For those whose adult children are estranged....Comments (27)Hello, i'm new to this, but felt i really needed to reach out because i feel i'm at my darkest hour and i really need someone to tell me i'm not alone. I have two children, ages 19 (daughter) and 16(son), their father and i divorced 6 years ago, and under special circumstances, he was the primary guardian and i the secondary one. In 2007 i made the worst decision of my life, i had gotten remarried to someone in Jordan, i was only supposed to be there for three months. 1 year and a half later, i finally managed to escape and come back home. My ordeal in Jordan was severely traumatic, i was severely abused, tortured, and left for dead. I remember calling my ex-husband here in canada to help me because i knew i would die there if someone didn't get me out, what i got was 'you made your bed, you can lie in it, as for the children, if you ever want to see them again, you'll have to go through family court'. When i heard the dial tone i felt all was lost. Somehow, i made it back, the only thing keeping me alive everyday i was tortured was the thought of seeing my children again ( my children and i were extremely close before i left, and i never foresaw that my passport and all my ID would be taken,,). Once i came back i was in for a huge shock. In the time that i was gone, it didn't take long for my ex-husband to tell the children that i had chosen to stay and didn't want anything to do with them. They were so young, and he broke their hearts, i never knew any of this until i had come back. I came back in 2009 and i have tried everything, i was patient and i loved them without bounds, and over and over again i tried to prove myself to them, but the damage has been done. With all of this, i moved back with my parents and my children are with their father on a military base. They are only 4 hours away, but i am not to call, write, or even visit. My daughter has told me she wants nothing to do with me, as for my son, his father has told him he wants nothing to do with me, but that if he wants to he can. What child would ever go against their parent if they're the one with the money and house, etc.? I'm in school and am graduating in about 2 weeks. Once i get a salary, i'll be saving money to get my own place, etc. Not a night goes by where i don't cry or miss my children so much that the pain is killing me everyday, i really feel i have no purpose in life anymore, my children were my world, and they don't want to have anything to do with me, it's been like this since i left, but even worse since 2009. My daughter has openly admitted that she could not care if i lived or died and wants no communication from me, as for my son, he will not communicate at all, they have my phone number and email,,but nothing,,,i feel this pain will completely crush me and i have no idea what to do,,,the oeverwhelming hatred i feel for my ex is also wearing me out,,,i just want to know if things do get better as time goes by, and if it doesn't, how do i go on living when i hear their voices in my head from when they were young children all the time?...See More
Money and Estranged Adult ChildrenComments (77)Thanks to all who have shared on this thread. I too am an estranged mother from an adult son. I used to be the one saying to other estranged parents that they must have done something wrong to deserve it. No child would ever willingly want to cut off good, caring, loving parents. Then, it happened to me and I was in shock and disbelief because I am always the one OTHER people turned to for help with their children. I am a therapist, after all, and I know about interpersonal relationships - right? I spent my whole life teaching others "how to do it correctly and in a healthy way"! How shocking and shameful it was when this happened to me! Not me!! How and why could this happen?!? The past five years have been grueling to say the least. I do understand the suicide attempts by some and the difficulty moving forward with life. I read everything I can find from children who have cut off parents to try to figure out what I can do to fix it. I read the comments by those on this thread that tell us what we have done wrong. So, I have apologized repeatedly for anything and everything I have done to make my child hurt. I have repeatedly reached out to him as have multiple family members and his best friend and other friends to try to heal the rift. Every time I reach out, there is some new reason he and his wife are hurt. Some of the things they accuse me of are not true. I know they are not true because they are about how I feel - that I don't really care about them or that I don't really love them or I behaved in a certain way because I wanted to disrespect them. I can honestly say that all I want from them or anyone is to have a nice time and to love each other. They misinterpret everything I do. I still apologize but only I know how I really feel and what my true intentions were. They can't tell me that. Still, I apologize. Finally, my husband and adult daughter and other son told me to stop apologizing. They said it was making it worse and not better. They saw my pain and desperation and helplessness and it was destroying them. So, they told me to stop because they could not take the pain. So, I stopped. With regard to what CJH Design wrote about gravitating toward pleasure and away from pain, I will say this. My parents have not been easy to deal with. They are controlling and focus only on themselves. I am expected to do everything for them and they still complain. No matter how much I do, it has never been good enough and they always expect more. I have tried and tried to make them happy and I have become a major people pleaser and caregiver in my life, sacrificing everything for the wellbeing of others and especially my family. My father is older and my mother has died. I take care of him every day and it is very difficult because of how critical he is. It is not pleasant to be around him most days but I still do it. I don't do it because it is pleasurable. I do it because I love him and that is what love is. It is unselfish and it is giving, even when it is not easy or pleasant. I also remember how many times I did this for my children when they were difficult to deal with and it was not at all pleasant to care for them, give up dreams that I had, deal with the pain of their behaviors, and work full time to support them. I could have left them and gone out for more pleasurable times when I was young like some parents do instead of hanging in there, parenting when it was very difficult and certainly not fun to deal with temper tantrums, snot, sickness, and endless needs. Not fun at all. Parenting is the most difficult job on the planet and it takes a dedication to stick with it and not run from it toward a life of fun and pleasure. I believe that being unselfish and giving to others is an important value and I try to do it in my life. I also have empathy and compassion for my father because of what he has been through in his life, which I won't go into because it would take all day. I would never dream of cutting him off. My heart hurts too much when I think about the pain it would cause him. I could never do that to him, no matter how he treats me. He does not have to be pleasant all the time for me to be around him, care for him, and stay with him. I think that is what love is really. Another example: In my work I go into jails to help people in trouble with the law. I hate being locked in when I go to jails because I have a phobia. I get paid very little and the courts are not nice to me. It is definitely not pleasant. I don't do it for the pleasure or money. I do it because I want to try to help and because I believe that doing things that are right is not always easy. People do things for pleasure but I have found that meaning and purpose can come out of things we do that require a willingness to set our own desires aside for someone else or for a greater good. This is what I have learned from my estrangement from my son: Karma: I recognize there is a lesson in this for me. What am I being taught by the universe? I have struggled with this long and hard and I think I have learned that I needed too much from my son. I think I relied on him to make me happy because of the difficult relationship with my parents. I need to let him have his own life and make his own decisions. I need to move on and figure out what I need myself and not rely on him so much. I also think I learned that I have been too critical and judgmental of others in my life. I need to try to be more understanding, compassionate, and less focused on who is right and who is wrong. Money: I gave my son everything he ever needed. I paid for his degree, paid for him to travel all over the world, and paid for several cars, and for anything else he needed ever. He now has a good job and is making far more than I ever did. I had to work several jobs to give him what he needed. He does not need my money now but the rift did seem to be about money as far as I can tell. Here is what I have decided I need to do to find meaning in life: I am going to use the money I earn and have to give to others in the world who don't have anything. I am going to travel with organizations that help others and use my money to help them. I am going to give of myself also, because that is more important than just giving money. I am going to try to improve the things for other people around the world who have far less than any of us. That is going to give me meaning and purpose and is something that I always wanted to do when I was raising my children. My daughter has indicated that she wants to do this with me and she shares in the vision. It gives me so much joy and pride to have her with me on this journey. I hope that some day my son will come back and have a relationship with me and with his family. His sister and brother are very angry with him and he does have a spouse that encouraged the cut-off from us. I hope that we can heal eventually but I am not sure if he even values his family at this point. What I have learned is that it is his decision and I must let him figure out his own life and not expect him to be there for me. I can accept this now and I am starting to have some peace so I must be on the right track. Life is a struggle and we all need to work to figure out what we are supposed to learn about ourselves. What you all have written in this thread has helped me a lot to continue figure things out myself....See More
Ungrateful Adult ChildrenComments (2)Dear ellasmomma, I am so sorry that you are going through this heartbreaking experience with your daughter. Is she your only child? I am also writing a book right now about my youngest child, a daughter, who is a drug addict and has been back and forth from the streets to our house. She almost died in the fall of 2011 from septicemia and now has Hep C with an enlarged liver, Lupus, damaged heart, damaged veins, damaged lungs. The bacteria went through her body like a speeding train. She is lucky it didn't go to her brain or she would have died. God spared her for a reason, yet this past Mothers Day, she suddendly left again after 9 1/2 months of sobriety. Gone. We don't know where she is. Stoled money from her grandmother, $688 from various ATM machines before we discovered what was happening, and haven't seen her since. She suffers from depression, severe anxiety and bipolar disorder. No excuse I guess, but it doesn't help. She has two precious daughters that are in the custody of her ex husband and his parents that we are not permitted to see and haven't seen in 2 years. If not for my husband and I, those little girls might be dead now. Both my daughter and son in law were IV drug users and drug sellers. They had people in and out of their house constantly. They had people living there, felons. They had guns in the house, syringes laying around. My daughter shot up Oxycodone during her pregnancy and when the baby was 2 months old, I had enough. The husband's parents are rich and supplied them with the drug money, the house, their truck and the utilities. Their son was on probation, so I called the probation officer and had him arrested and the children removed. Somehow his mother and father got temporary custody. My daughter was thrilled because she was mad at me. Until she realized how tightly they had their hands on her girls. Now it's not so funny. Her now ex husband lives with is mommy and daddy, all his bills are paid, the girls are taken care of and that part is great, but they do not let my daughter see the girls but once in a great while. Even when she was sober. And they didn't let her see them on Mothers Day. We believe that was the trigger. But, she is also nasty to me and her dad. Ungrateful for all that we have done for her. The several times she lived with us over the last 2 years, she was very disrespectful. She spent 3 months in the hospital, and was very demanding when she started getting better. Her dad visited her every day, but I got tired of it. I got tired of her sarcastic and arrogant attitude. Bottom line: She is angry at me still for calling the probation officer that caused her daughters being taken away from her. She is holding a grudge. So, now that she is gone again just like before she doesn't call us and let us know if she is ok. And in the last 2 years, we have never heard her say thank you for all we did for her. Just comments about how nice it was to have a bed to sleep in as opposed to sleeping on a bench. Our son? Told us that he doesn't want to hang around us, that the only "stable person in the family is him". So we can only go to his house to visit on the other side of the state when he invites us. He is married and we have a grandson. He just got out of the Navy, has a great job and goes to college. His wife is very educated also. Very sweet girl. I have no idea what she must think. We are terribly hurt. This just started. And our oldest daughter with the masters degree? She just got back from the Peace Corp in Africa. Oh, when she needed all the stuff sent to her, including money, we sent it. When she got back, she stayed with her grandmother instead of us because she said she was going to be too busy preparing resumes and sending them out to be visiting with us. So, we hardly saw her! Then, she left for the Appalachian Trail with a good friend for a 6 month hike. Oh, she was able to stay in touch with friends and job prospects and her boyfriend in New Zealand via Skype while on the trail, but she never called or skyped us! Then, she got back, stayed about two weeks, met up with her boyfriend, was very aloof with me so I had a talk with her. It ended up in an arguement at which she cried so I shut up. She left in June of last year for Seattle where she got her new job and now lives and she has called us twice since then. She has called us twice. I got a Mothers Day card that simply said "I hope you have the Mothers Day you deserve". Hallmark card at least. I don't know how to interpret that. My son sent me a card, but you can bet his wife sent it. My husband didn't get a Fathers Day card from our son and the card he got from our daughter was a silly one, not her usual type. They used to call us. They don't anymore. So here is the point to my long story, ellasmomma. I have cried so many tears in the last 3 years I can't tell you. I haven't spent the amount of money you have, but I can tell you that the horror stories are about the same when it comes to the youngest daughter. Suffice to say, all we can do is pray to God for peace in OUR hearts first. Pray that He removes the anger, the anxiety, the worry, the frustration, the loss, the grief ,,,,,all those feelings that a mother feels in a situation like this. And believe me, I know how you feel. Its like someone reached down in your chest and ripped your heart right out while it was still beating. How could the child you gave life to treat you like this, right? Well, there is no way to know that answer. So, find peace in yourself first. However you do that. If you know God, then I suggest you pray. If God is not your higher being, then find the peace in the way you know how. Then, hand the situation over to God. Just give it to Him. He says we are to cast our cares to Him. He wants our cares! We are to trust Him! You can fall back with your eyes closed and He will catch you. So give your daughter over to Him. Then, you will have to do the hardest part ever. Pray for your son in law to be. Pray for blessings on them both. Pray for blessings on their family and pray for all three of them every day. You can't change them. You can only change you. So pray for YOUR peace first, then pray for them. Once you have given that family and yourself over to the higher power, you will be amazed at the changes in your life. But, you have to stay true and obedient to your prayers and try not to get frustrated and angry and caught up in the drama. If your daughter calls with drama, put it back on her. Don't accept it. She is an adult. She has made her decisions. If you want to go to the wedding, go. If you don't, then don't. Do what your heart tells you is best. But do not accept any negative drama into your life. You don't deserve it. Remember, you cannot change her, only YOU. I will be praying for you also. God bless you. And, peace be with you, ellasmomma....See More
estrangement from adult childrenComments (93)Wow! I thought my son was bad but still ... I can relate on some level to these comments and stories. I always say no one can break your heart like your own child. It's a different kind of heartbreak that slices through to your soul. My son is a good young man but man oh man is he stubborn. Stubborn to the point it's heartbreaking. Just got off the phone with him asking what are his plans for the future. His response was, "You know, I am not going to talk to you because you just disrespected and insulted me." I'm thinking, "How on earth is asking what your future plans are disrespecting and insulting?" He just doesn't want to plan a future, no goal, no college, nothing. Next he'll go on silence for a while. Mind you, he was married a little over a year ago, New Year's Eve 2013. After I told him he's too young at 25. Young in terms of not planning a future. He went and married anyways to prove me wrong. Well, I was right, now he's going through a divorce. His wife is divorcing for the same reason I am questioning him ... no ambition. But he can't see the ocean because of the waves. My son is an only child who has had the best life. Better than all his cousins by a long shot but he can't see this either. He complains and blames. For what?! I have no idea. I made his life so comfortable. Yes, it is narcissism. He feels he doesn't have to do anything. Both his father and I, who never married are products of education. We both pursued college degrees and entered the workforce. His father was never really a part of his life but he sent monetary support. Me, I was the sole breadwinner with a nice career that I grew tired of and now back in college to make a career change. So I have no idea how to motivate him and at times feel I am at fault. Thank you oilpainter for your words, " Their actions are THEIRS not yours, and it does not mean you have no value." I was struggling a bit after the phone call till I read your words. Maybe it's me and my expectations. Well, I'm going to heed the words I've lived with all my life that have served me well - If you don't know what to do then pray. And I'm going to speak with a therapist. I need some counseling. One child, two children, three children ... it doesn't matter. I have one and it's just as hard....See More
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