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Estranged Adult Child

I am the mother of an estranged adult child who I have not seen in three years.  I am hoping to reach out to other parents are experiencing this painful experience to share and to support one another.

atshemi atshemi 56-60 96 Responses Mar 19, 2009

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Is there a group/Association for parent of Estrange Children online or in the San Francisco Bay Area someone can recommend.

My husband s estranged son is in hospice with only days left! He will not speak or acknowledge his father ! We found out Zbout his son illness by someone's post online! He is estranged from his son and daughter both who are in their 50's. These adult children refused to acknowledge their father since he stopped bailing them out from poor choices they have made over the years. The most recent when his son was arrested for the fifth time and his father refused to bail him out! My husband loved his kids. He always took care of them and they have always been takers! this is so sad.

I experience this estrangement and it really is harder with the holidays; yet it is just plain the pits all the time. My youngest son begged us to move down here and save his marriage. I knew his wife was pretty volatile. They had the two girls at the time and both my husband and I decided to put our home up for sale to enjoy the girls. To be close to them and be a part of their lives. We did ask his wife how she felt about us moving to their city. Oh yes, please do!! We lost our butts on the sale of the home, buying one where we live and all the stress involved. To make the story shorter, I was abused often by her accusations and where they came from was out of the air. I hadn't been with her that much, yet she wanted to make a stew and keep the girls from us. Then they had another baby and I wasn't able to hold her, as she would purposely take the newest to others and pass me by, even when I would practically beg. Well, it has been over a year and I haven't seen them. We lost our oldest daughter in Jan. of this year and both ignored me and the children weren't to look at us.
Our younger daughter was at the funeral and began this same treatment of us. We were ignored and her children that lived with she and her husband ignored us. I died over and over during that time and have tried to let it go and go on. I am volunteering to read with a little boy at a school. Putting myself in other areas that may help, but this is the most hurtful shunning I can not imagine happening to people. I wouldn't wish it on them, let alone any enemy. The cruelty should shake me off of the ordeal to make amends again, as I have. It always goes back to the estrangement. I don't have to say anything, do anything, just to live is enough for them to be so cruel. We did our best as parents and provided help when they needed it. Money was given, cars bought,, etc. We never expected anything back, just loving them and having them in our lives was enough.
I am so very sorry for all you are feeling and dealing with. Share as much as you can, because I am here for you, as many are too. djc64

I too am estranged from my 33 yr old son which is sooo hurtful so I know your pain. He is now having a baby in January. I have not been a part of the pregnancy. He also threw a baby shower for his wife so I guess I won't be a part of the baby's life which is so cruel. The holidays are coming and I won't go to any family party that he and his wife attend because I can't bear the pain. It is difficult to continue with this situation and pity you and anyone else who is going through this. Please reply with authenticity, support, and respect

We are trying to respect each other within this support group and I truly do understand the pain of the holidays coming. I don't know how to put two and two together anymore. My mind wanders and my thoughts go to the negative, which is hard to stop. We have heard of "Release Control" and there is where I am stuck. I still want to control what I can't. The Serenity Prayer always came in for these rough times, but so many memories are crowding in. God help us!! I respect and support you very much.

I am so sorry for you and your situation. I too have an estranged adult child who I see periodically because he chooses to show up for events pertaining to his sister. Seeing him is so upsetting for me because he never acknowledges I am in the room or that I am his Mother which is very painful and heartbreaking. I pity you because not seeing him for three years must be hard but I really don't know what that is like. It is a very tough situation because the adult child has all the control and chooses not to talk to us and act like we don't exist which is so cruel and hurtful. Everyday I wake up with the pain of not having him in my life and don't know how I can go on and continue with him out of my life. I constantly pray to ask God to help me carry my cross and to give me strength because no mother should have to do through this. There aren't any words to describe how we feel. It is just a pain that never goes away. We have to try to live our lives though as difficult as that is. Do you know why he is out of your life?

Since my adult son chose to estrange himself from us nearly three years ago, I've searched for support and solace from a number of sites and could not find a story as close to my own as yours. The way in which you have described your situation and response is the way I live each day; thinking about him upon waking and before sleep, hoping he is in good physical health and hoping that one day I will be pleasantly surprised by some form of contact. I should say here that the estrangement began shortly after he had made a decision to return home to our city after living abroad for many years. We do not know what was packed in the emotional baggage he brought back and I doubt we ever will as he is a very private individual and once a choice is made to 'turn the page' on a situation or person, there is no going back. I have apologized for whatever I might have done to incur his decision, but can do no more.
He refuses to answer phone calls, email or texts, though he is in contact with his older brother. My husband and I do not know what caused this decision on our son's part as we do not present the usual divorce, mental/physical abuse, drug, alcohol scenarios. On the contrary, we are blessed with a very long term marriage, our other son and daughter-in-law whom we love dearly and moderate professional success. We are not wealthy, but appreciate what we do have and have always shown our sons all the love and care of which we are capable as we worked to bring out the best in each of them. They are both professionally successful, creative and interesting young men. My husband and I have gone for counseling, but were told that the problem is not ours to treat; that our son must come forward to own his behavior towards us. Of course, this has not happened, despite a letter we were advised to write by the psychologist and which received no response. Like you, our estranged son shows up at family gatherings, but only if his brother arranges it. And like you, he is friendly and charming to everyone there but my husband and I whom he does not engage in conversation at all. Ironically, when he lived abroad, contact was regular; now that he lives within a few miles of us, he will not respond to our invitations for meals or holiday gatherings unless his brother acts as go-between. Needless to say, this is getting tiresome for everyone and I try not to quiz my older son for news of his brother. I have told my son and daughter-in-law that I trust them to share anything important as they see fit. The last thing we want is to estrange both of our sons. One final comment; I've come to believe that this situation will carry on for the long term and that some health issues that I've developed are due to the stress it has caused. Sorry to tear off your ear, here, but I wish you a good resolution to your situation and welcome anything else you'd like to share here. Thanks.

I just made the decision to cut off my father, I've cut off his abusive (mentally and physically) wife (step-mother) for years now.. considering cutting out the rest of both of their families, everyone except my brother.Don't need the chaotic religious bullshit. For some reason, they are extremely good at complicating my life and always seem to have an ulterior motive.

P.S. - From what I've learned in life, if you believe in God, you are mentally unstable, believe in things that don't exist and have a broken epistemology that is like a repellant to people who want wholesome fulfilling lives.

God doesn't exist, the sooner you realize that, maybe the sooner your kids will come back.

I'm sorry you feel that way. It probably was a good idea for you to cut yourself off from you father and his wife if you feel they have been abusive to you. You need to have peace and find a way to heal. Have you thought about some counseling? My ex-husband was abusive to me and counseling did help after I removed myself from him. I wish you well. Please reply with authenticity, support, and respect

Thank you for your kinds words. I think about what having a loving caring family would be like everyday, sort of depresses me, being a young man still trying to find his way, I don't show it, but the pain is still there.

I've managed to land myself an incredibly high paying job I am excelling at that is stable and provides more for me than I could ever ask for out of a job with an outstanding positive boss and great coworkers.. this makes me happy, sort of a way that I proved to myself I was worth something.. whereas when I was younger, my parents reinforced notions that I was weird, and talked too much, wouldn't sit still, had a loud mouth and wasn't going to amount to anything in life because I wanted to have fun and would end up in jail.. Stupid *** parents.

Life has treated me well since I left my parents but there are still holes in certain aspects of my life, maybe I can attribute the odd feelings of emptiness to maturity, but I think it's more than that. My step mother was evil, extremely mean, mentally abusive like no other.. Used her belief in God as justification for my punishments, left me with a childhood I wouldn't wish on anyone, I've found that over time my experiences with the woman have made it difficult for me to establish relationships with women in general, which as a man, sucks.

Don't get me wrong, I am very introspective and reflective so I try to fix these shortcomings by asking questions and trying new things to enlighten my perspective.. but there's still that looming feeling of dread whenever my Dad wants to talk to me, and it always reminds me of how great things could've been if my parents hadn't fallen of the wagon.

When I read most of the responses from parents and other adults, I can't help but wonder if these people writing here are as crazy as my parents, because if they are, I completely understand why their children has abandoned them.

Being a parent myself I must say sometimes we make mistakes. No one gave us a handbook how to be a parent. I just did what I thought was the right thing and perhaps that wasn't always good for my child. Sometimes parents repeat their upbringing because that is all they know. I can admit I made mistakes and have asked for forgiveness but my son won't let go of the anger. I have decided to leave him alone and hopefully both of us could find some kind of peace in our lives. No one wins in these situations. The child is in pain and so is the parent. Sometimes the situation seems to be so big and overwhelming that both parties just give up which is a shame. I've tried to fight for my child but he wants no part of me. I have to move on. It sounds as though you are moving in the right direction with your life even though it hurts. No one should put up with abuse from anyone. Please reply with authenticity, support, and respect.

My son at 19 years old and he will be 22 in October, said he needed to disappear for a few years. He said I love you mom but I need to do this. He said he would show up sone day on my doorstep.
Every Christmas and his birthday wich is October 11, 1991 is very hard. :(

I'm a Mom too of a 33 yr old son who wasn't so nice about leaving. I know the situation is painful and sympathize with you as it is a horrible feeling not to have your child in your life for any reason. Since he was 19 when he left, maybe he needed to sort things out in his life. At least he left on good terms. I guess I would just pray for him to resolve the issues he has so he can come home. 19 is a difficult age for teens. I wish you well. Please reply with authenticity, support, and respect

I'm sorry for your estrangement and know it must have been hard on your son's birthday this year. I suffer that myself every year on my son's birthday. I always acknowledge his birthday some way but I get no response. Next year I will stop the birthday wishes and give him what he wants. The holidays are coming too which will be hard. He is also having a baby the beginning of January which I am not a part of. I'm sorry for all the parents going through this because I know how it feels.Please reply with authenticity, support, and respect

I am new to this... My son who has lived with me for 19 years has suddenly decided to live with his deadbeat dad who has done nothing for him and his brother. It all started about 5 months ago when his dad was supposed to pick him from school and couldn't because he didn't have gas in his car. I may have gone a little over board with my anger but it is what it is. I have since apologized number of times. So it all started from there - he went to spend the night and then the weekend and then the week and 3 weeks later he calls me saying he was at the house wanting to get the rest of his stuff with no forewarning to his intentions or anything. I told him I was busy and he would have to come back later. When I got home I let him know that I was home. I felt it coming and I pulled all his stuff that he had bought with his money together and put them in a duffle bag. When he came back with my ex in the car I did not allow him to go in. I was outside I popped my trunk and handed him his stuff. He went thru it and said he had stuff missing so I told him I would look and set it aside and he could come back later. He was upset and refused to leave - my neighbor saw my distraught and called the police on them because they would not leave. <br />
Police came but of course they could not make me let him in so they had to leave - and it was all down hill from there. He has refused to communicate with me. I had minor surgery and prior to the incident we had agreed that he would drive me back home. He did not show up nor called to let me know that he would not be driving me. My inexperience younger son who now refuses to talk to him or my ex. <br />
He also moved with his dad because his dad lets him drive his car around and he had already totaled my car so I was very hesitant in letting him drive.<br />
I hate this situation I am in. In reading the below post from 'iknowhatyoumean' I am understanding a little. Because I have tried to force him to talk to me by showing up at his job and he has never disrespected me but he does ignore me which still ends up making me feel like crap.<br />
This past weekend was his birthday and the last time he will ignore me because I am not going to put myself in that situation anymore. He knows how to find me if he needs me. <br />
There are so many things that I could go on and on...<br />
I recently starting praying again because I had sort of lost my faith (I'm catholic) so I started again.<br />
Any advice and is welcomed. This is very hard for me. I had giving my all to both of my boys for 19 years and I am so hurt and devastated.

This is becoming a growing phenomenon. Presently one out of three children are doing this to their parents, and this means there are now a vast amount of parents who are living in agony. It's worse than if the child had died because there is no closure whatsoever. You're not able to bury your child with love, mourn them with love. Your child is giving you the silent treatment and is acting as if you no longer exist, as if you are beneath them, not good enough to even work on having a relationship with. Because this has been so devastating to me, I have done some extensive studying regarding this and learned that it is the worst form of abuse that a someone can do to another person. I also learned that when a parent is constantly trying to beg to have a relationship with a child like this, the non=responsive child gets a thrill out of it, and the behavior continues. If you aren't allowed to have a relationship with your child or your grandchild, if you don't know if your grandchildren are getting their cards, money, and presents because you can't talk to them, and aren't receiving any thank-you cards from them, you need to disconnect. By no longer responding to the cruelty, by not constantly begging for attention and by just ignoring it and going on with your life, your child will then have to decide if they want to come to you to re-establish the relationship. If and when they do, you then tell them that you do not deserve to be treated like that and if they decide to treat you like that again you won't be chasing after them as before. You will always love them, and you will always be there for them when they decide to have an adult relationship with you, but you won't tolerate being abused. Parents of estranged children are being treated as if they don't deserve to be in the lives of that child and their family, and those parents need to not pander to their children's terrible behavior EVER! If the parents did do something wrong, apologize for it, but you don't need to have to whip yourself over and over again for it. You should be forgiven if you have asked for forgiveness. If that child isn't willing to forgive, then it's no longer your problem - it's their problem. You don't need to continue to grovel for their love and approval, and you don't need to be their whipping boy/girl any longer.

I've learned all of this the hard way. I almost died. The ambulance took me to the hospital and the doctors said I was within 24 hours of dying because my calcium levels had dropped so low as to no longer sustain life. After a week's stay at the hospital, and 4 days stay under a nurse's care after the hospital, the kids still didn't care. My friends and had called my children to notify them, and they were met with a wall of coldness and uncaring that stunned them. My mother was actually afraid to contact my children because they've been ignoring her, just like me! My doctors actually told my friends that my children's nonsupport and coldness during my crisis was actually making me worse! Having your children treat you this way, I've learned, can make you ill enough to kill you. I've met people who have had heart attacks from having their kids treat them this way, and others who have been thrown into such deep depression that they wanted to die. Been there, done that!

All of what I've read here resonates in many ways, especially in the ways that parents' hearts are broken. There are so many different excuses for children to become estranged, but it often boils down that the child doesn't have the maturity to want to establish an adult relationship with their parent, and haven't realized that families aren't supposed to break up, but remain supportive of each other. Parents may divorce, we may have differences, but we are still flesh and blood. Parents still love their children, and the children - knowing that, shouldn't try to throw that back in the parents' faces in order to hurt them.

Sadly, my own brother has children who are doing the same thing to him. It breaks my heart!

I know I don't actually belong here since I'm not a parent of an estranged child, but I am an estranged child looking for advice for how to reestablish contact, and you might be the ones to talk to.

My father has sexually abused my mother for many years, and she's always relied on me to be her friend and confidante about this, starting when I was in fourth grade. When I became an adult, due to the ideas I had imbibed about how relationships were supposed to work, I ended up in a string of sexually abusive relationships myself. Finally, two years ago, I built up the self-respect and strength to rid myself of the last of these men. But somehow, and I don't even fully understand why this happened, I found I couldn't contact my parents any more. My heart felt like it was burning and being squeezed through my throat when I tried to call or write an email. I have no desire to contact my father. He abused or is abusing my mother, he enjoyed hurting our pets when I was growing up, and he's an unrepentant alcoholic. And while I can intellectually understand the circumstances that made him the way he is, I do not want people like him in my life any more. It's only now, after two years of no contact, that I no longer wake up terrified at night or get irrationally angry if someone touches my skin. Not contacting him is the right choice for me.

But my mother. I don't think I can be the emotional support she's always wanted me to be, any more. I don't know if I have that strength in me. What I want is to be able to say hi, how are you, just be in touch without having to relive the fear and disgust and shame that pervades that household. Fear and disgust and shame that my mother still has to put up with--and it feels wrong, selfish of me not to want to provide her at least with the outlet to vent about him--but I just don't. I want--and it's like chasing a unicorn, this kind of stuff just doesn't exist--I want to be able to have a normal mother-daughter relationship with her, where it feels like she cares about me and we talk about things. Even if it's selfish of me to recontact her wanting a less turbulent relationship, how do I go about doing that?

I couldn't wait to leave home, for the very same reason that you describe here! Wow! My mom married my stepdad when I was 5 and knew that he was extremely abusive to me. I told her that he was sexually abusing me as well, but she chose him over me. This caused a terrible rift in the relationship with my mother, and my stepdad would actually do everything he could to keep me from talking to her on the phone. When I had kids, she was only allowed to come visit me one time without him. I didn't want him in my house, around my children as he was a *********.

During the years when my children were growing up, I had my children send their grandma cards to celebrate all holidays, as well as presents. Grandma refused to accept anything unless her husband was included. Eventually, I started including him because he asked me to forgive him for everything he'd done to me, and I was able to let everything go. I still didn't go visit them or take my children around them, and they didn't visit me. But our relationship was so much better than it had ever been as we were treating each other with respect for the first time. My mother used to rage at me, scream at me and put me down all the time until I told her that I would no longer tolerate it. I told her that when she could control herself she could call me, and I always told her, after I said that, that I loved her. I ended up being the adult in the relationship, but I found that by setting limits we were able to have a truly great thing happen.

Now we are in contact EVERY SINGLE DAY! She lives across the country from me, so I don't ever get to see her in person, but we Skype once a month, email back and forth every day, and talk on the phone several times a week. If something happens that makes me uncomfortable, I just remove myself from that for the moment, gather my emotions until I'm able to speak to her without getting mad, and then express to her how I feel. She used to not be able to handle that, but she does now!

So I advise you to find a way to have a relationship with your mom. My relationship is really great now, and even though it's at a distance I feel really good about it! GOOD LUCK!

I am a mom with an estranged 23year old daughter for the past 2 years.
I found out that my husband her stepdad was grooming her all these years for a sexual relationship. 2 years ago, I found texts from my daughter to my husbands phone. They were intimate and from that point in there was no doubt in my mind tvat they were together. I filed for divorce. She has adamantly denied the ****** but yet continues to live with him ( he is 50). When her brother and I confronted her to try and "save her", we were met with anger and hatred.
I've cried for years for her. I've emailed hundreds of times saying how much Iove her and that I did not know this was going on. I tell her I will be here for her always and will help her through the healing. I never get a response to voicemails or emails.
I've had to accept that this is what she wants right now and I can't rescue her.
Every breath I take is so painful. I have 3 other children but I am not complete or whole without one of them. The relationships between she and her siblings are strained and filled with hating me and blaming me for these accusations she claims are untrue.
We know the truth. She may make the decision to never reveal and and therefore never heal or get the therapy she deserves.
I hate that my ex has done this to her and hate that she doesn't have the courage to leave.
I pray all day and do my best to totalky put this in gods hands but it's not always easy. I wAnt to trust and believe that God will handle this and bring her back to me but at times my human ness gets in the way and I feel the hurt the betrayal the wanting to die.
I have to remind myself that God does not want us to feel this way. He wants us to hand over our unbearable pain to Him.
Like everyone else here, I never expected this future with my daughter. I gave her all I had and was the best mom I could be.
I harbor no anger towards her as I've come to know that her stepdad groomed her for the end result if taking over her mind, soul and body. Now she's too shamed to come forward although we would all support her.
Does anyone else have estrangement from sexual abuse/******?
It's the worst pain I've ever felt to know she chose him over her family that loved her and never hurt her.
I know I am powerless and until god chooses to intervene, we will continue estranged.
She has always been my whole life
I worry about her future and her keeping the secrets that destroy her soul her happiness abd her family relationships
We are all broken
She refuses to get therapy as I think at this point in time she's so brainwashed she knows no other life but the one she shares with a ********* that I entrusted her to
After years of trying and getting no response I've finally given up.being estranged from my daughter has made me mentally, physically and spiritually sick
Most days I want to die because I can't protect her or sane her from the abuse
Yes she's 23 and an adult but inside there's a child screaming in pain from the years of abuse
Why didn't she come to me or her siblings? What keeps her there? I tell her. In emails no matter what we will love her unconditionally and that my doir is always open.
Today was my 3rd Mother's Day without her and the pain is as deep as her first betrayal.
Does anyone have a similar situation ?
Thank you for all the lists and support on this site
Tonight is the first night I haven't felt so alone

The site blocks out words like ****** and molester, but I think you understand what I'm saying.

My stepdad tried to do that to me, even asked me to marry him, but I loathed him and was terrified of him. I tricked him and told him I wanted him to tell my mother what he wanted to do, as I had tried to tell her for years what he had been doing and she wouldn't believe me. So he sat down and told her that he wanted to marry me, and she BLAMED ME! You are obviously a much more mature mother than that, and I wish that I'd had a mother like you! Your daughter doesn't even realize what a blessing she has in you. You are doing right in placing this in God's hands. I totally understand your agony. After the drama of my mom feeling sorry for herself because she said that her husband didn't want her but wanted ME (Ugh, as if I'd want HIM!), I moved immediately out of the house. Our relationship was strained for years and years, and I later learned that he had told many people that I had come on TO HIM! As if a 5-year-old child would ever want to be molested! Your daughter is in a very dark place right now, but I have to commend you for being the normal one here during all of this drama. The stepdad is the sicko here. If he was doing this while she was a minor, could he prosecuted for it? He should be listed as a sex offender because as she grows up he will do it to their children or neighbors' children.

Just let your daughter know that you will always be there for her. That's all you can do right now. Forgive her for behaving this way, as she doesn't know what she's doing as is under that evil man's influence. When she gets her ability to think for herself back, I'm hoping she come back to you. Bless you!

How do you deal with this because I am going through the same thing and am not doing too well with it.

The only way I've been able to deal with it is by studying the phenomenon and realizing that it's happening to more people than I ever realized. I've met so many people who this is happening to, and listening to their stories has helped. Also, no longer trying to get my kids to talk to me, no longer sending them cards, money, and presents has helped me as well.

chattyqueen, you had a father or stepfather who abused you and your mother chose him?

If that is what you're going through, then I feel so badly. I had to learn to forgive both my mother and stepdad, who are now both elderly. This has relieved so much for me, and now I no longer have terrible feelings towards them. They have had bad feelings about what they did to me, but I tell them that I have forgiven them, and I truly have. Others in the family have been angry at them for what was done to me, but I can now truly tell them to not be angry on my account as I have been able to let it all go. It's a very freeing feeling - to no longer harbor that anger inside. The -perpetrators still feel angst about it as they come to the end of their lives, but it isn't my place to judge them. I can truly feel sorry for them and have learned to care for them and their feelings.

I believe that once I was able to let that anger and hatred go, my whole life became so much happier and I viewed things in a much more beautiful light. We can't force a parent to chose us over their spouse, but sometimes, when we grow up, we can find a way to have a relationship. It may not be perfect, but it's certainly better than the one we had when we were growing up.

I applaud you for finding a way to figure your parents and to hear you are doing much better because you forgave. My son is estranged from me and cannot figure whatever it is he is angry about even though I apologized. He is holding on to angry and I can tell it is eating him alive. He is not big on communicating so that is most of the problem. He can't even begin to express how he feels which is sad. I only wish he could be like you and learn to forgive and let it go because life is too short. I'm happy for you and continue to live in peace. Thank you for sharing your story.Please reply with authenticity, support, and respect

1 More Response

i have 2. 2 years for me.... :(

My son of 24 has shredded me for leaving his father 11/2 years ago. He is cruel and disrespectful. My daughter of 21 chooses to have no relationship with me either. I believe their father has discredited me and they believe him. I am angry and just desire to move on without feeling this pain any longer. How can I shelve this power my children seem to have over my heart.

I feel your pain I too am going thru with my two daughters and the youngest is the leader. I want to move on and turn my head the other way. I no longer want the abuse to the heart or to my mind. We as parents can get lost and sometimes we don't come back and I want to live. I did the very best I can do with what tools I had as a single mother and if it is easier to trash me, place blame , etc., instead of showings their appreciation and genuine love then I don't want them in my life anymore . Sometimes tough love needs to take take over and shield our hearts so this is where I start my healing

Deniselaboy, you are doing exactly what all of the counselors are saying that you should do in response to this kind of behavior!

Deniselaboy and Chandraflewelling, I understand your pain. Our children will always have a hold over our hearts, but the pain and agony we feel every time we reach out to them and they are nonresponsive, do not return our phone calls, do not thank us for the many gifts, loving cards and letters, gift cards, emails and texts, is just another stab of our hearts. We constantly send boxes, cards and money to our grandchildren and they are never allowed to call us on the phone, never send us a thank you card, etc., we never even know if they realize the numerous gifts are from us. Our estranged children could just keep the money and gift cards, rewrap our presents and say they're from themselves so we don't get credit for trying to have a relationship with our grandchildren, and we become total ghosts to our beloved grandchildren. We are non-existent. I've read in several psychiatric papers that one of the cruelest things a parent can do is to keep their children away from their grandparents - unless there is a known ********* involved, which then makes it a necessity. Otherwise, a grandparent enriches a child's life like no other person can do, and it is cruel to do this! It is also very cruel and inhumane for a child to give a parent the "silent treatment" and this is considered one of the cruelest forms of abuse known. It tells the parent that they aren't worthy of breathing the same air as every person on this earth, that all of their efforts to raise that child were for naught and were entirely unappreciated. Holidays come and go without hearing from these children, and when you are sending cards and gifts to them without even a phone call or a thank you, it only breaks the heart of an estranged parent even more and makes them feel as though life itself is no longer worth living.

The only way to stop the constant hurt that accompanies each and every time a parent does something for an estranged child without a response, is to quit doing things for them. Quit trying to contact them, quit sending them cards, letters, money, gift cards, boxes of presents, etc. Quit telling them how much you love them and want to have a relationship with them. They already know that. Once the barrage of attention from you ceases, they no longer have the satisfaction that comes from hurting you and they have to then take the time to look within themselves as to why you suddenly quit seeking their attention. Or they might even respect you for no longer begging after them when you receive nothing back.

You will find that you are suddenly at peace - that is what I found, and I have had other people in this situation tell me exactly the same thing. I have found an amazing amount of people who are going through the exact same thing, and the ones who quit trying to seek out the attention of their children are the ones who have found peace.

But only YOU can determine how far gone your situation is. If your child NEVER contacts you no matter how hard you try, that would be your greatest clue.

If you are a single parent (either mother or father) who were the one who was always there for your children and the other parent was NEVER there while they were growing up, be aware that if the non-supportive parent is an ugly, vindictive person with an ugly, vindictive family like in my situation, they will make sure - once your children are adults - that they are filled with lies about you. If this family has a lot of money, like in my case, they can bribe them as well. Also, the parent that was never there for that child becomes very desirable because that child was never wanted or shown attention before and now they are suddenly getting all of the attention in the world. Suddenly, the parent who has always loved them unconditionally and who sacrificed everything for them, becomes unimportant to them. The parent who was never there for them is suddenly the all-important one. I've learned that this is a common phenomenon, as these adult children are simply not thinking in an adult manner. They are thinking with their "child brain" which became emotionally stunted from the time that their non-supportive parent left their life, and they hunger for their attention putting all reason, loyalty, and love for the other parent aside.

The only way to break that or the pain that is happening to the estranged parent is to stop trying to change things. You simply can't do that while the adult child is in this state. They have to grow up emotionally and mentally. No matter how hard you try now, you won't be able to break through that brick wall that they have built to keep you out.

If one of the children has a mental health issue (bi-polar, now refusing to take her medication) and is deliberately trying to lie to break up your relationship with your other children - such as happened to me - it is very important to remember to proceed with caution with the mentally ill child. If they are chronic liars who are doing everything they can to break up the family, you will know that you can't trust them with ANYTHING, and trying to treat them like a normal person will be done at your own peril. Please tread carefully there.

You need to quit responding to their disrespect. Quit chasing after them when they ignore you. Quit sending them cards, money, and gifts when they ignore you. If their dad is alienating them from you and they choose to believe him, there is nothing you can do about it. But by constantly chasing after them, you are giving them the power. You are the parent here, and you are NEVER to be treated with disrespect. You have to teach them that, even if their father is teaching them differently. They will learn the lesson and will eventually want to talk to you about it. But you need to stop responding to their rudeness and neglect.

Your answer resonates with me the most. It was tolerating disrespect and emotional abuse that I left the marriage for and in hindsight I can now see how disrespect has been learned behaviour that my children have exhibited. I cringe with shame at their behaviour and even though I love them deeply I am also blindsided because my perception of our relationship was that my son and daughter loved me and understood why I left. It's been two years now. After reading your response I agree that acknowledging them anymore is counterproductive. Thank you.

Chandraflewelling Dear, My heart leapt when I read your response! I immediately recognized that you and I have been through the exact same thing! My (ex)husband was extremely disrespectful towards me during the marriage. He refused to teach the children to do anything for me on Mother's Day, and his excuse was that I wasn't his mother. Oddly, I was the one who did everything for his own mother on Mother's Day as he did nothing. I was the one who made sure everyone in his family was recognized for every birthday and holiday. He hated all holidays. I did everything to keep him close to his family, yet one of his many sisters accused me of "stealing our brother from our family" when I married him. He was so cold to everyone, including his kids. His own family was a huge contributor with the disrespect shown towards me as, while I was married to him, they made sure to let my children know they disliked me and they treated my kids like outcasts. After the divorce, my kids told me that they would loudly and openly say the most horrible things about me until my children started crying. After my kids grew up, they were given material possessions from this side of the family as long as they quit talking to me, and so the horror continues. While the children were at home, they were my loving children, but once they were out of the house, he and his family closed in and showered them with their wealth and hatred towards me, and my kids forgot about all of the sacrifices I had made for them, and all of the good times we'd had. They forgot about all of the abuse from their father towards me and them, and suddenly their father is "a really good guy", whereas before he was so awful that they wanted nothing to do with him. I always bought him cards and gifts for them to give their father for holidays, always remember him despite the fact that he never came to see them. It was 7 years before he even saw the house they lived in while in middle school and high school, and that's a long time to waste! He's a very rich man and could have taken the time to see them, but he chose not to. He even chose to not pay full child support for about 1-1/2 years, so I really had to struggle to make ends meet. All the while, he continued to teach the kids to disrespect me. He told them that they didn't need to do any chores around the house because he was paying child support. He told them they didn't need to do what I told them to do because he was paying child support! He thwarted my ability to parent my children - whom I had full custody of because he was ruled as an unfit parent for reasons of child abuse by the State! Yet now, because he gives my children expensive houses and lots of money, and I have spent every last penny on my kids and have NOTHING LEFT - I am no longer useful to them. He has made sure that they don't respect me at all, and they have forgotten everything he did to them and to me. I don't understand how that happened when they used to appreciate me so much. I do know that he is a sociopath, and is very clever in how he deals with people. He pretends to be such a nice guy when he's really very cruel. Refusing to co-parent with the other parent is one of the first no-nos that you are taught when you are getting a divorce! I went to that class before the divorce, but he refused to go to the class that was mandated by the court system. How is it that one parent will comply with the court system and the other person will just thumb their nose at it and will then be able to win over those kids in the end? I have court documents that show everything I am saying here is true, but my oldest daughter is now denying that any of this happened! She is slandering me in this regards in order to get closer to her father and his family, and they are rewarding her. My family has watched this with dismay, as both of my children have also become estranged from my side of the family - not just from me. Knowing that my family knows the truth, I guess they don't want to be confronted by them with the facts, but want to continue to live with lies. It must be easier to live that way. Yet people who have seen my children tell me that there is an emptiness to their eyes, an unhappiness in their faces. They are trying to portray living happy lives (they live in different states and neither of them have a relationship with each other), but people tell me that they can see a disconnect there, a falsehood portrayed. Maybe they are fooling some, but not others. Maybe they are only fooling themselves? I, personally, believe that when you are doing something that deep down inside you know is wrong - when you are disloyal to a parent who has always been there for you when the other parent wasn't - you have to feel you are breaking up inside. You know you are doing wrong. You may try to justify it. Maybe you get a nice home or a car, and it seems great at the time, but your conscience will eat away at you. You can NEVER be a truly happy person because you have done something that is so fundamentally dishonest! How can you, as the child, ever correct it? You would have to admit you were wrong! How would you do that and yet continue to reap the benefits from the abusive parent who is now rewarding you for being disloyal to the one who has always been there for you? How do you ever look in the mirror and ever TRULY contemplate what a horrible person YOU HAVE BEEN for treating that parent in such a way? Kids who have done that don't want to acknowledge their mistake because the horror of realizing what a horrible person they are is beyond their ability to deal with!

Yet when they tell us all of our mistakes as a parent, we humbly admit them and apologize. Our relationship with our children is more important to us than keeping our mistakes close to our vests. Being a part of our children's lives is what we want, and if they want us to repent for anything they feel we have done to ruin their lives, we gladly do it in order to make things right.

One time I visited my youngest daughter at college. I was horrified to see that her apartment looked like what would be on one of those TV shows about hoarders. The place was so filthy that I started cleaning after a few hours as there wasn't a place to sit or clean dishes. I was supposed to stay with her for the weekend, but there wasn't any room to sleep. She couldn't even use her bathroom sink because she had filled it with so much junk. She became angry with me for trying to help her and then said, "Mom, don't you know that the reason I'm like this is because of you? You're the one to blame for this!" I had kept my home clean while my children grew up and wasn't a hoarder, so I couldn't understand what she was talking about. None of it made a lick of sense. Our kids blame us when they are adults, for any faults that THEY have when they were taught to be responsible as children. As adults, they don't want to take responsibility for their own actions. I think that when one parent decides, while they are growing up, to interfere with the other parent who is their sole caretaker/nurturer, the kids are bound to have some pretty weird problems.

If one parent has been disrespectful to the other parent, and if their family is disrespectful to that parent as well, there will be a problem with the child if that child isn't mature enough to realize that it's wrong to treat that parent in such a way. The disrespected parent needs to have people who are willing to be advocates for them and willing to stand up against their mistreatment. If they don't have that, they need to get counseling in order to learn how to do that for themselves and to surround themselves with people who will affirm their worthiness. It took me a long time to learn this. I wanted to always be a part of my childrens' and grandchildrens' lives, but no one should put up with disrespect in order to be a part of things!

Thank you for your story. It sounds heart breaking. It's been 2 years and I am finally realizing that this is so complex. It can be about so many things and we can get so stuck in the why that we get trapped. Perhaps my ex is a sociopath , perhaps my kids are too, perhaps they aren't and my ex is supplying them with everything they want during this egocentric stage. In any event the estranged parent has no control and the job we have is to surrender. It's a long process that does not or will not alleviate the pain or the loss we have for the children we love.

Take up believing in God and brainwash yourself like every other person in this retarded *** world. Otherwise, keep reaching out to fix things.

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Hi atshemi, I too am the mother of an estranged adult child, 27 year old son. I have not seen him for 3 years. I got divorced from his father 12 years ago and remarried 3 years ago. My son and husband don't get on at all and my son blames my husband for 'kicking him out' of the house when he was 18. However, this really is not the case as my son's behaviour was the cause of it and he was given the chance to improve it, but chose not to. Up until last Christmas (2012) I used to get a birthday card and Christmas card. But last year he told my mother that he wants nothing more to do with me because 'I chose my husband over him'. I still send him birthday cards etc and cheques but he does not take the cheques. I feel really sad that there is no prospect of any reconciliation - I guess as long as he continued to acknowledge me as his mother (by sending birthday cards etc) I held out hope that the situation would improve. I now hear that he has bought a house and is getting married next year. It is very painful, I have tried counselling which didn't really help. I guess I just have to get used to the situation. The only way I can describe it is like a bereavement - without the body. It is reassuring that I am not alone in this - and I really feel that hearing similar stories from other parents - who can genuinely empathise because they are going through it too, does help.

Nudnika, My heart goes out to you! I understand exactly what you're going through with the grief process. An actual grief counselor is actually the best way to go than a regular counselor as they are trained in handling this kind of loss. It is EXACTLY the same as if your child had died. When my youngest daughter told me, when I had driven a long distance to be with her for the weekend at her college apartment, that she didn't want me for her mother, blamed ME for the fact that she had become a hoarder when I had been the only supportive parent in her life, I left her apartment in tears. I drove home, crying the whole way during that long, long trip. If a semi truck had hit me, it would have been a blessing. I had lost my daughter and she had made that perfectly clear to me. Going to work on Monday morning, I was in the midst of the grieving process, and when my boss asked me what was wrong I burst into tears and said, "I just lost my daughter." Everyone assumed that my daughter had died, and I didn't have the strength to tell them otherwise, nor did I know how to explain anything different! Because it was a death - but a death without a funeral. I didn't have anywhere to go to mourn this horrific loss. I had been FIRED AS A MOTHER! How does a child do this to their mother? How does a parent, one who thinks of the well being of their children every moment of every day, put this to rest? Where are the mourners to support you, the memorial service, the tombstone that you can take flowers to so that you can talk to that child's spirit and recall all of the beautiful times of their childhood - when all they want to do is to forget all of the happy times and throw you away? A grief counselor is the only one who can help you to get past such a devastating loss - one that people with normal children will NEVER understand.

Our situation is pretty new but just about driving me nuts literally. First she met a man after having been divorced 6yrs. Within 2 weeks she started cutting things out. My picking up my 9 yr old granddaughter. Now it's you can't see your granddaughter, but if you SEND the Christmas presents she'll make sure they get to her. (after she takes our tags off and she puts new ones from her on). This granddaughter was so special to us. We really helped raise her. I can't go to dance recital, school functions etc. Thanks for listening; ON THE VERGE.

My heart goes out to you, lostgrammy. I feel your pain too. My daughter has cut me out of my grandchildren's life as well. I can't even talk to them on the phone. She won't answer my phone calls on their birthdays, and they don't even send me thank yous for the big boxes of presents at Christmas or the cards filled with money and presents I would send throughout the year. I finally realized that I needed to stop trying. I found out that daughter has slandered me to so many people in the city where she lives that if I wanted to, I could actually take her to court and sue her! (I have documents that prove that what she says are lies, but wouldn't take her to court because she's my daughter.) I hope that your daughter is NOT lying about you to your granddaughter as that would be intolerable. Many times a new boyfriend/girlfriend or in-law will be so controlling that they will demand that your child not have contact with you. It's their way of controlling your daughter and grandchild. You might want to check to see if he is a ********* - go to your sheriff's county records and check the listings for sex offenders to see if he is on there. Many people date them without realizing they are. I don't mean to alarm you, but it makes me wonder why she's suddenly cutting you out of her life, and I have to think it's the new boyfriend. Be brave and let us know how you're doing!

I, too, am a lost grandma, Lostgrammy. I'm so sorry for your loss. After going through several years of not being allowed to speak to my grandchildren despite all of the presents and money I sent to them, I had to finally stop. I realized that they weren't getting a thing. It's better to open savings accounts for them that their mother will never be able to touch, and when the children are old enough to contact you, give them the money then. If you are on a fixed income and don't have a lot of money, if they ever do contact you (realize that your daughter may have told them that you are deceased) you can let them know that you always wanted to be a part of their lives and that this broke your heart. Keep a journal where you wrote to your grandchildren and have a trusted friend or relative know where that is so that they can give it to those children when they are 18-21 and are away from your daughter. I know several people who are doing both of those things. Also, those who were not allowed to be a part of their grandchildren's lives do not put their children in their will, but put their grandchildren in their will and they inherit the money once they turn 21 or older and once they read the journals or a letter about the estrangement, given to them by a lawyer or family member/friend.

Ive been estrainged from my son for four years. in that time i have suffered three heart attacks and open heart surhery. I'm in Christian grief counseling which had heped a lot. i finally had to decide to move on with my life. i cashed in my retirement, sold everything, moved, got a new job and stated a new life. it was the hardest thing to do but i can't let this literally kill me. i know that in God's time He will reconcile us. God does not want strife in a family. i found a strong men's group at my new church. Its been hard at 50 to start a new life but its exciting at the same time. i am now a counselor at a college and love helping my students. The pain is subsiding and my health has greatly improved. I am trusting in God and finally moving forward. One day God will bring us back together.

This is fabulous of you absolutely and my wishes for the best that god will bring to you

My adult daughter holds a grudge since I divorced her father when she was 9 and has never forgiven me, she thinks he was a great dad, she is now 34 I am in the dog house as she keeps bringing it up, I am 70, her dad died 8 yrs ago, guess I should have been the parent that died instead.

Frances, I am glad that you are still with us. God has a plan for all of us believe in him

No dear, she should be serving a life sentence, just like any other criminal, because she has emotionally murdered you. In fact it would be much kinder to just put us out of our misery, but they couldn't get the ongoing pleasure that way. Keep it up little ones---one day when you meet your maker, you will have to LOOK
HIM IN THE EYE AND EXPLAIN YOUR BEHAVIOR. What a day that will be! And all our tears will be wiped away.

Franca5, What an awful daughter to not understand that although YOU couldn't remain married to her father, it was appropriate for her to be loving to BOTH of her parents. She may be 34, but she is very immature. Both of my daughters are in their 30s and they are extremely immature as well. I almost died last year - while I was in the hospital, the doctors said that I was within 24 hours of dying. My neighbors called for the ambulance, and once they learned what had happened to me they called my family, including my daughters. Both of my girls let them know that they could care less. One child lived in another state and the other lived 4 hours away, but she wasn't about to come to my bedside. I was in the cardiac ward because my heart slowed down drastically. I wasn't even 60 yet, but I have a health condition that has made things touch and go several times in my life, but my daughters have never cared. One daughter had a friend of hers who I have never met post vicious lies about me on Facebook. My friends defended me and were horrified because of my condition. I then asked everyone to never contact my children again regarding my health or even when I die. If they don't care about me while I'm alive I feel that they shouldn't be notified of my passing.

The last few years have been difficult, but things became much easier when I finally quit trying to have a relationship with them. They never called me back, returned emails, nothing. You can't have a one-sided relationship even if you are her mother.

You are 70 years old! My mother is going to be 77, and I would NEVER treat her the way your daughter treats you. We have had our ups and downs, but I cherish every moment of her life and would never allow her to feel bad about anything. Even during times when she tells me she was a bad mother, I do not allow her to say that as I forgive her for anything in the past. In order to have a good relationship, you must never hold a grudge, and your daughter shows that she simply doesn't want a good relationship. God bless you. You shouldn't be alone at 70 years of age!

My step-daughter is estranged of us. She joined us full time when she was 7 after her mother died in an auto accident. It was rocky from the start as her maternal grandparents, with whom she and her mother had lived, perpetuated the idea that she was "ripped from the family who loved her and made to live with people she didn't know." Up until then, my husband had spent a week with her every month to be sure he was a part of her life. After she came to live with us, my mother passed away and I began drinking heavily and because of my addiction and my own family issues was not able to be the mother she needed and my husband is not a nurturing person and has a deep seated dislike of the grandparents which he took out on his daughter. Needless to say, in high school she began hanging out with kids who did drugs and had dropped out of high school. I didn't bother to get to know them or their parents. In her sophomore year I got sober and we slowly began to build a more positive, loving relationship. I was amazed by how much I truly cared for her. She continued to be a good student and in her senior year it all came to a head when she got pregnant. Her father could not deal with the situation and what relationship the had completely disintegrated. I keep trying to convince them that we could use the experience to grow stronger as a family. While I was out of the country on a trip they had a huge fight and she left to live with her unacceptable boyfriend. When I returned a week later, we gave her the choice of coming home or going to her grandmother's. She chose the latter. In hindsight, I think she may have known she needed to change her friends but felt trapped and wanted to save face. By leaving, she was able to do that. Over the next few months, fueled by her grandmother's anger at us, communication dwindled to the point that she refused to give us tickets for graduation. Thankfully, she is in college - paid for by a settlement from her mother's death. Two years have passed. I send cards on special occasions and periodic letters with news of the family. She has not responded to me but has reached out to her half-sister, my daughter. My husband is still angry and hurt and unable to forgive and has given me his blessing to pursue my relationship with her. I am afraid she cannot separate us yet and I'm hoping she will eventually. I know it will take time and it is uncomfortable being vulnerable and reaching out over and over and receiving nothing in return. I have offered a sincere and humble apology and taken responsibility for my part. I pray for serenity, courage, and knowledge - and I have hope. Good luck to us all!

i too am the parent of a estranged adult child, in all my moments raising her, did I ever think that this would be my fate and horrible burden to carry around, I wear the pain loss and sadness and grieving everyday, and every hour. It is a strange loss to cope with, you hope for her happiness and success but no longer even know her.
I am trying now the tough love approach, I get emotionally drained from trying to contact her and then wait for the No response, wanting to throw my phone away, silencing it hoping when I look at it next, she would have had a change of heart, and answered. The resason for the the estrangement? She was in physical and emoitional abusive relationships for 5 years, we were always supportive and tried to help. NOw her life is at a standstill as far as growing as a productive and self supportuing adult
and she knows we feel she has to try to stand on her own, we praise her and try to build up her confidence. I feel she know inside that she has to get things together, but if she hides her self away and shares nothing, we don't know what is going on.
BUt her hiding out, is a big red flag even though she cant see that.....I love her, would die for her, and want her to be happy and able to take care of herself. but miss her every moment, and wonder how she can ever have success relationships since she shuns her parents, who are the 2 people in the world who love her the most.

All the professionals; (therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists , DR.s all say to use the tough love. Well here it is Christmas 2013, and my husband tried an e-mail one more time. We are not going to send all of our granddaughters gifts 5 miles. We told our daughter, we need to see our 9 yr old grandchild. No answer. How does one do Tough Love when we are talking our children and grandchildren. We get close to trying for quite awhile and then....
The worst thing of all is where does our 9 yr granddaughter think we are or what happened to us?

Weirdly, I feel better knowing I'm not the only one out there dealing with this. I sure empathize with everyone. Most of you seem to have a real circumstance, I do wonder if it isn't my daughter's girlfriend that is the real issue but I feel like that's unfair. I have to believe that for whatever reason, my daughter has made her own decision to make me nothing in her life. I admit to moments of thinking that I wasted my time being the perfect at home mom now that I'm single and underemployed. She sure seemed to like me when I had money. That is wallowing however and pointless so now I am trying to figure out how to fill up the hole that is left.

Go on full steam ahead your circumstances sounds very familiar, yes, as long as we were working bringing in the money and paying for everything things were ok..... Well I have to get hard and get living for me and this is what we have to do in order to go on living happily. Give it to god ask him to take care if this for you and get some happiness

I am also in this painful situation. ..since july this year
Four months feels like four years.
Its a pain no one can understand unless you're in
The same situation. My emotions are driving me crazy
I hope we all find some inner peace...Regards to you all.

The first year is the worst because my kids were young when it started (a custody battle their dad started re 3 of our 4 sons to avoid child support). People would tell me things would better when the 3 I lost grew up and that they would never lose their love for me but it didn't help ease the pain. They were right--2 of the 3 I lost for 5 yrs. came back but 11 years later, it's the one who didn't that breaks my heart. Just try to make a life for yourself so the child has a home to return to.

I am sorry about your situation. I too am a mother of a son who got married two and half years ago and is angling for an estrangement because his wife is extremely difficult to deal with. For the past two and a half years, he has not been at our family dinners for the Jewish Holidays and this is because his wife claims she hates my cooking even though I really cook well and have for over 25 years. She claims that my house smells when I cook and she also does not like my husband. We do not interfere with their lives and are fairly gentle loving people. My son did not stop this behaviour of hers from the start and believes he needs to be loyal to her and abandon us. Now they have a beautiful baby girl who we have very limited visitation and my husband is not allowed to hold the baby because in her twisted mind, she thinks my husband is a poor influence. If we do not do exactly what she expects, she cuts us off completely and has written us horrible emails letting us know that we will not be trusted to baby sit and that my husband does not deserve to be a grandfather. My husband and I have gone for counseling to cope with the situation. There is also a doctor that we keep in touch with from San Francisco Dr. Josh Coleman who specializes in this. We have used his strategies and although they helped for a short time, my son's wife finds something else to get upset about and verbally abused my husband. We decided to write a letter to my son expressing our feelings but not saying anything derogatory about his wife. However we let him clearly know that we are not putting up with this abuse. We told him that we want to be active grandparents and have a lot of love to give.
We also have given gifts for the baby but we are expected to have gift receipts in case she does not like the gifts.
I too am looking for support.
You can call me Ronnie and email me anytime. It is painful and you are really in a bad position because I at least have some contact with my son. You can find Dr. Coleman on the website. He also conducts telephone conferences on various topics. Life is too short for this .

I am sorry to see so many women in the same boat I am in. It is baffling. My daughter has always been estranged and it started when my very manipulative MIL began showing her with very expensive gifts as a young child, calling her frequently when I was not home and telling her I was "nosey" and not to share their conversations. My then ,husband, would not man up and tell her to stop calling inappropriately or discuss any gifts she wanted to give for appropriateness ( one was a trip to Mexico at 16). I was always the "bad guy" for approaching her nicely many times about this.

Needless to say, I made a big mistake marrying her son, who was just as manipulative and controlling as his mother. My daughter and son were loved conditionally; if he got something out of giving them attention. He too started with the showering with gifts and would not discuss with me first.There were not too many times he and I were on the same page in how to raise our kids. My family was bashed continually and if I were to contact them or they came by to see me I got the cold treatment, yet his family was given loads of attention.

After my son graduated, he left home immediately to get away from his Dad. I stayed close with him even though he would not see his Dad. I returned to school and worked fulltime to finally complete a degree I had set as a goal many years before. During this school period, my husband had multiple affairs. When I discovered them, he l lied about them, telling our adult children I had a "breakdown and it must be related to menopause". I left the state, got a contracted job for 6 months and tried to regroup and figure out how to move on. Seeing the house of cards fall and realize my husband was not remorseful was difficult. I survived and worked but had to give up the school. I was hit, for a period of a few weeks, with severe depression and when my son would call I would burst into tears and tell him I felt like I had no reason to live. I was not suicidal but in shock, far away and without much support.

I regret that so much now, placing him in a terrible position and wish I could take back the fear it caused him. Long story short, my daughter started calling wanting to know if I was in contact with her brother. Apparently the MIL heard through my daughter of my distraught period and took full advantage of my son's sadness and got him to therapy where he was told I was way out of line and he should cut out contact.

The divorce granted me 50% of all monies accumulated and this did not go over well with my ex. In the divorce proceedings my daughter wrote a nasty report into record of how I was a terrible mother and she would never speak to me again until I returned "every penny" of her Dads money. I got an e-mail from my son several weeks after the divorce stating verbatim that he would cut me off till I gave their Dad back "every penny". Neither will believe their Dad was unfaithful nor that I deserve 50% of what I worked for .....

This was 3+ years ago and I have had the phone slammed in my ear, e-mails and Facebook blocked, a son married and a grand-daughters' birth occur but I am not allowed to be part of any of this. They both stated that because of me they now have to "take care of their Dad" he will not work and blames me for's so bizarre I can laugh now but my grown kids are so enmeshed, to them, it seems to make sense to them. I pray they will get to the truth and it's on God's time not mine.

I have since gone back to finish the degree, try to be grateful for surviving and pray daily for my children, the MIL and the ex. I used to send cards for birthdays and holidays but when their Grandfather ( my Dad died last year) and they did not even acknowledge his death. After that, I decided that although their father/ MIL have a great deal of control, I taught them right from wrong, loved them unconditionally and will always love them but must now heal and take care of my health. They are adults now. I will not try to continue reaching out any longer. It hurts to the core but life is not fair for many. I try to help others who are hurting in different ways and stay close to my sisters.

To those of you in my boat, my heart goes out to you, I know the pain but also know we have lives we must develop, a purpose, even though it's hard to see at first and we are deserving of respect and love. Try to forgive and take care of yourselves. You all have a purpose beyond being mothers. You will survive. Thank-you, Atshemi, for staring this support blog. It is helpful to see we are not alone in this estrangement from our children.

I am so very sorry and surprised that many of us Mothers are being subjected to the pain and abandonment of what were supposed to be our loving children. I have two Sons they are early and middle forties. For over 20 years I was a juggler trying to make them happy by giving money paying rent bills even financing an Automobile from the Auto Dealer. As soon as it was driven off of the lot my oldest son turned into the snake that he must have always been and failed to pay one Car note. I was stuck paying the note and insurance. My son hid the car from me so I couldn't turn it in and finally I found the car and snatched it. I had to call the Police on him because I was afraid he would beat me up.....That has happened twice before. My Youngest Son got on Drugs and stayed on the Crack for over 15 years...The horrible things I went through with him would take 10 years to tell you. The theft the lies I even lost my Home trying to save him from Jail. I have moved to another City and the youngest has followed me here and I now plan to ignore him like a stranger and live my Life. I hope things get better for you too. God Bless

While all the responses have a similar note - your attitude was helpful - not to put any other response down. There is the same flavor to all. I was curious if all the responses would be women - and it seems they are. Maybe that is because women care more about/or admit caring about the relationship with their children. My husband has the same (or similar - for maybe different (on the surface) reasons. It almost seems like women can do no right in parenting.

I know I made mistakes - but few of us are perfect - and many people have disrupted lives due to divorce, etc.

Your saying: life is not fair - is true - we can't expect what we want. And it is also true that we must have a purpose beyond being mothers. Maybe we are too wrapped up in owning our role.

This doesn't take away from feeling like a death has taken place - but I do know other women who have really lost a child - and they have found a way to go on living. It really IS God's time - not ours. Thank you for sharing.Please reply with authenticity, support, and respect

atshemi, Find happiness, hope, love and fullfillment in an additional source. Do not wait for her to make you happy. It is sadly, your job and mine to find that fullfillment. Work on you. Work on being happy and fullfilled. Then if she does not reconsile with you, you are still happy and fullfilled. Happiness attacts happiness. Go back to your 20s and 30s. What did you love and want to do? Do it now. Strive for it. Work hard and tirelessly for it. When you arrive, she may be there with you. Our children are not responsible for our middle and late year happiness. We are. Find it.

I have been estranged from my daughter for over 7 years.I feel a pain and aching that i wasn't aware existed. I have signed myself into a "hospital", been on many drugs, weekly therapy-sometimes twice/week. Sometimes I think I will just die with no effort on my part. And sometimes, I wish I would. My daughter's now husband, sexually abused her sister (15at the time, he was 21). he then sexually harassed her for TWO years, asking her to show him her breasts. Oldest daughter reacted by saying"mom, no one else will ever have me". That's when I knew he had been emotionally abusing her. She stayed w/him and has 2 children w/him. She has cut all ties with her sister, father, step-brother and myself. We were told 7 years ago either pretend by'just making the best of it' or there will be no relationship. My youngest daughter was abused, I would never turn a blind eye to that. Oldest daughter will not/can not admit to the emotional abuse she must endure, not only from him but also from his mother and sister.
I love and miss my daughter so deeply

An almost identical story as mine.
the pain is horrific, no real logical reason given....!
How do you cope?? especially when mother and son were very close.
Could my son have undergone" help"by a hypnotherapist.?
Otherwise ,could we,his parents,agree to meet,explain arguments and iron out differences.How could our son literally reject us? We have done nothing but support him at difficult times.We have always praised him when he shared good news with us.He was always so affectionate towards me as his mother and towards his father,my husband too. I find it unbearable and very sad to imagine that his behaviour is FINAL ?! I suffer physical intolerable pain due to this estrangement from our one and only child ! He is all we ever devoted our lives for.
All we ask for is contact to be renewd and an expression of love and consideration to be shared and reciprocated by us and our son.

I am too. Need to talk to someone who knows what this is. Please help. Beth

Hi Beth my name is Denise and it hurts doesn't it? Turn it around Beth you are worthy and you are loved I am here Beth and as you can see your not alobe

I am the mother of a 30 year old daughter who married a German and she will not answer her very close family's letters, e-mails and has virtually disappeared. She is an intellectual but the story is book worthy. After 5 years of no communication, I cannot stand this treatment and I will be visiting the town in September. This is very unusual behavior of a very very close child who has just gone silent. I am 58 yers old and our family is dumb struck. We have tried communicating with friends of hers but to no avail. Let's talk. Kay

I have been dealing with this for 13 years. My daughter met a retired navy man, 26 years her senior, a very controlling man,and when they were married, they cut her dad and I out of their life.It has been terrible at times and sometimes I function quite well.I joined a Bible group 3 months ago, and when it was time for prayer, the leader mentioned my situation.He did not ask my permission. From that moment on, I have heard 10 people prayer every Tuesday for me and my daughter and I have completely lost control. I finally realized that this was a constant trigger so I have told them that I need their support, but please, pray for us in private.I am sorry it got this far, for their sakes as well as mine because I know they were doing it out of love for me.I am sure that is why i was unaware how much this was affecting me in a negative way. But, in order to live some sort of healthy life, I cannot tolerate triggers.This much I have learned about myself.


I had a similar experience. One church associate claimed she heard my daughter discussing how she was sexually active, and when I got to the prayer mtg. I heard people praying that my daughter would stop having sex. It is amasing what some people will consider help. You need to ring this to the attention of thePastor. Not nice. Hugs.

God does not exist