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From The Perspective Of The Child

Children are emotionally bonded to their parents. For the estrangement to have happened, something must have gone very very wrong.

In my case, I was subject to horrific abuse by my father. I still remember, on Sunday afternoons, he would kick his shoe hard at us until we become bruised and make a sport of it. Eating out at restaurants, would more often than not result in hard smacks and public humiliation for such perceived offenses as leaving crumbs on the table. Sexual taunts were rampant and largely repressed, even now.

Through it all, my mother stood by passively. The extent of her help was perhaps bargaining down the number of punches dished out by my father.

Now that I have my own family, and my father is deceased, my mother acts like everything is normal. I could never imagine doing the things to my children as what were done to me. My mother is incapable of dealing with what happened, much less take some responsibility and heal.

Should there be any suprise that there is estrangement? How can things ever be normal between us? Even if she felt powerless then, surely we deserve an apology. One must be prepared to look into the abyss if they want to heal.
Cantrelax Cantrelax 31-35 3 Responses Feb 20, 2013

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Sadly, sometimes parents can't own up to the hurt they cause. It may be pride, probably pride. Or denial. The only think you can do as a now adult is to forgive her for yourself. She may never be able to see how her passiveness has caused you pain, and there is probably nothing you can ever say to get her to realize it. She is blind. Leave it at that. Forgive her, and move on with your life.

Dear Cantrelax, I am so sorry you went through this. I can understand how you must feel. When I was 19, my father beat me up (my parents were going through a divorce) and my mother and brother stood by and did nothing to help me. My father spanked me a lot growing up and my mother was the more passive one. I eventually forgave my father. He passed away when I was 31 and I am now 53. I was angry at my mom too because she did not help me. However, I won't go into detail (you can see the story I posted) I am estranged from my only daughter who is almost 20. I hope you can work things out with your mother somehow. I have done everything I can do to mend things with my daughter and she won't have anything to do with me. Has your mother ever apologized to you about all of this? Has she acknowledged your feelings and hurt? I encourage you to try and work it out somehow. I have begged my daughter to try and work things out with me but she won't speak to me at all. I never laid a hand on her. I will pray for you and hope your situation changes. There is still hope. She is the only mom you have. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Deedee501