An Article You May Like...


My name is Becca Bland and I am estranged from my parents, and all but one member of my family (my mother's cousin). Some time ago I thought that it were best if we discussed estrangement more in society - I felt like I had done something wrong because of how my family were behaving. When I told people they looked so uncomfortable with me.

Anyway, I am a journalist and an author, so I decided to write this for The Guardian. I would very much welcome your thoughts on if you feel an organisation would be helpful...



beccabland beccabland
3 Responses Jan 9, 2013

I just read your article.

When people ask me, don't you miss your family, I do tell them, and I have to say it makes me feel like someone who has broken every moral rule. I know people do not mean it but they do judge you and I can see by the look on their faces as if to say 'you must have done something really bad for your parents to treat you that way' and the ' you only have one mum and dad' line.
Anyway instead of telling my whole life story I did just want to say thank you. Thank you for writing this article maybe one day people will find it in their hearts that not everyone has a normal family some of us, unfortunately, are plonked with disfunctional families and the only way to stay sane and survive is to walk away!

My daughter has been estranged from me and her father and the rest of the family for years now. I am reading when Parents Hurt and need I site to this way of life from your side. I have tried to talk to her even in public but she wants nothing to do with us. This happened after she got married. I am keeping the door opened hoping someday things might change.

Hello Becca! It was such a surprise to read this. I am estranged from my parents and have been for a number of years now. It has been very tough, and I agree with all the points you raised in the article. The student finance stuff really struck a chord. The amount of hassle I've had to go through year after year to try and get independant living status is appalling. First I was asked for a signed statement at an oath commissioners/solicitors, so I got that. Generally- as one can expect- my recorded letter got lost at the office. Luckily I took a copy! Sent it in again...they said it wasn't good enough and I needed a professional (teacher, doctor) who had known me for a number of years and who could vouch I was not in contact with my parents to write me a letter and send it personally from their email address. Luckily for me I was still in touch with a teacher from school who I had gone to during my time there about my family problems. Not everyone would be so lucky! Each year I've had to provide it, and this year they did not accept her letter because she had written the word 'friend' in it, to say she had taught me and kept in touch as a friend since school. The exact same letter that was accepted the previous 2 years. I was in tears over the phone and the telephonist was far from sensitive or helpful. The money does not nearly cover all of my living costs either. Generally, it is not a pleasant experience to have to go through when you have a great lack of time, money and emotional stability anyway.

Also, there really does need to be an organisation, or a website, or at least something dedicated to estrangement from families! Now that I have learned there are others like me (I know that sounds silly- to think I was the only one) I am appalled that there is nothing out there. That is exactly the problem...I have always felt so alone and have never known anyone in a remotely similar position to myself. It has exacerbated the situation ten-fold. EP has been a blessing and I am genuinely shocked to have now stumbled across people similar to me so late in my search which has been going on for years!

The article was refreshing and well written and I applaud you for writing it. I hope the feedback has been somewhat helpful to you. You seem very strong and have a very respectable and worthwhile profession, so I was really glad when I started to read your entry. After reading the article I would like to hear more about you and why you are estranged and would love to chat/message!