Fresh Living

Fresh Living


When Children Abandon Parents

posted by vreiss

I just stumbled on this moving article in the New York Times, When the Ties that Bind Unravel, on a surprisingly untrod subject: The pain of parents cut off by adult kids. In our blame-the-parent culture we mostly just hear from the “kids'” perspective. Generating more than 800 comments, the story clearly touched a nerve–many are from parents bewildered and deeply grieved and many are from those less than sympathetic to parents who may deserve to be cut off.

A psychologist quoted in the article, Joshua Coleman, author of “When Parents Hurt: Compassionate Strategies When You and Your Grown Child Don’t Get Along,” who was on the parental end of this issue, offers this advice to parents whose adult children have cut them out of their lives:

“Often, [Coleman] said, parents in these situations give up too soon. He advises them to continue weekly letters, e-mail messages or phone calls even when they are rejected, and to be generous in taking responsibility for their mistakes — even if they did not seem like mistakes at the time.

“After all, he went on, parents and children have very different perspectives. ‘It’s possible for a parent to feel like they were doing something out of love,’ he said, “but it didn’t feel like love to that child.’

“Friends, other family members and therapists can often help a parent cope with the loss of an estranged child. So can patience: reconciliation usually takes many conversations, not just one.

‘When I was going through this, it was a gray cloud, a nightmare,’ Dr. Coleman said. ‘Don’t just assume if your child is rejecting you that that’s the end of the conversation. Parents have to be on a campaign to let the child know that they’re in it for the long haul.'”

Powerful stuff.

And here’s one deeply moving, hopeful reader comment from a father that gave me chills:

“I felt exceptionally close to a daughter who decided at 17 that I was too “intrusive” [nosy] and stopped all contact. [Divorce happened when she was 9.] She never gave me a specific “reason” for cutting me off. First came the soul-searching over what I’d done wrong. Like any parent even good ones I came up with a long list of mistakes. Regrets. I WAS too nosy. I should have… I could have…I’m sorry I… Sadly I reconfigured my ideas of proper parental boundaries. Thanksgiving…Christmas… High school graduation.. birthday…family funerals. Weddings. Nada.

I waited. I was heartbroken and felt despairing guilt, but also remained patient and committed to trying to keep some remnant of communication open. I sent her letters on special occasions and thoughtful personal gifts for holidays. I waited.

She went away to college in California. Almost two years passed and the ice did not melt. No contact.

Then one day on an afternoon walk around the running track at the Central Park Reservoir the wildest, weirdest thing ever happened… we ran into each other. What are the odds? Happy is too pale a word to describe the relief, ecstatic joy and endearing words we exchanged. I have an inkling how Lazarus felt.

We’re now in regular contact. Lots of words have passed. Explanations. Recriminations. Reasons. Stories. A little miracle. And strangely enough, the City has decided to situate the new fountain at Jackie Onassis Reservoir at the exact spot where we met. Go figure.

Parents: Do what you can to understand the situation and make things right. Let respect guide your path. Let go of whatever anger you may feel. [Difficult, but not impossible.] Never EVER give up.

Children: Cut your padres some slack. They won’t be around forever.”

Have you been through this–as the child or the parent? What advice would you give for either side?

Here’s the whole article: When the Ties That Bind Unravel by Tara Parker-Pope



  • Kathy

    What a stupid, insensitive thing to post on mother’s day weekend. Like this time of year isn’t hard enough for those of us who are survivors of narcissistic and other mentally ill parents. My earliest memory of my mother is her slapping me across the face saying “If you don’t like it here you can leave. Why don’t you just get out?” Well, guess what, 35 years later I finally found the strength to do just that. Judging from the lack of comments on your offerings, this blog has outlived its usefulness. Time to go, FL. Oh, and keep your para-professional, nosy advice to yourself. Next time you’re in yoga class, try looking at the log in your own eye before you call out the speck on ours.

  • Valerie

    Kathy: You didn’t like what I wrote or the timing of it. I certainly didn’t intend any offense, and I’m deeply saddened to hear about your mom. Mother’s Day is an extremely difficult holiday for many for many reasons. And, if you take a look at my post, you’ll see I actually didn’t at all take sides on this. And the “nosy advice” is not made of my words, but rather a psychologist quoted in the New York Times. I posted on this because I can see the intense pain on both sides. We all need healing. It’s hard stuff, this being human. Made harder when we lash out at each other because of the pain in our hearts. I hope you’ll keep reading and commenting.

  • Janet

    I know when I say this to all the children out there who cut off their relationship with their parents. Try to understand your parent is trying to do the best they can to raised you. Even when there are times the criticism hurt. I know because I was never closed to my mother until the last 2 years before she passed away with pancreatic cancer. It does sadden me that I have not been patient with her when she was alive. I should have done this and that.
    When she was sick with cancer. I give up all of my resentment and angriness toward her and become her caregiver. I have no family, no sibling with me now. I am very alone in this world. Please treasure your parent. Try to over-come the difficulty and difference. Parents are just doing the best they can to raise you. It might not be the best way. But they are still your parents. Please treasure them before it’s too late.

  • Bewildered

    Sometimes even parents can only take the hurt, rejection and pain that only a parent can feel when their children turn their backs on them. Sometimes it just plain isn’t justified to be treated with such disrespect. After years of hurt and pain my adult children have caused, I took the initiative and cut the ties. I live with my decision everyday, and although it deeply pains me to have made that decision, I do know that there will be no more disappointments and tears when it comes to holidays, birthdays and Christmas. I would sooner live with knowing that there will be no more disappointments and rejection from them, then to live with wondering all the time. I left the lines of communication open with no response from them at all. I am now done. Are we as parents not as human as they are? Do they have the right to be insensitive, rude and uncaring? Did we fail as a parent when we see this attitude? I truly believe that sometimes your children are just bewildering to you, and after humiliating myself so many times to try and right a perceived wrong, it’s time to stop, assess the situation, and in my case completely let it go. Without communication there is no healing. If it’s only one sided that is trying, it is fruitless. Maybe someday it will be ok, but I cannot dwell on it anymore. Tears will always be shed, and the hurt doesn’t go away, but the disappointment, pain and heartache isn’t as bad. I am tired of it always being the parents fault. Sometimes the adult children need to take some responsibility for their actions, and until they do I no longer want to be around them. I live with my decision as I said everyday, but I’m not their door mat, and won’t be treated as such.

  • Melody

    Parents aren’t perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Forgiveness is not for the person who hurt you. It is for yourself. Possibly, try to think about what parents, when they were children, were exposed to. What type of treatment did they receive? Learn some compassion and how to walk in anothers shoes. There comes time for the “age of maturity” when you realize you cannot change the past. It’s impossible!!! Accept it. You don’t have to allow it to affect your present or future. Stop giving the people in your life that much control and no one lives forever. Forgive everyone everything every night before you go to bed. Isn’t your soul deserving of happiness and peace?

  • Pat

    I have experienced both sides of this issue, first as a child and then later as a step parent. When I was a child my mother left me with my father twice, the first time she took my older sister (my second Mama) and second time she left and filed for divorce when my second Mama was in college. I cut myself off emotionally from my family as a protective mechanism but as I grew up I began to feel the need to forgive and love my Mother for who she was, not what she did. As a step-parent I watched as my husband tried to have a relationship with his 2 children despite the negative words and actions from their mother who degraded him at every possible moment. When the children came to live with us (from foster care) they were hurt, resentful and angry. After several years they both left home and only call now when and if they feel like it. The oldest has chosen to live life the hard way and the youngest is trying to make it now with a young one of his own. The bottom line is this: you can’t make anyone, grown or otherwise, do anything. You can love freely, from your own heart and the rest is up to God and them. That is the best way maintain a healthy relationship regardless of the past circumstances. Love unconditionally. Cut the strings of the past and just commit to love them whether or not it is returned to you. You can only control how you feel and act. Choose to love.

  • Ellen

    My son moved out (permanently ?) last summer..
    I have asked him to call me and his father from time to time. He does not visit either.
    However, he just does not call. The last time I called first because I was concerned about him. We have had a good relationship with him. He had to
    live by our rules, but he understood that.
    There were a few arguments at times. But he never
    turned against either of us. He did not even call
    me on Mother’s Day, and that was painful.
    Why do you think he will not at least call us
    from time to time? This totally perplexes us..
    We just do not understand..

  • JL

    This article and these comments make me sad and worried about the increasing level of denial that many people go through when their kids decide to cut down or eliminate contact with them. Everyone lives in a different situation. Asking every person, regardless of situation, to “honor their parents” is an incredibly dangerous and self-centered piece of advice. There are a lot of abusive parents out there and this attitude only serves to make their abused children feel more inadequate for not being able to keep them in their lives. There ARE good reasons to cut ties with your parents, and I’d urge anyone who feels bad about themselves after reading this article to examine whether or not you truly agree, in the boundaries of YOUR OWN experience, that you should blindly continue to participate in that relationship.
    Toxic people who cannot take responsibility for their actions and reactions and who chip away at your ability to be happy and healthy do not deserve your time, honor, or attention, regardless of bloodlines.

  • Becki in Houston

    I too have experienced this situation but from the perspective of an adult child whos 72 yr old Mother who was always a “fierce” protector of her children decided she wanted a “divorce” from ME! My adult children and I are her only living relative besides a housebound sister hundreds of miles away. She told me as I was hooking up her new flat screen television at Christmas time that when I finished she wanted me out of her house and to NEVER come back! I was in shock to say the least. She said I never liked her, that I ruined my children, she does not like them either. I cried, I begged, I ask why…. no answers were given other than she does not want me in her life…Even as an adult, I felt abandoned, bewildered, worthless and unlovable…. A family therapist once told me that my mother suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder, I had never heard of this and feel that it was a turning point in my own healing when I read up on the subject. My Mother died a year later. I occasionally still think I need her love and approval, which I will never have. I have examined my own behavior, I have nothing but love in my heart for my “fierce” protector…..I just don’t know when or how I lost her….. I carry on with life trying to be the best Mom, Grandmother I can be, knowing that even then, my adult children could make same my Mom did…. to exclude me from their lives.. I will have to be OK with myself inspite of my lingering emotional pain. Hold your head up….realize you are a wonderful person in your own right!

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  • Bobbie

    Oh, boy, don’t get me going on this……
    I didn’t pick my parents.
    My father was always complaining just how my conception was a trap for my mother to keep him in the marriage and that my birth ruined his military career.
    My mother left when I was 6.
    She waited until my father was at sea with the navy and she dropped me and my brother off at a neighbours house on base and took off.
    When I saw her again when I was 19 the most hurtful thing she asked me was if i was a ‘homo’.
    Needless to say, I’m not in contact with either of them. I think they’re still alive.
    So please, don’t blame us kids as being selfish and uncaring. I would have loved to have had a family, but I didn’t.

  • Anonymous

    I am well acquainted with this from a different perspective: I am the grandmother of teenagers who have rejected their father (my son) because of their mother’s many years of berating him, involving the boys in things between the two of them (long divorced), twisting things he did or said to make a monster out of him in their eyes. Since she had primary custody, she had their ear and eventually had them so steeped in her blather that they changed their last name. Their mother has been absolutely bent on creating perceptions of others (including us, their grandparents) that further her need to be perceived as a victim and in need of their protection. She has lied, twisted truth, assigned motives to people’s actions that were never there, called their father a sperm donor to them, and even belittled one of them because he resembles his father (after destroying him in their eyes). They have no idea of the role she played in the breakup of their marriage (numerous sexcapades, physical violence against her husband, a sty of a home, etc.) becaue she refuses to acknowledge it to them. It’s very very sad. We are caught in the middle and helpless, having had them removed from our lives by their mother dozens of times for months, sometimes years, at a time.

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  • Jane

    Children: Cut your padres some slack. They won’t be around forever.”
    Ding dong. I hope they won’t be around forever.
    I am sick of my parents blaming all their unhappiness on me.
    I was an excellent student, did not misbehave, and I am successful in my career. No thanks to my parents. I worked my way through college and grad school, and I studied despite their loud fights and melodramas.
    Your above comment sounds just like my NPD mother. She is always saying you “will be sorry when I am dead”
    Sadly, I will not miss her.

  • Angie

    I actually cut off a relationship with my mother for almost two years I became a mother myself @ 16 so that should give readers a pretty good idea of what my childhood was like. My son was 2 and 3 @ the time and his father was a monster in human skin and part of the reason I cut contact with my mom. My childhood wasnt the greatest, there were abuse issues, neglect,abandonment,ect… but during those two years without my mom in my life I realized so many things and acceptence and forgiveness were the biggest. I came to realize that even though my mother had made ALOT of mistakes she did try her best MOST of the time, we all have our moments of weakness wether it’s physically, emotionally, or mentally and we make mistakes during those times, I know I sure have, we all break now and then and unfortunately even though it’s not personal our loved one’s get caught up in those storms and get hurt sometimes very badly and alot of the time it’s our children, especially growing up in a single parent situation that get hurt the most and most often. Back to my point I came to the conclusion about that situation that I would rather have my mom in my life just the way she is and even with all those memories and the pain that comes with it sometimes than to not have her in our lives at all. I’m now 33 and our relationship can be rocky at times but thats ok I’ll take her as is, flaws and all, It’s the same way that she loves me. Just because people don’t love us the way that WE think they should, doesn’t mean that they don’t love us with everything they have.

  • Jane

    Angie said: “Back to my point I came to the conclusion about that situation that I would rather have my mom in my life just the way she is and even with all those memories and the pain that comes with it sometimes than to not have her in our lives at all.”
    That is said. I hope others do not follow your lead and forgive and abuser. It gives other parents an incentive to abuse rather than act like parents.
    With that said there is a reason why an abuse victim will defend their abuser. Victims of child abuse often suffer from stockholm syndrome, a syndrome in which a person is trauma bonded to their abuser.
    Another reason is that the abuse victim made the same mistakes with their own children, and now need absolution.

  • John D.

    After 30 years (my daughters) age, she cut off all contact with me and the rest of my family, and I have no reason why. When she was young she was such a sweet child and well behaved. She married young and had a child at 18, worked, bought a house, which I helped with the purchase, again, worked hard and appeared happy. I bought a house in the state where she lives (Idaho) which was her idea,and about 12 miles from her house..Just right, but still kept my house in California…thank God.. I always enjoyed staying with my Grandson on occasions and going to his atheltic events while he was young and I went to alot of them. It appears that since my Grandson is old enough to take care of himself now, she doesnt need me anymore..Its been a year and a half now since contact and at first I was puzzleed and confused. During the first six months I was hurt and even cried a few times..now?? I still wonder why. Ive tried calling, letters and cards with no responce..I hurt all the time…thanks for reading this…I feel better by knowing im not alone with these troubles…thanks..John

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  • Puzzled Father

    My 40-year-old daughter recently wrote a letter to my wife and me claiming that we had abused her physically and emotionally when she was a child. She said that she was cutting us off completely. Forever. She will not speak to us or read anything we mail her. We are deprived of our sic-year-old grandchild. She urged us to get intensive psychoanalysis for 5-10 years to deal with our psychopathology. (We are in our late 60s.) She wants to “break the chain of abuse in this family.”
    The fact is: 99% of what she says in her long letter is fiction. We never abused her. She was never spanked. We adored her and loved her. She accuses us of abusing her brother and sister as well. We spanked her older sister a few times, but I cannot recall ever spanking or hitting her younger brother. (Her brother, when told about the letter, said, “Where did she get that? You guys were great parents.”)
    We can only surmise that she is suffering from false memory syndrome. Where she got the horrible details of this untrue childhood narrative is beyond knowing. We were not perfect parents, but her claims are simply ridiculous. All we can do is live the best life we can in the few years remaining to us–without the daughter we loved.

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  • Patty Cunningham

    My daughter that is almost 40 yrs of age has practically excluded me from her life. She became pregnant at the age of 17 at that time her father could nor or would accept this situation and more or less abandoned us.Her boyfiend made it clear he wanted nothing to do with this. I have supported her emotionally,financially and physically. Before I went to work I would get my grandson dressed and ready for the baby sitter because she was employed at a business that required her to be in at an eariler time. I have bought all my granson clothes for most of his life and still do. My daughter has been the prefect mother,altough for some reason she refuses to let us have an intiment relationship and seems jealous of my gransons and my relationship. She met a man when my grandson was a senior in high school and moved in with her boyfriend. At this time she cut me out of our relationship. She would not accept or return my phone calls and left my grandson at home alone. Thank goodness he is a very good smart young man and received a full scholarship and is a junior in college making excelent grades. It has been almost 4 years and things are still the same. She will not answer my phone calls but is very distant. When I try to talk to her about our relationship she blows up and either hangs up the phone or walks out. This is almost too must for me to take and I truly don’t understand why she is acting this way. She did not have a prefect childhood but we used to be very close. This is about to break my heart. Not to mention our family gathering are strained from this situation. I would love for us to have a loving family life espically for my grandson sake but I dont’t know what to do. Escecially since she won’t talk to me without getting very upset!

  • http://my.nowpublic.com/hargrove Hargrove

    It sounds like parental alienation syndrome expressed when the person feels powerful enough to do so. It is irrational, and the children affected generally don’t have real experiences to justify it, but they feel it so deeply until they believe that it is real. Your daughter probably becomes so antagonistic, when you attempt to reach some understanding with her, until she actually believes that you are provoking her. Also, she may be modeling behavior that her father applied to her, rejection, abandonment, disapproval.
    All that you can do is be kind and friendly, when in her company, but meet separately with your grandson, when possible, so that the two of you can have joyful, normal experience together, and don’t involve him in the troubled relationship with his mother.
    If you believe in God, pray for your daughter because I believe that only God can make a victim of alienation, normal.

  • http://Hi lmn

    My 2 adult children treat me horribly, and my therapist told me because of the fact they witnessed me being terrorized by my ex husband and I was beaten that they either go one or two ways usually if they don’t get counseling. They are usually victims or abusers. I did leave that marriage by the way, and received help from not one person.
    My oldest is abusive my youngest I feel is ok, but needs some counseling. I took both of them and myself to counseling while going through this nightmare.

    You kids that are abandoning your parents, you should never do that, it could happen to you. I never thought that I would be treated this way ever. Forgiveness and healing doesn’t happen overnight, you all need to forgive them and move on, if you can’t handle being around them, at least write to them now and then, you’ll be glad later you did.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jackie

    I am currently experiencing problems with my daughter. She blames me for everything it seems. I admit that I wasn’t a perfect parent, I made a lot of mistakes. However, I tried to do right by my daughter. I remember one time she told me she hated me because I worked all the time. I was a single parent and I struggled but I was hardly at work all the time although I worked different shifts. She says she remembers me punching her all the time but I was also raising my neices at the time who don’t even remember her getting a spanking. I wasn’t perfect but I stand by the fact that I did the best I could for her. It seems that every time she gets a boyfriend then our relationship gets worse. I’ve offered advice in the past but this time I am trying to stay out of it and let her make her own decisions. But that has only made her resent me even more. I knew that she was being abused and used in her last serious relationship. She tried to hide it but I knew. Nothing I could say to her would convince her not to leave. Finally she did but I think now she is blaming me for that break up because of a comment she texted to me. I am at wits end and depressed about this. We have just come off of 1 year fantastic relationship after she left the abuser. I tried to be there for her, encourage her, analyze what happened with her, cry with her, and we even prayed together. We had started to be like two peas in a pod but now she has gotten serious with someone else and she is pushing me away again. It hurts like hell but this is not the first time. I just keep crying because of the way she looks at me, yells at me. She is a beautiful young lady. She is doing pretty well for herself finacially and people really take to her. She is caring toward everyone but at this moment not towards me. It seems to go in cycles. She loves me but she somehow can’t love me. Anyway, I am feeling so much pain. I think I will have to just pull away from her to give herself a chance to find happiness that she seem to not be able to experience with me in her life. I have apologized for my mistakes and even mistakes that I didn’t do. This hurts; it feels like death. I can’t stop crying and I wonder if I ever will.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment xinan

    To those children who decided to abandon their parents….let just hope that your children wont do the same to you when they grow up…..and hopefully when they did…you won’t regret…because you was like that before….

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    Yes. I am a mother disappointed that my millionaire son has never asked me if I need anything. There are many mothers who are neglected by their children, but, like me, we are too embarrassed to talk about it. We just cry all alone. And we rack our brains to figure out what we did wrong, and we feel guilty and ashamed.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Max

    My daughter rebelled when she was a teen ager. Moved out of our home and in with her boyfriends family, where they slept on the basement floor. At home we gave her everything, clothes, spending cash, a car…but she just tossed us aside for her “friends’. After a few years and failed relationships she came back home. We helped her out again. More cash till her next relationship. Back home when that relationship was over….more help and now she’s moved on again. Now in her thirties you’d think she’d be grateful…but no. We never hear from her for Mothers Day Fathers Day Christmas….not a thing. And no I’m not chasing after her anymore. We aren’t going to live forever, and I guess she doesn’t have a conscience. Too bad.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Linda Quinlan

    Bravo Bewildered! After three years of being rejected by all three of my children for still unexplained offenses I am putting it behind me and finally moving on. When I put in the words “Children abandoning parents” this site was one of two results. Maybe because it is such a rare phenomenon, or maybe because many parents don’t want to admit that they could have raised children who have no love for them. As I share my story with others, I find more and more adult children feel comfortable cutting their parents out of their lives for seemingly small offenses. Our culture seems just fine with that. Not even a father can identify with the pain of rejection from a child. A mother has carried the child in her body and given painful birth to that child. Then we spend the rest of our lives worrying about whether they are happy, safe and healthy. What I know…that my children don’t…is that this anger they are carrying around will hurt them more than it will me. My mother died when I was 7 years old and I missed her more later in life than I did when I lost her. I am nearly 60 years old. They may never have the chance to make amends. I sure won’t be worrying about it when I am in the Lord’s kingdom.

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    my daughter and one of my sons have abandoned me completely. My sons’ wife made him chose between us, my daughter blames me for everything thats ever happened.(Anything, everything even if I had nothing to do with it)
    I’ve had to reach a point where I have to protect myself from their pain. I miss them every day and love them, but I’m tired of being hurt.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jeane LaPorta

    Touching, poignant article. We understand this because we too are going through being austasized and cut off from our 2 adult boys and their children. There is not good or rationale reason, just small every day things that happen along lifes way. We could say oh this or that happened all true but in life which is full of ups and downs when isn’t there a moment. Nothing is worth the hurt and anguish of being treated as if you were a horrible abusive disgusting person. And, you look at these adult children as if they’re adults and should really know, empathisize, they have kids now too, but they don’t. They’re still acting like tweens, not quite there yet… We have no answers other than to say, never say never…. Life takes many turns.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment LittleMom

    It’s taken 15 years of parental alienation tactics…9 years grieving the death of my youngest daughter, being cut off from “family”…being used over and over…cut off again by my eldest…now my iddle…it is too much. I am done with the dysfunction, too old to tolerate more stress and pain. I am moving as far away from my daughters as I can and leaving no forwarding address. I leave them in the “loving care” of their father who allows his companion to be abusive…uses them etc. It is so sick. The one time…ONE…I needed help after breaking a leg…no response beyond what they thought would put them in good status for inheritance from my mother. HA…she die and now…no more acting. So be it. Greedy and spoiled. Thank goodness neither is in human services field. Loved them so…did all the “good”things…they are tainted and warped now. I won’t apologize for anything…I did not cause this. It is just insane.I refuse to allow them to be cruel one more moment. My daughter’s ex’s know. Their father is a narcissist…and my daughters need to just live their self-centered lives without me. I am done. It comes to that. They will never see any $ from me…nor any outreach now.I tried…I am done. No more doormat…no more crying…There are plenty of people in tis world who appreciate me and do not hurt me. Enough is enough. I have alot to give ….and if they don’t want me…so be it.I will contribute to others lives. I refuse to waste what time I have left grieving more.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment ann h

    my dad is a compulsive gambler, possibly a substance addict and definitely a physical (not sexual) abuser. He has lied, beaten, cheated and stolen. Most recently he tried to “borrow” $2K to pay his annual real estate tax. He took everything from my mom in spades (including a $30K death benefit she got in 1959 when her first husband was killed on active military duty, he used that for the downpayment for their first house, wedding, and furniture). He is an asshole, to put it bluntly. I told him I could not lend him the money since I was recently unemployed with a new baby and over the course of the next few weeks boxes began to arrive, everything ever to do with me as a child, pictures, drawings shoes, down to the wedding album of my husband and I. Never a word since has been spoken, four years and another baby now. And he tells the neighbors I abandoned him.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nana

    After investing a retirement fund in a business for a daughter and son to work together, influenced by her boyfriend, my son wash pushed out of the business so her inexperienced boyfriend could be bookkeeper. She would not communicate with me, instead said speak to my lawyer. Within a year she filed bankruptcy without an explanation, to-date. I lost my investment that I thought would provide additional retirement income. Now the only contact has been to send religious message about love and forgiveness. I think she owes me an explanation for what she did before we can begin to mend the relationship. Am I wrong?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment mostlymendedbrokenheart

    I was a single parent to two girls, who both cut me out of their lives about 10 maybe 12 years ago, at ages 21 and 28. It was an agony beyond description, lots of tears for many years. Cut off from grandkids, too. People logically think that someone is to blame in any situation, and so on top of having your heart torn out, you may be blamed on top of it. I was blamed on occassion by some ignorant and judgmental person. Also an evil sister spread lies of abuse on my part (30 years later) which were totally fictitious, for her own need for love from my grown kids, being a miserable spinster as she is. Must destroy bonds of love to steal the ‘object': she can’t create her own true bonds of love–a sick exploiter.

    Anyhow, I tried very hard amidst tears to figure it all out for years. I apologized for anything and everything, I soul searched and am very honest with myself and others. I know that I was a VERY loving and good mom, not perfect, but who is perfect? Walking on eggshells for 10 plus years, they will be offended anyway, because offense works for them, why?– I don’t know.

    If these two adult children can’t forgive, and need to stay bitter towards me, and cannot accept heartfelt apologies, and can’t love, and must withhold all love and kindness, it’s time for me to move on…

    I hope they don’t sacrifice the souls of their children by teaching their children to “not like this grammy, but we like this one”, but I do detect this hate and prejudice being taught to my grandkids already. They may be teaching their children how to teach THEM when they kids grow up. Example being the best teacher. And I hope they do receive the same treatment, so they may learn empathy for what it feels like to be cut off and despised…and know the kind of pain they caused.

    With a clean conscience, I can move on, and there surely are abandoned elderly people in nursing homes whose children don’t visit them, even on holidays or their birthdays, who could use a loving child by proxy–this I can do.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment ECHOman

    I decided about 8 months ago to cut off ties with my entire family including my parents. I always thought, ever since I was a child, that there was something really wrong in there. You don’t just have to hit someone to make them leave you. All you have to be is grossly insensitive (as in, “I have no idea why he/she left? >> EXACTLY!!!) Narcissists always pretend to be victims of others when they are truly just victims of their own social/moral deficiencies. I applaud those who stop idolizing their abusive parents and make use of their rights and freedoms as adults to move forward with themselves in love and harmony with the planet and better, healthier people. We all die. There is no reason to spend precious time with people who mostly hurt you – no matter their title.

    Might I return to them someday? Maybe. But not unless there is strong evidence that the narcissism has abated (fat chance).

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Silas

    ECHOman, I agree 100%.

    Parents reap what they sow.

    When an adult daughter or son abandons an elderly parent, it means that the parent was/is abusive. Period.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Silas

    And I mean maddeningly so, such that the alternative to abandoning the parent(s) would constitute a crime along the lines of Lyle and Erik Menendez, or Edmund Kemper.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment LookingInFromTheOutside

    I have read this all because it was brought to my attention by a family member that my sister had posted on it earlier this year. 2 of her kids did cut off ties with her. So did I. The sad tales of parents that have been victimized….I am sure some are true…most are not I am betting. My sister was the sorriest excuse for a parent. Her 2 kids “abandoned” her because she allowed their older sibling to abuse them both. They were afraid he would hurt their children and told her they wanted to see her when he wasnt around and she REFUSED to comply always forcing them in the same room with a monster. Always she played dumb. This same person, got drunk and told my daughter who was 8 at the time that she was gonna take her and move away with her. She scared my child to death so my child came to me crying that she didnt want to run away with her aunt and hide from me. She obviously was mentally deranged and she was always a source of drama and lies. The whole family pretty much had nothing to do with her because if you tried to be nice and be around her, she caused family fights, was flat out ugly. I have grown children, they are loving wonderful kids….cause I loved and nurtured them. Something my sister did not have the capacity to do. Her 2 kids that “abandoned” her, are awesome…so are her grandkids…that she refused to even walk out and even MEET when they pulled into her driveway. She was so full of anger and the need to be right that she disregarded them then claimed to be a victim. I guess it eats at your soul living like that since she took her life a few months ago. All she had left was that monster she has protected for yrs and he used her and I am sure the magnitude of the things he did to his sibling and other family members finally ate away at her soul. Point being…..dont let your pride…just because you are a parent…dont let it keep you from your kids. Parents screw up. Have enough character to tell your kids that instead of refusing to bend or meet in the middle….we have suffered a terrible loss. My sister was her childrens worst enemy. She was her own worst enemy too in the end. You must have inner peace and love yourself before you can love someone else.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Charlene Bloodworth

    Lookinginfromtheoutside, your sister, who was my friend, did battle many demon’s and those demon’s eventually caused me my friendship with her. I have been totally heartbroken since I learned of her death only days after. I don’t know all of the circumstances surrounding her death but am deeply saddened regardless. She was a wonderful person on one side, and quite scary on the other. But I loved her regardless. I’m sure that that “monster” that lived with her caused her her share of grief as she spoke with me many times of the situation with him. Some times a mother is more drawn to the child that they know needs them the most, and as you know, her other 2 children were strong willed, and self sufficient. My heart goes out to all of you for your loss, and for your hardships surrounding her. Please feel free to contact me. My e-mail address is cbloodworth8@gmail.com. If you could please pass that along to K as well.

  • http://Lonelylady Karen

    I am with you on that one. I have the same problem with my daughters. It is heartwrenching to say the least. I have almost given up on my life. Still feel so hurt and heartbroken.

  • http://Sowhydoesthishappen. Bonnie

    I never dreamed this would happen with my daughter. When she met the man she is now engaged to…everything was him. We (husband and I) felt we never could say the right things, act right and didn’t deserve a call once in a while. 2 years later and now no contact and she said we were abusive because we yelled at her when she was young. My goodness…she is 31 years old…never heard this before now. We had a wondrful, loving and fun relationship. So shocked. Has this became the norm…? So hurt, feel like it is a death…hurts more I think. Cry everyday.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bet

    I too am broken by the situation of abandonment by adult children. Am wondering whether these adult children just have no foregiveness as a characteristic in their lives or heart. I don’t know how anyone can really create what seems to be a missing gene – it is almost sociopathic. Perhaps the problem is also that parents have given too much and expected not too much back in return – life is a 2-way street but it doesn’t somehow seem to operate that way these days. Conscience doesn’t seem to somehow function in their lives.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Terri

    I am completely devastated as I am going through this with my adult children. I have only seen my grandson about 5 times in over 3 years and have never even seen or held my almost 1 year-old granddaughter.
    My daughter got married this Sept. and I was not invited. I look at the wedding pictures on facebook, cry, and wonder why I am even alive. I was a single parent, did the best I could at the time, tried to teach them Christian values; but must have failed to teach them unconditional love, loyalty, and forgiveness. I wasn’t perfect, but what parent is? I email them, text and phone my daughter who won’t answer. I don’t even have my son’s phone number, though he only lives about 5 miles from me. It’s like they have just cut me off and now I feel my whole life has been a waste… They don’t care if I live or die and I’m beginning to feel the same way.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mary

    I too am going through this, my daughter whom I love so very much and was very close with,just stopped calling I have not seen her or my granddaughter for a few months, my only contact is seeing their post and pics on Facebook..I don’t want to go into details…just want to say I love her and my granddaughter and miss them terribly..

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment PJ

    Some reality to consider: It stands to reasonability and sensibility that there is ‘something’ contributed to the parent child relationship by the parent that would facilitate an adult child choosing to distance, and/or set healthier boundaries regarding their relationship with their senior parent. The parent will- in the vastest vast majority of cases- remain ultimately responsible for the health of the relational dynamic between themselves and their child/children no matter the age of the ‘child’….because the parent determines/ builds the foundation for the relationship from the day their son or daughter is born. Sometimes elder parents of adult children have had a high degree of narcissism in their personality makeup, making it almost impossible for them to be self reflective in a way that allows them to accept accountability for deficits in their parenting that were large enough to cause damage to their son/daughters sense of safety and self esteem. That commonly results in an injury to the psyche that won’t completely heal for their son/daughter. That is parenting filed under ‘not meeting the emotional and/or physical needs of a child’.
    Do we think this kind of parenting won’t come around to bite us in the backside…eventually? Selfish and emotionally and/or physically neglectful parenting has ‘side effects’ that last a lifetime, and it can do irreparable harm to a developing human being. Truth is… We’d have to all have been a ‘fly on the wall’ to have a real understanding of the goings on in the relational dynamic between a senior-aged parent and an adult child where disconnect is chosen by that son/daughter. That is…if the goal is to be fair and balanced in perspective.
    Here’s an article that offers the other side of coin regarding the impact of subtle neglect and/or abusive parenting on the parents part. Sometimes friends, family and others in the family/child’s sphere of influence are just not clued into, or are fooled by the narcissist parent…These parents are usually adept at convincing everyone around them of their ‘stellar’ parenting skills, and kindness and warmth…while in the privacy of the relationship with their child, they are projecting ‘their’ misery on the family dynamic, often offloading on one child… the perceived vulnerable, sensitive child in the family, in particular – if they have more than one child.
    This ‘one child’ will be the one who will decide (and rightly so) to ‘let momma take care of herself’ as she ages. The kind of behavior, by a parent that, ultimately, causes an adult child to distance is often hidden by the parent in public settings… and/or is not perceived as abusive by some family members or friends because they themselves have these maladies existing in their own family systems, therefore they are oblivious to it. It can be subtle …but it’s never subtle to the child or adult child of a narcissist parent. And it’s often the elder parent that complains the loudest about how “they never imagined that their child would treat them ‘this’ way” that are probably candidates for having been the parent operating under the influence of narcissism. And these types of parents are consummate ‘gas lighters’ when the are faced with accounts by their adult children of their meanness and/or neglect/abuses…even in their old age, they maintain ‘no fault’ for the state of the relationship. It’s amazing what these types of people/parents don’t remember. http://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/20/the-undeserving-parent/

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marion

    My adult twins, (24yrs), have all but cut off contact with me. I was a single mum, (their father left us, soon after they were born). I was extremely heartbroken after his leaving. I developed post-natal depression, unfortunately wasn’t idgnosed, untill many years later, ( when they were 8yrs).
    I received medical advice to send them to live, for an uncertain time, (while i was being treated), with someone i felt i could trust & rely on.
    It was heartbreaking to have to do this, but i only wanted what was best for them.
    I chose their god-parents, who had regular prior contact with us, at times, when my anxiety & poor coping ability was at its worst.
    I never imagined i would lose their love & respect, after making this decision.
    Their whole attitude towards me has slowly, but surely continued to deteriorate, since then.
    I wasn’t a perfect mum, i know that, but my anxiey, depression, & even obsessive compulsive disorder, brought on by the anxiety, made it impossible to be the great mum i so wanted to be.
    I have lots of reasons to believe now, that the god-parents, whom i trusted, drove a wedge between us, for their own selfish reasons. I have tried so hard to have them explain to me, what happened while my twins were with them. But they just ignore every attempt i make to have them explain things.
    I know my twins loved me, even when i was so unwell, but now, it’s as if i don’t even exist. I am very, very heartbroken.
    I do make many efforts to keep the contact going with my twins, (a boy & girl).
    However more recently when i dared to suggest that their god-parents are responsible for us being estranged, it has only made things worse.
    I try to stay positive & hopefull, but i am so heartbroken, & don’t know what else to do.
    Has anyone else had this sort of experience?
    (i mean through a serious illness).
    Thanks, Marion H.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment E Johnson

    I discovered about 6 years ago that my oldest daughter didn’t want any connection with me or her family. I do not know now or then what brought this on. She remarried for the fourth time and eventually told my granddaughter, at age 13, that her grandparents were dead. I think that her new husband has had a lot to say about this….could I be wrong? EMJ

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Patricia Mazzarella

    Thank you for sharing your story and heartbreak. It made me cry for you and for myself because I have been experiencing the same thing. I can’t tell the details right now because I try to keep from the sadness by staying busy and focusing on God’s gifts in my life. When I talk or write about the rejection, the lies, and the withholding of my grandchildren and great grandchildren I can’t stop crying. It is a great consolation to know that others understand. I will keep you in my prayers and hope you will keep me in yours.

  • http://www.kidsrights.ca Jodi12

    Sure; write letters, try to keep in touch.
    Sounds like good old 1950’s advice. These kids call the police, misuse laws by pressing charges for trespassing if you go to their house to attampt to hold out an olive branch. Sending unwanted mail is Criminal Harassment and driving by their house is stalking. If you want more heartbreak in your life, take the advice.The only people on a “Campaign” is the kids.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sally

    There should be laws against this. People need to approach their legislative members to ensure that our human needs are met. This is less than human treatment. Bullying and emotional abuse should not be tolerated.
    Many adult children are control freaks on a “Rights” campaign. They would think twice if they had less rights and more obligations.

  • http://Action/Reaction Bonnie

    For every action there is a reaction! fair ?

    When I read some of the posts, I ask myself what was the action that triggered the reaction. For instance someone posted that her mother slapped her in across the face; what triggered her to do that. That in itself is a reaction that is dwelled on rather than going back to the action that triggered it.

    Many people are caught angery over a reaction rather than focusing on what caused the reaction.

    For every action there is a reaction!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Debbie

    I came to this form because I too am a hurting and grieving parent, and after reading many posts, it is evident that what seems to exist are two completely opposing realities, and that appears to be why parents of adult children are having such terrible pain and regret, such as myself.

    I feel, we as parents must take full responsibility for our past actions in a fashion that validates the offense that has been brought upon our child, real or perceived. There is no other explanation and it only makes sense, that we are the ones that have caused our children to want to distance themselves from us, even forever. When someone feels good about themselves in the presence of another person, they will stay in your life.

    So as painful as this reality is, I will never put the blame on my children. I believe that with this attitude we can and will win our children’s love and acceptance back, the kind of love we crave so badly, the way they loved us when they were little children and looked up to us with innocent eyes.

    I know this works, I have been to hell and back and learned that only with humble sincere contrite remorse, will this amazing miracle take place.

  • http://aol.com Lu

    My husband died 6 months ago today… My son and I got into an arguement and he moved out a week later… I am truly left here alone… I am disabled and presently using access a ride to get around…. Now I am looking for an apt. for myself… Our relationship is grim…I feel he abandoned me. He does not even call to see if I need anything, etc. etc. This is very said for me but I know now I need to learn to do things on my own….

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Your Name

    I did not grow up in the cleever family atmosphere and suffered a lot as a child. I changed a lot in my life and gave my children a much better home than I ever knew. That being said I would have never have treated my mother and disrespected her the way my daughter does me.She treats me like a non-exsistant person. It seems in today’s society that everything that goes wrong in an adult child’s life is a parents fault. They take little accountability for the behavior or have to. It’s always the parent that has to be wrong.When I turned 21 i decided to life a life different from the one i was brought in. I would have never treated my Mother and Father the way i am treated inspite of my childhood. I see my children making parenting mistakes and hope that it comes back to bite them. I will not be a victim of abuse from an adult child (and that is what it is) becaause the have to give you some room to make mistakes and forgive as a parent. DO NOT live for your children if they abuse you as adults. There is a LOT of people with grown children who are living that way. Find support and pray that they will get a grip,and realize they are not perfect and the world does not revolve around them. There are some exceptions but most situations are situations where the adult children need to grow up and act like adults.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mary

    All children grow up to have stuff against parents. This appears to be normal to separate, to be an independent adult. However, some adult children can lay it on heavy. Granted, some parents have been very controlling, abusive. This needs to be addressed. Parents need to ask for forgiveness & work on mending their ways. However, there are parents who do-not-deserve the abuse from their adult children. We all as parents need to say, “I’m sorry” for things our children perceive they were hurt by. This is ok if it helps in the parent-adult child relationship. But this process can encourage more neglect & abuse from the child to parent. There is a limit to “I’m sorry.” A parent can become a doormat, & we do know what one does with doormats: Walk all over them, over & over. Yes, we raised our children. Nature &/or nurture. Of course we did things we regret. But our children were also born with inborn traits. They also left the nest & went out into the world & were affected by their adult lives, positively & negatively. It is not always the parent’s fault for bad feelings within the adult child. To sum up, very often it is our children who possess “defects” we did not cause. Parents will always love their children. This is the beauty of nature & nurture. They will need them in their lives. But this does not mean to keep on tolerating abuse. There is a time for a parent to finally let-go & move on, however painful this may initially be. Parents need to have respect for themselves, even if not given by their adult children. One cannot beg for love. To end on a hopeful note, very often when the parent finally lets-go the adult child will return. Remember when they were young, when you finally stopped nagging, your child stopped the “bad” behavior? Yes, they will always be our children. But the child should never be allowed to be parent to the parent.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment June

    I’m 46 years old and disabled due to a mental illness. I’m living with my mother who has become increasingly emotionally abusive since it became apparent that I am mentally ill. She has no natural maternal affection, and never did. She was very cold, unloving and cruel to me as a child, allowed my stepfather to physically abuse me (when they were dating, he would beat me just for the fun of it, and she chose to marry him).This past week things came to a head and I contacted my DMH worker and told her if I don’t get out of this apartment soon, I’m either going to commit suicide or become violent toward my mother. Thing is, I’ve been applying for other housing for several months now, because I recognized a good while back that my mother is contributing to my illness. My plan was to save up money, continue to allow her to use my credit card (I don’t own a car, or have a smart phone with an expensive contract, so I can do well on less money) to help her out because she frequently has more month than money. No more. I can probably get into another apartment in a short few months, rather than years, but the rent will be more than 80% of my income. With food stamps and my part-time job as video chat hostess on the internet, I can live fairly comfortably, since I don’t need the gadgets and toys that so many people seem to think are essential to their lifestyles. If she becomes ill and needs care, she can contact senior services. I’m done. She has pushed me to the point where I honestly believe she is trying to induce me to take my own life simply because she wants an apartment to herself or else provoke an incident where she can cry abuse and have me thrown out forcibly. My DMH worker says this is a common situation- a mentally disabled person living with an elder parent is mentally and emotionally abused by that parent until they reach their breaking point and either threaten or commit violence, then the parent cries “elder abuse”. I’m white knuckling it now, and over the next week I plan to contact the buildings I’ve applied to and the Housing Authority to see if I can get bumped up higher on the lists due to my being in a crisis situation. But the article seems to trivialize the fact that some adult children “abandon” their parents due to abuse that continues on into adulthood, and often becomes worse if the adult child has a mental illness or disability. I used to love my mother and wanted to take care of her, but she has exhausted my capacity for love and compassion with her cruelty. I just can’t stand being around her anymore.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marc Bennet

    So, we are now to feel sorry for parents, who, through the sorely lacking mercy of their children find that those children, have seen fit to disassociate themselves from their parents. Sounds compassionate, certainly sounds like a great way to sell books and sooth uncomfortable consciences, but wait a minute.. something has been left out. What could it be you ask? Simply this:

    The child, and only the child is fit to judge the effects of a parent’s actions on their life, the pain they might have caused, the scars and damage these “badly treated” parents caused. Only the child, and not the parent can decide what that child needs to heal and, more importantly to move on with their life. Only the person living their life is fit to judge what another has done. If those parents disagree, feel badly treated, misunderstood, well… too bad. Your child has, in their role as the sole master of their life, their heart, and their mind, judged you inadequate, damaging and so dangerous they feel the need to separate themselves from you forever. What you feel, what you think is totally irrelevant. You are simply repeating what no doubt alienated your child from you in the first place, you were, in your self-centered refusal to recognize your child is now an adult, and has absolute, unquestionable authority over deciding what is right and wrong in their life, and you were judged and found wanting. Your fault. Not theirs.

    Now is their chance to assert authority over their lives. Now is the time for you to face the consequences of your actions. I encourage and applaud children who have the courage to stand up to the emotional tyranny of their parents and remove what is painful from their lives and begin to find the happiness they deserve. Hooray for the children. Finally, they have their moment.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment sah

    I am the mother of two adult daughters who both have cut me off with reasons that I feel are not horrific enough for such treatment. When they were young children growing up I treated them great! they were never ever abused in anyway,they lived a life filled with everything that I could afford to give them …this included horses (and they both had quite a few through the years)I spent a lot of $ on them & their horses (shows, riding lessons etc.. etc..) My oldest loved to go camping with me and yes I would load everything in the trailer and bring the horses camping as well! how many children get to do this with a parent!? they always had exchange sleepovers with their girl friends/ they were involved in a lot of school activities & I was the one who taxied them to where ever it was they had/wanted to go…they both attended every school dance that took place …the list goes on & on with all the things I did for them as a parent …a loving mother! I love(d) my children dearly and I always thought they loved me ….guess what that would be a great big NO. I divorced their father(who by the way was an over the road truck driver hardly ever home while they were growing up) in 2005 and shortly after that they began to distance themselves from me. The divorce took place in Sept and for the first time in over 30 yrs I was faced with the upcomming
    holidays. “They” both had moved away after graduating HS entering into the Military to persue careers. The first Christmas arrived post divorce ..”they” both arrived and I was sooooo excited to see them…I began to talk about sleeping arrangements and decorating a tree…HUGE let down..I was told that they wouldn’t be staying with me..they will both be staying at their fathers house and celebrating the holiday there, if I wanted to celebrate I would have to go there to be with them!…OMG..how could I deal with this??? I am being forced to spend my first post divorce holiday at my x’s home in order to see my children on Christmas morning.. I hate this person..”he” broke up the family due to his cheating habits (so many times I lost count) I began to feel so ill but I ATE CROW. I woke up Christmas morn all alone, I sat in the living room sipping on my coffee & gazing over at my holiday tree, my tree that also looked empty and alone without the joy.. the tree was never decorated. Anyway I arrived at “his” home and I felt like such an outsider…it was very uncomfortable..I was faced with photos of “him” with his girlfriend … about an hour into it my oldest daughter came to me and said “mom you should see the “rock” he put on her finger” … OMG I was already in low spirits…I didn’t need to hear that..I mean after all “our” divorce wasn’t even finalized yet and he’s already engaged! and engaged to my weight watchers coach! (I quit weight watchers) I wanted to get out of there but I continued to eat the crow and forced myself to appear happy. Thank the lord the time came when I was able to leave..I went home and cried a lot of tears that were waiting to flow all day long. The next day my daughters came to visit me…the youngest decided she’d spend some time with me and slept over…I was happy with it..we woke up in the morning and I began to make plans for us to go shopping or what ever else she wanted to do. Her day wasn’t spent with me she went off doing other stuff. She arrived back around dinner time that evening…I began to talk about cooking a meal and she just said no don’t bother “dad” has already made plans for us. Bla bla blah…she arrived back about 10pm … I was hurt and began to ask her..when are you going to spend some time with me?? why is it your “dad” makes plans and you don’t even give me a thought when accepting his invites! we began to argue over this stuff..she got pissed off at me and started to gather her stuff together…I said to her..if that’s what you want then go..get out of my house..go stay with your father! she left and I never saw her again until 06…out of the blue she called me and said..hey I’m up here for a visit..want to go shopping or something? … I said sure, she came over we went out to lunch total time spent about 2 hours. She went back to her fathers house and I didn’t hear from her after that and then a few days later my door bell rang early in the am…there she was standing there on the porch with her luggage… what she said blew my mind “we all figured the ride into Logan would be a good time for “us” to have some mother daughter time together” …. OMG..I thought she had already left…she spent 2 hours with me and was gone…now she needs a ride into Boston!! I told her NO invited her in while she waited for one of “them” to come back and get her. Long story short…that’s the last time I saw her she’s married now(I found that out through a grapevine) she has two children (I’ve never met them) My other daughter she’s also ignoring me… “birds of a feather flock together” …I’ve tried many many times to make contact without success. Then I decided to do something I shouldn’t do but heck…I want to know WHY??? I called her extension number where she works (she’s a licensed therapist) ..I left her simple words…”you have ignored all my attempts to reach you..all I want is to know WHY..why are you doing this to me. One day later I got an email…(well that phone call got her attention) the email wasn’t nice at all…she went on and on about what a crappy childhood she had to live, how I never did anything for her or her sister.. then she went on telling me “you need some extensive help! I will not even consider contacting you or being involved in your life … maybe I will after you get that HELP! that’s it….she has told me that I was a rotten parent all through her and her sisters younger years and neither her nor her sister do not want me to make any more contact attempts.
    ended it with
    STOP TRYING TO CONTACT US

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment sara

    Especially to Marc Bennet who seems to think that the parents must always be at fault…Here is an example of destruction which has nothing to do with the quality of parenting. What I am talking about is freedomainradio.com and the leader is Stefan Molyneux. Just have a look at the video at the top of the webpage fdrliberated.com and you will understand that there are other reasons besides bad parenting that creates this result…unless you agree with Stefan Molyneux that all parents are bad, manipulative, controlling bullies, except, of course, for him.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment sara

    Oh, just realized that the video which I am referring to has been pushed down to the middle of the page. It is under Stefan Molyneux and defoo, defined.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment sara

    I just realized that something new has been added to the fdrliberated website and the video I’m referring to has been pushed downward. It is under the heading Stefan Molyneux and defoo, defined. Please take the time to listen to it for a better understanding of one of the reasons that adult children abandon their parents. It’s really disturbing.

  • victoria

    Am mara, i base in USA. i had problem with my ex boy friend some months ago. And he was cheating on me which hurt me badly,and he was also avoiding me,He no longer pick my calls.I was totally confused cos i don’t know what to do.There was a day i was surfing the internet i came in contact with this spell caster who have helped so many people in their relationship.So i contacted him and explain everything to him.And he told me to do some things,I did the correctly.To cut it short.My ex boy friend gave me a call and said to me that we should have a date,i agreed.On the date,He was begging me to have him back and i agreed we are now together as one again,Planing our wedding.thank you Prophet Osaze. meet him via his email; spirituallove@hotmail. com

  • Camille McCabe

    Usually the same thing happens to the child in their marriages, so its okay to call out the bad person til its you doing the bad…..Mothers have no choice but to sit out the mothers day all alone, so while its supposed to be a happy day for some, its a lonely day for others. So why not mothers day, it lifts up the sad people on this lonely day to know that we are not alone. My children have a hard time talking to me because the father talked about me every breathing moment and didn’t care that my children actually needed me…to hear the stories of my son coming home from school every day and being picked on and his dad was never there for him..when my children become 15, 16, and 17 their dad kicked them out.

  • anon5987

    All my life I was reminded about how I was supposed to die when I was born which is why the doctor allowed my mother to take me home. Well I didn’t die, unfortunately. Since then I have been repeatedly bad mouthed, abused in other ways, beaten when my siblings did wrong and blamed for every hardship my family endured. My siblings were encouraged to upset and hurt me. When I was 3 I was sexually molested and tried to tell my mother and she pointed in my face and told me that I “would never say things like that about her family again.” The feeling of loss and total abandonment made me realize that my ‘living’ when I should have died would be the death of me.’ Over 5 decades later, I am still enduring the abuse from my family. I have lived for the last 40 years just seconds away from suicide, but some inner drive (or whatever it is) doesn’t let me go there… yet. I was severely injured 14 years ago and had to have several surgeries and nobody in my family said anything to me. No calls, letters, get well cards, nothing. Now in my marriage I obviously chose the same kind of person. He speaks to me about 15 minutes a month, and that’s only if I persist. I do often suffer the verbal slams from him; I am a b%$#, a w^$#*, etc. Its been over a year since I have had a shower or washed my hair. I cannot do it alone and need help and he is so self-centered that I will not get help so I suffer, usually silently.

    Because I grew up under my fathers influence (once he saw my mothers treatment of me) he made sure that she and I were not left alone. I was taught to obey the 10 commandments including the 5th. ‘Honor you father and mother’. I was never notified that my dad was ill so I never got the chance to tell him how I felt before he died. However, all of my other siblings were at the hospital before his surgery. None of them and there were 6 bothered to let me know either.

    So I do not have a family, I have no one to listen when things get too hard for me. I have decided that when I die that there will be no notification to them. They can read it in the paper, why should I continue to ‘honor my mother’ when she promoted the whole ‘turn my life into crap’ ordeal. Whatever she feels about me no longer seeing her, is for her to deal with. She told me recently that she is ill and things don’t look good, which I know is her way of begging me to come take care of her. They only problem with that is I am bedridden, now for over 4 years and the news that she is not good doesn’t make my illness go away or get better.

    She will have to answer for her behaviour to a much higher power than me soon. So its just tough if she feels neglected, I am washing my hands of her and my siblings, the 4 that are left which one of them was a suicide so I cannot be all wrong on how un-supportive they all are.

  • http://www.rejectedparents.net Sheri

    There are heartbreaking stories on both sides of this situation (parents and children). Our adult son is estranged from the whole family. In our case, our other adult children remain close, and we’re very fortunate to enjoy them.

    It’s been an emotional road, and we are all moving forward in acceptance. We are all still confused and hurt, but we also must live our lives and move on in happiness. I am helping other parents through my website (http://www.rejectedparents.net).

    We all hope that he is happy and well. Maybe one day we will be united.It will take a great amount of effort, but it could be done.

  • Denise

    Selfish, heartless brats that don’t deserve your tears, pain and guilt. Mine is never getting the chance to treat me like dirt EVER again. I will make sure of that. I’ve been the sappy doormat way too long.

  • http://gonzalez.jonathan1261988@yahoo.com Jonathan

    I was abandoned by my mother and father. To read how many ungrateful people there are who have not respect for the person who sacrificed so much to raise them is ridiculous. I don’t have any kids of my own, but it scares me to think they could turn out like that. Unless the parent molested you or did anything like that you have no right. You are ungrateful and there are kids in the world who wished they had at least one parent dysfunctional or not.

  • bettye

    We have adult children whom we raised away from my family due to the repeated abuse I received. I knew if I didn’t my children would be in constant competition with their cousins and suffer as I did. We did the very best we knew to give them what they needed and love. We made sure that they had good contact with my family from a far with Christmas visits so that they knew that they also had extended family and a grandmother. My daughter married a very successful who is
    controlling. His family ways were and are paramount and my daughter is not only a willing participant but has pushed us aside. Although she lives blocks away we only see her on birthdays and holidays. My grandchildren love us but associate with my son-in-law’s family as a result. We take them out and have them over only when we take the initiative. I’m more than pained by my daughter’s lack of loyalty and the limited time we see her. She is very liked by all and always says the very right thing to everyone. With me she is short, mouthy and doesn’t seem very interested in much or spending some time with me. I don’t understand her betrayal and disloyalty, however, I have approached her to express my hurt, but she becomes ambivalent. So, I have given up hope for a relationship that I have always hoped for. I thought by age 40, her sensitivities would have set in. Therefore, I give up, but I am left with dealing with the pain.

  • Lee Jd

    Bfffft, blame the parent culture. That’s real cute.

    … I wish these entries were date-stamped.

    I like to blame th bible in particular for our culture’s views regarding kids and their parents. Like how kids are expectd to love an honour their mommy and papa… No matter what. And there is, of course, no mention of the vica verca.

    People who estrange themselves from their parents are OFTEN put under pressure by their other family members and even their friends to suck it up and play nice. There is actually very little support for them. And I find that incredibly frustrating, especially because people in general assume that the ‘kid’ is just being whiny and priveliged. The assumption is NEVER that there is actually a serious problem.

    I have heard countless times from friends that things couldn’t have been that bad. I must have misheard or misunderstood when my mother would call me names and swear at me and ridicule me from a young age. I must have dreamed about all of the times she struck me on the rear for what were, really, very small and insignificant things. And I must have been daydreaming all the times she embarrassed me in front of friends, family, and the public in general and made me cry in the middle of a room full if strangers.

    See, my friends often didn’t believe my horrible mother tales because she was an excellent actor. She could play the innocent, caring, doting mom when other people were around. Only a couple of my close friends witnessed her actual self and truly understand me.

    Cut parents slack? How dare you. I didn’t choose to be born into verbal abuse, occassional beatings, and a crippling lack of self-worth. I sometimes wish I never had been.

    Don’t encourage people to assume innocence.

    • Katydid

      I was listening to a radio program in the car one day, about 10 years ago. The caller wanted to know how she could create a new relationship with her estranged father so that her children would know their grandfather.

      It seems she was molested by her father as a child, along with her sister, and he had served prison time when caught.

      The therapist on the program was obviously baffled as to why she would want this man in her life at all. It seemed others in the family had “forgiven” him since he “did his time”. The therapist said he was evil and no one is under any obligation, family or not, to keep evil in their life.

      The caller was so confused because hey, it was her “Dad” she was talking about. I was shocked she would even consider allowing this person in the same room as her children.

      I’d like to think this article is more talking about misunderstandings between parents and their now-adult children, adult children questioning the decisions the parents made 10 or even 20 years ago, and not abuse or neglect.

    • Sonia

      My mother abandoned me, ‘shunned’ is the correct term when a narcissist abandoned their child, It’s like you get tossed to the curb.

      The better I made my life the nastier she got, her explanation for the fall out to others is “She thinks she is to good for us now” and “she got married and doesn’t need her family any more”. No mention of “I told my daughter that I couldn’t be happy or be as involved in your wedding like a mother should be, because you didn’t get married when you should” or “Those kids are only good by accident because its nothing you’ve done”. Years and years of verbal abuse made the beatings we took feel like play time. But in public you couldn’t get a nicer person, so excited about other people accomplishment, and mile stones, seriously her emotional investment in others is out of this world. I don’t speak to that bitch, and if people try to medal in what they think they no as the right thing to do. I tell them straight with out hesitation, “do you really think that I should go and sort this out so she can abuse me again? and “I put up with it when I was a child and now that I am an adult I get to choose” and I choose no!!! It makes me angry too when I see the poor parent as an innocent victim, really did they raise the family with love and acceptance, and the parent was the only one who turned out functional ???

    • Amber LaVelle

      I have had the abusive father both verbal and physical, I wanted nothing but to have a relationship with him. Innocence no forgiven yes, and just to let you in on some truth the bible does command children to honor parents, for the benefit of the child not the parent..Eph 6:2-3 God will take care of them, I know this for truth…So in this I made sure that my children never felt the pain I did and guess what I have been cut out of one of my daughters life’s, she was raised in love and respect. What you need to find some peace in your heart and let the hurt go, not all parents are abusive and still get their hearts ripped out by their children. Don’t assume that all parents are 100% guilty….some parents need a break, life is hard and learning how to deal with everything that comes with raising children only to find out that the 20 years you poured into them and I do mean poured…only to be cut off to have your continued apologies rejected, for not understanding what was going on, to beg for forgiveness, telling them in letters and card which is the only way you can communicate to them, nothing but how much you love them and want to be a part of their life. Some adult children get mixed up with the wrong people! The parent had nothing to do with that especially when they are 20. You should listen to Joyce Meyes testimony she was sexually molested over years by her father and her mother looked the other way, she knows today that even though it was so evil the good that has come from it all is soooooo much better. She took care of her father in the last 5 years of his life and he came to her one day and apologized to her and asked for forgiveness she gladly gave it to him and she has so much peace. I pray you will have that same peace!

  • sharpei

    It’s been thirty years since my older son has come to visit me; I don’t know my granddaughters. He sends beautiful birthday and Mother’s Day cards (He is alcoholic, a common family condition in the generations), but no phone calls. My second son comes to visit once a year, calls occasionally and emails, but I’ve not been invited to his home in the last five years. (No, I have not said or done anything.) His wife seems to be the catalyst and his motto is, (Yes, you guessed it); ‘Happy wife, happy life.’ She is gay (My son told me about seven years ago and let her know that he had told me.) I have had the conversation with her that although I am Christian I am not from Alabama; I’m from Boston and I have no problem with whatever her sexuality is as they seem to have figured it out.) The kids (Don’t ask; I don’t.) were raised without religion and the parents are excellent parents and the kids are so brilliant. They are a cohesive and good family unit. I don’t hear from the kids; I send birthday and Christmas cards and gifts. Although I am Christian, I have liberal views on social issues and I let her know, figuring that she would not hold my religion against me. I think she has ‘tolerated’ me but never has shown any inclination to get close or get to know me. She has never asked how I was, and I stopped asking about her after ten or so years. I was fully prepared to accept both daughters-in-law as daughters as I never had a daughter and would have loved to have that relationship. I am 72, divorced and live alone in a nearby state. I know I will have to make my way alone throughout my senior years and know that somehow it will work out. God has helped me find some measure of peace and contentment in spite of this. Just wanted to share and see if anyone else has had this experience. Thank you.

    • jra please

      THE WORSE EVENT OF MY IIFE ( AND I HAVE HAD MANY) WAS WHEN MY ADULT DAUGHTER DUMPED ME, TOLD ME SHE NEVER HAD EVER LIKED ME OR LOVED ME ETC. THREE YEARS OF SICK TO MY STOMACH CRYING AND SHE CALLED ME WHEN SHE HAD A BABY AND HAS LET ME INTO HER LIFE ON A LIMITED BASIS. DURING THOSE THREE YEARS I ACTUALLY NEVER GOT OVER IT, BUT I DID CHANGE MY EXPECTATIONS . I ISOLATED, DIDNT WANT TO TALK TO OLD FRIENDS ASHAMED THAT SHE DUMPED ME AFTER I DID SO MUCH FOR HER –SENT HER TO NURSING SCHOOL. ETC. SO ASHAMED. ANYWAYS, FOR ANYBODY WHO WANTS A LITTLE HOPE, I AM POSTING. SHE IS BACK IN MY LIFE WITH A NEW LITTLE BOY AND ITS NICE. I DONT KNOW HOW THE STORY WILL END BUT I TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME AND REALIZE THAT I WASNT A FAILURE AS A MOM AND MUST ACCEPT THAT SOME PEOPLE ARE DISLOYAL A-HOLES. (OKAY, THE BITTERNESS IS STILLL THERE BUT I AM WORKING HARD ON CONTROLLING IT) AND I JUST WANTED PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT ONE DAY, THE ‘KID’ MAY JUST SIMPLY CHANGE HER MIND AFTER YOU SPENT MONTHS SOUL-SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS THAT DIDNT COME CUZ THERE WERE NON. GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU.

  • mom4j

    sad mom
    My oldest child “disowned me” after I remarried. I put him through college paid for his phone, car, place to live even though I was struggling as a single mother financially. His father was a dead beat Dad but I felt that he should still have a relationship with him regardless and I was really careful not to talk bad or down about him even though he didn’t offer help. When I met my new husband every one seemed happy the wedding pictures had my boys in it walking me down the aisle. Then all of a sudden, i call my oldest son to see how he is doing and he tells me that he does not wish to have me in his life any longer that I was abusive to him. I was really taken back by this because I never raised a hand to him, nor did i ever even yell at him. We had a very close relationship he told me everything about his life without me even prompting him. I am very confused, hurt, sad and now i am angry. He is a psychology graduate and I wonder if he is just confused. Not only has he shut me out of his life but the entire family has been cut off including his father. I am concerned he is either doing drugs or has a mental illness but because he refuses to see me there is nothing I can do because he is an adult. He has a good job and looks healthy according to the pictures on Facebook (thank god for social media bc even though he is not my friend on Facebook i can still see him.) I am just so confused i keep playing back our lives together and wonder why it has come to this. He is very cruel to me when I try to reach out. His anger towards me actually frightens me because it is just strange/odd. I am still blaming my self where I wake up in the middle of the night feeling like it is my fault somehow. I don’t know where I went wrong. He tells me I was a horrible mother. I wish i could say that he is justified by his statements but I can’t because i don’t really understand them. when i ask him what i did to abuse him he says he doesn’t want to get into it. When i ask why he is so angry he says i was not a good mother. There is no other explanation from him. Just i do not want to have anything to do with you.

    • Amber LaVelle

      I will be praying for you, you remember this you are the MOM that God picked to be his mother…Your good enough for God! and that is amazing! The prayers of a mother touches the heart of God…we want nothing the best for our children and His heart is the same, you are Gods best for your son. Stay strong, stay in forgiveness and ask to see the good that will come from this. We are walking in hard times and this world wants to steal our treasures (our children) from us, in Jesus name they can not be taken from us!
      P.S. don’t blame yourself, it’s the worst place to be that’s a dark dark hole I came out of and it’s not truth it’s a lie….we all make mistakes, but not to the point to be cut off.

  • Amber LaVelle

    Truth….It’s beyond words to describe the pain when your
    child cuts you off. When you truly laid your life down, my vary breath was for
    my daughters. I didn’t have a great
    family life growing up with an alcoholic father who betrayed my mother with
    adultery…but I hungered to have the love of my father and for whatever reason
    he just couldn’t bring himself to allow me in.
    I have forgiven him because of this, I never walked a day in his life,
    mind or past hurts that had brought him to such a place. Because of all the junk I did in my life “blaming
    my dad” because of the abandonment issues, all of the self-beating because I
    wasn’t good enough. Yes I went through a
    lot and with God’s truth in the bible I found myself realizing that if he (my
    dad) really could see what he was doing he would stop, just has I had done 29
    years ago. I wanted to make sure my children always knew how much they were
    loved and cherished, my husband and I raised our daughters with deep prayer and
    conviction of what we should do in their lives.
    We believe that has parents we are to be like a light house for them,
    used to help guide them in and out of life, when the storms of life are hard we
    are the safe harbor to come to and when that is over send them back out. Never having parents to teach us how to be “Parents”
    we sought after many avenues to be the best we could, we have never claimed to
    be perfect and made our mistakes that always came with an apology. The reality is no matter what you say, how
    hard you try to do what you believe is good for them their perception can be so
    against you. We have trained our
    daughters to Love God, be kind to others and always seek how to bring peace
    with you can. Then the worst storm of
    our life happen our youngest turned 18 and had so many people influencing her
    to go do what you want your parents can’t control you anymore. Sadly to say the church we served for 17
    years was behind this and even more, saying one thing to our face and another
    to our daughter’s. The youngest left and
    we were unable to find her make contact with her for 9 weeks, at this time I
    thought it was my darkest days boy was I wrong.
    She has turned to so much that breaks our hearts because she is on a
    road that we know very well and it only will bring pain. Then she called and came back into our lives
    only because she really didn’t have anywhere to go, but within one week of her
    return our middle daughter drop a bomb on us that’s when our world as we know
    it will never be the same. The daughter
    that would never leave my side always came to me for everything, shy, peaceful
    and seemed to be right there for me when I was hurting over our youngest,
    saying it’s going to be alright mom and would hold me. The bomb….she had been lying to us for over a
    year and left cut us out of her life, got married and made sure we would not be
    invited and has blamed us for everything, has told everyone that she has done
    this because we got upset (angry) at this, was our actions right “NO” have we apologized
    many times “YES”. The Pastor of the
    church we attended for 17 years informed me (because I called him) he was
    marring them that they are adults and can do what they want, and that I needed
    to get over myself I’m not that important!
    It has been over 2 year and a grand-daughter since we have had any form
    of real contact with her. We have done
    all the letters, cards, Christmas gift and baby gifts, but the 2 times we have
    seen her it’s cold and nothing there, like we are strangers. So much more to this but really trying to
    keep this somewhat short, the place we are is now….We are the one’s God hand-picked
    to give birth to her, to raise her and train her! No one can take our place that God gave us in
    her life and no one can BLESS her marriage, or children or life like we can the
    parents God picked! The Bible commands children
    to honor their parents (with no conditions on the parents) so that life will be
    good for the CHILDREN! I chose
    forgiveness for all involved, I pray that God who is the God of restoration will
    restore all to the place where He created us to be, and that is not division it’s
    in unity with all. God commands us to
    Love one another, trust in Him….I pray for all families who are going thru this,
    I have been the child that was rejected and the parent, both sides are so painful
    but the pain will bring me to a place to love where I have never known this
    kind of love. Jesus suffered for us to
    have eternal life, and that is a gift to be received. I will never give up because God never gives
    up on me.

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