5 Reasons Why Adult Children Estrange From Their Parents

Updated on February 13, 2018
Kim Bryan profile image

I lived in an unhealthy family for more than 40 years, but I didn't make the choice to "break up" with my parents overnight.

Why Would Someone Estrange From Their Parents?

For most people, it's unimaginable for a grown man or woman to choose to stop all contact with their parents. The people who provided food, clothes, and shelter, attended dance recitals, volunteered at school, or cheered from the bleachers during every Friday night's football game don't deserve to be abandoned in their old age just because they made some parenting mistakes, right?

Wrong.

According to Monica Ross, LPC, "If either party feels as though they cannot be respectful, loving, and supportive towards the other, then yes, it's time to move on and find those with whom one can. This is true for family members, friends, coworkers, and really anyone one would surround oneself with."

Dysfunction, especially when combined with abuse, does not end once a child reaches adulthood or because the abuser begins to get old. By then, the abusive parent is well-versed in the tactics needed to make their children do what they want, and these behaviors are likely to continue right up until the parents' death, unless someone—usually the abused—makes it stop.

I am one of those people who recognized slowly what was happening to me. I didn't make the choice to "break up" with my parents overnight, and I'm not happy I have no relationship with them. I'm sad my family is broken. I wish it was different, but it isn't.

If my parents had been willing to really listen to what their adult child had to say, to respect and consider it, the outcome would have been entirely different. Yet as I've learned in my journey to understand and heal, I am not alone. Thread after thread of internet discussions are filled with the stories of people who've made multiple attempts to repair unhealthy relations and have eventually disowned or gone no-contact with the people who raised them.

Alternatively, forums for the parents of estranged children are frequented by those who claim their son or daughter never explained their reasons for walking away. If you are estranged from your adult child, chances are they have told you why—you just chose to ignore it. And it's likely that it was one of these five reasons:

5 Reasons People End Their Relationship With Their Parent

Why Do People Stop Talking to Their Parents?

1. The Parent Disrespects the Adult Child's Spouse

Like me, many consider their parents' behavior normal until they marry. Looking at your parents from your significant other's perspective can be eye-opening.

Not having grown up under your parents' manipulations, as a new daughter- or son-in-law, your spouse may be unwilling to participate in the dysfunction that feels so natural to you. The parent who has always controlled you also expects to control your spouse, and when this fails to happen, it often results in contention, smear campaigns, and petty complaints designed to either force the new son- or daughter-in-law into compliance or get rid of them entirely via divorce.

Parents must respect their adult children and their spouses, regardless of whether they like them or not, even if you have differing expectations about family roles. You do not get to choose whom your children love. Respecting your son/daughter-in-law does not mean condoning or agreeing. Whether you want to admit it or not, you are not—nor can you ever be—the most important person in your adult child's life at all times. He cares about other people just as much as he cares about you. The sooner you understand that, the better off you'll be.

2. The Parent Refuses to Apologize

The refusal to apologize is a red flag for narcissistic personality disorder: It allows someone to justify their hurtful actions and words and blurs reality. Time and again, their children will try to make them understand a different perspective, but they continue to fail to see their own culpability. They gaslight their children into believing they are at fault and force them to apologize in order to mend the family.

To paraphrase the late Albert Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This applies to the relationship you might have with your parents. You've been running for years and yet you're still in exactly the same place as you were as a child. You might realize you have to get off the hamster wheel.

When we hurt people, we ought to apologize without justifying. Just a simple "I'm sorry, please forgive me" is enough. As Dr. Phil once said, "'But' means forget everything I just said."

I confronted my mother.... She gaslighted me, meaning she told me my perceptions were incorrect.... My mother sneered, 'You have a very vivid imagination.'

— Misty Kiwak Jacobs, A Word Please.org

3. Overbearing and Undermining Grandparenting

A disordered parent sees their child as an extension of themselves, not as an individual, and grandchildren are but one more step on the ladder of "me."

  • Did you insist on participating in naming your grandchildren? Not okay.
  • Have you ever said, "It's okay, Grandma will let you do it" when the parents said no? Undermining is not okay.
  • Did you ever demand to have your grandchildren for certain events or visits? Ask, don't demand. If you're told no, respect it.
  • Stop giving the grandchildren sugar when their parents ask you not to. How you did it then wasn't the way they did it before and certainly not the way they do it now.
  • If you still think Mother's Day or Father's Day is all about you, you've got another think coming.
  • You're not smarter than the pediatrician.
  • Sparing the rod does not always spoil the child.
  • No, it's not okay to encourage your grandchild to love you more than his/her parents.
  • Stop trying to buy your grandchild's love with gifts.
  • You're not entitled to "alone time" with your grandchildren and your insistence on such is creepy.
  • Quit taunting your grandchildren with scary stories and insulting "jokes." You're being a bully.
  • And last but not least, for the love of all that is good, quit buying the grandchildren pets without the parents' permission!

The older generation must learn the difference between parenting and grandparenting. Your days of making all the decisions are over. In this new chapter of your life, your role is to give unconditional love and guidance, but it is a privilege, not a right. A grandchild is not your prodigy, nor are they your property. Be thankful for the time you are given rather than resentful over what you think you deserve.

If you want to make sure you don't repeat your toxic parents' mistakes, read 8 Signs of Bad Parenting That Every Parent Should Know.

Parents will always hold their children in their closest circle of relationships. But those children grow up to have children of their own who fill their parents' closest circle, and the oldest generation gets bumped to the outer edges. If this happens, the older generation loses a primary relationship, so you might say that the parent's loss is greater.

4. The Parent Plays Favorites Among Siblings

In early childhood, siblings in disordered families are assigned roles as either a scapegoat or a golden child. A golden child seldom suffers consequences for misbehavior and is often praised and applauded, while the scapegoat shoulders the blame for the family's dysfunction and suffers the brunt of the consequences.

Although the role one plays may be fluid, those who are mostly scapegoats are often the first (and sometimes only) ones to see and name the dysfunction—and this seldom goes very well. Eventually, the scapegoat realizes they are alone, even among family. Some will continue to try, but many will just walk way. Cutting off toxic parents is often the only way to make sure the cycle doesn't continue.

Get therapy if you have been accused of paying favorites. Even if you don't believe it's true, talk to a therapist. Seriously, therapy.

5. Ignored Boundaries

Last but not least is the refusal of the older generation to respect the boundaries of the child/parent relationship. Because disordered minds struggle to understand boundaries, I believe this reason is better explained with examples.

  • Prying into your child's finances and/or offering unsolicited financial advice is overstepping.
  • Insisting on being present for the birth of a grandchild is wrong. Nobody but the mother-to-be and her birthing staff have the right to be in the room.
  • Giving undergarments and sex toys as gifts is inappropriate. Doing this is crossing more boundaries than I have time to list.
  • Stop insisting on spending all holidays with your adult child and behaving badly if it doesn't happen. You're an adult, for goodness sake, quit acting like a child.
  • Quit demanding "alone time" with your adult child away from their significant other. Sure it's nice, but as I mentioned with grandchildren, your insistence on such is downright creepy and concerning.
  • Discussing your marital troubles with your adult child is wrong and crosses so many hill-to-die-on boundaries. Tell it to your best friend, or may I recommend a therapist? Whatever you do, don't discuss it with your child.
  • Criticizing clothing choices, hairstyles, companions, careers, religion or lack thereof, parenting styles, and the like is crossing boundaries. It is an utter and complete disrespect for your children's right to choose what is best for themselves.

A majority of boundary crossing is rooted in a parents' inability to believe in their children. Ask yourself, "Why would my child make a bad choice? Did I not teach him the tools needed to make good decisions?" If your immediate response to is to think, "I did teach them to make good decisions but they've made so many bad ones in the past," your inability to accept your role in their repeated bad decisions is having severely adverse effects on your relationship.

At some point, the older generation must trust they have raised their children to make good decisions and respect those decisions. If you can't do this, you need to work out why with a therapist. In the meantime, keep your opinions to yourself and stop trying to "save them" or "fix" things. You're only making it worse, I promise.

They had been maligning me my whole life. . . not in a way of telling people I was a horrible person but making it seem as if I was a poor, befuddled soul, a hapless idiot, borderline mentally disturbed, a pathetic loser. None of this was true. It never was. Once I got away, my life got so much better. Oh, so much.

— Anonymous, r/raisedbynarcissists, Reddit.com

Statistics About Family Estrangements

A British report called "Hidden Voices: Family Estrangement in Adulthood," which describes a survey of over 800 people who self-identified as having estranged from all or part of their family of origin, offers some relevant data:

Who is more likely to break ties: males or females? How does gender affect closeness?

It's more common to be estranged from a mother than a father or both parents. Conversely, it's more common for daughters to estrange than sons.

However, when males estrange, it seems to be more final or longer-lasting: the average estrangement from fathers lasts 7.9 years (compared to an average of 5.5 years for mothers), and estrangements from sons average 5.2 years (with 3.8 years for daughters).

Who tends to estrange permanently: males or females?

29% of respondees described a final break with a mother, and 37% reported a final break with a daughter. Conversely, 36% described a final break with a father, and 41% with sons. So sons and fathers are more likely to experience permanent closure than daughters and mothers.

What about intermittent estrangements?

We have some insight into on-again-off-again estrangements, where family members cycle in and out of closeness over the years. 21% said their had been five or more of these cycles with mothers, where 16% experienced them with fathers. So it's more likely for mothers to experience intermittent estrangements over the years.

Who is most likely to cut off contact: parents or children?

The younger generation is usually the one to break ties. Over half of people who "divorce" a parent say they were the ones who made the move.

Is there any chance the relationship will be mended?

  • According to the parents, yes: Most parents hold out hope that they will reconcile with their child.
  • But according to the younger generation, no: More than 70% of respondents said there was no chance they'd resume communication.
  • And according to experts like Sheri Heller, LCSW, a NYC psychotherapist and interfaith minister in private practice, "If PD abusers lack the capacity for insight and positive change, it is likely they will persist with predation, denying their perfidious motives, and evidencing an absence of sincere remorse. To re-engage with this degree of pathology puts the adult victim at risk for regressing into dysfunctional interpersonal patterns, succumbing to guilt and cognitive dissonance, getting mired in confused roles, and being flooded by abandonment panic. For many, this constitutes a deal-breaker which results in finality."

If you are having trouble cutting the ties or want to know the healthiest ways to do it, read When and How to Cut the Ties of Bad Family Relationships. On the other hand, if you're looking for ways to deal with your parents rather than disowning them, read 5 Strategies for Dealing With Difficult Parents.

Will You Ever Find Out Why Your Son or Daughter Abandoned the Relationship?

The British study found an interesting generational discrepancy when it came to the communication of the reasons for the estrangement. When asked if they "concretely" told their parents why the relationship ended, over 67% said they had. This contrasts dramatically with the parents' response, where over 60% claimed they were never told why. In other words, many abandoned parents who are rejected by a child don't consciously know the reason, even though they were explicitly told. So they either forgot or didn't listen. In fact, they don't even remember the conversation.

This disparity only emphasizes the breakdown in communication in these families and suggests that the older generation might not be listening or has a hard time hearing what their children are saying, which is probably at the core of the problem.

Is That the End?

In closing, I want to say I am very well aware those listed aren't the only reasons for estrangement, nor will my advice apply in all situations. I haven't mentioned trauma, abuse, divorce, or substance abuse. I haven't talked about undiagnosed mental health issues or those who simply refuse to take their meds. That said, people don't just walk away from families that are healthy. All families have their issues, but functional families talk about them, try to understand one another's perspectives, apologize for any hurt they've caused or wrong they've done, and truly move forward, beyond all that suppressed anger and resentment.

The exact opposite is true of unhealthy, disordered families. I know. I lived in one for more than 40 years. Sadly, I didn't realize it until the abuse was heaped upon my husband and children as well, but when it became obvious, I demanded that it stop. I tried discussing the matter, only to find myself enmeshed in bitter verbal arguments. I tried using parables and comparisons, pointing out other family dysfunctions and relating them to our own, but that failed, too. I tried many ways to rectify the situation, but every time, I was met with anger and resistance.

Contrary to what they think, I didn't estrange from them to punish them, I did so to protect myself and my children. I realized I had become just like them and I made a conscious choice to change myself and to bring to an end the generations of dysfunction in my family tree.

Sadly, our story doesn't end with a happily-ever-after, but I know I made the right decision, and I know I'm not alone. Every day I read stories, online support group threads, estranged child forums, and talk with people around the globe who feel they had no other choice but to walk away. Not a single one of us is happy about it. Relieved it's over, yes, but certainly not happy with how or why.

I'm also privy to the perspectives of rejected parents. One commonly stated complaint among parents who have no contact with their children is that their child's behavior toward them reminds them of how they were treated by their own parents when they were young. If this is you, I want you to ask yourself, "If my parent was that way and my child is that way, isn't it possible I am, too?"

Some will read this and take it to heart. They'll reconsider the things they've said and done because they want to repair their broken relationship with their child and are willing to do whatever is necessary to do so. Unfortunately, however, many readers will be inclined to argue and resort to writing long comments complaining about their child to a bunch of internet strangers.

I can't change everyone. I couldn't even change my own parents. Hopefully, however, I'll get someone's attention and set in motion positive change for another dysfunctional family out there.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • Why are you putting all the blame on the parents? Do you honestly believe children are responsible for none of it? Children are ungrateful, cruel, inconsiderate too. People like you are sending the wrong message to society. It’s not always the parent's fault.

    Once again I have an estranged parent tossing out accusations and innuendo when she or he clearly hasn't taken the time to read what I wrote.

    If you had, you would know that I have adult children. Our relationship was extremely strained and heading toward full-on estrangement. However, instead of blaming them, I took an inward look at myself.

    Whether you want to hear it or not, children are created. Who we become is a reflection of how we were raised. While there are some exceptions to this rule, there are not as many as people would like to think.

    Please stop being so angry at your child and seek out the services of a family therapist in your area. I'll admit it wasn't easy taking a long, hard look at myself but it was worth it.

    I'll leave you with this caveat: I sought help, and every day my relationship with my adult children is growing stronger because it's healthy and being nurtured. My parents, however, continue to hold on to your attitude and I no longer have any contact with them, and the contact my adult children have with them is decreasing every day. Whose shoes had you rather be in?

  • Adult children can be cruel and heartless. To keep your children away from your parents when they are asking to spend time with them is heartless. I believe that they are entitled to spend time and bond with them unless they are child molesters. What are you worried about? That they will love them more than you? That’s just you being selfish and self centered! Sad to read this and think that this is what may be shaping our future.

    It's so sad to read your question/comment and think that adults old enough to be grandparents feel entitled to their adult children and grandchildren. Just as with everything else in life, you must earn the right to be in their life. I can say this because I have lived it. I strongly suggest finding a therapist and discussing your intricate family issues with him/her and work toward changing your attitude and behaviors so that you can be a part of your children and grandchildren's lives. Doing so was the best thing I have ever done in my life. The relationship I have with my adult children is better than ever. My parents, alternatively, maintain your attitude and having no contact with their daughter or grandchildren. Question is: which do you prefer? And are you willing to do the work to get it?

  • I have two daughters that cannot forget the past and these are things that have happened over 10 years ago. What should I do?

    Nobody likes hearing they’ve made mistakes. It’s a difficult pill to swallow. But trying to wash it down with whataboutisms never works.

    I’ve been in your daughters’ shoes and I’ve been in yours as well. Somebody has to be the one put down their pointing fingers, listen, and then try to make changes and amends if the issues are ever to be resolved.

    The question I present to you is this: if you’re unwilling to do it, why are you expecting your daughters to do so?

  • Why do adult children today cut off relationships with parents when earlier generations did not?

    Because how you did it then isn't how it's done now. In 1950, no one cared if you beat your wife and children. In the 70s, someone stood up to child abuse. In the 80s, domestic violence laws were created. In the 2010s, parents who abuse their adult children through cruel words, manipulation, and the likes is being recognized for what is. It's called progress. Just because it's not the way you did it, doesn't mean it's the way it should be. Change, once again, is upon us; parents either have the choice to get on board or risk having their children estrange when they're older. It's as simple as that.

  • How can I improve my relationship with my children when they don't accept my apologies?

    You are at the threshold to healing! I’m so happy for you!

    Having been in your shoes, I found the best guidance came from a therapist who focuses on family. I told him everything. I was brutally honest about myself, my childhood, my parenting style, etc. He has helped me see things from a different perspective and also guided me through changes. It’s been tough at times but absolutely worth it.

    One of the first things recommended to me was the book Understanding the Borderline Mother by Christine Lawson. This book will help you understand how you became the person you are and how to break free of the hold so that you can have a better relationship with your children.

© 2017 Kim Bryan

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    • profile image

      MashaParakina 

      2 days ago

      I’ve been spiritually estranged from my parents, especially my father, before I even came of age. Estrangement isn’t just something that happens between adults.

    • profile image

      Heather 

      2 weeks ago

      It isn’t easy to break away from a parent. I am 45 years old and have been estranged from my mother for 3 years now. This hasn’t been the first time I haven’t seen or spoken to my mother. When I was 28 and just had my 2nd child we didn’t have contact for almost a year. Again, in my mid 30’s we had a falling out and didn’t speak for 4 years. It’s very sad but now 45, married, and have 3 teenage boys, I finally realize what a toxic and unhealthy relationship I had with my mother. She was manipulative and unapologetic for any wrong doings. I remember when she first wronged me her exact words, “Mothers never need to apologize to their children!” Anything my mother has said and done I have learned not to say or do. When I stumbled across this article it really hit home. The article was as if I was reading all about my mother. I have 2 older sisters. My mother would play us to fight and hate each other. She had favorites and still does. Obviously I never made the cut. Probably because I finally stopped feeding into her lies and manipulation. She cheated on my father and was a shopaholic. They went bankrupt and were forced to sell their home. They moved in with one my sisters. I caught her again in an affair and confronted her for the first time. She was losing control of her environment and left my dad for another man. Ultimately, my mother blames me for her current situation. I finally found my voice and was disowned. Do I feel bad...absolutely not! I’m I sad...absolutely! I’m sad I’ll never know what it is like to be loved by a mother unconditionally, I’m sad I didn’t have a mother that was selfless. I’m sad that my boys won’t know what it’s like to have a maternal grandmother that loves them to pieces. Most of all I’m sad my mother will never know what it feels like to have her children love her back like my children love me.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      5 weeks ago

      I have been thinking a lot on parental denial, gaslighting and projection. Estranged Parents are angry at what their children have done to them by estranging and that is why they are angry and bitter now.

      The thing is, I can't remember a time when my 'mom' wasn't bitter and angry.  These people jump from one reason to the next as to why they feel the way they do as a justification for their shitty behavior.  And let's be real, that's what it comes down to, abusive parent's behavior is just shit.

      I am so tired of hearing the chorus of, "I've apologized! I've walked on eggshells!  Nothing I do is good enough for them!"  I am at the point of just wanting to say, "Have you tried not being an asshole?  Not being an asshole might make people like and want to be around you."

      In the twisted mind of EP's, they truly believe everyone thinks and processes the world exactly the same way THEY DO.  It is the mentality of, "I'm going to get 'them' before they get me!" and base their decisions and taint reality with that.  Any disagreement with them is immediately an 'attack' that must be defended against and yet their victim is not on the 'attack' but simply defending themselves from the actual aggressor.  Abusers never see that someone is REACTING to them being an asshole.

      Estranged Parents 'get' that their EAC are angry but they just don't know why.  Why am I angry?  Why wouldn't I be angry...  I grew up in a home where that was the norm, so gosh, I could have learned it there.  Or maybe being a Scapegoat and constant dumping ground for everyone else's emotional baggage was unpleasant and I didn't like it?  Abuse victims don't like that they were abused because abusers take/took advantage of their 'authority' over Us.  When do we victims get to be justifiably angry about our mistreatment?  Poor EP's are allowed to get angry over being abandoned, mistreated and 'abused' (because No Contact is 'abusive') but in their minds, Estranged Children have, "Nothing to complain about." right?

      Another favorite of mine is when the EP's start talking about how they should, "focus on the 'good times'..." or tell EC, "Well, I'm sure your parents weren't perfect, no one is, but can't you remember the 'good times' and focus on them instead of just remember the negatives?"  I don't know about other abusive homes but, a "good time" in my life was simply a time 'mom' decided NOT to ruin something.

      Does anyone think childhood could have any truly "good times" when there is no love or respect or any that is there, is one way toward them?  Does anyone think that gifts and material things were truly 'fun' when the giver makes it clear that they resent EVERYTHING they give/gave to you, up to and including your life? Hint -- That's a "no".

      Estranged Parents -- We are not trying to 'punish' You with No Contact.  You are the ones that like to dish out punishment.  We aren't trying to control You with 'the silent treatment'...  That is your 'game'.  We are not using our children as pawns to punish You.  It's not about YOU at all -- It's about protecting THEM and Us.  You didn't protect Us as children and We can't count on You to protect Us NOW, so WE have chosen to protect US.  If You treated Us the way you did because no one ever protected You?  Get therapy, stop being an asshole, WHATEVER but for f**ks sake, stop blaming US for breaking the cycle of abuse!

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      Hurting Dad 

      6 weeks ago

      Elly,

      You put some real time and thought into your answer, and I appreciate that. Of course some of it is difficult for me to read. But I think the core advice you are giving me is pretty good. There were several really good insights for me. I should listen to it.

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      6 weeks ago

      To Hurting Dad:

      If you are being told that #2 is the big issue, a lot of EP's find themselves with that.  My 'mom' would say she apologizes but has never actually uttered words like, "I'm sorry that I terrorized you by chasing and 'spanking' you as a child with a slipper/wooden spoon/whatever." or "I'm sorry that I always talked down to you and did nothing but point out your flaws and shortcomings while ignoring your obvious gifts...  I was wrong and projecting my unhappiness on to You who didn't deserve it."

      The thing is, if you were abusive (and given your comment I am leaning that way) YOU have A LOT to apologize for.  My 'mom' would love nothing more then to utter one quick, "I'm sorry you feel that way..." wipe her forehead with relief and think, "Now that I've got that 'out of the way' now we can just carry on right?".

      Many EP's THINK they have apologized and that 'everything is good' but in reality nothing was truly resolved -- maybe to YOUR satisfaction but your daughter probably feels/felt differently and was ignored/dismissed... A non-apology is WORSE then no apology.  You said, "In fact, our attempts to make contact a several weeks ago apparently caused real harm."  Non-apologies or explanations/justifications ARE harmful.

      You further say, "Some repressed memories have come to light...they still don't point to a "smoking gun" but these new memories make it a lot more plausible to think that something along these lines happened. And even if it didn't happen exactly the way our child recalls, it does now seem that some painful memories probably have their origin back in that timeframe."  So you had "repressed memories"?  So now that YOU can 'kinda remember' you are trying to sell the, "even if it didn't happen exactly the way our child recalls..." BS.  If you didn't remember the incident(s) AT ALL in the beginning how do you know your child isn't 100% correct?  That is classic dismissive behavior.

      EP's almost universally won't believe anything their children (adult or otherwise) tells them, especially if that child is the Scapegoat.  It is a classic abusive parent view that if THEY 'don't remember something' "IT" NEVER HAPPENED.  This is why when EP's do get a letter of explanation they write it off as, "all lies" and "fabrications" or the child is "remembering it wrong".  Is this You?

      Did you do this with other accusations as well?  Since you 'couldn't remember' or 'remember it differently' did you completely dismiss her reality?  I once recounted something really shit that my 'mom' did to me and her reaction was, "Well!  I'd NEVER do something like THAT!"  And my reply was, "And yet you DID."  I'm sure in her mind it was merely a story I 'made up' to make her feel bad and make her question what a wonderful 'mom' she was.

      "Regardless of the outcome, we feel like some of our memories, as well as some honest dialog, could be helpful to our child." reads like your memories are important and she needs to know "your side".  This is gaslighting.  Your daughter will benefit from 'your truth'/memories which you have already admitted is not good.  You need to listen to HER TRUTH!  You need to BELIEVE what SHE is saying...  NOT 'your version' of things.

      Until and unless you can embrace what I just explained DO NOT try to get in contact with your daughter.  As for a 'happy ending'.  Think back on every crappy thing you have done/not done to and for your daughter, own what you did or did not do and apologize sincerely.  Own that you screwed up large and that she didn't deserve what happened to her.  This is not about you at this point.  Do not tell your daughter you did the best you could.  Your best wasn't good enough.  Accept that. Do not tell your daughter that you never wished her or meant to cause her harm.  Your intent doesn't matter.  Whether you are cleaning your gun and it accidentally fires and hits someone or you pick up the gun and aim, the victim is not "less shot" because one was intended and the other was accidental.

      And lastly DO NOT pull the old, "Well your 'mom' and I remember 'that' event *insert your version* way..."  This is making it two on one (a common tactic in my 'family') and one parent already has the upper hand in the power dynamic.  You two 'ganging up' and telling her what HER reality IS and not what she remembers is bullying AND gaslighting in the worst way.  You (by power of numbers) are always 'right' and daughter is still always 'wrong' and you two will 'explain' that to her YET AGAIN, which is why she has now blocked you...

      P.S. I have been debating since I wrote this whether or not to submit it as it is Autistic blunt. I'll let Kim decide.

    • profile image

      Hurting Dad 

      7 weeks ago

      I would like some advice.

      We are a few months into an estrangement with an adult child we love very much. Of your 5 reasons, we have been accused of #2, and to a lesser extent #5. We had some problems in the teenage years...we had family therapy, we worked hard on recovering, and we thought those issues were mutually forgiven long ago (although probably not forgotten on either side). We've actually had more than a decade of loving and friendly relationships. Or at least we think so.

      Recently things began to change quickly. Now, in addition to the teenage issues, one of us has been accused of some wrongs in early childhood, and one of us has been accused of ignoring it and telling the child it didn't happen. Neither of us have a distinct memory of it, which has led our child to accuse us of not listening, not apologizing, gaslighting, etc. This built up somewhat out of the blue from our perspective, but now it has really boiled over.

      Since the estrangement started, we've been going to therapy as a couple. Some repressed memories have come to light...they still don't point to a "smoking gun" but these new memories make it a lot more plausible to think that something along these lines happened. And even if it didn't happen exactly the way our child recalls, it does now seem that some painful memories probably have their origin back in that timeframe. We know our adult child is in a lot of pain, and we have been asked (told) to cease all contact. In fact, our attempts to make contact a several weeks ago apparently caused real harm. We don't want to cause any harm, so we are afraid to make contact.

      We want nothing more than a happy life for our children. We are heartbroken, and we hope that happy life can include us...but we also know we can't force that issue. Regardless of the outcome, we feel like some of our memories, as well as some honest dialog, could be helpful to our child. Even if that dialog doesn't "fix" the estrangement, it might help heal some of the wounds the led to this. Like most parents, we think we deserve a chance to be in our children's lives. But we know that is really not our choice.

      Can you give me some advice. We are trying very hard to follow instructions and stay away. It is so hard. This is the most painful thing I have ever been through.

      Sincerely, Hurting Dad.

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      MaLovo2 

      7 weeks ago

      I just miss my daughter so very much. I am going to read the book you suggested a few posts ago, Understanding the Borderline Mother. My daughter lives just 10 minutes from me and works for the same company, yet she has completely stopped communicating with me, since March. My heart is broken....I am sure she has valid reasons, no doubt about it, however we can't get past this without talking or getting help. I just miss her and my heart is broken.

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      Elly The Autistic 

      7 weeks ago

      My fave YouTube Narc mom released a new video essentially saying that estrangement and going 'No Contact' has been "marketed" to EAC.  John seems to feel that the internet is is doing the same.

      The thing is, I know for me that the trip down the internet was what lead me to realize where my problem was.  I fail to see how people from good and loving families would find such sites, let alone think, "I have a great family but... This says 'No Contact' is good so I'm going to try that."

      It shows more of the ridiculous, illogical thinking of EP's.  The same parents who have no idea WHY their child(ren) estranged but admit they got a list and explanation(s) but it's "all lies" or "doesn't make sense" to them.  These people are incapable of even distinguishing between not knowing the reason(s) and not ACCEPTING the reason(s).

      To Starlight: I think my sister is in that club.  To accept that even as the Golden she was abused as well and from that abuse she learned to treat me atrociously, would mean to accept that she can be/is a rotten person.  I'm sure that because I never grew into an angry, bitter person who took pleasure in degrading others was one more reason to look down on me.  Despite my family's best effort to destroy my soul, they never succeeded.  And when do these people fail in their own minds?  Perhaps that's why old Narc's never die... and never let 'No Contact' be that.

      P.S. If you have time, please stop by and down-vote her videos... This pisses her and her groupies off and since she has 'hidden' my comments I am out of ways to expose her other then down-votes.

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      Starlight444 

      7 weeks ago

      My brother will never accept that he was abused. By doing so, not only would he have to accept the horrific and painful truth about our family, but the truth about himself. He abused me and now abuses his wife. Easier to believe that I'm evil or a demon. It reminds me of the EPs 'cult of no-contact' that encourages AC to walk away from their loving families and provides them with a step-by-step guide (script) showing them how to do it. The problem is that the cult and script are imaginary, often online groups just helping victims of abuse.

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      NarcFree 

      7 weeks ago

      I also think John is struggling, trying to choose between denial and the red pill. He's leaning towards denial. Dismissing his own thoughts because of "how ridiculous that sounds". I bet his abusive parents trained him to dismiss his own perceptions because they "sound ridiculous". He came here to tell us to follow his path. Because misery loves company. And because red pill is so painful. It's easier for him to believe that the internet is conspiring to destroy family unit, than to accept reality about his parents.

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      NarcFree 

      7 weeks ago

      Whoever John is, I only have this to say. It's too late to attempt to invalidate my own perception of my own reality, because I'm out of the fog now. Nobody tells me what to think and feel, I alone figure out what I think and how I feel. I don't need John telling me who is my friend and who is enemy, who is toxic and who isn't. John doesn't get to decide that for me.

      Nice try though.

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      Starlight444 

      7 weeks ago

      Elly,

      John is a gaslighter and abuser who's striving to confuse. From the time I was very young my abusive parents (non-religious, but my mother would happily use Christianity to her advantage) tried to convince me that the abuse never happened. I was easily led (a term that might now be used is 'sheep'), confused, and mentally ill, and in my mother's own words, "hallucinating, imagining things, sick-in-the-head and in need of psychiatric help."

      My parents were strongly opposed to counselling, psychology e.t.c., being of the opinion that these things were only for the pathetic, weak-minded, the easily duped and those deserving of ridicule. If I dared to question anything, they tried to convince me that I was being brainwashed by other people - "people were trying to confuse me, putting-things-in-my-head, making me think things that weren't true."

      I used to be a Christian, but now hold no particular religious or spiritual beliefs. My brother is a Christian who believes that all women are inferior and subservient to men and must obey the male members of the family. He refuses to accept that mental illness and addiction truly exist, even though our mother is a dangerous sadistic abuser with a probable personality disorder, and problems with addiction. He believes that these things only occur as a result of not accepting Jesus, turning away from God, allowing evil into your heart, and demonic possession. Because I escaped my abusive family and refused to obey, at best, my brother sees me as an evil sinner who will burn in hell for all eternity, at worst, a demon or demonically possessed.

      John is clearly of the same ilk, and not very good at hiding it.

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      Elly The Autistic 

      8 weeks ago

      To Kim and Our gang:

      Is it Me or does the language/tone/content etc. of the following comment ring any bells/raise red flags?

      John says:

      It's the internet, defining emotions and states of minds into words into thoughts into beliefs.

      I have issues with my parents (why im here) and I remember asking google years ago, googling my thoughts and getting pages like wikipedia up basically telling me i was 'emotionally and physically abused' as a child, building and assuring me of a false belief, it really is the devil i swear, it's a load of BS, but just because of the very fact I read that and many articles is that this thought, belief or however one would describe it is now got a hold on me when all I need to do is drop it, none if it is true, but because I believed it then I go ahead and secure it by behaving or reacting in a certain way to compliment that which then becomes a self fulfilling prophecy - back to sqaure one.

      That's what these therapists want / psych websites want, to create a problem that doesn't exist or disect that which is in the moment that will pass, but instead they tell you how to fix it whilst ridding you of your money. I doubt this comment will even get published but if it does, seriously parents / kids, try this, just forget it, whatever has been done just let it go. When you do you'll find the other person will know too in your voice and just know because they know you and you will have disarmed the entire situation. Your body is likely weak as you've probably let yourself go, so eat well and exercise those demons out.

      Your mind has been weakened and is being exploited by a false belief that your parents are 'toxic', so if I hate oranges and they make me feel sick but you like them and they make you feel good then is the orange toxic or is it my belief about the orange?

      There's only one entity that I know of that wants to destroy mankind, I'm sure you know who I am talking about too so don't give them the ammo, because there is not one, they are legion, they are many so be careful what you read.

      I think back to when I was younger, i was tested a lot like this, but i would catch it, feelings of anger would come up seemingly from nowhere and if i was quick enough i could catch it right there and go back just even a few milliseconds and catch the 'thought' or whatever that triggered the anger then i would go back and consciously think of the thought, repeat it, but actually listen to it and i'd quickly dissolve it because of how ridiculous it sounded, thank God I didn't have the internet back then, so be careful is all I'm saying.

      Despite what people say Google is really not your friend, nor is the internet, but people are, parents, coworkers, neighbors believe in them not the stupid internet.

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      alanvsweeten 

      2 months ago

      Good to hear this.

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      Elly The Autistic 

      2 months ago

      My fave YouTube Narc has released her latest masterpiece...  "I Didn't Ask to Be Born: What If We Never Had Children"

      She starts with estranged kids saying, "You had Me.  You have to take care of Me." and then says, "Well... In a sense..." Full stop.  There is no "well *anything*".  She immediately skips back to blaming her daughter for HER bad parenting.  She says her daughter EXPECTED that she'd just 'take care of things' -- because she probably DID.  I agree with her that of course by 16 daughter should have 'adulting skills' but did she teach her? Mine didn't.

      "Did we owe them a college education etc."  Yes, if the parent said, "If you get good grades and study etc of course we have money put aside for further education."  But if they start reneging on those promises or keep raising the bar on what the expectations to get that money is, then it falls into abuse.

      "Did we owe it to give our kids a birthday party?"  Ummm no BUT, birthdays are kinda celebrated as a big deal especially to growing/developing children and to not have a party/celebration/recognition would be cruel.  I can imagine going to school and having the teacher say, "Happy Birthday" and all her friends would ask, "When's your party?" and daughter getting to say, "I'm not 'owed' a birthday party so I'm not having one."  I'm sure the first reaction most would have is, "What kind of monster is that child's mother???"  The fact this woman doesn't think a child is 'owed' a birthday party? #newlow Unless of course she meant 'as an adult' but she didn't say that and given the attitude my 'mom' gave around my birthday's I seriously doubt that's what she meant.

      What these 'parents' don't "get" is that the response, "I didn't ask to be born." is a direct REACTION to the 'parent(s)' constantly 'reminding' the kids, how much they cost, how destructive they are, how 'mom' can't have "nice things" because kid costs money, how she doesn't have time for herself etc.  Kid is thinking, "I didn't ASK to be a burden to YOU.  I didn't ask to exist.  How is this my fault?" which is what the child is feeling without understanding.

      Again, IF a parent has heard that line, it is a huge red flag of bad parenting.  No child should feel like a burden to the point of wishing themselves out of existence!  That's how you end up with suicidal kids from ten year old's up.  In my case and this woman's she and my parents 'planned' their children and then resented Us for "being".

      I actually heard an EP say that a lot of my generation "got fixed" so We wouldn't have kids because WE are "so selfish and want everything to be about them".  That's not why I choose not to have kids initially. One, I thought I would be a 'terrible parent' (inside I knew my 'parents' weren't good role models) and two, my 'mom' made it clear that "kids 'ruin' your life".  Having kids 'ruined' her life, so why would she expect her daughter's not to learn from her 'mistakes'?  The idea that a lot of Us chose a 'no kid' route or had kids later in life (usually after or around No Contact) is because of wanting to stop the cycle of abuse and that never occurs to them.

      "Happy people don't feel like anyone 'owes them' because they have a happy life."  I am happy NOW, but I do still feel 'owed'.  I am owed respect and to be treated with dignity and understanding as a human being so whatever.  Then she moves on to We (Estranged Children) were given the "greatest gift" by THEM -- Life.  Sorry if anyone spit something on their screen (perhaps I should put up warnings?)  We got the "gift" of being spawned by THEM and a guy too dumb to wear a condom or just say, "No."  Praise be to THEM!

      Then she actually goes on to give the usual "bare minimum" standard list of what parents are required to DO and then the disclaimer of, "But we're not talking about 'truly abusive' or neglectful parents..." *bangs head on keyboard*  But if you did the 'bare minimum' -- "Grade 'A' Parent Award".  Yes folks... This woman IS for real.  We have "Nothing to complain about." IF We got that, then We have "Nothing to be 'upset' about..." says she.  100% invalidation at its finest.

      Then onto Narc 'logic' of "Do our children estrange from bosses, co-workers, spouses, old school friends?  No."  Where does she get that from?  Yes, actually We often DO purge a lot of people, once in recovery, because once We learn unhealthy dynamics We recognize them elsewhere.  Narc's always 'know' what "the other side" is thinking and again, WRONGLY.

      And then in the comments to this trash video she says, "But, let me ask you, since you appear to be on that wave length with them so to speak....if we don't "owe them" anything...why the constant bantering from them where they say that parents "owe" them something? What about the college/university educations, cars, cell phones, insurances, clothing and the list is endless. Did parents OWE that to their grown children? Do those same children not at the least, OWE anything to the parents...even financially?" And there IT IS. "I put all this money in the slot-machine -- my kid(s) -- Now it's time to pay-out."

      A quote I read today, "Narcissists have negative opinions on everything but accurate knowledge of nothing." I think it fits here.

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      Starlight444 

      2 months ago

      NarcFree,

      I agree. In the GN article, traumatic family event (reason for estrangement on SA) has been intentionally replaced with family occasion where something went wrong (not stated as a reason on SA, even though GN says that it is). Traumatic is not the same as something going a bit wrong.

      Not in contact with my family, but Christmas was a major trigger for my mother. It was an opportunity to control and abuse under the guise of spending time together as a close happy family. Things got so bad that I started having to minimize contact over the Christmas period, then from end of Oct until after New Year (abuse escalation starting a couple of months before Christmas). This progressed to no contact from Oct until after New Year, and eventually, full no contact. One year, my mother even cancelled Christmas because I wouldn't visit. If she couldn't have what she wanted then no-one would, and my family turned on me for ruining things.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      2 months ago

      Straight 444

      EPs came up with a less shameful name for their scapegoating. 20, 30, or 40 years of putdowns, smear campaign, sabotage, and psychological torment, is now called a FAMILY OCCASION that went wrong. It went wrong because their scapegoat walked away. It would be going right, in their eyes, if the scapegoat stayed and continued to accept the cruelty for life. That's my translation of "family occasion". Almost everything abusers say needs translating.

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      Starlight444 

      2 months ago

      Elly,

      The GN article is BS (looked at the SA study. See my comment on family occasions).

      The Stand Alone website that GN links to in the article gives a different view of estrangement, and GN has omitted some VERY important information. For example, from the perspective of the AC, 77% of estrangement from mothers occurs because of emotional abuse (fathers, 59%); neglect, including severe neglect, sometimes as a result of addiction (mothers, 45%, and fathers, 38%); mothers having mental health issues, including severe problems (47%); TRAUMATIC family event (fathers, 36%). These are not minor issues. The study does not mention FAMILY OCCASIONS where something goes wrong as a key reason for estrangement (given as a reason on GN), rather as a challenging time in already estranged families. Percentages for everything are not given in this study, and there is additional mention of sexual abuse, a child being placed in care for their own safety, and a child's parents divorcing as a result of emotional and physical abuse.

      EPs tend to give different reasons for estrangement that often don't match up with the ACs reasons. From their perspective, most AC are cutting off contact because of issues relating to divorce. Sons - issues relating to in-laws (25%) and issues relating to marriage (25%). Estranged parents of sons rather than daughters are more likely to blame the in-laws and spouse. Quote from parent: "He (my son) disowned anyone that does not like his now wife. My relationship with him was the last one."

      54% of participants in this study agreed that estrangement (not just parent and child) and relationship breakdown was a common occurrence in their family.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      2 months ago

      Mama to 4

      Acknowledging past abuse would be something resembling accountability. Abusive people dont do accountability. They do denial, deflection, and victim blaming.

      Also, I dont think they want to reconcile :) They want to regain control. They want to win, be right, be obeyed. The word reconciliation implies two parties with equal rights come to the table. Abusers don't see their victims as having human rights, or equal rights. Abusers believe themselves entitled to do whatever they want, and their victims obligated to take it and be grateful. That is exactly why estrangement is the last resort for the victims. You can't get anywhere trying to negotiate with abusers.

      It's interesting how they list emotional abuse as a reason for estrangement, but no mention of physical or sexual abuse, as if it doesn't even exist or not worth talking about. And then they go on to say that estrangement does not mean that there is no love! They must be kidding. I would love to know the author's definition of love! Oh how comforting denial can be! So hard to let go.

      There is no love. Gather all your strength and accept reality as it is. There is no love where there is abuse. Period. This is so toxic to tell abuse survivors that abusers love them! Then victims learn to accept abuse and call it love.

      I can't speak for anyone else, but i sure as hell don't love my parents. When i was a kid i feared them. Now i despise them. There had never been any love. Only a trauma bond. And fear. Lots and lots of fear.

      Also, you don't need to do any kind of time consuming, in-depth research on NPD to find out that narcissists are incapable of love. Incapable of bonding. They live to control and manipulate and exploit. They see that as winning. Some are sadistic. There is zero chance that i will accept that as love. Not all estranged parents are NPD, but those that are - definitely no love. Those parents that confuse abuse with love - well that's why they are estranged now.

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      mama to four 

      2 months ago

      Elly-

      I so agree with you! I feel as if my mom wanted the title of being a "nana" without putting in the work. It was so frustrating when she would come to visit. She would play with the kids for a bit and then pretty much say "I'm done" and go to her room to nap or read. When we would go visit them (a 4.5 hour drive for adults...6 hour drive with littles at least) THEY WOULDN'T BE HOME! One time, our oldest's first Thanksgiving, we took time to drive up there to find everyone drunk.

      I digress. I definitely feel like if things aren't working then you as the child or parent should have the right to have no contact with the other. Just because "blood is thicker than water" doesn't automatically give you the right to treat people terribly. For us, my mom hasn't reached out in the past year and 5 months to make amends or anything. She did call to "congratulate" me on my 4th pregnancy (She found out from other family members). To me... that says it all. She has no desire so why should I.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      2 months ago

      To mama to four:

      I agree and disagree (sorta?) with estrangement coming 'out of the blue' because they 'have no clue how their behavior affects those around them'. They do KNOW that their behavior hurts others, hence the duping delight and look of satisfaction when they've broken You down. What 'surprises' them is when their victims begin to see through them and say, "Enough."

      Marriage and the birth of children can definitely tip the scale. My husband and I involved neither of our 'families' in our wedding and none have met our children -- AND -- We have no desire to involve them now.

      I'm with NarcFree -- Can We make this legal and official? It's not like my 'mom' wanted the job in the first place, shouldn't she be 'happy' she no longer has all that responsibility of a 'mom'? And no having to be burdened and taken advantage of by looking after our "ill mannered" offspring errr...their wonderful and much loved grand-babies. No financial obligation... They should see No Contact as a win, but society says they should be involved sooo... They 'try' and 'succeed' about as well as they did/do with parenting.

      Here's the thing... They want the image and 'bragging rights' of being a "good Grandma" BUT, like every other relationship in their life, they want the reward/pay-off WITHOUT doing any of the work a real relationship takes.

      Your last line of, "must have been a GN that wrote it without even talking to any estranged adult children." is beautiful, but may I add, ANY Estranged Narc 'parent' -- They ALL sound the same.

      Peace Be With Us All.

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      mama to four 

      2 months ago

      Elly-

      I just got a chance to read over that thread that you wanted feedback on. I do really think that the estrangements to GN really does come out of the blue because they have no clue how their behavior affects those around them.

      With that said, I can totally see that marriage of a child could start the estrangement because that adult child has never known any different and has seen the behavior as normal. I think another turning point is when you have children. My DH was raised completely differently than me. Since the estrangement occured, I have told him stories about my childhood which he considers "messed up". My parents completely let me down once I had children and were sorry excuses for g'parents.

      As far as how more than one person can be involved for the reasoning of the estrangement, the only way I can see that if it is more than one parent or parent like figure. Surely to God they don't mean that the child could be causing it. Children are the product of their upbringing along with genetics. I will say that our relationship became more strained once I changed my lifestyle. My parents couldn't understand it let alone support it. They were undermining me every chance they could. Incredibly frustrating.

      That last part about if what happened along time ago is really relevant now really threw me for a loop. I mean com'on! Any abuse/neglect/poor choices should be acknowledge if there is any hope for reconcile. So frustrating... must have been a GN that wrote it without even talking to any estranged adult children.

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      Starlight444 

      2 months ago

      NarcFree,

      I think I recall something on Issendai's website about how abusive parents set the bar high for what constitutes abuse, and keep raising that bar. This means most abuse will never be recognized as abuse, and even if it is, it will never be seen as severe enough to justify the victim cutting off contact.

      Children as property is a running theme on EP forums.

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      NarcFree 

      2 months ago

      Elly,

      To those who say, if it happened a long time ago, then it doesn't really matter now... I say, ok it doesn't matter now. What matters now is that i want No Contact. That's in the here and now, not long time ago. That's what matters now - I don't want abusers in my life now.

      EPs don't like it because now they have to find a new trash can to dump their abuse on. It's more convenient for them if they can just keep using the same old one. It's much harder to find an un-related adult who will choose to stray and take it. Unrelated adults are free to walk away and often do. A biological child is something they can't get another one of, late in life, so now they're stuck with no trash can, and that's not fun. They are entitled to their trash can!

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      2 months ago

      How come you don't have to prove abuse to divorce a spouse, a person you actually choose as a fully grown adult. And there's a period of dating where you get to know each other, and you make a conscious decision to go to a court house and sign a legal document. And you can get out of that without providing any proof.

      But with parents, you don't choose either one of them, you are stuck with what you've got without any consent or decision on your part. And you can't get out of that unless you have proof? Shows you just how entitled they think they are. Their reproductive system works, yay, therefore they are entitled to own a slave that can't legally leave. Such overachievers. They had sex! What a special unique talent that society definitely should reward by granting those f$$ers (no, literally) forever rights, property rights.

      My mother told me repeatedly that it should not be illegal for a mother to kill her child at any age, whether that child is 5 or 65. Because the mother gives life, she can also take it. And children who get sick should be euthanized because they are a burden on their parents. How am i supposed to prove that in court? Since we are involving the courts now, can i sue her now for emotional distress and threats to my life? Because she made up lies that i have this disease and that disease, and then she punished me for being a burden with all these diseases which she made up. And i was afraid she'll have me euthanized.

      Any adult understands that's a sick psycho talking, but a child doesn't. I really believed i was going to be euthanized if i get sick. How do you prove that in court? You can't, and EPs know it, and that's why they dream up these standards that are impossible to meet, so that they never lose their property rights.

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      Starlight444 

      2 months ago

      NarcFree,

      The EPs accept that you can cut off contact if there's abuse, BUT, you have to legally prove the abuse, and then the abuse has to be severe and really real genuine abuse, not the kind of abuse that EC talk about, which isn't really real.

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      NarcFree 

      2 months ago

      They want to make estrangement illegal? Hilarious. I say let's advocate for a new legal procedure where a child can "disadopt" themselves from their abusive parents.

      There is a process by which adults can make a stranger's child legally theirs, called adoption.

      There is a process for the biological parents to make their own children *legally* not theirs, called giving up parental rights.

      Where is the opportunity for the grown children to make legal decisions? How come all the legal choices are in the hands of the parents. I want to be able to go to court and declare myself unrelated to the monsters that reside in seemingly human bodies! Where is my legal right to be an orphan? I want a legal document to prove just how much I don't want them anywhere near me.

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      Starlight444 

      2 months ago

      Hi Elly,

      GN had several ongoing estrangement threads in the relationship section of 'Forums'. They were full of EPs who were clearly abusive, and caused no end of problems. The EPs would even turn on one another, normally when more balanced and insightful members had left the discussion, so there was no-one else around to attack. Sometimes, things would get so bad that the thread would be brought to an end. A new thread would then be started, but none of the abusive EPs would take responsibility for their behaviour or apologise for what they'd done. This pattern was repeated over and over again.

      Fairly recently, GN separated the relationship and estrangement sections, but I don't think they've been tough enough on the EPs. Some were advocating making it illegal for AC to cut off contact with their parents, or supported forcing GC to have contact with abusive GPs. In their own twisted minds, this was of benefit to the GC - maintains a relationship, teaches kids how to take abuse and be tough, teaches them how to deal with and manage abusers.

      Look at the thread on the new estrangement section re: child arrangement court orders (access to grandchildren). You'll see a division between members who think that the GC should come first and those who think it should be all about granny (what's best for granny is what's best for the child). The latter is a good example of the lack of awareness that you refer to.

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      Elly The Autistic 

      2 months ago

      I'd love some thoughts on this:

      https://www.gransnet.com/grandparenting/how-to-cop...

      For me this showed the usual lack of awareness. In particular the list of reasons for estrangement. The last one, "family occasion where something went wrong". Anyone who has dealings with these people know that they ruin more then just ONE event before people have had enough and yet they want to cling to the idea that "one event" caused the estrangement. I see that as a subtle way of victim blaming, like, "It was a 'one time thing' and they should just 'get over it'."

      "64% of gransnetters blamed their child's spouse or partner for the breakdown in the relationship." To me this says, "64% of GN-ers aren't about to make progress with their estranged children."

      On to the "How to reconcile" part... "Bear in mind that we usually all play a part in healing family rifts. It’s rarely the responsibility of one person." I find this to be just plain false and a way for estranged parents to not take ANY responsibility. In my case, IF I took the attitude that I did 'play a part' in the estrangement and how to "fix" the relationship, my 'mom' would believe, "Elly played a 'part'" so that would equal, "It's all Elly's fault."

      "None of us can change the past even though sometimes that’s effectively what’s being asked." By who? I have never heard an EC say We want our 'family' to CHANGE the PAST. ACKNOWLEDGMENT of the past? YES!!! Again, EP's put words into OUR mouths of what THEY THINK We want or how We FEEL and they are almost always WRONG.

      "If something happened a long time ago that has caused the estrangement, take a step back and think hard about what was wrong and if it really matters now." Don't let the victim/other party determine if it "matters now". Absolve yourself and decide that your child is making 'something' out of what shouldn't matter now. How to Invalidate and Continue Living in Denial 101.

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      MsChrisC 

      2 months ago

      I have found hope and help here, thank you for that!

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      wsa49 

      2 months ago

      I identify with a lot of what you said. I wouldn't equate them to "abusive" but I definitely grew up learning that they certaintly don't practice what they preach, and just how little family values they have that they preached our whole lives.

      They cashed in on my grandparents inheritance, sold the house, and took off 3 1/2 hours away to live in their home. They could easily afford to live closer (even an hour or 2 is better than 3 1/2) but having x amount of dollars in their pocket is more rewarding than having a little less but a closer family. It never started to really set in until grandchildren came in and I realized how little they actually are involved. To add, everything is on their terms. When they come down to visit (which is rare) it is a free hotel while they get everything in. They come and go while my mom attends appointments, visits her friends, my sibling, all the while we dont know when they will be back. When do do decide to come down it's not a matter of if/when it works for us... but rather we better make time when THEY decide to come. Yet what I don't understand is how my mom can call and complain about how I dont make plans to see my brother anymore (we were close before they moved away) yet they are doing the exact thing. They miss their grandchildrens bdays, Christmas, Easter, etc... but will complaib that me and my brother dont get together. I tried to explain how it's not fair for them to complain considering they arent in our lives much but that resulted in an explosion. I even apologized by sounding abrupt as we are getting too old and I come from a place of love and just want my parents to be in our lives for the little time that is left. That resulted in my mother saying that her kids/grandkids are the most important thing in her life. Her reason for moving away was there was one 1 grandchild at the time. Does that make the least ounce of sense?

      Bottom line, is they just dont care as much as I want them to. I support their life, but they have left us behind in many ways and any chance i bring it up it results in blow ups and resentment from both sides. Their way of dealing with it is pretending the arguement never happened instead of seeing how their children feel deep down and listening. Their new home was always an open door as it was when my grandparents were there. This year they decided that they dont want us there anymore when my brother is there with his family. But as we werent invited she had no problem calling and asking me to run errands for her and doing it in the next 3 days. The fact that I didnt know if i could just jump on it triggered her to be annoued with me. I tried to address this with my mom (who has admitted that my brother is their favorite) hiw we feel left out and her answer is that he hasnt visted as much as me. I tried to explain hiw I felt again which just triggered her to give the phone to my dad to deal with. I tried to explain to my dad i feel they are seperating the family... which resulted in him telling me to go "f+ck" myself.. then hung up.

      I am on the brink of devorcing my parents too... have been for a cpl years. Nothing will change.. but I still hold on

    • profile image

      thatothermom 

      2 months ago

      I had to quit seeing my dad. He has this obsession with protecting and helping me but really he is controlling and destructive.He followed us everywhere uninvited .He ruined my kids birthday party because he would not stop yelling and complaining about how crappy the cookies the kids and I decorated looked.The last straw was when he texted me 57 times to asked if they were buckled in right and I got sick of texting yes.So he follows me to the store and yells at me and wakes up my sleeping kids.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      2 months ago

      Starlight444

      Malkin is another one. Abuser defender.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      2 months ago

      Hi NarcFree,

      It's scary how many of these 'professionals' are out there.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      2 months ago

      To Sunshineandalligators:

      Without more information it is hard to know what is going on.

      On one hand you say everything was good and the kids were well behaved and yet within a year they became abusive monsters that you HAD to kick out at 17?

      What was their abuse? What abuse did they allege you and your husband were perpetrating? A child standing up to unfair treatment and emotional abuse etc. is often called 'abusive' by Estranged Parents. A child REACTING to abuse is not equally abusive or being abusive at all.

      There is a woman on another site I follow who is estranged from her mother, sister, two sons and the rest of the family and claims she is the scapegoat/victim in the family. However, later she admits to having slapped her 27 year old son multiple times during a disagreement. Her family now calls her abusive and support her sons in their 'No Contact' with her and her husband. This family siding with the sons is cutting out the toxic element -- HER.

      So I have to ask the question, are you the toxic element that others are cutting out? If your children were abusive and terrible, why were you buying them trips? What were you hoping to achieve with the photo albums etc? It sounds like something my 'mom' would do... "Look at all the wonderful times we had together!" Meanwhile, stuff like that is just a reminder of my miserable childhood and I would feel it is a huge attempt at a guilt trip which would just make me angry. Is that why your efforts are met with "more alienation"?

      Only you can answer these questions. If these questions are too difficult to face then opening a dialog with a therapist is a good place to start. If you come from a dysfunctional family, sorting out your own feelings and emotions first is crucial before you can have open and real relationships with your children going forward.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      2 months ago

      Starlight444

      Of course she is! Her ambition in life is to become an overpaid babysitter to wolves in sheeps' clothing. She is a shoulder to cry on, for abusive parents who seek to be validated in their false victimhood.

    • profile image

      Sunshineandalligators 

      2 months ago

      I was the scapegoat/enabler in my family. Unfortunately I didn’t realize how bad it was until my mothers and sisters went behind my back partnering with my severely personality disordered ex to alienate my teenage children against me. I eventually had to ask each of them to leave at 17 because they were severely abusive and accusing me and my husband of abuse. I had had no behavioral problems with them, they were well behaved, did well in school and we were close. It disintegrated within a year. I toughed it out for three more. That was 16 years ago. I have continued to try and knock on their hearts. Every effort is met with more alienation. I make photo albums, my ex mil made photo albums, I gave them a trip and my sister gave them a better trip. They are 33 and 31, I struggle believing they don’t see what’s going on and are simply narcissistic sociopaths. I have cut off my family. I’m not sure how to handle this. Seems like they’re scapegoating me just like my family.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      2 months ago

      Elly, I know, it's just the same old enabling, abuse apology BS. Even the term "rejected parents" is a huge red flag, immediately placing the EP in the role of victim and the AC as selfish, abusive and cruel, or at best, childish and immature. You might as well call a violent man a poor rejected husband, because his abused and beaten wife managed to escape.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      2 months ago

      To Starlight:

      When I read that I just shook my head. I wish people would understand the lengths many of Us went through to get our 'parents' to change before We finally got tired of smashing Our own faces into a brick wall.

      As has been said here and in the comments to that article, no one would EVER recommend that a battered woman, "just try harder" to mend the broken relationship but when it comes to parents? It's up to you to keep trying... Forever or until they DIE.

      The concept of, so long as you are trying to mend the broken relationship you remain STUCK, doesn't occur to these sympathizers.

      Someone asked about 'explanation letters' (whether to write one or not) and regardless of what "side" you were on what was the result. The answers were predictable.

      From the 'parents' -- "Yes, he gave reasons: a list of things I hadn't done. Where do you go from there?" and "I am estranged much the same as *username*. A list of so called things I am guilty of, not allowed to defend myself as this makes me selfish apparently.

      Tried to meet up to discuss, but still too controlling as he wants his own way in everything. Not sure that we can ever get past this."

      From the 'kids' -- They wrote letters, everything was denied and called lies.

      Estranged Parents simply cannot face the truth. The truth is, their behavior destroyed the parent/child bond. Their behavior and choices took the adoring love of a child and turned it to dust. Only humility and acceptance of that could begin to repair that relationship.

      No Contact is Us accepting that there is no 'relationship'. I feel nothing but pity for my 'family' aka 'the people I grew up around'. Hoping that these people to change and "see the light" is a childish dream and We grew up.

      Peace to All...

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      2 months ago

      T. Gilbertson is at it again. The following is presented as "not necessarily a bad thing."

      "You may be surprised to hear this, but estranged adult children experience near constant pressure to reconcile with their parents... When people find out your child doesn’t talk to you, many will encourage them to reconcile. It’s common for people to be uncomfortable when others cut off their parents. These folks will often make your child feel judged as ungrateful or unfeeling." https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/constructi...

    • profile image

      Mark Ttwain 

      2 months ago

      Yes to almost all of the above. My parents disrespected my boundaries, undermined me as a parent, refused to apologize, played favorites among siblings, and not only disrespected me, but made it clear they gave my siblings tacit permission to disrespect me, too. I was told in clear terms that I 'deserved' to be treated that way and the rest of them...didn't. Because they were better people.

      When I stopped attending family events, I was asked why. I told my father clearly, including incidents of physical attacks by him. He told me none of that ever happened. So I suppose he would say that he doesn't know why I no longer see family, despite being told in clear bullet points, point by point, exactly why.

    • profile image

      ElizabethCa 

      3 months ago

      I had a thought on why earlier generations didn't cut off their parents.

      We're living in an age of unprecedented communication. I'm in my 30's. Cell phones, email, social media, all these sorts of things. Air travel has become much cheaper as well. It's very very easy to stay in contact - but the flip side is that it's very obvious when someone doesn't want to stay in contact.

      I can't help but wonder if in previous generations, people just moved. With the old limits on communication, it wouldn't be terribly hard for an adult child to simply not be available to talk very often. Moving far away accomplished the general goal of limiting communication without having to create an official estrangement.

      Now, with modern technology, it's so much easier for a parent to expect to be super involved in the adult child's life. And the child has to make it clear that no contact is desired.

    • profile image

      annabannannna 

      3 months ago

      My mother has always made me feel like dirt. I remember confronting her once when I was a teenager that I can't remember her once being proud of me. Now almost 40 years later it is the same. If I don't hear it straight from her lips, I hear from my siblings and my father that she says I'm lazy, stupid, selfish, look dumpy, that she is embarrassed to tell her friends about me, she dislikes my boyfriend (known as 'that man') that I've lived with for the past 8 years (actually we are married, I never felt like telling my family, after all the awful things she has said about our relationship). And I wonder why my family repeats to me the hurtful things she says? I think they agree or they wouldn't pass on the message. Now that I'm nearing retirement age, I told my parents I was thinking about retiring early (I have invested well)....she became livid. She is convinced...again because 'I'm lazy'....that I'm planning on living off of my inheritance that I do not deserve or earned. Ummmm, no, not my plan, they had me when they were young, if I see any money (given they don't seem to like me much, I doubt I'll get any) from them I will likely be pretty darn old myself. I've been thinking a lot about it this last month, feeling like an ungrateful child, but I'm so tired of this. I use to tell myself she said these things because she was concerned about me, and wanted me to strive to be my best. But I'm pretty sure now, that it is not the case. In her eyes I've always been a piece of trash, and that is all I'll ever be.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      3 months ago

      To mama to four:

      This is the best article I have read on Narcissistic Mothers -- http://parrishmiller.com/narcissists.html

      My 'mom' was big on 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9 (and if she's not, EVERYONE is going to be made 'aware') 10 (big time) 12, 13 (to the max) 14 (when I was a child) 19, 20 (even when there is proof otherwise) 21, 22 (with their Scapegoat(s) YES) 23 (would if she could) and 24.

      For Me, as an Autistic, I could always see patterns in things, so I was able to 'see' through her BS at a young age. Her ability to scapegoat Me was a work of art. It started with the clear favoritism to my older sister, no punishment to my older sister for mistreating Me, but if I stood up for myself? I would be in trouble. Sis could do something and nothing, I do the same thing? I was 'wrong'. The only 'favoritism' my 'mom' would admit to was "age related" but that was just gas-lighting and an excuse for the other inequalities.

      So once my Sis set 'the bar' on how I could be treated without consequences, the neighborhood kids adopted the same behavior and took it to our small, local school. I was bullied by EVERYONE. Even the teachers, at times, either participated in or ignored the bullying because "My behavior was causing Me to be bullied." Lots of victim blaming in my life. Add undiagnosed Autism to the equation and my childhood was hell. I have suffered with a host of MHI's including C-PTSD. anxiety, depression and I also have an auto-immune condition (probably caused by prolonged stress).

      I honestly believe that my 'mom' wanted me to kill myself so she could be a "forever victim" with a beautiful, 'perfect' daughter and the tragic "broken child" that didn't deserve what 'happened' -- even if my 'job' in the 'family' was to fail because she set me up to.

      Before going No Contact (I was in therapy at the time) I said to 'mom', "I think people will find it's a lot harder to hurt Me then it used to be..." Without hesitation she replied, "Well. I could say things to hurt You." with a note of pride in her tone. I mean I was floored. It was my first glimpse at her true nature. I always thought (wanted to BELIEVE) that some of the things she said weren't MEANT to be cruel but I know better NOW. They have a mask and if you say the right thing? It can SLIP.

      I am doing much better, I have found a measure of happiness. I still struggle with certain issues, but it is nothing compared to where I was 4 years ago. My Husband and I continue to be each others best-friend and biggest supporter for which We both feel blessed.

    • profile image

      mama to four 

      3 months ago

      Elly-

      I'm glad I am not the only one :) I'm also happy that you and your DH were able to break free of those toxic people and be able to enjoy your lives together with your three beautiful children!

      The other day, I opened up more to a friend of mine about how things went down when I was a kid and such. She agreed with my DH.... it wasn't normal.

      This may sound really stupid, but could you tell me the characteristics of a narc parent?? I don't know if mine really fit into that description.

    • profile image

      mama to four 

      3 months ago

      Wow NarcFree! I can't believe that your mother did that. I don't think my mom ever did anything that badly. I couldn't imagine! I don't know if I am the scapegoat because it seems like other people have had it worse off than me. Maybe it is because I am new to this "lingo".

      I have always felt like I was treated differently than my brother and half-sister. I was always criticized and "picked on" for one thing or another. My mom did give me lingerie twice for Christmas to "help me get a man". First time was when I was on my way to college and the next was when I didn't have a boyfriend. I took a semester off in college and changed majors completely (and had also changed schools) and was made fun of because I graduated that December instead of graduating in May

      Who are you estranged from NarcFree (I am assuming your mom but was wondering if you kept in touch with any of your other family.).

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      3 months ago

      To mama to four:

      My story is all here, but you have to go way back in the comments for it. The brief version is, I am my 'family's SG and my Husband was in his. He was NC with his 'family' when we met and I was VLC and went NC after our short engagement and quick marriage.

      We have three children now (neither set of our 'parents' has met them) nor have any of our siblings (my sis and his 2 bros). We have not even met each others' 'family'. They haven't changed/will not change and We refuse to subject ourselves or Our children to them and their toxic universe. Thankfully geography plays a big part of how We avoid them.

      Every Narc game that can be played has been tried on Us but after a lot of recovery, therapy and then more therapy, We have found peace. You said, "I was so happy when I had my son's birthday party after cutting off my family... I got to have it when I wanted it and where I wanted without anyone complaining about the time or venue. It just got to be about my son and our little family." This resonated for Me. My Husband planned our son's first BD Party for many reasons and He had so much fun with it. Neither of Us ever enjoyed birthdays as children (the reasons could create a separate post) so to enjoy Our children's milestones is important for Us.

      We enjoyed playing games with each other on what could be the "biggest thing to complain about" in regards to the party etc. "Do you think my 'mom' would hate these balloons?" Me -- "Mine would. Hang them." It was very therapeutic knowing We wouldn't have to actually LISTEN to them criticize every detail.

      So yes. I am an old pro on dealing with 'family's like yours and spotting the types of toxic people talked about here. Stand strong.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      3 months ago

      Mama to 4,

      I don't think your mom dislikes your husband per se. I think she dislikes that you have a support system, someone on your side. She dislikes that your life is going well. She dislikes that you are getting a slice of happiness, and this guy is a part of your happiness. If you're the family scapegoat, you're supposed to have everything go wrong in your life, to maintain the family narrative about you. When things go right for you, your mom needs to interrupt that flow for you, because that's what dysfunctional and abusive parents do. Right after she convinces you to get a divorce, she will go back to bashing you, and she will use your divorce as evidence that you can't get along with anyone.

      Good thing you don't let her run your life!

      My mother stole my mail when i was getting admission letters from graduate schools. When she opened the door, and a FedEx guy told her that he needs a signature by the person whose name is on the envelope, and not a signature by her...that was when i finally received my documents. She claimed "the post office people" stole my mail all the previous times, and that my life is cursed, and that's why nothing ever goes smoothly for me, and nothing ever will. She was silent in front of the FedEx guy who told her that her signature is not enough. But as soon as he left, she started raging at me, and screamed for hours that her signature SHOULD be enough, because she gave birth to me, and because she fed me all these years. I was too clueless back then, to contemplate a possibility that your own parent can actively sabotage your life. Society helps evil parents by brainwashing all of us that parents always want, and do, what's best for their children.

    • profile image

      mama to four 

      3 months ago

      Elly-

      Thank you so much! It is so nice to feel validated in my life's choices and to hear that what I did go through as a child/young adult is not normal.

      My DH actually said the same thing- He said that my mom must not like the fact that I live in a nice house with a husband who supports me and allows me to stay at home and raise/home school our children. She is jealous because she didn't have that (Or perhaps upset that she never wanted to?!?!? She is not a very maternal mother.)

      This whole ordeal has been very heartbreaking for me. As I have read in other forums and such, it is like a death. I was depressed after cutting off my brother and fell into a deeper depression after cutting off my mother, stepdad, and sister. However, I have finally came out of it and am so completely happy (other than the random sadness of wishing for things like being able to have big family holidays or even just my pictures of me as a kid to show my children.)

      I was so happy when I had my son's birthday party after cutting off my family... I got to have it when I wanted it and where I wanted without anyone complaining about the time or venue. It just got to be about my son and our little family.

      I haven't gotten to read all of the comments, Elly, so I haven't had a chance to read "your story" if you left it. But, unfortunately, it seems like you have had your fair-share of experience with this... and for that I am truly sorry.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      3 months ago

      To mama to four:

      Your story is heartbreaking and yet all too familiar. Anyone who has been the Scapegoat can relate.

      What makes me so mad is the judgement We receive from society. Clearly, since We had to systematically cut our 'family' out of Our lives, We are the problem, right? THEY can all "get along" so it's Us that must be the issue.

      This idea that one person can be singled out in the 'family' to unjustifiably be maltreated is a foreign concept to a healthy family and other dysfunctional families look at that behavior as "normal" because the Scapegoat always 'deserves' the treatment they receive.

      The true issue is PERCEPTION. In a dysfunctional family the Scapegoat is looked upon with disdain. They are seen/perceived as "bad" and therefore EVERYTHING We do (or don't do) is looked at through a "negativity filter" as I call it. It's not that We are "doing something" that is 'bad' or annoying etc. WE are BAD so everything We DO and ARE as an individual is 'bad' and annoying etc.

      I have learned that no one can change how someone perceives Us. Their perceptions are just that -- Their 'perceptions'. Once I looked past their 'perceptions' and self-evaluated who I was and who they were, it became clear that the dynamic had been at work since my earliest years and I was not going to change THEM. So I changed Me.

      As for your 'mom' never liking your husband, there are several possible reasons for that. One, new comers to the 'family' aren't trained/indoctrinated in how You, the Scapegoat is 'supposed' to be treated. A spouse could become an ally to You and the Scapegoat is not allowed/does not deserve support. A spouse can interrupt the "balance of power" in the dysfunctional 'family'.

      Two, as a Scapegoat You don't 'deserve' to have a loving husband, beautiful children, a nice home etc. especially if what you have is "better" then what THEY have. You don't 'deserve' ANYTHING, let alone to have more then them -- EVER.

      And lastly, as in my case, my family might have liked my husband if he had married my sister (the Golden Child) OR if he wasn't with Me, but clearly He is 'defective' because He is in love with Me. He's an "idiot by association" to Me and clearly not 'good enough' for Them.

      Stay strong. It is THEM and not You.

    • profile image

      mama to four 

      3 months ago

      I am so glad I found this article! I have typed and erased my comment because I was carrying on about my childhood and adulthood. I am estranged from my biological dad (10 years) and my mom, step-dad, half-sister(1 1/2 years), and brother (3 years) for various reasons. Since I have been married (10 years) I have come to see that my childhood was not typical.

      This article really spoke to me and reaffirmed my reasoning for estrangement. The other day, I started doubting it and feeling it was my fault (something that I often do) but now reading this, I realize it is not my fault. My parents (mom and step-dad) often left me and my brother at home to take my half-sister on vacations. My mom would do special things with my half-sister (10 years younger than me) that would have appealed to me but was never invited. The last time I felt like I was the "blacksheep" or whatever, was when my mom and step-dad purchased a cabin and put up a family photo with signatures of the 4 of them inviting guests to their family cabin.

      For some reason, my mom has never liked my husband. More than likely, it was from the moment that he stood up to her and reminded her that she "had 2 daughters" because I was upset that she didn't want to go to a bridal show with me. Since we had been married, she often asked me (and after kids to bring them as well) to come to holidays WITHOUT my husband. The final straw was when my mom had been drinking (like usual for the past 10 + years). She said I needed to divorce my husband and bring my children to come to live with her. My husband has never done anything to deserve that kind of treatment. He treats me and our children very well. When I heard those words come out of her mouth, I couldn't believe it! I had no words and was completely speechless. It took me 6 weeks before I confided everything in my husband because I didn't want to hurt his feelings, but I felt like I was lying to him by omitting it. He of course was very hurt. I haven't spoken to her since (by my own choice not his)

      My father was/is a drug addict/alcoholic/abusive man. He never abused me or my brother but did my mom. I had an on/off again relationship with him throughout my childhood/early adult hood. I finally cut him out completely when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I decided that I didn't want my children to have exposure to that environment.

      My brother was getting married and turned out I got pregnant and was due 2 days after his wedding day. His now wife decided I did this to spite her and steal her thunder. From the day she found out I was pregnant, she treated me differently... very "cordial". She, my brother, and I had it out over something STUPID and I hadn't really spoken to them since. I tried so hard to mend things and was messaging her back and forth on Facebook. I took a beat to reflect and she took that as "I was ignoring her" and let me have it. She wrote this incredibly hurtful message that was very delusional. All I can say is now that my mom and step-dad have exactly what I felt they wanted all along: the four of them with a nice (two-faced) daughter-in-law.

      I could rant for longer and could go into more details but won't. Just glad I found this. Thank you so much for writing this!

    • Kim Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Bryan 

      3 months ago

      The comments on that link are gold! There were several commenters who laid out all the horrible ways the stepdaughter has been treated, like you Elizabeth, and yet he continues to defend himself.

      I think it was Elle who said it earlier that if you wonder how your parent(s) are telling others about the estrangement, this is it.

      So much energy into making us look bad and themselves a victim, yet so little (or in many cases, none at all) self-reflection.

    • profile image

      ElizabethCa 

      3 months ago

      What struck me about the link Kim posted:

      The father insists that he got "incoherent rant-filled emails with outlandish accusations." But the little bits of his comments that mention the content of those emails are telling. The actual "outlandish accusations" he mentions

      - that the daughter has PTSD from childhood abuse

      - that the mother beat her daughter

      - that the mother starved her daughter (he admits to denying her lunch money at school)

      - that the mother didn't believe her daughter about the father's abuse, despite knowing he was abusive (he admits this one is true, but says that the mother apologized)

      Those don't sound very incoherent to me. And my mother does exactly this same thing. Any time she's faced with an accusation that's clearly and firmly stated enough that she can't minimize it away, it becomes "nasty accusations" that she can't possibly be expected to respond to. Like this guy, she won't directly report what the accusations were, just that they were mean and hurtful and they're driving her blood pressure up and all that. It often works on people who don't understand this method.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      4 months ago

      Kim,

      Good points and very informative. I agree that there's a good chance that the daughter's started therapy. It would be interesting to know the role that other family members have played. I have a family the size of a village, where the abuse and dysfunction has been passed down from generation to generation. In my family, there was a definite SG hierarchy, where I was the primary SG, then my father (dangerous abuser, but less dangerous than my mother), then later, my sister-in-law. My mother, and then later on, brother, were the primary abusers who would even vie for the position of alpha or top-dog. In these families, the players change, but the roles remain the same. I truly hope the SG daughter can forge a happy and healthy life, but that might well mean never having contact with her family again.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      4 months ago

      To Starlight:

      Oh yes. The Scapegoat is the 'family' litter pan. When it is gone, it MUST be replaced! We all know 'mom' needs someplace to poop.

      Poor step-dad indeed. I find it doubtful that 'mom' will turn against the poor Golden Child who is pregnant sooo... He is the odd man out. As for the grandchild? I fear for that baby's future. I figure 'mom' is going to use the baby as a "do-over child" and will start to ignore the Golden and husband/step-dad is going to get the goat treatment. Just my prediction...

    • Kim Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Bryan 

      4 months ago

      I, unfortunately, came across this other day when I was browsing Reddit and before I knew it, I was engrossed in reading.

      After having read his post and all his comments, all I got out of it was stepdaughter is bad, younger sister (also his stepdaughter, although she’s not referred to that as often) is good.

      From his responses, I think this is a case of a borderline mother who met and married a narcissistic man. It took little to no effort for him to see the oldest daughter as a troublemaker and join in the scapegoating.

      I also feel strongly that said daughter has likely began therapy. The timeline just screams, “I want to talk about the past” and, in usual fashion, she gets ignored because mom can’t cope with it (histrionics much, anyone?)

      Personally, I hope the daughter is in therapy and setting herself free. What estranged parents need to get from this is this: look at those responses. Society no longer holds the opinion parents can do no wrong. Both mom and stepdad have been repeatedly called out on their behavior. These behaviors are hurtful, cruel, and have adverse effects in adulthood. Actions have consequences.

      As estranged adult children, so often we’re told to do some self-reflecting and understand our parents. Well, to that I say, most of us have and that is what led to estrangement. Many of these situations would resolve if parents were willing to do the same.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      4 months ago

      Elly,

      "If Scapegoats ever wondered what their 'family' thinks of them and how they are viewed? This is the perfect illustration."

      Definitely! I was the SG, and the actions of my family weren't just horrifying, but psychopathic. To them, I wasn't even a person, let alone a person with rights.

      I'm wondering if stepdad's going to be the next SG - "My wife is devastated and they're all blaming me for driving her (his stepdaughter) away."

      Boohoo, stepdaddy. This is what can happen when you enable.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      4 months ago

      Notice how OP repeatedly refers to the scapegoat daughter as wife's stepdaughter, but golden child is wife's daughter, even though both are the wife's biological children.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      4 months ago

      To Kim:

      What a horrifying read. The comments the OP added later did not 'help' his case at all. Trying to describe the forms of abuse that Scapegoat Children endure has always be one of those things that normal people cannot grasp when I explain my 'childhood'.

      I have never seen such a perfect example of how an enabler truly operates. He clearly describes all the reasons his step-daughter may have issues, dismisses them and continues to lay all the blame on the step-daughter, all the while protecting his "nice wife" (the mom).

      Other 'highlights' I enjoyed were, SD (Step or Scapegoat Daughter) complained that her father (who mom claims abused HER and yet sent daughter to live with him) was now abusing HER. Mom and step-dad wrote that off as daughter "attention seeking" but when the Golden Daughter complained of the same? Only THEN did they believe SD and 'apologized'.

      Scapegoat = Bad = Liar. Golden Child = Good = Deserves Protection. Scapegoat Daughter = So unruly at 14 that her 'mom's "choices" were send her to live with her abuser 'dad' OR send her to a mental hospital. Golden Child = Get's pregnant and dumped by BF = Take her in and support. SD points out obvious favoritism and gets told, "Well... If you just *insert* or were more *insert*..."

      "They're incoherent rant-filled emails with all kinds of outlandish accusations toward my wife. Lots of accusations of neglect and abuse being thrown around. More accusations of favoring her siblings over her. My wife tried to justify herself in the beginning but it only made SD angrier, so my wife decided to ignore these emails altogether." That's some A+ parenting right there.

      "Last November, SD's younger sister found out she was pregnant, and the baby's father skipped out on her. Of course, she came to my wife for comfort. We offered to let her move in with us until she got back on her feet. SD found out what happened and she flipped out. My wife got yet another angry email. SD accused her always making time for her younger sister and not her. My wife was stressed out about the pregnancy so she ignored SD's email." So yeah, 'mom' is all about the Golden...

      "I read it (the letter) and decided that enough was enough. I emailed SD. Told her to stop living in the past and if she treated her mother better, she'd have a relationship with her like her younger sister does." Yes, the SD didn't "kid right" enough to be loved.

      "Of course SD got pissed off. She sent everyone in the family a goodbye letter and cut all of us out of her life. My wife is devastated and they're all blaming me for driving her away. I thought that she was just bluffing for attention, but it's been 8 months and none of us have heard a peep from her. I still think I did the right thing by putting her in her place." Bluffing for attention and "putting her in her place"... Obviously she's figured out she's the SG Child and she knows "her place" and it is NOT with THEM -- She will never be 'good enough'.

      If Scapegoats ever wondered what their 'family' thinks of them and how they are viewed? This is the perfect illustration.

    • Kim Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Bryan 

      4 months ago

      I’m just going to leave this here for anyone interested:

      https://www.reddit.com/r/AmItheAsshole/comments/cc...

    • profile image

      Nicola 

      4 months ago

      I have had a tough couple of weeks. I have 4 adult children (ages 30 to 35) and all are college educated, highly trained and successful. I have PTSD as a result of a traumatic childhood at the hands of a violent maniac called 'Dad' but I haven't dealt with the trauma until now. I buried it and acted out when I was younger. I had affairs with neighbors and strangers I met on the internet. My husband grew up with an alcoholic father and a mentally ill mother. We struggled financially, claimed bankruptcy twice and had a few foreclosures too, all as a result of my inability at the time to control my spending. The truth is, I was woefully unprepared for adulthood and should never have had so many children but I realize that I was trying to build a family that would 'have my back' and be 'mine'.

      Today, I have a drug addicted daughter who hasn't talked to me in 4 years. She is a manipulative user who uses men for food, sex and shelter. Despite having a college degree and the ability to make 6 figures a year, she never pays her way and doesn't work most of the time.

      I have a son who has problems forming relationships and may well be on the autism spectrum but has never been diagnosed because he is a high functioning IT professional.

      I have another daughter who is in a relationship with a miserly penny pinching control freak who is toxic.

      Finally, I have a son who is married to a woman who seems to be a lovely person but who in fact is emotionally abusive. She has separated him from his friends and almost, now, us his family. We get invited to his home, only to spend time with a large non english speaking family who marginalize and ignore us. I made the decision today not to attend these 'family' functions anymore even though I have 4 grandchildren that I won't get to see because today's function was the final straw. My grandchildren are being spoiled and have become entitled and bratty and I admit that I have helped this problem along by indulging the kids with expensive gifts, almost as if I am trying to buy their love.

      I sound desperate because I am. In all of this, I seem to be the common denominator. I try to be tolerant but I am constantly putting my foot in it. I say things the wrong way, they come out wrong. I don't think I'm abusive now, but I have been abusive in the past because that is how I was raised and it was all I knew for the longest time. At the age now of almost 60, I am faced with accepting that I have made some massive mistakes with the people that I love the most.

      I am ready to vanish into thin air. I feel that I have been the worst kind of person but my levels of anger at the way my father treated me in the past, and continued to treat me until I cut him off in 2017, continually get in the way of my better judgment. My mother died last year and, even though I know she was controlled by my father's violence, she didn't do much to build my self esteem and was emotionally unavailable herself.

      After today's awful 'family get together' at my son's house, at which we sat in the middle of a room filled with non english speaking people talking amongst themselves and throwing us dirty looks, I feel that SOMETHING has to change. I am no good at asserting myself in the correct way but I no longer wish to associate with most of my daughter in law's extended family. There is no point.

      I feel that I am about to lose another relationship with my daughter who lives with the cheapskate because I can't stand to see what she is settling for, even though it's none of my business. So, that's practically ALL of my children who are either out of my life or who seem, to me, to be on the way out.

      I sacrificed a lot for my children but I never harp on about it or act out. I accept it because that is what one does - the kids come first. I had to drop out of school because I didn't have daycare....I left my old community behind decades ago for a 'better life' but did I find it? Yes and no. Yes, because I no longer had to deal with my dysfunctional birth family but no because I made the SAME MISTAKES that they did. I no longer seem to be in control of my behavior and it's frightening. My kids cannot really help because they are busy leading their own very busy lives.

      I think my biggest problem lies in accepting who my adult children have chosen to marry/live with. I want to like and accept their significant others but I find so many flaws even though I DON'T WANT TO. I just want my children to be happy but honestly I think they would be happier if I was just out of their lives because after years of making the sacrifices, I have no life of my own. I don't work, I have one or two friends, a long term marriage that has been both good and bad, and extended birth family that I have cut out of my life because of continual abuse. I am so dysfunctional I don't even know how to fix this or even wtf is wrong with me because it has gone on for so long. Thanks for listening.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      4 months ago

      To healing:

      You seem to be at the "nothing is 'enough' phase" of recovery. You know in your heart that no matter how much you give/try it will never satisfy them. At this point I learned that it IS okay to say, "No."

      Make what plans are best for YOU and when asked, firmly state what YOU will be doing. If anyone questions/attempts to alter your plans, simply state, "I'm sorry that doesn't 'work' for You but I will be doing..."

      Say 'yes' only to things you are comfortable with and if "add-on's" arise past what you are okay with, state, "I was good with doing *insert* but what you want is too much for me." and stay firm.

      Healthy relationships should not be "draining" and if simple boundaries don't work, then No Contact is the only step left to take.

      May Peace Be With You.

    • profile image

      healing 

      4 months ago

      I too am the child of parents with serious mental health and control issued. If you haven't grown up with these types of parents, I think it can be hard to understand how painful and damaging lifelong relationships can be with these types of people, who hold onto their children so tightly but can't handle daily life otherwise or the general public.

      My parents try to plan all our holidays and yes, mother's/father's day is about them despite being grandparents. We can't go to events with our kids without hurting my parents feelings. Time and again my spouse has been surprised by comments or actions he didn't see coming because the actions are so "off".

      My parents also genuinely don't seem to care if my kids see their other grandparents and routinely belittle me. They have started making comments about what my kids should be reading, etc. Very condescending. They expect time with my grandkids but only if it's at their house - and they decide to take me & the kids on vacation without asking me. Of course I say we're not going with them. Basically they see me, unconsciously, as the sibling of my kids instead of their parent.

      Christmas is always a gong show. My mother demands that everyone drive across town for Xmas eve dinner and then - "we'll be having Xmas breakfast at our house at 10am". Yes she expects us to drive across town twice - any suggestion to make things simpler backfires and no we're not invited to stay over. Every year we don't go for Christmas morning but the demand continues. My partner and I have been getting the side-eye and disapproving comments for not doing what most people would consider unreasonable, unrealistic and participating in the most selfish behaviors.

      Maintaining a relationship is draining and at times makes me very depressed because in this relationship, I have no value. I'm just treated as a supporter of the mentally ill, conceding to whatever their whim might be to fill their life while refusing to participate with the outside world. My dad is diagnosed mentally ill & has been hospitalized in the past - but instead of getting a break or respect for my help and support, I get a lifetime of pandering to them and basically insults.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      4 months ago

      To NarcFree and Starlight444:

      I would not fault any child of an abusive environment that says, one video of hers was plenty. I wouldn't fault someone for not making it through one! Nauseated was definitely a word I used on hearing her beliefs.

      "Appalling" is another fair term. As for her blog... Oh MY. On a post from August of 2017...

      "If you can excuse behaviours, actions and choices that you don’t necessarily agree with or, you can put up with poor treatment from others, including friends and others in your life, why would you not tolerate and accept that from your parents?"

      My thoughts on that are, shouldn't We be treated BETTER by Our families who love Us, as opposed to having to tolerate ABUSE? She later says, "As previously said, the only 2 reasons for estranging yourself from your parents is abuse and neglect. Other than those 2 reasons, you’re the one who is and will lose out if you are estranged for any other reason(s) and don’t attempt to work it out while your parent(s) are still here or capable and willing to talk things through." But clearly abuse IS NOT a "valid reason" because earlier she said We should "tolerate and accept 'that' from your parents."

      So I guess that leaves 'neglect'. Well, if a parent is "neglecting"/ignoring their child (as an adult) then THEY have basically "checked out" of the relationship them-self sooo... It's the old, "You can't estrange from Me! BUT I can estrange from YOU!" She clicks every box in "Classic Narcissistic Parent" and when this is pointed out to her? Yeah... It doesn't go well.

      In the video I mentioned, she does some classic DARVO... Deny -- "I am not a Narc!". Attack -- "If you are a parent and 'not estranged' or an estranged adult child, go elsewhere! I don't and the other people here don't want to hear from You! You don't have the 'Holy Grail' of parenting! If you are an abused child? I don't CARE." Reverse Victim/Offender -- "Oh! There's some Narc 'going on' but it's not US! It's THEM! They are the Narc's!"

      I liked the attack on non-estranged parents... "They think they have the 'Holy Grail' on parenting..." says she. Maybe THEY DO and maybe NOT but -- Non-Estranged Parents commenting on her video differ from HER... their kids are still talking to THEM.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      4 months ago

      Elly, thanks for this. She's appalling! Check out her blog - "My Little Corner of Life."

      She wrote this in June: "One of the things that a lot of psychologist, psychiatrists and psychoanalysist are discovering is that what was once considered the standard in terms of believing the adult who sits in their offices, spewing out their own forms of “the truth” may in fact, be more manifestations of that adult’s own imaginations than anything based in fact or reality."

    • profile image

      ElizabethCa 

      4 months ago

      Elly, that's exactly what I've noticed! It's like she has a filter on where everything was great and wonderful except for a few weird random incidents when I was upset over something silly.

      What got me about this case is the turnaround time. We were literally going straight from "you're so horrible and disrespectful to me that I have to kick you out" to "I don't understand why you won't spend time with me" within maybe a month or two. Normal people don't do that.

      A parent with a child with a real problem would be sad and upset. They might have to set boundaries for their own protection. But they wouldn't then be turning around and expecting the relationship to immediately return to normal.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      4 months ago

      ElizabethCa

      Isn't that part of gaslighting? Pretending that what happened, didnt. Or that you couldn't have possibly been upset about being thrown out for the night? Act all surprised as if your reaction is highly unusual, when in reality it's her behavior that is highly unusual? They impose their version of their insane reality on you by acting like what they do is normal, and your reaction is abnormal, when in reality it's the opposite. If i slap you, is it normal to assume that you liked it since you didn't expressly say it's an issue? Most people are fully aware that nobody likes being hit. Most people are fully aware that nobody likes being put out for the night. That's not something that had to be said out loud. And now you are at fault because you did not state the obvious.

      Calling that time "bonding" is also gaslighting, as bonding is a positive experience for all involved. She Made it negative for you, and is telling you to see it in a positive light, thats crazymaking.

      I don't know if you are in contact, but if you are still meeting for dinners, well, be a no show one day and then call that "bonding", see how she likes her own medicine. I don't think she's worth the headache, but that's what i would do if i weren't no contact.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      4 months ago

      Elly,

      I just searched that channel name , and I've seen one of her videos several months ago, where she states "your children have a duty to keep in touch with you, to tell you how they are doing and what's happening in their lives" lol. Made me feel sorry for her offspring. I don't want to click on any of her other videos because I'm still a little nauseous from the one i watched several months ago. Maybe down the line when I'm fully recovered lol

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      4 months ago

      To ElizabethCa:

      I too have noticed, upon reflection, that when my 'mom' would talk about the "good times" we had it was always through that "weird filter". She would talk about fun parties I had/had been at and I remember how I felt about these "events". She would put a positive spin on things to the point where you think, "Did we attend the same event?"

      We were "always having 'fun' together" in her mind. Nothing bad EVER happened. And if it did, it wasn't "that bad" or I remember IT "worse" then it WAS. I think it's more gas-lighting.

      I have been following a woman on YouTube and she is such a Narc it's terrifying. She even includes her enabler husband on the videos occasionally. Her latest (posted 24 June) is her saying what a Narc parent isn't and how SHE and her 'supporters' just can't be Narc's. The re-writing of what NPD is and how "those people" act and how THEY aren't like HER at all is shocking.

      The channel is called "Pondering Life" and WARNING!!! She is triggering even to Me! That said, for those in recovery who want/need a stark reminder of why you are and need to stay NC? This channel will do it.

      Kim -- Feel free to remove the name of that channel if you want (for obvious reasons) if you watch the video I mentioned, but I think it would be a wonderful discussion topic here.

    • profile image

      ElizabethCa 

      4 months ago

      I've not been on here in a while, but wanted to share an observation. One oddity I've noticed with my own mother is that she'll take very extreme actions and then turn around and act like nothing happened.

      For example: I at one point accepted an invitation to stay with them to get back on my feet financially. I was working retail and barely making ends meet in a small town, and they lived in an area with much better job prospects. My mother took full advantage, basically forcing me to be a live-in therapist for 3 or 4 hours at a time, multiple times a week. Unloading all her personal life on me and then going into a rage if I showed any signs of stress, tried to get away from her, or gave an answer that might in any way suggest her problems were her fault. This frequently led to me being thrown out for the night for being "rude and disrespectful" as she would declare I was so nasty and hateful she couldn't be around me.

      And yet when I moved out she was sweet as pie and wanted to go out to dinner with me every week. It was like all that stuff never happened. In fact she'd refer to those conversations fondly as mother-daughter bonding experiences. She was completely confused why I didn't think positively and insisted that, had I ever expressed that they were an issue, she'd have backed off immediately.

      That sort of disconnect is baffling. One moment I'm being horrible and awful to her, and the next she wants to spend time with me.

    • profile image

      Doug the Distracted 

      4 months ago

      I'm grateful for this, I'm currently living in my mother's house in my home town, caring for her as she recovers from hospital. I'd gone more or less no-contact with her but have slowly drifted back. Recently I've realized she's almost certainly a narcissist and am trying to figure out what to do.

    • profile image

      kimberelylane 

      4 months ago

      THANK YOU! Thank you so much for seeing this from the other perspective. My mom is a chronic manipulator and went out on a smear campaign about me and my now husband. Being raised in a religious and very patriarchal home, I was labeled as "rebellious" and "living in sin" for choosing to be in a relationship with the man I loved. There was no Biblical reason for us to be apart. What I hate is that everything online is about how bad the children are, without a thought as to WHY an adult child would feel the need to walk away. My dad is just super passive. He would sit and just watch my mom tear me apart emotionally and do ZERO to step in and help me even though I'd be sobbing and falling apart. I have been blamed for all their stress and the stress is what they tell people have caused all these medical issues....gosh, I can't thank you enough. I feel like a crazy person sometimes, and things like this help me see the real world. And my husband. He's constantly telling me not to get roped back in when they do something hurtful. SO THANK YOU!

    • Jessica Beasley profile image

      Jessica B 

      5 months ago from United States

      Wonderful article Kim! I too have estranged myself from my father as an adult. I had a short estrangement from my mom but we're good now. I feel this one with my father is final as I had tried to reconcile a few years back for it to, not only not work, but get worse. My dad is the king daddy dog of manipulators. Instead of getting better about it when confronted, he got more creative. He is an able bodied, healthy man who decided he wanted to live a parasitic lifestyle at the expense of my sanity and marriage. I wasn't going to have it. I hate that people think that we're "selfish, entitled, cruel,and inconsiderate" but they are the same people that don't realize that respect is a two way street. Who cares what people who don't understand think anyways. We are in a club of being grown orphans having gone through one of (if not the most) painful decision we will have to make. I love how you differentiate between intermittent and permanent estrangement and boundaries parents not respecting (a big reason why estrangements happen when we become adults and boundaries are not respected as if we're still children). I also love that you point out that parents act like they don't know why they are being cut out and there in lies the problem. They don't listen, or worse, gaslight. I hope you find continued peace with your path. It has gotten easier for me. Like you said, we feel relieved, bot happy. But the fact that relief is what we do feel, means we did the right thing. I wish continued healing for you Kim and thank you for sharing your story!

    • profile image

      NC4me 

      5 months ago

      This was a great summary. I’ve been no contact with my parents for 2 years. It’s been difficult and it hurts. I’m sure it hurts them. But I cannot continue down this path when they cannot acknowledge their role in the toxicity (see reasons #2 and #4).

      Reading so many comments from parents on these articles is frustrating. Estrangement is not something that happens to you - broken relationships take actions (or inactions) from both parties. The failure to recognize this underscores why you are estranged. If you were able to see that you played a role in this, you probably could work through it. My parents have no interest in this - it’s easier to claim victim hood than to acknowledge that they haven’t been the loving and supportive family that they’ve conjured up in their mind.

      LISTEN to your adult children. If they are cutting you off, there is probably not a single reason but the cumulative years of little things. Stop pointing fingers.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      5 months ago

      Elly,

      Estranged parents suffer from false entitlement complex. When they say i love my child unconditionally, it means I think I am entitled to a relationship, i am entitled to total control, i expect unconditional submission to my will. They don't get it that claims of unconditional love do not entitle them to a relationship, time, money, or any other resources from their estranged children.

      From as young as i can remember myself, my father treated me with utter disgust and contempt, because i "eat his food". He wanted me to come out of the womb with a job, I guess. So that he can continue to f##k around and not be responsible for the consequences of his own actions. How does one respect that? I simply can't, and won't. He has his right to call that love, and i have my right to walk away from that kind of love. I have developed my own standards, and my own definition of love; my abusive biological parents simply don't make the cut. I dont care anymore if they love me or hate me, it doesn't matter what they say, it matters what they do. And what they do makes me nauseous, so I'm out. What they say they feel, means nothing to me.

      Whoever is expressing hate, that is allegedly brought on by their child's own behavior, is still clinging to hope that they have some kind of control or influence over their child. If your child doesn't care anymore if you love them or hate them, it's game over. Just accept it. But control freaks can't accept that they've lost control. So they find articles about hate, and continue to live in denial, fooling themselves into thinking that their child still cares about parental opinion. EPs can't accept that they are nothing now. They mean nothing, they have zero power over my self esteem, they are miserable failures as parents, and i just don't care anymore what they think, say, or want, or what kind of articles they read. I just want to never hear or see them again.

      It is freeing and wise to stop looking for validation or love from people who have none to give.

      So, if i were on a spot to respond to EPs who claim that their child "made them" hate, I'd simply say "your children no longer care how you feel. Deal with it".

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      5 months ago

      Apparently Estranged Parents are dying for an article called, "How to get Your Parents to Hate You" because there are many articles about why Estranged Adult Children 'hate' their 'parents' or things EP's can do to improve their relationship with their Adult Children.

      They claim that it is 'impossible' to get them to 'hate' their EC because they are unconditional in their love for their children. I really want to try to write a response to this desire for such an article BUT where to begin?

      I ASSume that they want a list of things that their EAC "do" that make their 'parents' hate them. That's a fairly easy list. Include the word "No." in any reply you give to one of their demands and go from there.

      My personal feeling is that EP's NEVER 'loved' their children because they are incapable and two, they don't KNOW what "healthy love" and relationships look like. A theme I have noted is when the Adult Children try to set healthy boundaries the EP's turn that into, "They are trying to set all the rules because they want to be 'in charge'." When the EC try to set boundaries it becomes a power struggle. EP's seem to think that in a 'relationship' someone always has to "be in charge". The idea of a MUTUAL two-way street relationship does not occur to them.

      At the point when EC start to back away and say "No" this is when the EP's CLAIM they start to 'hate' their kids. I say, this is the excuse they have been waiting for, so they can say out loud, "I hate my child because they do *insert*." In reality they have ALWAYS hated their children but they know society would frown on anyone 'hating' anything less then a teenager (they must maintain the 'good mom' image).

      So what can/did we do to get our parents to hate us?

      1. Be conceived -- We grew inside your body, made you nauseous and destroyed your body.

      2. Have Needs -- We didn't pop out fully self-sustaining. We cost money. We waste your time. We want attention.

      3. Not meet 'expectations' -- We weren't little robots that automatically knew what you wanted from us at all times even when you kept moving the finish line all over the field.

      4. Show reasonable reactions to maltreatment -- Our crying at being mocked and teased,or hit or screamed at is unreasonable. Acting fearful of our 'loving parent' is an insult.

      5. Treat them the way they treat You (regardless of age) -- Examples: A 10 year old that calls her 'mom' rotten names is learning that behavior is OK from "somewhere". My Sister now treats my 'mom' with contempt because her abuse taught her, that if someone is your 'lesser' you can treat them however you want.

      6. Confront them on their behavior -- Just don't...

      My point is that a better article to write would be titled -- "What Could I Have Done Differently as a Child to Make My Parent Love Me". These EP's make it clear they are who they are, there is nothing 'wrong' with them and they are NEVER going to change. SO, logic would dictate with that attitude, that they NEVER loved their children.

    • profile image

      Katie 

      6 months ago

      Thank you so much. I have had problems with my mother and my father. I have gone no contact/minimal contact with my mom within the last year (I’m in my late 40’s) but have an increasingly good relationship with my father now. Now he is trying to mend things with me and my mom (even though he recently started talking to her after 40 years of no contact with my mother, on his part). He asked me why I seem to forgive him but not my mom. Short and sweet I said “cause you have listened to me, heard me and validated my feelings even if you didn’t agree therefore I can forgive and move forward....mom on the other hand doesn’t hear me, tells me everything I say is wrong, is on a continued smear campaign therefore I can’t forgive and move on with it still happening...I’m protecting myself by not letting her mentally abuse me anymore”.

      THANK YOU FOR THIS ARTICLE AND YOUR INSPIRATIONAL RESPONSES TO COMMENTS FROM PEOPLE THAT ARE CONTINUING THE BLAME GAME INSTEAD OF OWNING THEIR OWN ACTIONS. Listening to another person and owning your part is the only way to move forward. My father and I own our part. My mother, not at all which is why the no contact.

      Thank you so much for your article and responses

    • profile image

      JOinDC 

      6 months ago

      I really think so much of this is helpful, not verbatim but so close to what I went through when distancing myself from parents who really didn't want a close relationship with me, and I was doing so much work to make it happen and it never was becoming that way...and yet, they started the blame game when they felt I was not performing and coming around or calling or sending presents (yes, they actually said they missed the 'calls, cards, gifts, and Christmas photo moments' as the things they said I took from them) all the time, which did stupidly thinking that because I got a better reaction when sending presents, it was making us closer. It wasn't. It's always been superficial, they're fine not ever being in contact and never were consistently, and when I look over the entire family tree, it is the exact same: We never, ever met our first cousins at all, we never knew aunts or uncles except at 2 gatherings my entire life to age 20, I never spent time with grandparents on one side at all, just a typical cycle that started generations before them, to be fair. But, the accusations, letters, emails that kept claiming they missed me, they wanted me to "come around and hug it out and make us close again" and telling me I am the one who broke up the family, let me know I was not going to take that any more. I didn't do a big declaration, I just started distancing myself with the distance that was already there for my job that had me in a very far off place so often and not ever living nearby. It didn't dawn on them for years, really, that this happened, so it never mattered. They still gossip and blame, but I don't make a scene, don't answer it and feed it, just continue to find other more authentic people to be around and I don't ever talk to them or text or feed the drama and B.S. behaviors. I don't listen to it, I don't come around, and it's just made my life easier. I think we cannot judge what works, but for me, a very big and wide distance is best, because otherwise I start to get sucked into the vortex of family blame, toxic behaviors, and crap! Just healthier this way, and I have done counseling both on a Christian-themed basis and a more secular one and both say the same thing when they heard the stories: steer clear, do what's best, your family and parents are very, very abusive.

    • profile image

      KM 

      6 months ago

      Very well done article. It was practically verbatim of my husband experience with his parents.

      My husband was raised by an incredibly narcissistic parents, last year, he had an "awakening" of sorts. He finally saw everything very clearly for the first time in his life. He realized that his mom and dad actually wanted his life and our family to fall apart so they could feel better about their own pathetic existence. He finally realized that his parents was far more than just a shitty parents, they are a shitty people in general.

      However, on top of all of the ridiculous and abusive behavior toward us after we get married, he had to endure 4-decades of his parents dysfunctional personal life beforehand…physical and emotional abuse, divorces, boyfriends, girlfriends, drinking, partying with socialite losers, conniving, manipulating, gossiping without end, etc.

      After much thought and consideration, we decided to sever all ties with them in order to protect our family. To hear their story; their son is an unappreciative, arrogant, and disrespectful and they are so put upon. It's sad, but our lives have been so much better since they are not part of it. It was a tough conclusion to come to but well worth estrangement.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      7 months ago

      Life Without Annette,

      What do you mean, he let them? Do you think they asked for his permission, and he said yeah OK go ahead? That would be letting them. Otherwise they are all independent adults who make decisions about their own behavior. Colossians does not control his parents. The only control he has is how to deal with his parents' behavior. Yes, he could have chosen estrangement, but I don't think you can judge so harshly, because a parent child bond is strong, and not that easy to break. It takes a lot of time and introspection to arrive at that decision. Most of us estranged children took years or decades to come to an understanding that there will be no peace as long as "parents" are allowed to control us. Society brainwashes us that we owe our parents respect. Society brainwashes us that ALL parents want what's best for their kids. It's a lie. Some parents always put themselves first. Seeing through this gaslighting is a process, it's not an overnight decision. Abusive parents use stereotypes to strengthen their grip on their offspring. Church, friends, everybody and their brother jump on the bandwagon that you need to respect your parents. It's a hard spell to break, and I applaud anyone who has the courage to stand up to parental abuse and control, no matter how early or late in life they find the wisdom and the guts to do it.

      His parents are clearly controlling as they do not respect boundaries. A grown man gets to choose his woman, and parents have to respect his adult decision. Did they not hear "speak now or forever hold your peace"? It's time for them to hold peace, after the marriage ceremony took place. But they just can't, because that's not who they are. They are entitled control freaks. I do not believe for a second that they were healthy parents to their own child, if this is how they treat a daughter in law. Healthy people don't single out a scapegoat while having healthy relationships elsewhere. I'm sure they were abusive parents to him. So he didn't learn healthy boundaries growing up. I am proud that he was brave enough to acknowledge reality now. And I am happy that the wife was willing to give him time to see that. Can't change the past, but can work on healing now, and can appreciate each other more now.

      It's a painful pill to swallow that your parents are only too happy to sabotage your happiness. Many people prefer to live in denial.

      Plus, trauma bond.

      So it takes time to wake up to reality.

      I agree that their money is theirs to do what they want.

      Colossians,

      Many abusers use "future faking" to manipulate. They will promise you nice things in the future in exchange for you doing favors for them in the present. They have no intention on delivering their promises, they just use people. So if your parents gave you an impression that you were going to get money from them, well, just another sign that they are manipulative liars. You can't believe anything that comes out of a liar's mouth. They can blow their money any way they want, but they can't blow your life the way they want. Unless you gave them a loan, and they blew the money without paying you back - then it's your money that they blew. Otherwise it's their money. They chose to use their money to stick it to you, and clearly it's working :) I think your freedom is worth more than their inheritance. I've heard countless stories of abusive parents using inheritance promises to control and influence their adult kids. They never fulfil their promises. That's just who they are.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      7 months ago

      To Life Without Annette:

      I'm uncomfortable with the term 'cutting the apron strings' as it sounds like victim blaming to Me. We have very little information from Colossians so I tend to view people posting here as victims until I see 'red flags'.

      As for your last question, "how you would feel if you were married to a man who let his parents treat you like garbage for years—probably decades—while he sat by and let them." If Colossians was an abuse victim he, like my Husband and I, may not have recognized 'it' as abuse.

      As the scapegoat in my 'family' I would have seen their behavior as NORMAL. As the scapegoat in His 'family' my Husband could have fallen, unwittingly into the same trap. Their 'normal' abusive behavior could be excused as always.

      After the incident with the knife, perhaps Colossians should have cut all contact, but we all know how complicated it is to get away from abusers.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      7 months ago

      To Life Without Annette:

      I also need a clarification... You said to Me, "you tend to view things empathically"... I assumed you meant "empathetically". I do not believe that I put my views or position forward forcefully or without doubt about what I am saying...

      I DO believe that I view situations "empathetically" as in the case of Colossians3. I cannot put myself in his 'place' but I can certainly put my Husband in his position. My Husband could have fallen into the same 'trap' IF one or both of Us was not healthy or at least aware there were 'family issues' prior to Our marriage.

      And assuming You called Me "empathetic" as opposed to "emphatic"... THANK YOU. Us Autistics are often labeled as anything BUT empathetic.

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      7 months ago

      Elly, I applaud your sense of compassion, even if I think it is unmerited in the case of Colossians3. First off, he was never a victim of his parents’ abuse, his wife was. His response was to try to appease their contempt for his wife, rather than shield her from it. He maintained contact, even after his parents threatened her at knifepoint. The only difference was his wife was no longer expected to join him when he went to spend time with his parents. His marriage nearly ended because of his divided loyalties. And this went on until his father died and his mother is left dying of Alzheimer’s in a nursing home.

      Coloss seems more upset that he didn’t get the money he wanted from his dad’s estate than the fact that his parents treated his wife with venemous contempt until the bitter end. And HE LET THEM!

      Even though Coloss never cut the apron strings, he’s a grown man. If he wanted money for managing the administrative task of getting his mother on Medicaid, he should have negotiated that up front. And come on, how many hours were really devoted to the task? A few names taken off bank accounts, a few phone calls, some forms to fill out. At $30/hr for 50 hours, that’s $1,500. So to answer your question, “Is Colossians not entitled to compensation for work and labor He provided to assist his family,” I say no, it does not entitle him to the remains of his father’s estate, especially considering that estate is really the product of marital assets that were supposed to be shielded only for the purpose of protecting his father from destitution. Now that he is dead, those marital assets are rightfully put back to the purpose of caring for Coloss’s mother, until such time as the assets are used up or she dies. Medicaid doesn’t exist to protect inheritances.

      Coloss is left in a place of shame for how he treated his wife, and bitterness at not receiving money he coveted. My view is that shame is unproductive and self-indulgent if it doesn’t lead to changed behavior, and greedy bitterness is simply an unbecoming reflection of an entitlement mentality.

      Elly, since you tend to view things empathically, I ask you to consider how you would feel if you were married to a man who let his parents treat you like garbage for years—probably decades—while he sat by and let them. There is really only one victim in Coloss’s story: his wife. Coloss can’t fix what he did, as he let it drag on to the bitter end. All he can do is stop dwelling on how bad HE feels, and love his wife enough to put her needs first for the rest of his life.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      7 months ago

      To Colossians3:

      My Husband was the scapegoat in His 'family' as was I. If your wife had an abusive 'mom' I would think she fell for you for many of the same reasons as I did my Husband.

      The fact you are devastated at what your wife went through and are having a hard time forgiving yourself says a lot to Me. One of the things I had to face with my husband was His lack of self-esteem (as well as my own). He was the 'ugly' brother. He was the 'stupid' brother etc. I told Him early on, "Let Me be your mirror." And everyday I remind Him that to ME, He is the most handsome, intelligent, kind and gentle Man that I have ever known and He does the same for Me.

      I hope this helps and May Peace be with You and your Wife.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      7 months ago

      To Life Without Annette:

      I am seeing Colossians3 comments differently. It sounds like Colossians had done a great deal of work to set things up for the long term care of his mother. If he had not stepped up to do it his father would have had to (if able) OR they would have had to HIRE someone.

      Is Colossians not entitled to compensation for work and labor He provided to assist his family? It wouldn't be so bad if the money left to the 'mom' would have benefited or enhanced her care, but that was not the case.

      In my case, when I was struggling financially, my 'parents' would happily tell me how much they paid 'so and so' for doing things for them and yet never even offered me gas money when I would come and do chores for them. "Other People" are 'worthy' of their money... My sister, neighbors, friends... But not Elly!

      And since I've gone No Contact and have no current financial issues they can pay all the 'help' they want. I hope they don't get caught up by an elder abuser/scammer because I doubt my sister cares about their money either...

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      7 months ago

      Coloss, your subsequent explanation about inheritance sounds worse than the first. You’re angry because after your father died, and no longer had need of whatever was left of his estate, he directed it to your mother’s care, rather than leaving the taxpayers on the hook for your mother’s care. I don’t see why you feel entitled to that money. The whole point of getting your mom on Medicaid was to ensure the cost of her healthcare didn’t leave your father destitute. Once your dad died, that money SHOULD go back to funding her care. Your desire to divert your father’s estate to you after he died seems like a form of welfare fraud.

      I don’t know if what you wanted to do is legal or not, but ethically, it stinks.

    • profile image

      Colossians3 

      7 months ago

      Let me try and be a little bit more clear about inheritance. I worked very hard to get my mother on medicaid. Under Medicaid rules my mother can not have any more then 2000 dollars in her name. My Father was worried he was going to run out of money paying for her care.

      In order for him to retain the savings he had left for his retirement I got her name off their joint assets. So he knew that any money over max allowed for her would have to go to the nursing home.

      When he died everything in his will went to her. She is not going to benefit from it anyway since Medicaid is already paying for her care.

      If I had not went to court as her Guardian my Dad would not have had much left.

      Photos, well I think I probably will offer them to my relatives. So that is a good idea.

      Yes, I know I came up short for my wife. I need to get over this for her sake.

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      8 months ago

      Coloss, I’m confused about the inheritance thing. Are you bitter because your dad didn’t give you an inheritance while your mom is still alive? That money is rightfully hers. And yeah, there probably won’t be anything left by the time your mom dies. But that’s the reality for lots of people. Parents don’t have an obligation to die quickly and conveniently in order to preserve their wealth as an inheritance (though many of us might sardonically wish they did, whether or not an inheritance is at stake). I have no inheritance coming from my mother due to estrangement (and it would feel like blood money if I did), and my husband will have none from his, as his parents have always been of limited means. That’s life.

      As to the photos, if there are other members of your parents’ family still alive, why not let them have any of the photos you don’t want. If you have kids, definitely keep some photos, so your kids can have a sense of connection to your past...which belongs to them, too.

      When I became estranged from my mother, I was cut off from all access to family photos. While my childhood was miserable in many ways, there were still people and places I miss. I’d love some pictures of my grandmothers and a beloved aunt, of religious milestones, of the neighborhood kids that were my playmates and friends, my high school yearbooks, my prom photos. Not having pictures from my childhood almost feels like it was erased, like I only came to life as a young adult after I met my husband and built a family of my own. I wish my kids could see how dorky I looked during my awkward stage, or how cute I was as a little kid, or how pretty I finally got in high school. It’s all gone to me now. So please reconsider hanging on to some family photos. The people who love you would relish sharing parts of your past.

      Also, if anyone has a right to be bitter, it is your wife, who had to watch her husband share holidays with her backstabbing father-in-law. I know you feel terrible about what your parents did to her, but you still seem to be coming up a cup short on compassion for her.

      A husband’s and wife’s first loyalties belong to each other. And if your parents mistreat your spouse, you have an obligation to close ranks with your wife...not split your time and loyalties between your wife and your parents. It first appears in Genesis 2:24, is restated by Jesus in Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:8, and again stated by Paul in Ephesians 5:31, that a man shall leave his parents to be united to his wife, and that they shall become as one flesh. From what you describe, your wife has obeyed God’s admonishment to submit herself to her husband, indeed, refraining from complaining about your parents’ abusive treatment until it got to the point of making armed threats. Perhaps it’s time to revisit Ephesians 5 in its entirety, as it has much to say about how husbands are to emulate Christ’s sacrificial love for the Church through sacrificial love for their wives. She needs your support, love, and guidance, not your bitterness. And pouring your love into your marriage is a great way to heal from the past. God bless you and your wife as you move forward together, as one flesh.

    • profile image

      Colossians3 

      8 months ago

      Thankyou for your comments, I know I shouldnt beat myself up over this but its hard not to. I was trying so hard to get my parents to like my wife but all I ended up doing was defending her constantly.

      I didn't have the guts to stand up to my parents. I was trying to please everyone and it tore me apart. My wife had a very bad childhood. Her own mother was abusive and she was hoping that her new mother-in-law would welcome her into the family. Instead she just got more abuse.

      My mother ended up going into a nursing home due to alzheimers. With my controlling mother out of the picture I thought my Dad was going to come around and have a relationship with my wife. And for about four months it looked like he would.

      But it did not last, he went right back to his old ways. My wife finally had had enough. I sadly agreed.

      No longer was he allowed in our home. I still visited him. On Holidays i made sure to see him without my wife. He always asked where my wife was. I guess he hoped for a reconciliation but my wife had enough. Every time my wife had tryed to make peace with him he would turn around and verbally abuse her.

      So despite being a only son and trying to do the right thing he screwed me in the end for me doing my best a bit late to protect my wife.

      He died one year ago leaving me with mostly nothing having blown as much money as possible and leaving the rest to my mother which goes to the nursing home.

      So yes, I feel betrayed and bitter.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      8 months ago

      To NarcFree:

      I showed my Husband Colossians3 comment and He understood where His "brother" is coming from. My Husband knows His 'parents' and would have thought, "In a medical emergency they wouldn't possibly 'stoop so low' as to attack my wife in my absence." And for Colossians3 that IS what happened. My Husband would be equally guilt ridden.

      To Colossians3:

      As to your question around 'family' photos... No one can really give You advice on that as it is a, 100% about You and what's best for YOU situation. I will offer My perspective, one that my Husband also shares.

      Pictures and all that was 'documenting our torment' as I call it. However, my Husband and I both cheered for the same sports team as kids, even though we lived huge distances apart. So pictures of 'little him' and 'little me' wearing the same stuff would be heartwarming. We also both worked on farms as kids... Pictures of Us shoveling poo would be cute and ironic.

      Any image that didn't make Us feel better, either individually or as a couple, would be tossed without thought.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      8 months ago

      Colossians3

      Why are you responsible? Every party involved was an adult. Every adult is responsible for their own behavior, unless they're incapacitated. You are only responsible for yourself. Your parents are each responsible for their own actions, just like your wife is a grown up who handles her life and makes decisions, including drawing boundaries. While you are part of each interaction, and have partial role to play, you are not responsible for other people's behaviors and choices. Don't beat yourself up too much, just consider how to handle similar people and events in the future.

    • profile image

      Colossians3 

      8 months ago

      So I sit here now 1 year after my Dads passing. My Mother is still alive in a nursing home with Alzheimer's. I have a stack of photo albums with Family pictures which I am contemplating dumping in the trash. Every time I look at them I am just overwhelmed with hurt and anger. My wife took so much abuse from the both of them and I am responsible.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      8 months ago

      To Colossians3 and onyxia1983:

      Welcome here.

      Colossians3 -- My husband has always wondered how bad it could get IF He introduced me to his 'family'. You provide an sad example of how bad it can get. I am sorry You and your wife went through that.

      onyxia1983 -- You are definitely not "crazy" or alone. Many of Us have found Our voices here. One of the reasons my husband and I fell in love hard and fast was because We had the same 'parents'. On our first date I started making 'jokes' about how bad my 'mom' was... He challenged me to, "try him". I impersonated My 'mom' and He laughed and We kept laughing. At one point He even said, "I had NO IDEA I had a sister..." So yes, WE who were raised by these type of 'parents' are definitely a "family".

      Being raised by abusive parents is like being a parent in the "Missing and Murdered Children" club. None of those people asked to 'join'... Someone made that 'choice' for them. We joined THIS 'club' because our 'parents' weren't "smart enough" to NOT have kids.

    • profile image

      onyxia1983 

      8 months ago

      i made an account just to say, thanks so much for this article, and thank you to all the people in the comments sharing their painful experiences. its thanks to you that i realized its not just me and i'm not going crazy, and the suffering my mother caused me was very real. please, to anyone suffering with an abusive parent right now, remember that you aren't alone. we all have each other. once you get away from them you will be so happy... Also as someone else said, it's so weird how "we all have the same parent".. jfc

    • profile image

      Colossians3 

      8 months ago

      The Parent Disrespects the Adult Child's Spouse. Wow, this really hit home with me. Both my Parents treated my wife like total crap. But they did it behind my back. Before I got married everything was good. My parents bent over backwards for me. Once I got married everything changed. It got so bad that it came close to ending my marriage.

      I will forever blame myself for not doing more to put a stop to it. I had always been close to my parents, especially my Father. One night on me and my wife were visiting my parents. My wife needed a critical medical device while we were there. Since we only live a few miles away I went to get it while she stayed there. While I was gone my mother started berating my wife mercilessly for having me leave. She ended up threatening my wife with a kitchen knife while my Dad did nothing.

      When I got back their demeanor had totally changed. I had no idea what had happened until my wife told me after we had left.

      Sometimes you have to consider your family toxic and stay away. I made the mistake of keeping my parents in my life and my wife paid dearly for it.

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      8 months ago

      @Karen, the estranged mother:

      One last thing...don’t lose hope. Things are a mess, but forgiveness is never an impossibility. With some insight into your own choices, a repentant heart, and the orchestrations of a loving God, reunification always remains a possibility. May God help you to recognize and repent your own wrongs, and provide opportunities to demonstrate that changed heart to your children. The hardest thing to do is wait on the timing of others, but it is sometimes the only choice. If there is to be any contact, let them come to you.

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      8 months ago

      @Karen, the estranged mother:

      You identify one of the most important reasons young parents must carefully weigh the quality of the relationship with their own parents before allowing those parents access to grandchildren. Had you established a pre-existing relationship with your grandchildren, courts may have decided it was in the best interests of the grandchildren to not have the relationship with their grandparent(s) terminated. But because you already poisoned the well of love you had with your own children, your daughter made sure you never had a chance to gain access to her own children.

      I just don’t get your whole “became unmanageable at 15” thing. You quit on your kids, and now you’re reaping what you sowed. Demanding access to your daughter’s children, and then taking her to court, have probably ruled out any hope of reconciliation you may have had with either of your children. HUGE mistake. I’m trying hard to think of a path of repentance that would lead to reconciliation, but you basically lobbed a hand grenade into an already highly fragile environment.

      May God heal the hurt you inflicted on your children, and give them the discernment to determine when, if ever, it may be appropriate to seek reconciliation.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      8 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Karen.....The "mother" I am, feels for you, in terms of having been estranged from both your son and daughter for so many years (and I am especially saddened for you never having met your grandchildren. This being said, the rational, in-depth thinker/problem-solver in me, cannot help but realize that all issues are much more serious and complex than you were able to convey here.

      I can tell you that one statement you made, blew me away! You claim your relationship with your own mother was "never close.". An obvious question for me is, WHAT, on earth would prompt you to send your children to live with a mother that you don't admire, respect nor trust??! I'm stunned by this. There were barriers & obstacles between you and your mother, yet you sent your kids to her? Before I would go further with you, I need to ask you to justify this one glaring mistake. Otherwise, I'm inclined to believe that you simply think you're entitled to something you have not earned at all.

      Merely giving birth, does not immediately entitle anyone to any & all privileges, rights and freedoms. Don't you realize this?

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      8 months ago

      Hello Clay!

      Oh my! You have found the right place. Your comment was perfect and 100% accurate.

      To Karen:

      Oh my... And not in a good way. you said, "We all had a close relationship and I did whatever I could for them." When was this 'closeness' you speak of? I find it hard to imagine that if you were "close" for your kids to become unmanageable by their mid-teens.

      As for the elephant in your comment... you were estranged from your daughter, had never met any of her children, you requested mediation with her and she declined. You then took your daughter to court and lost, because (I am guessing here) that the court found you did not have a pre-existing relationship with them and therefore were not entitled to a relationship now.

      I am a mother to 3 and our children have met neither set of grand-parents. This is part of the reason why. IF either of our family's took us to court? You can bet there would be zero chance of a reconciliation. EVER. Right now we basically feel nothing towards our EP's... Take us to court? I know I would learn to hate. I would despise and be utterly disgusted by the offending party.

      "I don't know what I did so bad to my children to deserve this,..." Yes you f*%k#@g DO KNOW!!! You dragged your daughter to court to bully her to do things your way! She hates you!!! And you are moping around going, "I have asked if we can sit down and talk and move on."

      Some things cannot be 'moved on' from. You are so far past that line it is beyond belief that you try to self yourself as some kind of victim...

      Listen closely Karen -- You are NOT a victim.

    • profile image

      Nada 

      8 months ago

      Great answers on different family. Issues.

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