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5 Reasons Why Adult Children Estrange From Their Parents

Updated on February 21, 2017
Kim Bryan profile image

Tennessee-based freelance writer with a passion for true crime, a thirst for knowledge, and an obsession with lists.

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 your dance recitals, volunteered at school, or cheered you on from the bleachers during every Friday night's football game don't deserve to be abandoned in their old age just because they didn't do everything right when they were young parents, right?

Wrong.

Dysfunction, especially that within which there is an abusive element, does not end once a child reaches the age of majority or because the abuser begins to age. By then, the abusive parent(s) is well-versed in the tactics s/he needs to use to make their adult child do the parental bidding. These behaviors are certain to continue right up until the parents' death unless someone, usually the abused, makes it stop.

I am one of those adult children who recognized what was happening to me. Sadly, I didn't realize it until these covert abuses were heaped upon my husband and children but when it became obvious, I demanded it stop. I tried discussing the matters only to find myself enmeshed in a bitter verbal arguments. I tried using parables - of sorts, pointing out other family dysfunctions and relating it our own. That too failed. I tried so many ways to rectify the situation but every time I was met with anger and resistance.

I didn't make the choice to "break up" with my parents overnight. I'm not happy I have no relationship with my parents. I'm sad my family is broken. I wish it were different but it isn't.

It could have been. If my parents, like so many others, were willing to really listen to what their adult child had to say, 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 on internet discussion forums are filled with the stories adult children who've gone no contact with their parents and their multiple attempts to repair these unhealthy relations. Alternatively, forums for parents of estranged children are frequented by those who claim their son or daughter never gave them a reason for walking away.

If you are estranged from your adult child, they have told you the reason. You choose to ignore it. And the chances are very good it was of these top five following reasons why adult children say they've ended the relationship with their parents.

Source

The Top five Reasons Why Adult Children Say They've Ended the Relationship With Their Parents.

1. Disrespecting the In-Laws

Dysfunctional and disordered mothers, especially, make this the most common reason an adult child says goodbye to his/her family of origin forever.

Like me, many adult children consider their parents behaviors normal until they marry. Not having grown up under the manipulations of their new in-laws, the new daughter/son-in-law is often unwilling to perform with the same dysfunction so ingrained in his/her new spouse. The parent who has always controlled their child expects to control their spouse and when it fails to work that way, it's met with great contention. It often results in manipulations by the parent(s) between their child and spouse, smear campaigns, and petty complaints designed to either force in-law compliance or to get rid of them entirely though divorce.

Parents of adult children must respect their adult children and their spouses, regardless of whether you like them or not. You do not get to choose who 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. Refusing to apologize

Refusing to apologize often goes hand-in-hand with disrespecting the in-laws but sadly, it's a top excuse even standing alone.

I've learned the refusal to apologize is a red flag for narcissistic personality disorder. While few are actual narcissists, having just this trait alone is indicative of an extremely unhealthy mind. It allows one to justify their actions and words and blurs their reality. Time and again, their children will try to make them understand a different perspective but over and over they fail. Many times these children are gaslighted into believing they are at fault and apologize 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. Too many adult children realize this applies to the relationship they have with their parents and realize they have to get off the hamster wheel. They've been running on it for years and yet they're still at the exact spot they were as a child.

Parents of adult children must understand things you do or say, regardless of how you think someone should feel, hurt people and when we hurt people, we apologize without justifying. Just a simple "I'm sorry, please forgive me" is enough. Don't justify. 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 individuals, and grandchildren are but one more extension on the ladder of "me."

Have you ever insisted on participating in naming your grandchildren? Not okay. Have you ever said, "It's okay, Grandma will let you do it" when the parents have said no? Undermining, not okay. Have you ever demanded to have your grandchildren for certain events or visits? You wouldn't do that with anyone else's children; ask, don't demand. If you're told no, respect it.

Also... Stop giving the grandchildren sugar when the parents have a ban. How you did it then wasn't the way they did it before and certainly not the way they do it now. 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 buying your grandchild's love by competing with his parents when it comes to 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." And last but not least, for the love of all that is good, quit buying the grandchildren pets without the parents permission!

Parents of adult children must learn the difference between parenting and grandparenting. Your days of making a child's decisions, unless they are in your sole care, are over. In this new chapter in your life, you are to be only a source of unconditional love and life guide to your grandchildren 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 can't, again I suggest therapy.

4. Favoritism among siblings

Early in their childhood, siblings in disordered families are placed in roles of either the scapegoat or golden child. The golden child, or children, will suffer few consequences for misbehavior and is often spoken about favorably by the parents; where the scapegoated children will shoulder the blame for the family's dysfunction and suffer the brunt of the consequences.

Although the roles one plays can be fluid, those who were mostly scapegoats are often the first, and sometimes only ones, to see the disorder of their families and speaking up about it is to challenge the status quo and seldom does this go very well. The true loyalties of the golden child becomes obvious when s/he denies or underplays certain events. Eventually the scapegoat realizes they are alone even among family. Some will continue to try, many will just walk way.

Parents of adult children must get therapy if they have been accused of this. Even if you don't think you do it, talk to a therapist. Seriously, therapy.

5. Ignoring boundaries

Last but not least of the main reasons adult children choose to "break up" with their parents, is the refusal of the parents to respect the boundaries of the adult child/parent relationship. Because disordered minds struggled to understand boundaries, I believe this reason is better explained with examples.

  • Asking about 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.
  • Purchasing undergarments and sex toys 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 when they don't. You're an adult, for goodness sake, quit acting like a child.
  • Quit demanding "alone time" with your adult child after they have a significant other. Sure, it's nice but as I mentioned with grandchildren, your insistence on such is downright creepy and quite 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 likes is crossing boundaries. It is an utter and complete disrespect for their right to choose what they believe is best for themselves.

A majority of boundary crossing is rooted in a parents' inability to believe their child will make the choice they, the parent, believe is in their best interest. If such is your case, ask yourself, "If I was such a great parent, why would my child make a bad choice? Did I not teach him the tools needed to make good decisions?"

If you're 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," I beg you to seek therapy. You're inability to accept your role in their repeated bad decisions is having severely adverse effects on your relationship.

Parents of adult children must trust they have raised their child to make good decisions and respect said 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 you.

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 and clearly away, my life got so much better. Oh, so much.

— Anonymous, r/raisedbynarcissists, Reddit.com

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. That said, adult children don't just walk away from families that are healthy. It's not to say those families never have their issues, but they talk about them, try to understand one another's perspective, apologize for any hurt they've caused or wrong they've done, and truly move forward, free of any suppressed anger or resentment.

The exact opposite of unhealthy, disordered families. I know. I lived in one for more than 40 years. Contrary to what they believe, 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 happily ever after but I know I made the right decision. I know I'm not alone. Every day I read the stories and/or talk with people around the globe who felt they had no other choice but to walk away. Not a single one of us are happy about it. Relieved it's over, yes but certainly not happy with how or why.

Just as I read the stories of estranged children, I'm often privy to those of the rejected parents. One commonly stated complaint among parents who have no contact with their children is that their child's behavior toward them reminds him/her of how they were treated by his/her parents when they were themselves a child. For those parents. I want you to ask yourself, "If my parent was that way and my child is that way, isn't it just as possible I do sometimes as well?"

Those with a healthy mindset will read this and take it to heart, reconsidering the things they've said and done because they want to repair their relationship with their child and are willing to do whatever is necessary to do so. Unfortunately however, most will read this and be inclined to debate it and resort to writing paragraphs long comments about how horrendous his or her child is 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 sit in motion positive change for another dysfunctional family out there.

© 2017 Kim Bryan

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      Unbelievably Selfish 4 hours ago

      Extremely judgmental and intolerant. It must be a bratty thing with your generation. I suggest you read this article because there’s two sides to every story. Sounds to me like you’re teaching your own children a total lack of understanding and forgiveness. None of us are perfect and I expect you won’t be a perfect parent of an adult child yourself. I don’t suppose it ever occurred to you to concern yourself with how your parent feels about your behavior. What’s worse is, you have decided or will decide that your children don’t need one of the grandparents so you have or will effectively cut them out of your child’s life as well. How sad!! Look in the mirror girl!! I sincerely doubt you are as perfect as you expect others to be.

      https://familyshare.com/19963/5-ways-adult-childre...

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      Holy Cow 15 hours ago

      I could write paragraphs as you suggested would happen after reading this article, but I will refrain because I’m convinced it would be totally lost on you. I suggest you look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are as perfect as you demand your parents be. The word “abuse” is thrown around by your generation without much thought these days. Here’s a little clue ........ the vast majority of us parents and grand parents pull ourselves through a knothole backwards trying to please our adult children, but if a wrong word is said, or we dare to state any opinion at all, then we run the risk of estrangement. I feel sorry for you actually that you somehow feel the need to be so controlling that you would walk away convinced that you played no role in the dysfunction as you call it. Karma is a pretty wonderful thing and I would expect that a day will come for you when you are silenced and estranged for not following the rule book you have so selfishly created for your own parent. Therapy?..... yes I would suggest YOU get some, or maybe you already did and more than likely were encouraged to blame others, mostly your parent for every failure you’ve had in life. As a loving parent and grandparent, I’ve witnessed first hand the challenges that we have following your generation’s plethora of rules. Be careful, one day you will be reading your own rule book!!

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      RecoveringFromNarcissisicParents 24 hours ago

      The majority of the comments attacking this article are disgusting. It is incredibly manipulative to blame children who are victimized by toxic parents. These responses are the classic reactions of those with borderline or narcissistic personality disorder: an inability and unwillingness to own up to the abuse that you inflict, but rather to gaslight and blame the victim instead. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of the ugly comments posted on her are from parents who have verbally and emotionally abused their children and violated their boundaries and are now bitter because the adult children had the courage to break free. Good for the those adult children for having the strength to do so! As someone who’s experienced abuse personally, I can confidently say that it’s not easy to break free, and no one is doing because they want to or to be selfish. Shame on anyone who would be ignorant enough to suggest otherwise! And shame on those who are self-entitled enough to abuse their children to think otherwise or try to manipulate someone from not breaking free. For anyone who can relate to this article, please know that you are not alone. The abuse is NOT YOUR FAULT - despite the inevitable reaction from the narcissists on this page. ;-)

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      MeiTheng Wong 28 hours ago

      Reading this is so liberating. I just had another episode where my mom humiliated me for my choice of what I do for a living in front of other relatives/friends. It has happened countless times before (for my choice of work, choice of friends etc. Sometimes I feel in her eyes, it's so wrong to exist so ordinarily and she humiliates me for being so normal) and I'm personally unsure why today's episode made me google up articles like the one I came across here.

      I'm 25, single and have no kids but given the track record, I don't think I'll be surprised if the unkind stuff she extends to me is extended to my future partner and kids. Reading your article, I'm starting to consider that maybe minimizing contact/interaction is an option that doesn't make me a bad, ungrateful, attention seeking child because I see more clearly now that it's not me punishing her at all and more of me protecting myself and removing toxic from my life.

      I've had the best relationship ever with my grandmother and I wish nothing more for my future-kids to have the same with their grandmother. But if future-grandmother is gonna fling shit to my future-kids' face like how she did mine, I can feel my heart breaking for letting that cycle continue and my future kids having to feel that shitty about their existence.

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      Scarlett Clark 2 days ago

      Virginia Lou, I agree with you 100%. As a child of imperfect parents, I chose to honor and love my parents, in spite of their flaws, because as a parent myself, I too fall short. This expectation that parents are to be flawless is a standard nobody can possibly reach. My parents are both dead now, and how I long to have them back, flaws and all.

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      VirginiaLou 2 days ago

      Sorry to say that this is the most sad, ugly article I have ever read. Some things should be kept between you and a therapist and do not need to be forever burned in the minds of other dysfunctional young adults who might happen to pass by your blog. Your poor family ... what tremendous heartbreak must they endure, knowing you've screamed all this to the world? Do you ever consider what you doing this, feels like to them? No parent is perfect but the majority do the very best they can. I do not understand this ugly trend of estranging from family. It's as though Psychology 101 and a blogspace, fueled by a little normal disgrunted child-to-adult growing pains, becomes a bomb.

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      Deborah Kurpjuweit 2 days ago

      You are wrong. You r a very selfish millennial who chooses revenge and selfishness And I huge message standing of the word family. When you dropped your parents they were probably very happy. Nobody should have to wipe your a** again like your mom did

    • profile image

      Brenda 2 days ago

      You need to be more tolorent towards your parents and forgive their mistakes. If you die and don't make up with your parents you will go to hell

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      Declan Munro 3 days ago

      You sound to me like it is possible that you have no idea what it is to be blindsided by a controlling person or a controlling child.

      Some of your advice seems downright mean to parents and in some of the cases you mention coupledom in a way that seems to suggest one can have no seperateness from a significant other,

      Are you sure it is the child who should not apologise to their parents in some cases and just will not? Many parents do their best with what baggage they have whilst their children prey on their vulnerability.

      I think you need to look again at what you are preaching.

      The first thing controllers do is alienate the family.

      I have seen some good advice to children who estrange but I find this dubious and subjectvie and feel it could be doing more harm than good because of what appears to be a personal belief system, untested.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-480009...

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      Amy Short 3 days ago

      I see this article as someone who has had to do what is best for her and her own family. Somtimes, we can only deal with a toxic situation for so long before we have to cut the cord, even on our blood family. When the parents of adult children are not able to come together in a mature way, it makes it very difficult for the adult children to continue a harmonious and happy relationship. My own mother has a "my way or the highway" approach, even now (I'm 34). She "demands" things to be her way, and will not consider the feelings and the bigger picture, instead creating drama where there doesn't need to be any, and going to all of her friends to cry that her daughter is disrespectful, doesn't call her regularly, doesn't visit, and has robbed her (my mother) of the mother-daughter relationship she so desires, all the while either refusing to take accountability for her end of the relationship (it takes two to make this work). I always express my apologies, how we can try to make this better, but the problem is that when I feel talked down to and called names, it makes me what to pull away and stay away even longer. My boyfriend is appalled at how my mother acts, and he is the one pushing me to try to maintain the relationship, but I'm at the point where I am ready to "break up" with her, and move on with my life with my immediate family.

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      Ann 3 days ago

      It seems the generation blow blames parents / parent and the generation above blames children/child. There is no need for that. Child/ Children., once you grow up you live your life. If you do well and happy, I am sure your parent will be happy and relaxed whether you see them or not. If you don't do well and not happy, that's where the problem is. I have 24 years old daughter who complains everything and the root of her excuse is I didn't treat her well, even if I gave her everything I could, to her to have a better future. She repeated this since she was 16 and still repeats it. Fight and leave and comes back when she needs a help, Fight again leave and comes back again. When she comes back, everything is wonderful, when she leaves I am a worst mother in the world, because of I encouraged her to get a job, wake up early, and go to school. If she does what she says she would when she leaves, I am sure she will ever come back, but she does because she couldn't make her living.

      I told my daughters, you can blame a parent till you get 18. Once you declare yourself as an adult, your life is all up to you. You make your own decision and live with consequences it generates.

      Aren't we all do that? Old or Young?

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      Annie 3 days ago

      Thank. You thank you thank you thank you for this article. I was watching a TV show the other day and a character said, "some fathers do not earn the love of their children." Having been estranged from my mother for almost a year now, I am so relieved that I am safe after 30 years of emotional abuse and thinking it was my fault that I was treated badly for so long. I wish it for all who are abused by their parents or anyone in their life - that tipping point where you have the courage to say, I'm worthy of loving and deeply connected relationships and nothing less. Nevermind who understands and who doesn't, know in your heart that self love and self care is not the same as being selfish. They they are the pillars of self preservation.

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      Adriel 4 days ago

      This article was very much what I was going through. I kept telling my parents that I expect mutual respect and I expect all abuse to stop. Every time I did that I was answered with increased emotional abuse and painful comments. My parents eventually involved my siblings who of course didn't experience what I did.

      In our family my mother was most abusive. At first when I was younger (smaller) it was emotional, physical and even once sexual. As I got older (bigger) the physical aspect stopped but the emotional continued.

      The game was that she would do/say something awful then my father, the enabler, would scold me for being so angry. He'd pressure me into reaching back out to my mother to fix things. She never did reach out or take responsibility.

      Eventually, after two estrangements, the third one and final one happened. I've had enough. I'm done being abused and trying to rationalize with people who frankly don't love me back.

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      Donna 4 days ago

      Speaking for myself, staying connected to your parent or grandparent is important. Boundaries are key. If they won't make them, you have to.

      I lost my own mother at 10. I would give almost anything to have another glimpse of her. Cutting people out of your life is cruel.

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      Sandy 4 days ago

      I agree with old and tired, I tried very hard to be a great mom and wife. Ever since my husband was killed, my kids were5 and8

      My oldest is a complete mess. Says terrible things to me. MY YOUNGEST IS DOING PRETTY WELL? I WENT AND GOT MY GRANDSON AT 10 DAYS I COULD FLY HOME WITH HIM AS MY OLDEST WAS IN CARCERATED. I WENT THROUGH MY SAVINGS TO DO THIS AN CARE FOR SICK BB WHO HAD SURGERIES VERY YOUNG TIL HE WAS ALMOST 4 MONTHS OLD.. SHE HAS BEEN AN UN GREAT FULL GIRL AND ALL GOES HER WAY EVEN WHEN BABY NEEDED PROF DOC CARE! SHE LIES SCREAMS OH MY MY DOC SAYS TO MUCH STRESS. I AM LEAVING TOWN SOON, MY OLDEST HAD A COMPLETE SCREAMN BLAMING ME WISHING I WERE DEAD AND COMMIT SUICIDE.

      I WATCH MY GRANDSON FOR MY GIRLS. THIS IS AN ONGOING THING! HER SIS WHO HAS SWEET KIDDOS

      HAS PRETTY MUCH WRITTEN HER OFF. IT IS ALL UNNEEDED AND UNPROVOKED THING HURTS US ALL!

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      Debbie 4 days ago

      My mother had always been abusive to me my entire life. I just thought one day, she'd see she was wrong about me. The abuse got so bad that eventually she called on my birthday and said "I was no longer invited", raged at me, (as usual), verbally assaulted and told the family I was "mentally ill" and threatened to "cut me off" She followed with her threat. Now 20 years later, my daughters no longer speak to me, and hate me so much they removed me from their instagram photos. The reason? One daughter picked a fight with me, when I wrote "cute picture" on my sisters Facebook page, saying that was "mean." The other said, my voice is repulsive to her, and she considers me a predator, because I'd like to have a relationship with my granddaughter. You are trying to say people deserve this treatment from a family and their children?

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      Elad-1002 5 days ago

      My adult daughter has chosen to walk away. She talks about memories of abuse, not by me but by a man who I was involved with when she was young. I have scoured my brain to remember one incident of abuse, and have come up with nothing. I told her that my memory is different from hers, but I do respect her feelings. I told her I am sorry for any abuse that she suffered but I have no recollection of it. She swears I was there and did not protect her, that is simply not true. It is painful, it is hurtful and I believe she has false memory syndrome. Yes the guy was loud and boisterous, but not physically abusive to my recollection. If he had been then he would not have been part of my life, that is something I would never tolerate. Because of his boisterous character, I do believe he was an easy mark, someone might believe this of him. I have no connection with this man and in no way have an interest in protecting him. If he did hit her, I think I would have seen marks, she didnt recall any of this until she went to a chiropractor for pain, he suggested she must have had early childhood trauma. She was a very active young girl, played hard, fell many times, many visits to the ER. She only eants to hear that I allowed her to get abused, so in order to have a relationship with her, I have to admit to something that I have no recollection of actually happening. I offered to pay for us to see a therapist so ee could discuss this with a mediator present, but she has refused. I have fond memories of happier times and will cling to those forever.

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      Old and Tired 6 days ago

      How about when your adult child acts like a child having temper tantrums and is obviously out of control. They don't want to hear sound advice from anyone. But the minute they need something they're calling their mother to rescue them. Sorry but there are also adult children who are abusive to their elderly parents as well. She thinks she's cutting me off but I'm actually one one walking away from her selfish childish and ungrateful behavior.

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      Paula 7 days ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Susan, you may want to re-read the article. This is not an issue of "not being allowed." It is one of choice.

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      Susan 7 days ago

      How sad that you not allowed to see your family sounds abusive to me.

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      tcradduck@gmail.com 11 days ago

      Very good information and as a child of such parents I too have had to walk away from unhealthy relations with my parents. But for anyone contemplating making this tragic decision this article is good for helping you pinpoint what is healthy and what's not!

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      B.A. 11 days ago

      Just: *thank you*

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      Rayne Bowz 12 days ago

      It astounds me how many people are commenting regarding the "unfairness" of this article. This article deals with only one form of relationship abuse. This article is not about children who are estranged because the CHILD is mentally ill, being abused by a partner, or addicted to a substance and chooses estrangement to hide/deny their addiction. Those are totally separate situations which are just as (or more) hurtful. For all of you who would like "fairness and balance" of this article, take out all the instances of Parent and insert "Mentally Ill Party or Abuser" and then take out all of the instances of "Adult Child" and replace it with "You or Relative of Mentally Ill Party/Abuser", and maybe this article would also resonate with you. Nowhere does it say that these are the only reasons that an adult child would walk away from their family.

      Where I come from (codependent mother, NPD father, drug-addicted sister) this article applies exactly the way it is written. I have one brother who joined the military to escape the manipulation he was experiencing from my parents (our mother, my father), and he has encouraged me in my efforts to set boundaries, and then set them again when they are not respected by my mentally ill (and therefore unable to understand) parents. All relationships have boundaries. Most mentally healthy people just take them for granted because it is normal and the boundaries are reasonable and socially acceptable. However, when you are dealing with mental illness, where one party (in this article the parents) does not understand healthy boundaries or simply does not feel that these healthy boundaries apply to THEM, the mentally healthy person who wishes to stay that way, sometimes (and regrettably) needs to walk away to preserve their own mental health. My priest calls this "Let Go and Let God". My therapist calls it "Self-Preservation" because you can't be a good spouse, parent, friend if you are pouring all of your energy into someone who is mentally ill and not willing to admit it or seek the appropriate professional help.

      If you are dealing with the estrangement of a child, it is a very difficult and sad situation. If it is because the child is in a bad situation and/or dealing with mental illness, I implore you to pray for them and encourage them to get therapy. I did, and it helped me to heal from the neglect and emotional abuse I suffered as a child and young adult and set healthy boundaries with my parents.

      We have enjoyed this strict boundary relationship in which they get to have supervised visits with my children at least once a month but usually every other week, and I call my mother regularly to keep her feeling involved in our lives. This has been stable for about five years. They very recently crossed two lines 1.) asked me for a considerable sum of money while insisting that I maintain zero involvement in their finances and then broke an appointment with me at the last minute for a bullshit reason - they "suddenly" remembered that since they had spent the week cleaning out the attic there was no where for anyone to sit - after I said I couldn't give them said amount of money, and 2.) Told me that I don't love them enough after ONE of our bi-weekly visits had to be rescheduled because our family business was booked for a gig at the last minute (This is my husband's primary source of income so it's hard to say "No, I have to go visit my parents so that they can be reassured that I love them"). After two attempts at conversation with them regarding these topics during which their only response to all of my concerns was "we just need $X, and you don't need to worry about anything else" and a big "FU get out of our lives" from my sister (who lives with them), we regrettably feel that we must further distance ourselves to protect our marriage and young children from their disrespectful behavior.

      So you see, posters who have lost your children through no fault of your own, as sad as that situation is, it ALSO goes the other way, as detailed in this article, and I commend the author for suggesting therapy for the abusive party as a resolution. I truly believe that if my mother attended counseling on even an infrequent basis, that our relationship could be restored.

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      Tuuli Kuura 13 days ago

      I believe I am the person who wrote the blurb you included from a Reddit user.

      I wish more people who judge those who walk away from a toxic family relationship, especially the scapegoats, would read this. Of course I am not happy about this at all, and despite everything, I love and miss my family and miss the laughs and the good times that there were. Then when I look back and realize it has been YEARS since I cried myself to sleep and woke up with puffy eyes. It was like I was the carrier of all the family sorrow, I was the sorrow keeper. Since I was 11 years old I have been telling my parents that they were abusive, even writing letters to my mom asking her to stop it. One of the last times I spoke with my mom she used this letter as "evidence" that I was a bad person, but said she "didn't remember" what it said and claimed she no longer had it. But I know what I wrote, and it was likely she could not cope with an 11 year old who called her out on her abusive behavior.

      Despite the smear campaigns, and the cold freeze out with my siblings, except when one of my brothers grow tired of being the secondary scapegoat, I regret nothing. I can't force an entire family into therapy to get well. They are incapable of self-reflection. I can't expect it will ever change.

      Sometimes, when I go to bed at night, or I wake up in the morning, I wish them all blessings that they are all well and I wish them well. I can't do any more than that. I forgive them in my heart, but I have to stay away for my own good.

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      JistinaABC 2 weeks ago from Canada

      I’m curious whether you have siblings and if they feel the same way?

      I guess I’m writing this mostly for those in an NC situation with their child where none of the descriptions above fit.

      I know the confusion and horrible ache tthat is caused by an adult child who’s makes it impossible to talk, to connect, to work out what has happened and is happening.

      We have three kids and always spent lots of time with all of them when they were growing up, willing to listen to problems, supportive of goals, trying to find out what each one was drawn to by exposing them to books, swimming, soccer, horses, tennis, travel, theatre, music, current events, etc.

      Each one has a very different personality and as they got into college went in very different directions for studies. I think we treated them about the same, of course kids think it’s unfair when you ask them to share things, or feel another child gets more attention, etc, but we thought they got along with us as parents and each other.

      One of my kids, a daughter, got into a relationship with a guy who came from a very dysfunctional family. Not my description but her own term and from her many observations to us about a father who was domineering, a cold mother, kids who had no affection or respect for their parents or each other.

      After college our daughter moved with her boyfriend to their own apartment in another town. We saw less and less of her. Pretty soon it was down to them arriving late & leaving early from our family functions, and hearing last-minute excuses for cancelling plans for dinner or a chat. She was so busy with her boyfriend, her job, her friends, her new apartment...OK, we understood. Kind of...

      After two years she went “no contact” with a scathing letter accusing us of being manipulative, branding me emotionally abusive, giving everyone in the family equally negative labels.

      We’ve learned she has married her boyfriend. No one from our extended family was invited.

      We’ve had talks with our other two kids and they are adamant that her husband poisoned her against us all. That her accusations are not their reality. The other two, who also live away from home now, go out of their way to make time for us, to show affection, and we try to help them with reaching their goals. Generally, a pretty normal relationship.

      We grieve at the loss of our daughter. Since she has blocked all contact with all of us it is impossible to make any attempt at working on the relationship. Even knowing our messages never reach her, we still send her messages of love.

      Sometimes I think in these Adult Child No Contact situations (as our two other kids say) the narcissist, the manipulator is not the parent, but a partner or spouse who needs the adult child to be totally emotionally dependent on them, and works hard to isolate them.

      A day does not go by that I do not think of my daughter, miss her, and wish she would reach out to us. Perhaps someday she will.

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      Aim 2 weeks ago

      This is just sad and horrible

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      Paula 2 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Sheena, Welcome to Hubpages. Why not create your first article on these feelings you're experiencing within this new situation? We know writing is extremely cathartic. Help sort out your thoughts by letting your muse expose them to you!

      Good Luck! Peace, Paula

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      Sheena Bradley 2 weeks ago from Ireland

      Thanks for this Kim, I find it helpful. I am quite raw or perhaps numb (maybe both at the same time) at the moment as the fall out is all very recent. I am at the point where I can see it getting worse as time goes on and I am watching and wondering whether or not to do my usual and try and pull us all back from the point of almost no return or... whether to, for once, not take responsibility for everyone and just let things run their course. My concern is that I won't be able to cope with the end result but I think I am ready and reading your article has encouraged me that I am perhaps not a monster for thinking that I will be OK if I just let go

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      Laurel 2 weeks ago

      Kim, you have many rules and boundaries for your parents but do they have any for you? Are there things your parents have asked of you that you've ignored? Maybe something as simple as"please take your shoes off before coming into our house", or something big such as "our finances are fine, let's not talk about that"? When you tried to rectify the situation, did you meet your parents half way and try to compromise? Did you listen to your parents view of the situation? The way you treat your parents is showing your kids how to treat you when they're adults. Relationships are two way streets and i find you need to give a little to get a little.

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      wabbz 2 weeks ago

      it is extremly difficult for an adult who is emotionally abused by an adult child to accept thats what it is Abuse!

      when reading this article i was dissapointed to say the least, and agree with 2starryfriends when does the adult child become accountable? im not discussing my private life here, but i will say i am a victim of abuse from my adult child and i have made every effort possible to rectify it, only to actually have the door slammed in my face. so ill ask again ...

      when does an adult child become accountable??

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      2starryfriends 2 weeks ago

      Disappointing article. I agree with Joel & Beaner.

      When does the adult child step up & be accountable & responsible for themselves instead of blaming their "disordered" parent for all their woes??

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      Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      This is all very interesting, Joel, but the reality simply is, this article did not approach that particular situation because the author did not deal with that problem. Kim wrote strictly about her own personal experience.

      I hope you feel better now that you got that off your chest. Anyone who read this article and understood it, I'm sure realized there is nothing mentioned about dealing with a parent's divorce.

      Kim wrote the article. I don't see where she asked anyone to rewrite it for her, including things that do not and did not apply to her.

      Strange. Very strange.

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      Joel 3 weeks ago

      I am very disappointed after reading your article. You have approached the situation from only one side.

      What about an adult child who rejects one of their parents following a divorce, an issue that is between their parents and as adult children should not effect them, especially to the point of rejection of one parent.

      Your article assumes that the adult parent is always to blame. When does the adult child accept that their behaviour has been somewhat to blame for the situation that has evolved.

      A parent had the choice to abandon their child at any point if they were not happy with how things were turning out, but they choose to stay and support their children and to feed them and care for them and love them only to be estranged by them when the adult child didn't like how things were turning out. That to me is not gratitude, not even close to love. A parent loves unconditionally, a child isn't under any such oblagation.

      All I ask is that both sides of the story should be investigated and told.

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      Beaner6417 3 weeks ago

      Hmmmm,my two adult sons have chosen to not speak with me...I'm okay with their decision, I look at the positives...I no longer have to support their bad decisions, I am fortunate to able to live a comfortable life (two homes,financially secure.

      My husband and I travel,we spend quality time discussing issues that don't involve spoiled kids.

      I finally came to the conclusion, I may have given birth to them but they're going to live in whatever world they create.

      I'm was happy before I had them and I choose to live a happy,wonderful life without them.

      Having children does not make you a better or worse person.

      I live for me, they chose estrangement, I chose to not really care.

      Life goes on,they have free will,they chose their life,I only know they're going to have zero inheritance from me.

      I prefer to just let them go.... do I want to spend the remainder of my time alive worrying about self entitled brats that I happened to give birth to??

      Nope!!

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      Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Anon T....Here is the link which will give you all the info you may need to make a decision to join Hubpages. I thought I had sent it already, but it never posted. Good Luck

      https://hubpages.com/about/us

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      Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Andy...Long overdue for you to learn to see, listen and in this case, READ. You mention the "sugar" thing as if that is all you gleaned from an entire article filled with facts, information and even Lists, written by Kim. Those here who have resorted to estrangement or some serious form of avoidance, have spoken of years of neglect, abuse and gross treatment.

      Yet you speak of forgiveness and "unconditional love?" Tell us please, Andy, would you ask parents the same questions? They are not exempt from being loving, supportive, respectful & protective because some people call them "Mom & Dad." Quite the contrary. Parents teach by example of "being & doing." What goes around, comes around. Surely you're aware of the law of Karma. Don't be foolish.

      Are you blind & ignorant to all but your own defined and brain-numbing beliefs? How very sad. You cannot simply convince anyone your words have any meaning or validity. This doesn't happen when their life-experiences have proven otherwise to them.

      Your weak attempt at doling out shame is nonsense and in fact, only proves you are narrow-minded, irrational and for some personal reason, you are very bitter. Save your preaching for people who might even care what you have to say. Until you can see, hear, read, understand and care....keep your ill-meaning comments to yourself. You litter our environment.

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      Anonymous Y 3 weeks ago

      Hi to all.

      Firstly, I tend to agree with Kim. I have also been subjected to overbearing parents who had given me a lot of headaches in the past. Their reason for causing problems hugely depends on their denial and ignorance of how to be a good parent. My family have done everything that Kim mentioned in her story and even more.

      For people who teach love and forgiveness, it doesn't mean that estrangement is a bad thing at time. Sometimes, it is more peaceful to walk away than to hold on to people who abuse your love for them.

      I will give you some examples. I was born to a family who consistently criticized, scolded and cursed me. However, I was constantly reminded that all these things were done because 1) they gave me life and 2) all the negativity was to help me to be better.

      Why do many people think that estrangement is only for those who hate? Trust me, it's not. I haven't lost contact with my family but I have made strong decisions that defy my entire family's wishes. I have decided to ignore their comments. I have motivated myself to have a successful career after being expelled from university twice. I earn way more than my parents and I provide for them. Believe me, my achievements were not easily obtained and certainly not through negative criticisms, scoldings nor curses, it's from hard work, self-love, ambition and motivation to achieve. There were countless times I thought of running away but I never gave in. Nowadays, when my family tell me that I can't, I tell myself I can!!! Lol. Instead of estrangement, you should see my family's faces.

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      Adult Man with a charming and absent father. 3 weeks ago

      The article is great! I gained cleaner edges to the ideas that my gut already knows. I going to have to walk away from my Absent and charmingly unapologetic father (kind of like my own Bill Clinton, I don't want to trust him but he just to charming.)

      I am a soon to be dad of my own son, and upon reflection have no idea how my dad could be as charmingly aloof as he has been his whole life. He paid little to no child support, When I would visit him for summers and winters , he would just work, go to his room, and drive me to and from the airport. I was given no insights, wisdom, or support from him. He was always nice, and funny, but he has always been like trying to grab smoke. I stopped actively trying to court my dad when I turned 19yrs old. His behavior didn't change, which confirmed my decision.

      When I was younger he was huge tomcat and my endless rotation of new babysitters were solely due to his conquest. My father hated and evaded any systems of control. He was raised Protestant and as young man was a die hard agnostic, but somewhere in his 50's he became what I refer to as "Born again Catholic". He is devote in following all Catholic ONLY rules. He will go to play grounds and talk about Catholic everything. I all for him having strong beliefs but not at the cost of other parents and childrens boundaries. I find it ironic but fitting that some how the former tomcat with no rules has fallen in love with one of the most rule focused world based organizations. But Despite all the pious posturing he still acts as if the rules don't apply to him.

      My biggest issue with him is he is completely incapable of apologizing or acknowledging that any of his actions past/present have a hurtful impact. He missed every birthday past 7, he gave no guidance on life, no wisdom, He be in town for a week not tell you and then invite you out for a lunch before he left. He even called me on a Sunday at 1pm to ask if I like to attend my grandmothers funeral at Arlington cemetery at 2pm same day. When I asked when did she die he said a little over a week ago. My sister and I had no Idea. He charmingly glosses over every past painful moment. He loves the word accountability but not when it applies to him.

      Oddly enough I think his mistakes are the most interesting thing about him. The most fatherly thing he could do for me at this point is to share the lessons he has learned from his mistakes, but he so resistant and avoidance of any accountability all his wisdom will be buried with him.

      His entire behavior pattern is now a much grimmer sight, Now that I have a son of my own in a few weeks. I cant imagine being there for my kid. Providing guidance, and love, setting their exceptions of how they should be treated. These are all things I had to learn for my self and it took me a long time and some mistakes to get where i am today.

      So I am about to contact my father and gift him the one thing not many people have ever gifted him.

      Accountability.

      The only impact he has had in my life is his absence and broken promises. As a father this is a pain I will not let my sons and daughters to know.

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      Andy2907 3 weeks ago

      I dont understand your intolerance for others. Giving your kids sugar? Where did you learn unconditional love? When were you taught forgiveness? I can understand repeated physical and emotional abuse but I would venture to say the emotional trauma that young adult children inflict on their parents is much more abusive. Parents are not angels and saints, they make mistakes, they make poor choices, they hurt, they cry, they feel alienated and worthless. I feel like this is most prevalent in white cultures. You dont see this cutting parents out in Hispanic and asian cultures. Its sickening really that someone would cut ties because they dont agree with their parents opinion or god forbid give sugar to their grandchildren.

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      Anonymous T 3 weeks ago

      Dear Paula: Thank you! I really appreciate how you have stood in solidarity with the people who have shared their stories.

      Dear Kim Bryan: Thank you for writing your article and maintaining your composure when getting negative comments.

      I have much more to say, but will write at a later time.

      (How do I join Hubpages?)

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      Mother of a model 3 weeks ago

      I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. Thank you for making laugh

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      Paula 3 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      YeeeeeeeeeeHAW!! You GO Anonymous Girl! I Like your style. You're a damned good woman after my own heart! You make me smile!!! Peace, Paula (You should come on over and join Hubpages!!)

      ......

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      Anonymous T 3 weeks ago

      Mother of a Model:

      Your complete lack of self-awareness amazes me.

      If you don't like the subject matter of this article and the comments that people have then go somewhere else.

      Here's a question for you: What kind of person with even a tiny amount of self-esteem has to name themselves in connection with their child? I.E. "Mother of a . . ."? That's a rhetorical question, I really don't want to know your answer.

      Buzz Off. And don't comment on my posts anymore, you old bitty.

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      Mother of a Model 3 weeks ago

      Strong words and bitter? I just pointed out your perspective. Those are your words. I'm not the one feeling bitterness. It sounds like you pushed your own buttons.

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      Anonymous T 3 weeks ago

      Mom of a Model: Wow . . . I must have really pushed some of your buttons. Such strong, bitter, attacking words from you about my post. It is funny how you assumed so many things about me, yet you don't know anything about me except what I wrote. Your assumptions are so off the mark it is laughable. All that I was trying to do was express myself. You're exactly the kind of person to whom I "just say no".

      Paula: Thank you so much for your comment. I think you get or at least respect where I am coming from.

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      Mother of a MODEL 3 weeks ago

      I love birdlynn and Iris's point on kids abusing or using their parents conventily. Don't cross those boundaries. My friend said her son brought his French bulldog home for a visit. The dog woke up at 5:30 in the morning and had a huge accident. She gets up and cleans up the mess gives the dog a bath when she confronted her son a 23-year-old he said well that's your job it's your grandpup. If you don't want us here will leave ! that attitude right there speaks volumes and what some adult children have turned into. So don't question do as I say and If your lucky I might stay for 2 more days. I really feel sorry for the grandkids and even dogs in this case because I can only imagine how they are being treated by the Adult CHILD.

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      nyc12345678910 4 weeks ago

      Are you estranged from a loved one and want to reconcile? A new series features people who want to reunite with family.

      EMAIL your story to: TVCASTING@LUCKY8.TV

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      Iris 4 weeks ago

      I'm always amazed to read that some people can not and will not accept that some people are disordered people and that they therefore can not be anything else than terrible parents.

      They insist that you must - at all times - stay in touch with those people and accept further abuse from them, just because they are your parents.

      Sometimes you would really like to stay in touch and feel guilty for not doing so, but you know that it's not healthy for you to do so. In that case you have no other option than to go "no contact" with them.

      Nobody has the right to emotionally abuse another person. Not even your parents!

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      birdlynn 4 weeks ago

      This article missed the mark. No mention about it is the adult children who have refused to grow up...to refuse to step out of their childhood r0le and to meet their parents at an adult relationship. When they stay very selfish and are not able to consider the feelings of their parents, but only think of themselves. To be considerate of others is maturity, not to mention good old fashion kindness.

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      Mother of a Model 4 weeks ago

      So sorry for the miss spell I use the special device because I'm visually impaired and my computer does the spelling for me so glad for you to point that out. Actually I have two children who are grown adults 27-22 both successful who still call and check on their father or mother every day. Still spend quality time together when we are together. still hug and kiss our kids and tell them we love them every day.

      take vacations and still watch goofy movies on the holidays.and we do allow them to live their own life and make their own mistakes if they ask for advice we usually ask them what do you think is best for you actually my friend who has a 23-year-old was reading the site and asked me what I thought of it? I said I thought it was sad. And so did my mother who is a psychologist. Truly we wish you happiness and laughter and good karma life to short to be angry and bitter.

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      Mother of a Model 4 weeks ago

      hmmmm. How can a mother not contact her son for years? I tried to reconnect? I showed him what a real mother is and what she does not deserve. Wow you really need to look at yourself has anyone told you you might be a control freak or you have a feeling of being inferior let me guess his mom is a narcissistic this poor me syndrome is pitiful my feelings you hurt my feelings I showed him the light are you Jesus ?

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      Paula 4 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Mother of a ?? I'll assume you meant to spell MODEL because modlr is not a word....In any event, when you post a comment to an article, you should be sensible enough to direct it to the person you are addressing. How will anyone know to whom you are snarling?

      Sounds like you are a parent with some issues with your adult children as well. Aren't you mature enough and smart enough to know that we must never compare our own experiences to those of others?

      The author here, is by no means a millennial. Perhaps you were preaching to Anonymous. I will hope she can tell that you are coming from a place of bitterness. By the way, Karma can visit anyone, even you.

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      Mother of a modrl 4 weeks ago

      You must be a poor millennial. Let me guess the great childhood you had has changed into abuse. Heaven forbid your parents not respect YOUR boundaries. Definitely went to a psychologist or counselor because I have heard the word boundaries so many times I'm bout ready to get sick I will tell you you're parents are probably to blame for everything because they gave you everything and tried to make you love them and needed your positive feedback which no parent should ever request I am a true believer in karma I hope raising your children without your parents and you setting your boundaries and controlling all situation works out for you .

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      Anonymous T 4 weeks ago

      My parents both passed away when I was 32 years old. I was the youngest of 5 children. Although our family had a lot of problems, all I can say is that I ALWAYS knew that my parents loved and cared for me and every one of my siblings. My parents forgave, and forgave, and forgave and never abandoned any of us children (and believe me, some of us were extremely challenging). They gave more to us than we could ever give to them in return. They made sacrifices for us. Not in a bad way, but in a good way. I think this is something that people in today's world do not know how to do. I think selfishness has become the standard today.

      It breaks my heart to know that there are people out there who did not receive real love from their parents.

      How can a mother not contact her own son for years?

      How can a mother not send birthday cards, not give Christmas presents, not call? Just to say hello . . . just to show that she cares.

      How can a parent just shun a child? How can a parent not be the first one to reach out to try to patch things up?

      I don't know, but this is how my husband has been treated and it truly breaks my heart. I have no respect at all anymore for his mother, because she has not been a mother. She does not deserve that title. After I came into my husbands life, we tried reconnecting with his family, but it became impossible to bear and so we had to stop being in contact with them.

      I have tried to describe to my husband what my parents were like, what a real parent is like. Now I see that a real parent is a rare thing, that I was so lucky.

      I think each person has to do some deep soul-searching and be honest with themselves. Be honest about your own behavior and be honest about the behavior of those around you. Sometimes the truth is very painful. Sometimes there are people out there that are just so toxic and selfish that the best thing to do is to break contact with them.

      If I had children, just because of the example of my parents, I don't think that I could ever truly let go or abandon my children. I would always leave the door open for honesty and forgiveness. That does not mean let yourself be abused, but to be the bigger person. Shouldn't the parent be the bigger person? After all, they are the PARENT!

      Any encouraging comments are welcome.

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      Paula 4 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Mary...You are entitled to think what you choose, just as we all are, THIS is not an article written by a "hurting" parent about a child who has wronged them. Had it been, I'd have read it carefully also and rendered my opinion on that particular situation.

      Perhaps you have a serious problem with reading comprehension. I do not. Kim's explanation about her personal situation, suggests the issues with her parents was a lifelong struggle of stress, mistreatment and manipulation. She also made it clear how long and how consistently she tried to cope and/or to improve the angst, to no avail.

      Unfortunately, you are unable to understand or to see things from Kim's point of view. This is a flaw and shortcoming on your part.

      Becoming a parent by bringing children into the world, can be done by anyone....any type of person, whether decent. responsible, loving or quite ignorant. Simply "being" a parent does not qualify one for sainthood nor elevate them to a platform worthy of love, respect & admiration.

      Neglectful, abusive and very selfish individuals, who are nasty, controlling, hurtful and irrational, have no right to call themselves "parents" nor to demand respect & devotion.

      An adult child has every right and reason to delete these unstable, disrespectful and undeserving parents from their lives...regardless of their "alleged title."

      Many people have zero parenting skills, cannot be loving, fair or mature & rational and should never have had children. There are hundreds of thousands of families who have gone the route of estrangement. I have worked with these families for many years and heard their stories, witnessed the severe damage done and some of the unforgivable behavior of these so-called parents. In fairness, I am also well aware of ungrateful, selfish & unloving children who are incapable of respecting or being appreciative of truly admirable parents.

      When it comes to personal/familial relationships, the words NEVER or ALWAYS have no validity, any more than the outrageous belief that a woman who is beaten, controlled, belittled & degraded needs to believe she must NEVER divorce this low-life monster.

      Your self-serving, ignorant comment cannot be taken seriously nor given a moment of consideration. Your stupidity and lack of compassion is stunning. Fortunately, people of intelligence, self-respect and understanding, just reject ignorant opinions like yours & toss them in the trash where they belong.My own parents were the very best ever but I have the ability to accept that not everyone is this blessed. My heart & support goes out to them. You need an education and further, some lessons in human nature. Until this occurs, your opinions are garbage.

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      Elizabeth 4 weeks ago

      Thank you for your article. Is there ever a time when adult children need to apologize to their parents? This article sounds like only the parents behave badly. Please share a time when you sincerely apologized to your parents for your bad behavior. What were the results? I'm sure it was 50/50. Thanks.

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      Mary 4 weeks ago

      Kim and Paula, I think you are both judgmental bitches who breed hate. You don't encourage forgiveness and understanding. You throw gasoline on the fire. There are just as many hurting parents in the world as there are hurting adult children. Hurt people hurt people.

      Estrangement from your parents is never the answer. Never.

      You don't want to hear from parents who have been emotionally destroyed by their adult children who claim some type of entitlement. Family loves family...warts and all. And in the end, you will regret any hurtful painful actions you take ever take against your parents. Honor thy father and thy mother. Shame on you both.

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      Sweet Potatoe 5 weeks ago

      Thank you for this article Kim! I'm a new MIL who has a situation very foreign to me I'd appreciate your help with. My SIL grew up with very controlling parents. We were actually in the processes of a lovely friendship between the two families until SIL proposed to our daughter. After the engagement, his family showed their true colors... To us, it came as a great shock and seemed out of nowhere. Now I realize the friendship was fake, and they talked badly about his behind our backs. My real issue though is that with my SIL getting married and deciding he wants nc with them, they blame it all on us. We got an 11 page letter from them saying their lives were perfect till we started to "brainwash" their son against them. The letter came 2 weeks before the wedding. I'm the kind of person who likes to repair relationships, but my SIL and my daughter say it's best to not even reply to them. My SIL told them things he's hurt from the past and it went right over their heads. His mom flat out told him she doesn't accept what he's saying hurt him from his childhood. He now refers to them as his Birth parents, nothing more. Do I ignore their letting blaming us? Help please, thanks!

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      Cosmo102 5 weeks ago

      Oh my goodness. You wrote my story in those five reasons. My father disowned me years ago because I dared to confront him about the sexual abuse I experienced from him. That was actually easier to deal with than my choice to go NC with my mother.

      Physical distance saved my marriage and our children. But I couldn't let go because it was still my mother. I was the scapegoat and knew that since I was a kid but assumed it was my fault. Finally, in my 50's, I read an article about narcissistic personality and I actually wept to read that I was not crazy or horrible. That started my healing. And as I healed, I realized I had to make a full break from my mother.

      Sadly, I think it hurt me more than her. It's sad that I still feel guilty for not being a good enough daughter.

      I am so very thankful that we were able to break the chains of that dysfunction. My adult children live nearby and I am close to them and their families. I made it my passion to be different from my parents and to learn what 'normal' was supposed to be. It is possible. But I think there will always be a sadness that my parents threw me away so easily.

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      betsyblue 5 weeks ago

      Here's another reason. Their constant abuse might just push you over the edge and you don't know if you can survive one more day of it.

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      Mike Bbbb 5 weeks ago

      I have the sad title of failing out of 3 consecutive generations. Some have NC with me and some NC from me. I believe your list of 5 reasons applies to both sides. Estrangement is painful from all sides. Whether you walked away or had someone walk away from you, it is failure. Who deserves the blame is completely pointless. The end result is failure from both sides. I failed so badly, I now live in almost complete exile. I find the slogans of freeing oneself from the pain and agony over the long run as complete BS. However, I have been estranged for many many years. I am free from nearly everyone. Yet the pain will always remain. I did everything recommended, self improvement, found many new and good friends, got a new life, but the people that really matter to me, most are gone. Never, as in I never want to see or hear from you again, is a long time. Never, is the rest of your life.

      Peace to All,

      Mike

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      Tala4 5 weeks ago

      Going or having NC with your parents/children is an excruciating experience for the rejected party. The experiences and home life is unique to every family. We were a close loving family. Life is full of difficulties and we faced them together. I am not perfect and have always accepted responsibility for mistakes or wrong decisions. What happened in our family having NC was precipitated by a cascade of tragedies. The best gift ever would be to have a restored relationship with our AC, but I neither expect nor believe that will ever happen. Abuse in any form is horrible and staggering to overcome in families, but there is hope if people are willing to accept their behavior and change. We lost 4 loving wonderful family members in 3 years. The first loss spun all of us into a sea of grief. No one is ever prepared for "the call". Our AC was exceptional close to this relative, everyone was devastated but "Emily" and I were devastated. Two weeks later we found out (from the coroners report) the death was a homicide. "Emily" in college, dealt with her grief by pulling away while I became depressed. Going through the stages of grief was unimaginable.

      Then we lost 3 others to cancer. Following the 4th loss she withdrew and said all of this was too emotionally painful for her to deal with and cut contact. She said she could not handle another loss and wanted a life less complicated. I love Emily, so I have left her alone. I want to be in her life, but love her so I stay away. That's what she needs. There are somethings in life that no matter how much you try to support and love someone through, you can't. I am a constant reminder of who we lost, we looked alike, spoke and dressed alike. It's too difficult for Emily to move on with a constant reminder of that event. No one can change our situation. I would give my life to bring back our loved one, but that isn't an option. If you can own and apologize for actions to be with your loved ones, please do so. While you still can.

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      Mlsims60 6 weeks ago

      The issues of estranged relationships isn't simple. The other aspect is that parents are people and not perfect. They did and do the best they can. Sadly some have few if any skills and didnt take their parenting responsibilities seriously. Adult relationships are a 2 way street. As an adult child its important to define the relationship desired with parents. Parents may not necessarily want to have a relationship with an adult child who is abusive. Clearly that's not okay either. Your experience with your parents may be extreme and the best for you is to not spend time with them. However, forgiveness, whether you have a relationship with them or not, is missing from your article which means you will perpetuate hurt and anger for yourself.

      Other scenarios where the parents truly are not the bad guys include:

      Children who have been brought up to believe they are special and unique, well intended parents who used parenting techniques to raise self-centered narcissists ia the other side of the coin. Co-dependent parents raise narcissists. There is also the toxicity of parental alienation where parents brainwash their children and literally teach them to hold the same distorted view of the other parent and it.is never healed. The breakdown of the family is not a good sign dor our society either for the present or the future.

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      Janis 6 weeks ago

      I think that the article is how you feel. I am just wondering what it means when your child says "your best isn't good enough". Really no where to go from that. By the way, you seem to be doing the same thing that you say the parent does. You don't want a dialog. You want to blame. You want mind reading. I never had my daughter tell me what she wanted. I would have given her anything. I apologized for everything I could think of. I listened. I showed up. I think parent bashing when parents were not abusive and wouldn't hurt our kids for anything is just mean. I think that it is just power play. I am sorry your childhood sucked.

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      Paula 6 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Of course, Michele....What you refuse to hear and understand will always sound like "bullshit" to you. The main cause of this problem is your immaturity, ignorance, & lack of empathy but especially is the fact that your mind, heart & soul is made of bullshit. This is sad but it seems you're happy with being an idiot, made of shit. Congratulations.

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      Sue I 6 weeks ago

      Paula - thank u for reading my post and validating my feelings. Kim - thank you for the article and open forum. I so desperately want parents. I am 42 and I am grieving the parents I never had. Of course this inability to parent is generational. My mom's grandmother and her siblings were made to be slaves to their father and his new wife after their mother died. They were not allowed to go to school. They were locked in the house. My grandmother a workaholic made her daughter my mother her little slave and didnt make her sons my uncles do anything. The same was done to me. My grandmother only called my mother or visited when someone was ill, died or it was a birthday. My mom would jump whenever the phone rang because clearly it would be urgent in her her head. She has done the same thing to me. She has no ability to be introspective. She plays the victim. She never comforted me when my grandma or dad died. She said "it is different for u your life will be the same but I am a widow now" I found out just last year that my older sister stole money from me for years and I never knew. She confessed it by saying, "u are such a hoarder. U never even knew I took money from u - u had so much of it." I was in middle school and high school. I had a paper route and babysat. I was frugal with my money because I had to mostly buy my own clothes and make my own spending money. There was an incident when I was in high school. My younger sister found out my older sister was stealing from her. (She also stole from my brother 12 years younger than her) my younger sister dumped my older sisters clothes out. My older sister complained. My mom went after my younger sister and a battle ensued between the door where my mom got part of her finger chopped off. Guess who was blamed? Me! I was no where near that door but was in the room with my younger sister as I shared a bedroom with her. The stealing was never discussed. The lack of resources on our part was never thought about as the cause of the stealing and accident. My dad was absent due to his mental illness (think he might have been in the edgewood experiements stateside during vietnam) and my mom did all the parenting. It was a mess. And still that finger incident was all poor mom. I confronted her for never apologizing or saying please or thank u. She said I am your parent I dont have to. I could go on and on with stories. I just "diagnosed" my mom as a narcissist in Spring 2016. I am 42. I have 3 questions. 1. Is my mom a narcissist? It seems like she has some sort of personality disorder or is at least very emotionally immature 2. I am looking for a support group for children of narcissistic parents. Anyone know of any? 3. I also am wondering the best way to get all these ruminations out of my head as I cycle through them all day just to prove to myself I am sane and they are not and to try to validate my feelings (because I am gaslighted or invalidated so much by by FoO). Anyone know of a way to get rid of these sorts of ruminations? I am currently seeing a therapist who specializes in family systems. I am also attending adult children of alcoholic/ dysfunctional families 12 step group. I am hoping not to repeat the dysfunction in my marriage and in my parents of my 2 daughters age 7 and 9. I am trying! I did not want to "throw my mom and my siblings away" I tried I really did and I felt this was the only way to heal and not feel like my sanity is dangling from an edge of a cliff. Thanks!

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      Michelle 6 weeks ago

      Sorry but sounds like bullshit to me

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      Kim Bryan 6 weeks ago

      Just like my parents, those of you criticizing me, exhaust me. No matter what is said, how it said, or in what manner it is delivered, you are critical, carefree with your cutting words, and most importantly, unwilling to accept your own roles in the creation of your children, not just the physical but the mental as well.

      It's been suggested by a few I close the comments to this article but I will not. Unlike narcissistic parent who shut down their offspring, as long as I'm allowed, I will give you the opportunity to speak here.

      I will let your comments stand for themselves; as reminders to every no contact ACoN who sees them, why they made the choice did and let it be reassurance it was the right one.

      And to all of you fellow ACoNs, stay strong. We are survivors and a few bitter parents trolling aren't worth wasting time on.

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      Kim Bryan 6 weeks ago

      "This is an excellent article. Well written and very relatable. I have gone NC with my family recently. I would like to comment about the few people that have written condemning remarks about adult children going no contact. The comment about leaving parents in their old age being convenient. That is just crazy. The reason people go NC at this so called "convenient" stage is because it takes until you are much older and lived through a ton of experiences to realize that the people that were supposed to love you unconditionally are the ones responsible for the delusion that turns out to be your life. Speaking generally about this topic as if all NC adult children are ungrateful brats only shows that you are most likely in denial of the issues in your past or that you are simply uneducated on the topic. People do not go No Contact because of a difference of opinion. They go NC because there is no opportunity for a conversation or a let's agree to disagree. In most cases it is the disfunctional parents way or no way. This is especially difficult to navigate when you have a spouse and children to consider. The issues do not just pop up at this later time in life. They have been there the whole time. The abused just decided to not live under the control of someone else. It would be no different then encouraging someone to get out of a relationship with someone trying to control the way you think, act, love, and live."

      I agree 100% with you, Julie. So much so, I wanted to copy and paste your comment so it doesn't get lost in the comments. Thank you!

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      Kim Bryan 6 weeks ago

      Jana (Lana?)

      Know it all? Hardly not. Let me share with you a story:

      I had turned into my parents. I was critical of my two oldest children their entire lives. I often raged at them over issues that were menial because I was stressed with others. I could go on and on but it would take too long.

      When I realized what I was doing, I was ashamed. To this very day, when I reflect upon my behaviors (and I must do so often in order to never revert), I am humiliated.

      Unlike my mother, however, whom I tried to discuss this subject matter with, I acknowledge my wrong doing. I have apologized without excuse. I have humbled myself to my children and promised to change my ways - and actually did so.

      I cannot say with certainty I will not be deserted in my old age. I was once a horrible human being, even if I did have much of the world fooled into believing otherwise, and should that happen, I won't blame my children or anyone else. No, I will have no one to blame but myself and I will bear that burden should I have to.

      So no, Jana, I'm not a know it all. I'm just someone who understands personal responsibility.

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      Kim Bryan 6 weeks ago

      Lana said, "You forgot to mention that it is somewhat convenient for an adult child to walk away. This is especially true when the parent or parents are seniors. At that time of life they become needy. There is always third party involvement with any adult child who says farewell. They basically divorce their parents rather than offer some compassion when it's needed. None of us are perfect and wish we could redo the wrongs but it's not possible. Our adult children on the other believe they are they perfect parents. All families are dysfunctional in one way or another. To believe otherwise is a fantasy."

      Adult children whose parents were compassionate and caring of them when they were children (and I mean more than providing the basics such as food, clothing, shelter, etc which are obligations the parents agreed to when they conceived) do not desert their parents in their final years because it's convenient.

      Sure, those abandoned parents will be loved by their caretakers because covert narcissistic parents will tell their tales of all the wonderful things and sacrifices they have done for their horrible children without telling how they raged at their child often because of their frustrations; or how the favored the child who acted like them but despised the one who acted like her father; or how they ridiculed their adult child about the life partner they chose.

      No, narcissistic parents don't fess up about their own bad deeds, they just whine about being abandoned. Instead of putting effort into apologizing to their child, they instead exhaust it trying to "win over" others.

      For anyone who thinks they were a good parent and was abandoned just because s/he got old, needs to watch 'August Osage County' starring Merryl Streep. If you don't understand how a parents behaviors will have consequences at the worst possible point of their (the parents) lives by the end of that movie, you're a lost cause frankly.

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      Sally 6 weeks ago

      Sometimes children don't really "grow up" they just get bigger in stature but still expect parents to fork out monies and expect parents to pick up after them only is not shoes and clothes thrown on the floor ; is rent money , child care with disregard of mom working a full time job or making room in the parental home because her bad choice in spouse is gone. Sometimes us parents get on the NC list because we said the final NO.

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      Paula 7 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Sue If all that you claim is actually true fact about these relatives of yours, I would have to agree with your therapist that the level of dysfunction within your family is well beyond the average dysfunctional family. I wouldn't know where to begin to counsel someone in terms of the family dynamics and/or relationships. This is a tribe of members who would all do well to seek mental health help.

      The sad thing is, it's these very people who are so terribly messed up who are also in complete denial. They seriously don't see their gross flaws. Not much can be done in these cases except removing yourself from any and all contact or exposure to these pathetic individuals.

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      Paula 7 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      No, I am not Kim....I know Kim only through this site, our mutual writer's site. I merely read her work.

      You make a grave mistake in lumping all adult children who choose "no contact," in the same box. I said it before and I'll reiterate, every person and every family are different. If you truly are not someone who knows Kim personally, what right do you have to judge her decision or her reasons for making this decision? Actually, the answer to that is NONE...you have no right to compare Kim with others or with anyone else you may have witnessed this.

      You might possibly have been on all sides of this issue but your experiences have nothing to do with each unique case.

      You also took your smugness to an ignorant level. My parents, whom I had a wonderful bond with, have been deceased for many years. Further, I AM a retired family therapist who experienced HUNDREDS of families with every issue imaginable. I myself have 4 adult children, all married and 12 grandchildren. My family and I couldn't be more ideal. I'll thank you to cease your foolish guessing game.

      You would do well to stop your stupidity while you're behind......So far, you're batting ZERO.

      You expose what sort of parent you are by referring to your own kids as A$$holes. Such immaturity and lack of respect.

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      WeLoveOurKidsEvenWhenTheyAreAssholes 7 weeks ago

      I'm pretty sure you and the author are the same person. "You" can delete me with no consequence. It won't bother me. But I can tell you that I've seen first hand the pain and anguish a parent goes through when their whole life was for their children and this "no contact" from ungrateful, selfish adult children happens. THAT sort of deletion had consequences. Any healthy adult would be able to rationalize that and feel that and temper her issues with the needs of the child and her parents. There's a reason "grand" is part of the title and grandchildren are a gift to children.

      I have been on all sides of this issue due to family and have a mother who is a BPD. I have boundaries but they are but cruel. They protect me and anyone I love. But this... this is shameful. And we're absolutely do reap what we sow so be prepared, youngin'. And Paula, aka the author, take your own advice...therapy.

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      Paula 7 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Kim....It is blatantly obvious that you have attracted some very bitter individuals to your article, who are personally vested in this situation. "They" have worded their comments in such a personal manner, it's clear they have chosen to attack you publicly, in a failed attempt to rebut their responsibility and guilt.

      I can't help but realize that you recognize these people & know precisely WHO they are. Their ignorance is stunning as they don't even attempt to cover for their bias and intentions.

      What, in fact they have done here, is reconfirm how wise & accurate you have been to have totally cut these pathetic people from your life.

      They clearly do not know that you have the ability to "delete" them even here and certainly no one would fault you for that.

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      WeLoveOurKidsEvenWhenTheyAreAssholes 7 weeks ago

      This is such an indulgent article/cry for help written by a woman who obviously was a troubled teenager who treated her parents like shit, regularly said to them "I didn't ask to be born", probably second-born, didn't get where she wanted to be in life and uses "abuse" as an excuse. The syntax is so clearly one-dimensional and poorly researched, I was able to surmise it to be nothing more than a collection of thoughts and rehashed arguments supported by online "experts" (thus the one dimensional style) who are also, coincidentally, new parents who never have and still don't see their parents as human beings. That's the root, right there, and your resentment and critical hated of those who have your life shines through so many of your verbose guises, it could light the way from now til eternity.

      What a kick in the gut every word is. Every. Word! You just wait...

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      mastik8 7 weeks ago

      Better you should go NC than not. If it was a mistake you'll know right away and if it wasn't you'll know right away. There's only upside in NC., difficult as it may be.

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      Sue I 7 weeks ago

      My mom tells me it is "my job to have a relationship with her". She says she doesn't have to contact me ever. She talks trash about everyone behind their back. She repeatedly denies things she has said or done when u confront her. She cared more about the car than me when I was in an accident. When I call her she says after 2 minutes or conversation, "I will let u go now" and gets off the phone. My dad tried to kill himself when I was 3, saw and heard things that weren't there and my mom and entire family denies to this day that he was severely mentally ill. My older sister pretends her husband isn't an alcoholic, my younger sister's child repeatedly beats up my child and the whole family looks the other way and they tell me to parent my own kid when I confront the bullying. My younger brother's new wife talks about her mom being drunk all the time. And yet no one in my family can talk or feel about any issues we have. In their minds eye there are no issues. It is maddening. The last straw was when my mom said I was just like my dad (he had just died) yelling at me just because i was asking her a question. I confronted her. She has been trashing my name since spring of 2016 when this happened. She only calls me when someone is sick or dying in my family and then of course she does the whole "I will let u go now". My therapist said it is one of the sickest family systems he has ever heard of. And i am supposed to subject myself to this? When I stand up for myself I get nothing but invalidation. You are an angry person they say. Of course anyone in their right mind would be angry when no one can be accountable for their bad behavior in this family. Maddening. Crazy making. Oh and I married an addict but I can admit it and I can admit I am messed up and am working on myself in therapy and 12 steps. The healthier u become the sicker they all look. And I deserve this bad treatment because I want to talk about the truth and I have feelings? Done.

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      Michele 7 weeks ago

      This is the most pathetic article I've read. No wonder society has gone to hell. The comments in here are repulsive. What goes around, comes around. So much bitterness and "know it all" attitudes. Y'all will definitely get karma from your offspring. Time is short, your day of NC is coming. God help you!

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      Julie 7 weeks ago

      This is an excellent article. Well written and very relatable. I have gone NC with my family recently. I would like to comment about the few people that have written condemning remarks about adult children going no contact. The comment about leaving parents in their old age being convenient. That is just crazy. The reason people go NC at this so called "convenient" stage is because it takes until you are much older and lived through a ton of experiences to realize that the people that were supposed to love you unconditionally are the ones responsible for the delusion that turns out to be your life. Speaking generally about this topic as if all NC adult children are ungrateful brats only shows that you are most likely in denial of the issues in your past or that you are simply uneducated on the topic. People do not go No Contact because of a difference of opinion. They go NC because there is no opportunity for a conversation or a let's agree to disagree. In most cases it is the disfunctional parents way or no way. This is especially difficult to navigate when you have a spouse and children to consider. The issues do not just pop up at this later time in life. They have been there the whole time. The abused just decided to not live under the control of someone else. It would be no different then encouraging someone to get out of a relationship with someone trying to control the way you think, act, love, and live.

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      Paula 8 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Like I said, I don't care whether you're Lana or Jana~makes no difference to me. Nor does it matter to me what you're "tired of..."

      Every single individual and every family are unique and have their own dynamics, for which they have a right to make their own decisions. This article is not about YOU & yours. You seem to be fond of the expression, "Get over yourself." It appears you would do well to follow that lame advice. Clearly you're simply not capable of comprehending what you read.

      Your complete lack of understanding the obvious feelings & decisions of others is stunning. Give yourself a pat on the back. That's about all your contribution is worth. Have a wonderful day, Jana....whoever you are.

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      Jana 8 weeks ago

      Sorry Paula. You are wrong. I am not "Lana". There are actually two different people responding but have similar views. My only point is that I'm frankly tired of "adult children" chastising their parents and complaining about "dysfunction ". There is no such thing as a "perfect family" . At least I have never encountered one. I am so thankful that my own children were able to have many aunts , uncles, cousins, and grandparents in their lives . Those were the best years of our lives. My husband and I did not necessarily agree with our parents' views on child rearing but we still respected them. There is so much to learn from the wisdom of our elders. To isolate grandchildren because grandparents may express their views that are contrary to the parents beliefs is not only immature but ridiculous. Get over yourself !

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      Paula 8 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Dear "Lana-Jana"....??? same person or separate, it doesn't really matter...(Strange, to say the least.) Perhaps you're more closely associated to this scenario than an anonymous guest off the streets? LOL

      In any event, if this is the case, you have assured Kim's readers that she indeed made a most intelligent and necessary decision by removing a sickness from her life & her family's. I've read only 2 of your defensive rants & I can easily kick your ignorance to the curb. Would never subject myself to your selfish garbage. I don't doubt you are "needy" but what you truly need is mental help.

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      Jana 8 weeks ago

      "Know it alls" like this author will experience the same estrangement that she has imposed on her own parents. My parents were in no way perfect but I respected them and made sure that my children had a relationship with them. Did they cross the boundary at times? Sure, but I did not set down "my " family rules. People need to get over themselves and their perception of "being the perfect parent". So what if a parent tells you an opinion. BIG DEAL. Be glad they are still around to be with you!!

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      Paula 8 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      This is not at all familiar to what Kim is referring to. Your issues are with a problem child who has done damage to herself via a destructive lifestyle & even as an adult cannot seem to get her act together.

      Your story, while sad, is far removed than Kim explaining that when parents are rude, crude & ignorant...demanding, deceitful & dysfunctional.....Adult children must make the painful decision to cut them out of their lives.

      Difference,,,,huge difference.

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      Lana 8 weeks ago

      You forgot to mention that it is somewhat convenient for an adult child to walk away. This is especially true when the parent or parents are seniors. At that time of life they become needy. There is always third party involvement with any adult child who says farewell. They basically divorce their parents rather than offer some compassion when it's needed. None of us are perfect and wish we could redo the wrongs but it's not possible. Our adult children on the other believe they are they perfect parents. All families are dysfunctional in one way or another. To believe otherwise is a fantasy.

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      Dawn 2 months ago

      You are right in the fact there are many reasons an adult child may estrange themselves from their family, however the statement that the family is the dysfunctional one is not always the case. I have three adult children who were loved and given every oprotunity to have healthy, happy lives. Our oldest daughter has been given chance after chance to grow and be independent with or without or help. She has been encouraged to seek her dreams and we have supported her and been there for her in dark times when she is very self destructive.... it's a very long story of the same destructive behavior and cycle of dependency. She has chosen homelessness. She will not contact us for weeks or even months and then we will hear from her, like everything is fine. And then we go through the alienation again and continue to go to sleep every night not knowing if she's alive or dead. It's an emotional rolercoaster. So, to clarify, sometimes the parents are not dysfunctional or the cause of the estrangement. Sometimes the child is mentally ill and self distructive and will not seek mental health treatment. Then the family who desperately loves her is left heartbroken and worried about her well being without any way to have contact. My other children have a healthy and mutually respectful relationship with us and our friends and family who KNOW us are all confused by my oldest child's choice to alienate us. Those who sit in judgement over our situation haven't walked a mile in our shoes.

      A mother who mourns for a lost daughter.

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      Fiona David 2 months ago

      Very good article, true and thorough, thank you.

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      Paula 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Wow Cheryle! What an incredibly awful thing to happen. Even w/o knowing details, this appears to be a very unforgivable thing for any family to do to a member of that family...at anytime but far worse during the Christmas Season. Quite honestly, I cannot imagine ever doing such a cruel thing to a member of my family nor do I believe I could deal with the heartbreak of having it happen TO me. I am so sorry you had to endure this.

      Can't imagine what any of them were thinking. I fully understand your decision and your actions. Of course you are entitled to protect yourself and your family from such horrendous treatment. What a pathetic group of people. The good news is, they can't hurt you again and more importantly, one day they will meet head on with Karma....and she can be a real bitch. Peace, Paula

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      Cheryle Tebor 2 months ago

      This is a topic that I'm afraid isn't talked about ENOUGH! I was completely blindsided by the betrayal and abandonment of my entire family on Christmas day in 2013. Then, the ensuing abuse, smears and blaming me for their horrendous behavior came next. I was the one who took care of every one. I was the one who was used up beyond all measure. And when they all chose to have Christmas without my family, just 15 minutes down the road, AFTER planning everything with me to be AT MY HOME for the 4 weeks prior, just like every year before that for as long as I can remember, and they all KNEW we were sitting there waiting all day, without ever having the decency to pick up the phone and tell us they weren't coming or to invite us to join them, I changed all our phone numbers and disappeared from all their lives. Just like they seemed to want it. But that wasn't even good enough. To all of them, without EVER being given a reason, that was all my own fault and when they were over whatever they had made up in their minds, I was to return a year later and resume my role as family scapegoat for everyone to continue using and abusing. When I FLAT refused, all hell reigned down. But, this time I couldn't have cared less. THIS was NOT family! THIS was NOT love!! THIS IS NOT HOW ANY ONE TREATS ANY ONE THEY LOVE AND CARE ABOUT! And just in case those of you out there who STILL think WE are the horrible ones for leaving, I would LOVE for you to go through one ounce of the pain and heartache I have been through over the last 4 years with "my family" then stand there and tell me I should be ashamed of myself!

      I left this sick disgusting "family" to save my life because they were killing me, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. And I will NEVER EVER go back. It wasn't my idea to cut them out of my life but I'm sure DAMN glad they started it.

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      Lora 2 months ago

      Thanks for writing this article, Kim! I know all of these points all too well and had to walk away from my family or origin. it was either that or continue to be their scapegoat. Sadly, I'm pretty sure my family hasn't even noticed I'm not longer around. They just simply never cared about me at all. I think I ceased to exist as far as my parents were concerned when my brother was born. I haven't regretted walking away. I only wish I had done so sooner and not wasted so much time and energy trying to gain their love and attention.

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      Missy Leigh 3 months ago

      Just went no contact with mine. Mom, dad brother and step dad.. those jerks constantly insisted I was a crazy bitch with emotional problems and lucky they put up with me. Ummm. NO. Was I ever surprised to find a community of fellow scapegoats!

      Y'all, (yes, from the South) this is happening to a lot of people right now and it will only continue to sweep across dysfunctional families.. so while it may seem very taxing as things heat up and you think the pain may kill you if the drama doesn't get you first, it will get better. Be a good friend to yourself. Be the parent you never had and know that you deserve the chance to discover who you are free of people who can't see your brilliance. I happen to know that scapegoats and black sheep are the members or each family who are empathic, often intuitive and insanely intelligent. We are the carriers and transmuters of our family karma and we're alchemizing it. Kim Bryan, you're the bomb dot com, lady. Thank you for this!

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      Panama Jack 3 months ago

      Kim, I stumbled across this article while searching Google for "unapologetic parents". I have to tell you - reading this article is pretty emotional for me. I want to thank you for putting this issue out there because you're absolutely right. There are tons of kids who deal with difficult parents, and a lot of times, no one is on our side. The parents are always the victims, because us kids are ungrateful, spoiled, rude, evil, or whatever other derogatory terms you can think of. I personally haven't disconnected from my mom and dad; I don't think the nuclear option is good for my mental health. However, my little brother did, and your rationale sounds exactly like his - which I've always understood, but haven't always agreed with. My other biological brother has one foot out the door - my mom guilt trips him a lot because he lives 300 miles away and doesn't call home enough. He actually told me recently that she makes him feel bad when she calls, and that's why he opts not to take the call sometimes. I'm the oldest, and yes - I feel obligated to be in contact with them, and be forgiving; especially since my wife's parents are the epitome of what great parents are. But it's difficult not hearing that apology you feel like you deserve, having your maternal family and other people who don't understand the dynamic criticize you, having to be the "bigger person" all of your life. I suffer mentally because of it. I know my parents aren't bad people; I think they are more headstrong than anything. A couple of West Indian folks who grew up poor, and didn't have the greatest role models themselves to parent with emotion. Being first generation Americans, looking at other familial relationships, we always knew something wasn't right. When we grew up, it just manifested into a situation that got out of control. We've tried to tell our parents how we feel, and they've always refused to listen. What's odd is, I think I had more fulfilling conversations with my grandmother than with my mom. And I hate that fact. All this to say... you are definitely not alone, and even though I can't detach like you or my baby brother, I understand what you've both gone through and are going through. Thanks for the article.

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      Kathleen 4 months ago

      I too have had to disconnect from my Mother and brothers. It is a sad situation. I love my family but I cannot fix them! My mother is disabled and widowed living alone and does not want anyone living with her yet she wants things done her way and right away not considering we have a life too. For the last time I told her to stop relying on me for everything! This year I have used all me sick time on her running to the doctors so they could just tell her there is nothing they can do for her eye disease nor her hearing nor her back. I'm sorry for her but I have to live my own life with my husband (no kids). My two brothers have familys and their own issues and can't be there all the time. I suggest assisted living but she can't afford it. She could live with my younger brother who is on disability himself but she refuses to leave her home of over 50 years. Me myself I'm done!!

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      Kim Bryan 4 months ago

      @Margaret, without all the details it's difficult to say who is correct. However, based on your own statements about your husband's stance in the matter leads me to believe that yes, you are wrong.

      Let me ask this: you say you've apologized, have you done so without explaining? If yes, you should know to apologize followed with a "but" is not an apology but an excuse. When one is truly apologetic they want to make things right, not justify their behaviors.

      You need to take a long, hard look at yourself. Scrutinize your and their behavior prior to the falling out. If you're honest with yourself, you'll focus on what you could have done differently rather than what you expected of them.

      Change your attitude, change your prospective, and you'll change your entire life for the better.

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      Andrea 7 months ago

      Reading this was like reading an outline of my husband's mother. Each point was more 'on point' than the next. this is woman that actually said to us that we are awful, terrible and ungrateful (among other things) because we didn't follow her control, I mean, her advice... she said "because I know the 'right'way to do things" ( meaning that we don't know how to do things so then she should be in charge? ) ...And sadly, she did not in any way see how inappropriate ( or weirdly funny) it was to say this to her 45 year old son. If I didn't know her I seriously would have thought it was a joke. Disordered personalities can create such emotional trauma for families. My long journey with my MIL whom I now have NC with has been a nothing short of a nightmare for both me and for my husband. It is very sad and all involved suffer- I try to keep in mind that she too is suffering, But it is hard to remain compassionate when her abusiv behavior creates so much pain that cannot be resolved through normal channels ( talking, apologies etc) with a disordered person. Thanks for writing such a succinct and helpful outline.

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      Kim Bryan 8 months ago

      Thank you, Paula. You're kindness and understanding means so much. It's not something society is equipped to understand. Heck, it even took me 40 years to realize it myself - ha! But sincerely, thank you for understanding. Thank you for not judging. And thank you for being there for all your friends who have endured the same. You mean more to them you'll ever know. :)

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      Paula 8 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Kim....Here you have brought attention to an issue I have always found so so sad. I'm afraid I know far too many adults who long ago had no choice but to choose estrangement from their parents for self-preservation and/or to get a grip on reality and accept the truth.

      I do know how fortunate I have been. Not until seeing the number of split families and becoming privy to the stories and reasons, have I been able to realize how rampant is the number of severely dysfunctional families.

      This does cause sadness and pain but people learn to have courage, accept the facts and move on as they must.

      In cases such as these families who become separated by choice, I realize I take somewhat of a Pollyanna attitude, always hoping, & continuing to believe that a "happy ending" is imminent. I'm more often wrong about that & it will always make me so sad for these people.....

      Great article Kim and done with diplomacy.