Estrangement from adult child

15 years ago

I am, and have been, estranged from my adult child for a while now. Ultimately it was her decision to cut off ties to me and my husband. I tried for a while to talk it out with her but she refused to talk with us. We have two other children, and one still occasionally talks with the child that is estranged.

When people ask how many children we have, I don't know what the answer should be. I am embarrassed by the estrangement but am not necessarily looking to change it anymore. The estranged child has done some horrible acts, involving falsifying police reports against her Dad, and telling serious lies in the community about us.

So when co-workers ask, I usually say 2 but that does make me sad. If I say 3 then I usually feel obligated to explain that we have no contact with the oldest which is why there is no pictures in my office of her, which I believe reflects poorly on me. Though I think that is unfair because they have no idea what we have been through with this child. It is too painful to have pictures up there and look at them.

Then I think it is possible that two parents who tried very hard, and I believe have not abused their children could end up with a child that hates them so much? Maybe it was something in the way we parented that wasn't good for her? Though our other two children don't believe we have ever been abusive to them and they seem like very well adjusted people. They are productive in society, both are happy and in loving stable relationships. Maybe she has some sort of mental illness? My Grandmother had many mental problems. I just don't know.

My husband does occasionally run into her in town, though I have never run into her and they make small talk but nothing ever further, which he is okay with. I don't think he is looking to renew any type of relation with her either. I am not sure what that says about us as parents.

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