ways feel a child lost to illness or accident at least has closure, as with estrangement there is never closure. Hard words to write, thought by many, written by few. It is impossible to close that chapter of life, especially for the mother who carried the children and bore them into this world, and in many cases became the sole parent. However, you can accept it, put it into perspective and live forward. What is important is realizing how it happened, what contributed to it, take responsibility for what you could have done differently, but forgive yourself, as there is no book to guide you through the course you have traveled.
Move forward, shift your thoughts to what you can do for you, realize life is short, become the best at what you want to be, be proud of who you are, never feel like a failure as estrangement is not a failure of parenting it is a psychological trauma that many people suffer for different reasons, there is no one reason and no one cure.
It may well be better looked at as the Skeletons in the Closet Cancer that has existed for centuries, hidden secrets, and genetics that come into play.
I do realize this is a different view, but it may well open the hearts and minds of those who are suffering to look beyond self, and to dig deep, and to know you did the best you could with what you had and what you knew at the time. If you did not purposefully physically, mentally, and emotionally abuse your child, the reasons of estrangement are beyond your control. One day they may see through the curtain of life that has been drawn and see the power that lies in the perpetrators, as keeping distance from them all, means they eventually have to find a new black sheep, and scapegoat and it may be the child that estranged themselves from you. Then it is time for homecoming, as you have never stopped loving your child, you have just learned how to live forward without them.
Written with love from a very long journey of life, where happiness now resides and believing one day the curtain of life will be drawn open again.
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