5 Reasons Why Adult Children Estrange From Their Parents

Updated on February 13, 2018
Kim Bryan profile image

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

Why Would Someone Estrange From Their Parents?

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

Wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

5 Reasons People End Their Relationship With Their Parent

Why Do People Stop Talking to Their Parents?

1. The Parent Disrespects the Adult Child's Spouse

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

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

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

2. The Parent Refuses to Apologize

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

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

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

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

— Misty Kiwak Jacobs, A Word Please.org

3. Overbearing and Undermining Grandparenting

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

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

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

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

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

4. The Parent Plays Favorites Among Siblings

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

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

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

5. Ignored Boundaries

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

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

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

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

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

— Anonymous, r/raisedbynarcissists, Reddit.com

Statistics About Family Estrangements

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

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

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

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

Who tends to estrange permanently: males or females?

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

What about intermittent estrangements?

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

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

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

Is there any chance the relationship will be mended?

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

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

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

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

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

Is That the End?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions & Answers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Aren't children to blame just as much as parents when the relationship is estranged?

    Why does blame have to be placed anywhere?

    For example, I understand my parents were just carrying on an old family tradition with the dysfunction they raised me in and I, in turn, raised my oldest two in the same dysfunction.

    Today, I don't blame my parents for our estrangement. I don't even blame them for how they raised me. However, as someone who has managed to come out of the fog and into the truth of abuse, what I blame them for is being unwilling to listen to what I had to say, respect my boundaries, and get the help they need in order to live a better life.

    And I will take no blame. Why? Because I was willing, and actively practice, such with my own adult children. In other words, when my children talked to me, I listened and I did the work to correct it. My parents, not so much; so they have no one to blame but themselves for not having their daughter in their life.

    And just for the record, too many parents claim their child never told them of the problems. Sure, that may true in some cases, but in most it's a parent unwilling to listen or comprehend what their child is saying to them.

    Stop trying to place blame and start working on healing. You'll be much happier and freer.

© 2017 Kim Bryan

Comments

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    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      2 days ago

      RE: COVID 19.

      Hope everyone's okay. Keep safe.

    • profile image

      Andre 

      6 weeks ago

      As an estranged child (now ~60) I walked away in order to breath and become a proper human being. Yet my bitter childhood set me up for so many failures and disappointments later - but still no regrets!

    • profile image

      Life Without Annette 

      6 weeks ago

      Kim, I can’t tell by your comment whether you are estranged from your children or your parents. Either way, since you are terminally ill, I urge you to focus on your relationship with God.

      And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

      — Revelation 21:4

      If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

      — Romans 10:9

      I know Christian evangelization is often frowned on, but if you are facing the end of your life, the most important issues you face are ”What happens when I die?” and “If eternal afterlife awaits, where will I be spending eternity?”

      I hope you aren’t facing death alone. I pray you find someone who can comfort you, and that you know God will never forsake you, if you let Him in.

    • profile image

      Kim 

      7 weeks ago

      I can’t stop crying! One of the five? I’ve experienced all five repeatedly. Sadly, after years and years of resets on my part, letting go and starting over they were the ones who cut me out of their lives What they call drama and fighting, I call accountability when you have hurt someone that you’re supposed to love and protect I am in heart failure from chemo and I am terminal, this is the most horrific and painful thing I’ve ever experienced

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      7 weeks ago

      Michelle

      Did none of the points of this well written article register with you?

      I wouldn't want to be married to someone who sides with the parents. There are so many things wrong with your complaining. It's not your decision to make. And this is not about you, or what is easy for you to imagine. It's about what your spouse decides is good for his mental health. Did you even read the article? Maybe try again. And again. Until you get it. And then support your husband in whatever decision he makes, if you want to stay married. If sounding self righteous is more important to you than supporting your spouse, then you are not a partner worth keeping. I pity your husband.

    • profile image

      Michelle 

      7 weeks ago

      I have been married to my husband for 15 years and in that time he has suffered with depression. Also he has had anger issues and is trying to mend the errors of his ways as he wants to make it up to me. He has two older brothers who love abroad. He had contact with one of them and then 5 years ago they fell out. I know it wasnt my husbands fault. His brother wanted an apology and every time we saw his parents they said his brother will not talk to him unless he gets his apology. My husband wouldnt give an apology as he felt he had nothing to apologise for. Finally over christmas my husband sent an olive branch and sent a message to his brother saying you win you have got your apology as wanted to move on. His brother said he didnt want an apology after all those years and had let it go a while ago. My husband was upset as his parents kept saying he wanted an apology. My husband is angry at missing out on more time with his parents. All they keep saying is move on and leave it in the past and are sticking up for his brother and tell him to see a therapist. They have seen his brother more than us but deny it. My husband has stopped contact with his brother and parents. I feel upset as trying to play peacemaker between him and my parents. My husband has made his mind up that he doesnt want any contact with them. He said they went abroad to live when he was ill with depression. He doesnt say much about his past except that his dad had anger issues and gave him no encouragement. His mum treats him like a child and will not take any responsibility. I am in the middle of it and feel upset for his parents but my husband has made his mind up and says its better for his mental health to cut contact. He says they were not there when he was ill. Shall I give up. Cant imagine not talking to your parents. Though you should forgive and forget

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      8 weeks ago

      This sentence should be: "The blogger doesn't fail to feed her children enough, they simply 'fast' them or the children 'fast' themselves to treat and cure health problems."

      Elly,

      I think some abusive parents pre-empt and spread lies about their children pretty much from the day they're born. My mother did it. It's horrifying how they carefully plan the abuse in this way. And yes, it is planned. They know damn well that somewhere along the line the child might try to get help or leave when they're old enough to do so.

      I had a friend who 'diagnosed' her son with dyspraxia. She tried hard but failed to get him diagnosed with a special educational need, so made something up. She was in an emotionally abusive marriage and this was negatively affecting her son's behaviour. He was a bully, and could be very aggressive towards girls and women. She didn't want to accept that the abuse and not a SEN was the problem. Over time, I realized that my friend wasn't just a victim and enabler, but another abuser. She started to abuse and spread lies about me, often to cover up what her husband had done. The authorities were involved on at least one occasion, but no action was taken.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      8 weeks ago

      Starlight -- My fave was, "how about if we had have shown them NO love and just done the basics?" Well gosh, that's a 'truth leak' if I have ever heard one because that's exactly what mine DID. The absolute BARE MINIMUM to maintain the illusion of, "I'm a good mom!"

      As for, "It can be pre-emptive, so not only will the parent try to convince the child that the problem lies with them, but if the child tries to get help they won't be believed, because a narrative has already been put in place where there's something wrong with the child." Oh my is this the truth. My 'mom' would always lead to 'new people' with, "Elly's such a disruption. She's always 'acting up' and complaining..." Which meant when my sis started the bullying and ring-led others to do the same and I would 'complain' to the adult in charge, of course I was ignored/dismissed because they were "forewarned". And she would say it to them in front of me with a satisfied smirk like, "Now they won't believe you! Joke's on you!"

      The funny part was, on the rare occasions when I was left with adult 'strangers' to my dysfunctional environment and in the absence of my sis, I didn't have any problems getting along with others'. My 'mom' would come to pick me up and open with, "Well, how 'bad' was she?" and those adults would look at her like, "Elly was great..." like they couldn't fathom her negativity toward me. Needless to say, those encounters were rare. Wouldn't want me figuring out my 'family' was the issue and not ME.

      Everything an abuser does is to make sure you know 'your place'. They have no idea what love is AT ALL. It's all a contest of who is better/'righter' and it is never the scapegoat or 'lessers'.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      8 weeks ago

      Elly,

      I don't think love is a commodity that anyone can owe. You either feel it or you don't. My mother could mimic love, empathy and compassion, but she didn't have the ability to feel these things in any meaningful way, if at all.

      What do we mean by love? Narcissistic parents believe they love, but tend to view love in terms of what we can do for them (always conditional). They love the attention we give; using us to maintain a particular image; taking their rage out on us to make themselves feel better...but they don't love us. The minute we stop giving them what they want, no matter how unreasonable their demands, the love just ends (might then project and accuse us of not loving or hating them). Their love was never love to begin with, just a superficial imitation of it.

      The EP that replied doesn't understand love. They can no more understand it, than we can understand what it's like to not feel unconditional love for others. Yes, parental love is an action and not just a feeling (when we love we behave in a loving way), but the feeling must still be there. Otherwise, we're just going through the motions.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      8 weeks ago

      NarcFree,

      There's a mummy blogger/parenting coach in the UK, and both she and her husband have been investigated by child services on and off for almost 10 years. Her children are home-educated and the eldest (son) is unsocialized, has behavioural issues and is unable to read or write. She's in the habit of 'diagnosing' her son with health conditions to explain away his behavioural problems and developmental delays. The latest is a rare autoimmune disorder that can be very difficult to diagnose, and can only be diagnosed by a specialist. This blogger is strongly opposed to mainstream medicine, there's no mention of proper investigation and the son's received no treatment.

      It doesn't appear to be uncommon for abusive parents to 'diagnose' their children with conditions that they don't have to hide abuse and neglect (mother in vid says children have eating disorders to cover up starvation. The blogger doesn't fail to feed her children enough, they simply 'fast'). It can be pre-emptive, so not only will the parent try to convince the child that the problem lies with them, but if the child tries to get help they won't be believed, because a narrative has already been put in place where there's something wrong with the child.

      'Diagnosing' children is a huge red flag that child services doesn't take seriously enough. It's a surprisingly effective way of hiding past and present abuse, because people don't tend to question it (what is the specific diagnosis? Who diagnosed the child? What treatment have they received? Why haven't they received treatment? Why is their condition or behaviour not improving?). All you need to do is repeat the 'diagnosis' (the lie) enough times until the lie is firmly embedded in the minds of others.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      8 weeks ago

      NarcFree,

      OMG. This is both horrifying and heartbreaking. Notice how the mother smirks when one of the boys (Bruce, I think) is detailing the physical abuse in court. The mother doesn't accept she was abusive, but repeatedly covered it up in order to hide what she and her husband were doing - decides to homeschool the children, makes them wear multiple sweaters to hide their emaciation, lies and says they have eating disorders.

      Before the boys are removed from school, the teacher refuses to help them. Denial is a way to turn-a-blind-eye and justify doing so. It's easier than doing the right thing. Who else chose not to hear or see what was happening?

      "PLEADING GUILTY" - In the case of the sexually abusive GF that I mentioned, he only admitted to what he'd done to lessen his sentence (there was something in it for him). He still maintained he was the innocent party and the victim of a 7-year-old seductress.

      "Truth is in the middle somewhere" - Code for they deserved it or made me do it. If a man walks down the street and is randomly attacked by a stranger with a knife, is the truth somewhere in the middle? No. He didn't provoke or deserve it, no matter how bad a day the attacker was having. Objective reality is based on facts, not feelings, beliefs and perspectives.

      "...none of the 4 children actually died, so it couldn't have been that bad." - When a child survives this level of abuse, it's often sheer luck. Things can easily go either way. Abusers and enablers can set the bar very high for what constitutes abuse, and most abuse will never be seen as abuse. If it is recognized as abuse, it won't be viewed as severe abuse, even when it is (in their minds, severe abuse is also the only thing that justifies estrangement). A parent is only truly abusive if the abuse is severe, but the abuse will never be viewed as such. If the parent kills the child, they're still not abusive, there's always an excuse - mental illness, the child drove them to it, there was something wrong with the child, it was an accident, if the child was really being abused they would have asked for help, if they asked for help and the abuse was genuine then someone would have helped them, the child was fed and clothed (set the bar very high for what constitutes abuse. Set the bar very low for what constitutes good parenting).

      The boys were fostered and adopted. Fresh new victims and a way to maintain a particular image, in this case, good Christian parents. My abusive, alcoholic mother planned to foster (with the help of family to cover things up), but I intervened. She was genuinely shocked and angered by this, because it made her look like a terrible parent. She was. She tried to kill my brother when he was a baby, and would intentionally place me in dangerous situations. As a young child, I almost drowned as a result. In her mind, she'd always been a perfect mother, superior to the other mothers. That IMAGE needed to be upheld and remain untarnished no matter the cost to others, including vulnerable children.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      8 weeks ago

      Estranged Parent -- "I was told my child didn't OWE me love."

      EP reply -- "OMG...no, they technically don't owe us love BUT, how about if we had have shown them NO love and just done the basics? Then, they would be saying that they were somehow cheated and hated us for not having shown them love. ROFL. How stupid of them! We couldn't win with these little twirps for losing, could we?"

      Ponder on that...

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      2 months ago

      Starlight444

      Lol on the grandparent argument. If only they applied all those rules to themselves when they were the ones parenting, like "grow up" and"it's not all about them anymore". Typical entitlement complex where they make the rules that apply to you, but same rules don't apply to them.

      I agree it's the abuser/victim relationship, but don't you dare say that to anyone who firmly believes that all parents do right by their children. You'll be accused of playing the victim card, and being ungrateful for all the "sacrifices".

      To me, it feels more accurate to describe the relationship as owner/slave (in my particular family). Most people in their right mind don't expect a slave to be grateful. But they still won't believe that parents can treat their child like a slave. And instead of accusing me of being ungrateful, they might say I'm overdramatic or misunderstanding.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      2 months ago

      @NarcFree

      "But how on earth can I abandon something I've never had."

      So many people don't get this. I never had a parent-child relationship with my mother. I only ever had an abuser-victim relationship which is something entirely different. It's like when you're told to rebuild or fix the relationship with your parent. What relationship? You can't repair what never existed.

      @Elly

      I find their behaviour fascinating, but sometimes take a step back when I feel I need break. There have been some right crackers from EGPs lately. On one group, a parent states that she hopes her children would put firm boundaries in place to protect themselves if her behaviour is harming them. She also makes it clear that if you have to put boundaries in place to protect your child from a harmful GP, so be it. This is someone's (EP/EGP?) '0 to 100' response to this comment:

      "Yeah, It would be best that kids live with strangers and possibly be raped or beat to death, than a grandparent that shows love and kindness. You sound like a Human Trafficker CPS Worker ??"

      From another commenter on same group, but a different post:

      "A fit parent, in their right mind, doesn't listen to this bs (from therapists, doctors, licensed professionals) nor do they keep children from having a relationship with their grandparents. When modern parents realize it's their own problems causing them to alienate parents and grandparents, they'll then smarten up and realize they're doing more harm than good. It's a control issue for young parents who mentally need to grow up and stop being selfish and self centered. Its not about them anymore."

      AND

      "A family oriented parent will make a child feel much more loved when all family join in their upbringing. It causes less stress for the children when they aren't programmed to pass judgement on certain family members."

      Dizzy-making it is.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      2 months ago

      Starlight444 -- I've been asked many times why I still "pick at the wounds" of my childhood by watching people like PL and following/watching sites like SM's etc. and why I comment on/point them out at times.

      One of the reasons is the continuing quest for insight and you provided some. I had never been able to figure out the 'Narc logic'/thinking on how they can ignore 'slappy lady' and her behavior. Your explanation/translation seems spot on.

      Their 'house' -- Their 'rules'... And there are TWO SETS. Anything bad they do is 100% justified and an obvious reaction/response to what the other party did. Anyone reacting to their shite is actually abusing THEM because they are always 100% "justified" in their behavior and NEVER take accountability for their actions/words.

      A great example of that is, "I knew as soon as I opened my mouth to address the issues that they would pack up our GC and stop all communication with us." and yet she went ahead and said *whatever* ANYWAYS. So clearly, on some level, this EP DOES KNOW what they say/do is problematic/caused the estrangement.

      Then denial kicks in... She goes on to say, "At least my husband and I have a clean conscience that we have done nothing wrong to bring this about, nor can we fix things." So, let me get this straight, in her mind she's saying, "I know I said something that I KNEW would lead to being cut off, but because I was 'justified' to say *insert* it's not MY fault we are estranged." I'm dizzy.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      2 months ago

      Starlight444

      "Victim of abandonment" makes me laugh, because the parent who is not handling parental duties, is abandoning the child. So the child never has a good enough parent figure in their life. Then all of a sudden, a grown child is guilty of abandoning the parent. But how on earth can I abandon something I've never had.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      2 months ago

      Elly,

      Narc logic is right. Slappy lady repeatedly slaps adult son, but that's okay because she's his mother and decides he deserves it. The slapping happens at her house, and that's okay too. Being at/in your own house means you have a right to mete out violent punishment for real or perceived slights, and because it's your right it's never abuse.

      Slappy lady says "Now [my oldest son says] we are violent...". She IS violent. Refusing to accept that you're violent isn't the same as not being violent, and this refusal means that she WILL be violent again.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      2 months ago

      Starlight444 -- I too have been following that train wreck. The fact that no one called out 'slappy lady' kinda says it all of that site, but now they're a "moral authority". Hypocrisy and Narc logic at its finest.

      The insight on Issendai's site is beautiful.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      2 months ago

      Been mulling over 'abandonment' as part of parentification.

      I went into full-time employment at the age of 16, saved some money and moved to the city just after I turned 18, financially supporting myself. My family never forgave me for leaving home, and because I wasn't there to be at my mother's beck and call or give her the level of attention she wanted, it was viewed as selfishness, rejection and abandonment. I was treated like a parent (my role) abandoning and neglecting my young child (my mother). As my mother was prone to behaving like a young child, e.g. sulking, hitting and tantrums, and I was expected to manage her behaviour from the time I was about 6 or 7, I didn't see it as that strange (she was very well-behaved around other people). Now I find it completely bizarre.

      To my mother I was a non-person without needs or wants. I was there to serve her and be whatever she wanted me to be, e.g. parent, friend, and occasionally, child. In order to function as an adult and meet my own needs, e.g. work, study, spend time with spouse, estrangement was necessary. The demands of my mother were all-consuming and disobedience, e.g. having to work instead of spending time with her, was met with punishment. By the time I went no-contact I had nothing left to give. She would chaos-manufacture, life revolving around her tantrums, demands, attention-seeking behaviour and addiction. I reached a point where my toddler-mother just became too much, but she sees herself as a perfect mother and an innocent victim of abandonment.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      2 months ago

      Hi everyone, hope you had a good New Year.

      If anyone's interested, there's a thread on Issendai's website right now - "The slow build: Getting details one drip at a time." It gives a fascinating insight into how some EPs think and behave.

      There's a discussion about a post on Sheri McGregor's forum that includes talking about "a sort of anti-insight" that EPs on EP forums can possess. Good parents don't know what they've done. "Only bad parents know why they were estranged." If you know or admit to what you've done, then you're not one of them (a good parent), or you're a fake. The bad or fake EP can then be ignored and rejected, creating an echo chamber of purportedly innocent EPs who'll keep insisting that they don't know what they've done. http://issendai.com/wp/estrangement/the-slow-build...

    • Kim Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Bryan 

      3 months ago

      Happy holidays to everyone!

      Here is some interesting reading for anyone who may not have yet seen this:

      http://www.issendai.com/psychology/estrangement/

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      3 months ago

      NarcFree,

      I knew a grandfather who was sent to prison for sexually abusing his granddaughter. There was evidence, and when she was in her teens, the GD went to the police. The GF kept insisting that he didn't know what he'd done or couldn't remember. It was made very clear that he wasn't going to get away with it, so he then portrayed himself as the victim. In his reality he was seduced by the child, and it was a sexual relationship, not abuse (subjective). The court didn't agree (objective).

      Unfortunately, some of the family turned on the victim, viewing her as a troublemaker who should've kept her mouth shut for the sake of the family (leave things in the past, forgive and forget, e.t.c). The lack of concern for the victim was shocking. Most of the concern was reserved for the GF (he's elderly, didn't know what he was doing), and his behaviour was sometimes viewed as a good thing. It was part of God's plan, or the Lord works in mysterious ways (the grandmother's stance).

      Before the abuse was revealed, the GF had already started behaving inappropriately towards another very young GD, and the only reason she wasn't sexually abused was because the other GD went to the police (assessed for sexual abuse by child services). I pointed this out to the mother of this child, but she didn't agree, also viewing the victim as a troublemaker, and the GF as some kind of innocent simpleton (the abuse was well planned. All this came out in court). Her argument was the GD didn't need to go to the police, because she'd never leave her own daughter alone with her GF for a minute. What about other children/potential victims? Why would a mother be too scared to leave their child alone with a grandparent for a minute? She must have known all along that there was something very wrong with the behaviour of the GF. She might not have known everything, but she knew something, and still didn't hesitate to turn on the victim and make excuses for the abuser.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      3 months ago

      Starlight444

      I agree, each person's reality is not always "just that". Daddys who violate their daughters sexually often resort to "that never happened". Are they entitled to their own version of reality? I think not. They are entitled to a prison bed. And that's just one example. There are many others where abusers tell blatant lies and call it "their reality". I am not going to respect their right to deny.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      3 months ago

      @No Clue Dad.

      Where I live, adults don't just have a right, but a legal right to end relationships or cut off contact with others. AC are not the property of their parents, so have a right to cut off contact whether or not the parent or anyone else agrees with it.

      I agree that abuse isn't the only reason for estrangement, but it is one of the commonest. Estrangement can occur for many different reasons, but doesn't tend to occur for minor reasons and is normally part of a process rather than a one-off event. There's more than one kind of estrangement (emotional, physical, low-contact, very low contact), and EPs don't always make this clear. Estrangement can also be about perception. What one parent views as total estrangement, another will see as an acceptable level of contact. With abusive parents, it's not unusual for them to say that their AC initiated the estrangement, even though it was the parent.

      Who gets to decide if the child/AC was abused? Most abusive parents won't accept that they are, no matter how horrific the abuse.

      "victims of unjustified estrangement". Are you talking about no-contact or the silent treatment?

      No-contact is something you do to yourself, which means the other person is not your victim. You remove yourself from a situation in order to keep yourself safe, e.g. emotionally, physically, and it tends to be done in the longer term or permanently. The parent normally refuses to accept that you need to protect yourself, and will accuse you of abusing them, portraying themselves as the victim.

      The silent treatment is a form of abuse and is something that you do to another person, and tends to be done in the shorter term. It's done to control, manipulate, punish or humiliate, and will be part of a wider pattern of behaviour. When an AC uses the silent treatment, it's learnt behaviour from childhood, and can indicate that they were raised in an abusive or dysfunctional environment.

      "It is prudent for all of us to keep an open mind about each person's individual situation and to respect each person's personal narrative." Yes and no. Abusive/ estranged abusive parents often think and write in a particular way that shows they're not telling the truth, so sometimes need to be challenged. For example, repeatedly contradict themselves; talk about their feelings not facts; omit important pieces of information (saying they can't remember or the info isn't relevant); timelines are jumbled (saying that their estranged 30-year-old AC is selfish because they just made them a birthday cake, even though they made the cake when their child was 5-years-old); lying (saying their child has always been a narcissist from the time they were young, even though children can't be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder). I will say that challenging them is a waste of them, but it doesn't mean that we should never do it, and this isn't the same as disrespect.

      "Each person's reality is just that." Yes and no. We all have a subjective reality or personal truth (feelings and beliefs), but there's also an objective reality or verifiable truth (facts and evidence). Estrangement often occurs when a parent refuses to accept objective reality.

      "make the choice to reach out". When dealing with an abusive parent this won't end well. The EP will abuse the victim and attempt to regain control. In my case, any reaching out would result in me experiencing anxiety attacks, nightmares, and flashbacks. In regards to your comment about peace, I knew no peace as a child. I lived in a constant state of anxiety and fear, and the abuse didn't stop when I grew up. If my family want peace then they'll have to learn to create their own. Their feelings are not my responsibility. Only my own actions and feelings are my responsibility. This is an important lesson for victims of childhood abuse to learn. They're often raised to take responsibility for the actions and feelings of others, particularly the abusive parent.

    • profile image

      mama to four 

      3 months ago

      NarcFree-

      Thank you so much for reconfirming my feelings. And the question at the end sums it all up.... I miss the family I wish I had. Thank you so much for your kind words. I really needed to hear them. My husband says it all the time but it is nice to hear it from someone else. Thank you for the continued support!

    • profile image

      Bluu 

      3 months ago

      Do y'all have recommendations for support groups or forums for estranged adult children or dysfunctional families/in-laws?

      Just really need to vent right now and... This is the only place that comes to mind.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      3 months ago

      No Clue Dad

      You are contradicting yourself. If everybody had a right to choose to opt out of toxic relationships, then why are you hoping that all estranged children will one day reach out? If you consider physical and sexual abuse "legitimate" reasons for estrangement, then why do you want ALL estranged children to one day reach out? Do you know how complex ptsd works? Do you know what flashbacks are? Do you know that nightmares about my parent tormenting me are NOT welcome back in my life? And do you know that hearing that parent's voice brings back the nightmares? You acknowledge that we all have a right to disengage, but at some point ALL, you hope, will reach out for the sake of peace? Peace is something i never experienced, until I removed predatory parents from my life. Are you saying that i owe my parents peace? No thanks. They Will have to create it for themselves, if they want it. They are not my responsibility. I was their responsibility, for 18 years, but they pretended that it's my fault that i came into this world. You know what? It's theirs. I did not put a gun to their heads and force them to f$ck. Yeah, i know, crude. But I'm fed up with people telling me that those monsters deserve peace and it is my responsibility to provide. That was to address your point #8.

      As for point 2, who is the judge of what reasons are proper? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Who are you to say which estrangement was improper? It is not your decision to make, nor is it yours to approve. Again, you sound like someone who believes that SOME parents will always be entitled to a relationship with their adult children. Children are not property. And if you think that they are, then you better be so good at gaslighting that your children will never figure you out. Because when they do, it's game over. There is no such thing as unjustified estrangement. You don't live in anybody's skin. And you don't own anybody's relationship decisions. Right or wrong, every adult makes their own decisions and lives with consequences.

    • profile image

      No Clue Dad 

      3 months ago

      Hello all,

      Some time back, I posted on this page my personal observations about the subject of estrangement from my perspective as an estranged parent of not just one adult child, but 2--and at that, my only 2 adult children.

      I have continued to follow this page. I decided to repost my post for the holiday season. Happy holidays to all.

      Since becoming estranged several years ago, I developed a deep interest in the subject, far beyond my personal story. I was initially interested in hearing from other parents, and was amazed at the vast network of parents that were grieving. I read their stories with great interest and learned considerable amounts about the subject. I gradually shifted towards searching for adult estranged children that have chosen to go “no contact” with their parents, and have taken the time to share their perspectives publicly in social media platforms. I find it especially interesting to read the comments from young adults that have chosen to go "no contact" with a parent or parents.


      At this time I would like to share some general observations I have formulated over time about the entire subject of parent-adult child estrangement.

      1. I whole heartedly agree with any adult child that has made the decision to cease contact with a parent that has been either physically abusive or sexually abusive. In addition, I equally support an adult child's choice to go no contact with a parents that suffers from a severe personality disorder, and based upon such disorder, engages in various forms of substance abuse and/or emotional abuse on their children, grandchildren, and/or adult children. I get it. I applaud those choices that have been made by those adult children. I agree as a parent myself, and as an adult who enjoys free choice to disengage from abusive dysfunctional relationships. We should all enjoy the right, regardless from whom it is that we are seeking to disengage (i.e. parents included). We should all aspire to healthy relationships with others, and part and parcel of such aspirations is to distance oneself from those that we perceive as bringing dysfunction and hostility to our lives (friends, family, business associates, etc.).


      2. I do not think the subject of estrangement is a "one size fits all" matter. There are some adult children that have made improper choices in choosing to estrange, just as there are adult children that have made an appropriate choice to go no contact. Likewise, there are parents out there that are victims of unjustified estrangement, just as there are parents that have been cut-off from their adult children for truly justifiable, objectively based grounds.


      3. Each of us has our own narrative of our own individual situation. Some of us have shared our narratives. None of us can know the other side of the narrative, and it is possible that were we to learn and understand both sides of a given estrangement situation, we might find that our opinion about a person's situation is different from the narrative initially presented to us. As such, it is prudent for all of us to keep an open mind about each person's individual situation and to respect each person's personal narrative. The bottom line is we just do not know the whole story, nor can we.

      4. As a parent, I want my adult children to not just survive, but to thrive! To be happy. To be enjoying their lives. To find love. Inner peace. Emotional fulfillment. Harmony with nature, people, and the inner self. To enjoy the pleasures a life affords. Etc. Given these wishes, if my adult child feels, in his or her judgment or opinion, that his or her life would be better served without me in it, then, as painful as it is to accept, in the bigger picture of my own life and my own wishes for my children' happiness and success, this is something I must accept. As for the pain I experience in this "rejection", that is my personal issue, and it is for me to deal with.


      5. I note that many parents feel they did not do anything to deserve being estranged. I happen to be one of those parents. I further note that many adult children do not agree when an estranged parent expresses this opinion. In my view, even if a parent feels he or she did not do anything sufficiently wrong to deserve estrangement, the fact is, the adult child has made this decision, right or wrong, and it is the adult child's life that must be lived, and it is definitely not the parent's life to control. Thus, for all of us, not every decision we make is correct, and none of us know whether our choices are going to be correct until they play out over time. It may be that over time, the adult child that has chosen to go no contact with his/her parents regrets the choice--or not. Either way, it is the adult child's exclusive choice, and we all have to live with our choices, good and bad. Yes, it is sad, but a full and complete life comes with its share of sadness, and that is just part of the ebb and flow of living a real life. All of us—parents and our adult children-- will, over the course of our lives, make choices we regret. Things happen in our lives, and we will look back and say: “if I had to do it over again, I’d make a different choice.” Our estranged adult children may now, or at some point in the future of their lives, engage in that look back. Or not. They may look back with great pride at the choices they have made. Only time will tell. There is nothing to be done in the interim by the estranged parents. We cannot force our adult children to make a different choice no matter how wrong we think their choices may be, or how strongly we feel about their choices.

      6. We all look at life through our own filtered lenses. Each person's reality is just that. For some, it is a highly religious reality. For others, religion has nothing to do with it. For some there is a perception that a parent has a right to have "say" about an adult child's adult choices including sexual orientation, marriage partners, academic and professional choices, and much else. For others, myself included, these are all subjects that a parent needs to lay off of and allow an adult child to find for himself or herself, even if that means falling down.


      7. We all fall down. It is the getting back up that is the testament of our lives. We must rise, dust ourselves off, and continue on in our journey. None of us should allow estrangement to define us. If estrangement has touched your life, no matter which side, may it simply be one aspect of the total you.

      
8. To all adult children that have chosen to go no contact with your parent or parents, it is my personal hope that all will, one day, make the choice to reach out to that parent or parents from whom that adult child chose to cease contact, and in a healthy, respectful way, express some positive wish or communication to bring peace to the family, both to the adult child, and to the estranged parent(s). This is not to suggest that the adult child should re-establish a relationship, or anything of the sort. There is no timetable. It is only a wish that at some point in time, when the adult child feels ready, and it is my hope that each adult child that has chosen to go no contact will reach a point in life when he or she feels ready and sees the value of reaching out. And if it should happen that an adult child makes such a choice, is my hope that it brings some inner peace to all concerned.


      9. Sometimes a thimble full of love is all our loves ones have room for from us. We may wish to heap bounties of our love on others, but we must give love with respect for our loved ones--and isn't that the most loving thing that we can do? Is that not love to love with consideration for the needs of our loved ones? Thus, if our loved ones do not want anything to do with us, or want little to do with us, the most loving thing we can do is to respect that wish, and even as it may feel painful, it is an act of giving love to step back and give that loved one space--and that is a thimble full of our love for that person that we are giving of ourselves.

      
Apologies for the length.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      3 months ago

      Elly

      I understand everything you are saying. And agree with the middle portion of your message.

      I wouldn't call her "therapy" by any stretch of imagination. She is anti therapy. Some sort of masochistic therapy! :) The type of intervention that aggravates old wounds that are best left untouched.

      If a food makes me sick, I stop eating it. If a person makes me sick, I stop looking and listening. That woman makes me nauseous literally and figuratively speaking. Viewing her videos, commenting, and/or sharing the link with others, drives traffic to her channel, which in turn results in youtube moving her up in search results. I think she should just be left to marinade in her own toxicity, in oblivion. I don't care what she has to say because it's too exhausting to try to keep up with her sick(ening) ideas. Like she says in her video, "I don't care that you have a reason, or what your reasons are". Well, I don't care that she doesn't care. LoL. It's not like I'm about to seek her approval. My decisions are none of her business. Her approval is not needed, not even by her own children apparently.

      So she's going cookoo with her video camera, and other dysfunctional abusers are typing supportive comments. Reading them reminds me what i walked away from. I walked away because i want none of that psychopathic chaos in my life. And listening to her twisted arguments is like allowing that craziness back into my life. I would rather focus on my own healing, than on her sickness. I can't change her, or convince her. Nobody can. So why bother. That's how I see it. I stopped trying with my own family because i gave up hope that it will ever get better. I am not going to try to convince a stranger on the internet who is clearly just as twisted as my own "mommy".

      Maybe we all heal differently. Or maybe it's a matter of timing. Right now I'm in a place where I find comfort and healing listening to other survivors and/or "experts" that help survivors. Watching that witch with crooked teeth does not bring anything other than unneeded aggravation into my life, so I steer clear, for now.

      Maybe some day i will feel differently, maybe i won't. Who knows.

      And yes, i also was appalled by her "true abuse" gem. As if there is also false abuse. In Her head , false probably equals not validated by her. Which is all of it. Because she would never.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      3 months ago

      To NarcFree:

      She's 'therapy' anyone can afford. She could BE my 'mom'. Not only her videos but her general attitude and comments/replies. She is so EVERYTHING that abused AC in recovery can recognize. That and it's time that people spreading agendas based on false facts are pointed out for what they are. Frauds. Pondering Life is selling that she knows why AC have estranged and it's all the usual BS.

      I see abusive people like PL as just as repugnant as anti-vaxers, who feel/believe vaccines are 'bad' because that is their view and it became a "truth" because THEY said it was. The anti-vaxer campaign hurt children. People like PL making videos, with her pretty disclaimer/gaslighting, is gross and should be called out.

      How ironic is it, that in her disclaimer she says, "I'm not talking about true abuse here..." all the while acting like a typical Narcissistic abuser? Defining abuse HER way. Accusing EAC of all the usual things... Enough is enough.

      I believe my 'mom' had kids for the same reason a 5 year old wants a puppy. They want something to love and adore that will unconditionally adore them. And that's an OK thing to think as a 5 year old... but a 5 year old is in no better position to care for a puppy properly then a NP is to raise a child. Both may want to do well at the "job" but can a 5 year old drive the sick dog to a vet even if they know the dog needs a doctor?

      That's what emotionally deficient parents offer... They want to, "drive the dog to the vet", just like a smart 5 year old would. They are just unable.

      So yes, I watch and learn from channels like PL and want them called out and highlighted for the garbage they are. That's why I "do this to myself".

      As always Peace to All and most of all NarcFree for making Me reflect.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      3 months ago

      Starlight: Part of PL's comment in reply to Chris L was beautiful, "It wouldn't matter if the parents listened until their ears bled (as most in here have tried and tried), saying ANYTHING that goes against what it is that that adult wants to hear..."

      She switched from, "We'll 'listen' but You have to LISTEN back..." and by LISTEN I mean, "You have said what You had to say, so now you will LISTEN while I tell you how 'it' really is..." In other words? They never "listened" at ALL. They are/were just busy preparing their returning salvo.

      I mean FFS, they don't even grasp the concept of LISTENING. In my world "listening" means, "Hearing information, processing the information and acting on/storing the information." In their world, every view that does not mirror theirs must be challenged regardless of the validity of the challenge.

      Another example of the same mentality, "Last time ED wanted to meet, she ran the show. I just listened and she had lots of mean things to say to me. I defended myself but did it calmly and thought that meeting was good but then she still didn’t speak to me after that." Well, no shit. What do EAC bet that one of the things 'mom' didn't listen too was, "Stop trying to justify/'explain'/gaslight Me to pardon yourself for your shite behavior."?

      Again... Once they think/believe something? That becomes 'reality' like, "and thought that meeting was good..." like a half admission that they are aware of how the other side may not agree with that. I thought the meeting "went well" so that = the 'other side' must as well, right?

      And PL's little nauseating song about Narcissists and her tone... "Don't you want to be a Narcissist too..." I think she knows exactly what she is and honestly believes healthier people envy/want to be like HER.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      3 months ago

      Elly

      Why do you keep doing this to yourself?

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      3 months ago

      @Elly

      Only had time to take a quick look. Where do I even start. They're so far down the rabbit hole they're never coming back. No wonder their children walked away.

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      Elly The Autistic 

      3 months ago

      Starlight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vjn-ymF_LGg

      They all say they are sooo willing to do ANYTHING to have a relationship with their children and grandchildren. BUT they can't even listen to random EAC on the internet. So sure... They'll 'listen' to what their AC have to say... Some time AFTER hell freezes over.

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      NarcFree 

      3 months ago

      Mama to 4

      Leaving you out of family events when you're a child, is abusive. Making comments about your weight and undermining your self esteem is abusive. Make no mistake about it, abuse does not have to be physical. If your mom knew or heard step dad's comments and didn't try to stop him, she is abusive too. Looking the other way is allowing abuse to happen on your watch. If they've never owned their bad behavior, then it's never going to stop. They are toxic people and you can't change them. It's not your fault that they are who they are. A healthy normal woman will not remain married to a man who demeans his stepdaughter or comments on her body parts! That is dysfunctional. They are both messed up, and only they can fix themselves. You can't fix them. Don't blame yourself for Their behavior. You are responsible for yourself, not for the rest of them.

      Think about this - do you miss the family they were, or do you miss the type of family you wish they were?

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      Starlight444 

      3 months ago

      And they wonder why they're still estranged.

      From EP Facebook page.

      "I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S (EXPLETIVE) WHAT ADULT ESTRANGED CHILDREN ARE THINKING.

      You heard me. That’s a pretty strong statement, and it comes with some pretty strong feelings. After scanning the estrangement pages this morning, I am just so overwhelmed with sadness and anger for parents of EC’s, I needed to say something, and I wanted to make sure everybody heard me... so I put it in all caps.

      I come to these communities and what I see are parents of all shapes and sizes with broken hearts pouring their guts out... parents that would do anything to have their children back in their lives. These are not bad people or abusers. These are not battle-hardened narcissists that want their children to suffer as they have. These are good people bearing unimaginable pain and hoping that something... anything they say will open a door and bring their children home.

      So, you heard me. I am not interested in understanding adult estranged children.

      I “get” them just fine. I don’t care why they do what they do, and I don’t care how unbelievable their actions are. I am not interested in their side of the story, and I am not interested in making them feel better. They are adults, they are creating this situation and they have plenty of “Dump Your Family Now” pages to help them feel better about the choice they have made.

      I don’t care what estranged adult children are thinking.

      I don’t care if there is a reason for their actions in their mind or not. I don’t care if their behavior is erratic and difficult to understand, or just downright cruel. I don’t care if Mommy and Daddy were imperfect humans and I don’t care if they never got that pony they wanted growing up. When a parent loves, cares, and tries, this stuff is inexcusable.

      What I AM interested in is saving lives.

      Your lives.

      Because this stuff nearly killed me... and make no mistake, it can kill you too. Whether it’s your literal death through suicide, heart problems or diabetes from stress and other diseases, or the figurative death of your soul through long, slow, endless agonizing self- doubt, make no mistake this stuff can kill you.

      IF YOU LET IT.

      I think most people that know my writings by now know that I am a pretty sensitive person. But I am also unbelievably strong. But I didn’t start out that way... I earned it. through tears, pain and hellfire, I earned it. But the funny thing about hellfire is that it “Tempers” you. It makes you harder and stronger... you go into it red hot, but when you are done pouring a bucket of tears on it, the steel that is left is stronger than ever before. If you haven’t already, you are going to need to learn that strength as well.

      I have said it many times. I don’t want any parent to ever go through what I have been through... and still, most of you already have. I was too late. But there is still something I can do. I can say this... over and over until it helps someone...

      We all get down and depressed about our children’s choice, but you can’t stay there. You can’t. The world needs you. Stop the questions. You know the ones. We all miss our children. But your job was to raise them... not to die for them. That’s a futile sacrifice that will fall on deaf ears... and frankly, I believe it’s an affront to God to throw away your life... the beautiful gift that has been given you. Stop wasting it pining away for someone that couldn’t care less if you live or die.

      I don’t care what estranged adult children are thinking.

      BECAUSE ESTRANGEMENT IS ABOUT POWER. You may not understand why your child has chosen to do this. Their reasons may make no sense at all. That’s common, and it’s the most painful part. But you better understand this, and learn it quickly. Estrangement is about one thing. It’s about power and control... and you have two choices: You can either watch your life slip away mired down in those swirling thoughts... Why? What happened? Do they love me? Why won’t they love me? Can you believe this? Well... have you ever seen what happens to toilet water once it gets done swirling around in the bowl?

      Or, you can reclaim your power, your life, and your place in this world by saying “Enough kid, I love you, but I have paid enough”.

      Who is the parent in this relationship anyway?..."

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      mama to four 

      3 months ago

      I don't know if anyone else is finding the holidays difficult, but it is for me. Not only is it Christmastime, it is my birthday and I am about to give birth to my child. I haven't spoken to my parents or sister in over a year and a half. I haven't spoken to my brother really in 3 and a half years (can't believe that). Part of me is like "Is it me???" But I don't think so. My brother was always "okay" but was an ass. His new wife is the reason why we don't speak. She thought I got pregnant to upstage her wedding. Whatever....

      But my parents, I look back on my upbringing and wonder "was it really that bad?" I mean... I never really talked about the stuff that happened when I was a kid/young adult with others because it always seemed normal to me until I got married and had children. I have been looking back and tell my husband about things that happened. I wasn't "abused" but I always felt like an outsider in my own family. My step dad always made comments about my weight (I was a very overweight child when he came into the picture and had always been) and later on when I was a teenager he would make comments about the size of my butt or breasts. My mom came into my room at least once that I remember and borrowed my clothes when she was too pregnant for her clothes and didn't have anything clean.

      I look back and think "well.... does everyone do that?" Those are just a few things that I have been thinking about in addition to other instances that I have posted before. My husband thinks that the things that happened to me when I was growing up were despicable. I have asked him if he would still have married me if he knew what he was getting into... His reply brought tears to my eyes "I would have taken you away sooner".

      Sorry for the random words but it has been something that has been heavy on my heart. It seems like it is all my fault that communication has been dropped from pretty much my entire family. I feel like maybe it is my fault and things weren't as bad as they were. Didn't know if anyone else felt that way.

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      NarcFree 

      3 months ago

      Bluu

      I'm in the same boat. I feel like I make 2 steps forward and 1 step back, but overall it's still progress. I think it's important not to judge yourself too harshly when that 1 step back happens. Considering the decades of conditioning, it's understandable, and it's a good thing we are aware now, and are working on it. Sometimes I have to remind myself to cut myself some slack, the same way I would for anyone else in this situation. It helps to remember that you can give yourself a break sometimes. Control freak parents groom you to give a break to everybody but yourself, and it takes some time to transform that habit, but it is worth the effort :)

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      Bluu 

      4 months ago

      @NarcFree:

      This is what I needed to hear. You're right that I shouldn't have to explain myself to people. It's just a hard habit to shake, just based on the environment I grew up in. I'm still working on kicking that vice with baby steps. Thanks for putting it into perspective for me.

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      NarcFree 

      4 months ago

      Bluu

      You don't need an excuse to not go. You don't need an excuse to go. You don't need an excuse for anything else you choose to do. As an adult, you get to make decisions and not have to explain yourself to people who don't like your decisions. All you have to say is, it felt right for me. Or, that's my preference. If people don't like it, it's their problem, not yours.

      I feel like people telling me what i *should* do, are telling me that they don't respect me as an adult capable of making good decisions. They need to learn boundaries and not stick their nose where it does not belong.

      Whatever You decide to do, there's no need to explain yourself. You can share if you want to, only with people who have earned your trust. Everyone else need to learn to mind their own damn business.

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      Lerato Nyembe 

      4 months ago

      This article describes my mother like she was the case studied in this regard...

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      Bluu 

      4 months ago

      @Elly:

      Thanks for the response. After thinking it over and seeing your reply as well, I will most likely avoid the holiday party(or go during a certain time when she's not around and leave early, but honestly I don't want to go because holidays are a stressful time for me). You're right about trusting the instinct. I talked to my lil brother over the phone and he mentions how nothing has changed with our parents, they're still the same.

      I was mostly nervous about the backlash I may receive from my family and my significant other's family for not going because of my mother.

      Though, I do kinda have an excuse for not going. The little one hasn't received all of his vaccinations or shots yet, so he can't be around a lot of people. He will have some of his shots on his next appointment.

      And... I don't celebrate any holidays honestly. Always spent them alone. Only will celebrate them now for the little one now that he's here.

      I'll have to talk to my SO about this...

      It's difficult to explain to people because they usually tell me "BUT THEY'RE YOUR FAMILY!! THEY'RE BLOOD!" excuse---whether their family is good to them or not. But if you interchange "My mother hit me and says I'm useless so I don't want to see her" with "My friend/SO hit me and s/he says I'm useless so I don't want to see him/her", they'll agree with no contact with that friend/SO but not with doing so toward family...

      I just don't want to be bothered by my parents anymore. I don't have any feelings or any sort of bond with them. If we talk, it's like we're strangers and my mother always has something negative to say.

      I guess the real question is, how do I hold my ground despite what other people say(about being no contact with my parents)? I don't have any support in real life. I've always been on my own. Online, everyone has been so kind to me, understanding, and supportive

      It's just more difficult with a kid involved. I won't stop him in the future(he's an infant) if he would like to see his grandparents on my side, but I don't want anything to do with my parents based on how they've always treated me(physical and mental abuse).

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      4 months ago

      Bluu:

      If you know how your family is and if you don't feel that it would be a positive experience I would say don't go.

      Usually when someone asks a question they already know how they are feeling. Trust your instinct.

      Good luck.

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      Bluu 

      4 months ago

      Wow, this article describes my mother to a T!

      I need some advice though... Scroll to the button of comment.

      Anyhow, for each point in the article that describes my mother:

      1) She does not like my significant other because he's "too short", isn't her race/ethnicity nor religion, because he smokes, and that he's pre-diabetic so "don't have a kid with him".

      Funny, she wants me to date within her race/ethnicity but I'm mixed race. She gives me grief for it too, because she hates my father. She used to smoke a lot in her younger years and she still drinks like a fish. Lastly, she has health problems too, I don't know what her beef is there. My siblings and I turnt out fine, no major health problems.

      2) Her apology: "I'm sorry YOU feel this way, but it's not my fault."

      3) She hasn't met the little one yet in person. But I can already imagine how she'd be as a grandparent.

      4) I'm the only daughter, so that made me the scapegoat out of my siblings. My parents took it out on me (verbally and physically)

      5) She was angry when I didn't want her used underwear. She didn't understand why I could possibly not want it. It didn't fit her so she wanted to give it to me. She was also very touchy-feely about my body when I was younger and made comments.

      Besides that.. Talking about her marital issues with my father(he's also toxic, especially towards women) to me and expecting me to be her therapist.

      And... Just a multitude of other stuff with her.

      QUESTION: Should I avoid going to this upcoming holiday event?

      My father-in-law invited my family to go. Originally, it was going to be just me and two of my brothers going. But now my mother invited herself when she heard the youngest bro was going to fly here to my second oldest bro's and my state. She wasn't going too if he didn't go. My eldest brother(who lives with my parents, both are separated so he goes from house to house, they live RIGHT next to each other) is coming too.

      We never get to spend sibling time because eldest bro is stuck like glue to both of my parents and they use him for money and to do things for them.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      4 months ago

      Benjamin: It is soooo good to hear an uplifting story here.

      Please continue to explore what Kim has said and feel free to ask questions. Someone is likely to answer.

      Best of luck.

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      Benjamin 

      4 months ago

      Reading this has absolutely saved the relationship with my family. I am at a loss for words. Things spiraled out of control yesterday with family members. No alcohol or drugs were involved. I knew something was wrong with me so I searched for similar situations online. I was having my first panic attack ever.

      I am a 39 year old male who's entire family is in turmoil over my parents retirement and estate, etc. I realized last night that I was alone amongst my family.

      You helped me to see things in a much different way. I immediately contacted one family member and humbled myself. To my suprise, they completely recieved me in like turn. I believe many things were restored tonight. I hope to update soon.

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      MashaParakina 

      4 months ago

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

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      Heather 

      4 months ago

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

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      Elly The Autistic 

      5 months ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      Hurting Dad 

      6 months ago

      Elly,

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

      Thank you.

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      Elly The Autistic 

      6 months ago

      To Hurting Dad:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      Hurting Dad 

      6 months ago

      I would like some advice.

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

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

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

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

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

      Sincerely, Hurting Dad.

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      MaLovo2 

      6 months ago

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

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      Elly The Autistic 

      6 months ago

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

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

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

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

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

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      Starlight444 

      6 months ago

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

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      NarcFree 

      6 months ago

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

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      NarcFree 

      6 months ago

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

      Nice try though.

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      Starlight444 

      6 months ago

      Elly,

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

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

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

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

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      Elly The Autistic 

      6 months ago

      To Kim and Our gang:

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

      John says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      alanvsweeten 

      6 months ago

      Good to hear this.

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      Elly The Autistic 

      6 months ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      Starlight444 

      6 months ago

      NarcFree,

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

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

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      NarcFree 

      6 months ago

      Straight 444

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

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      Starlight444 

      6 months ago

      Elly,

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      6 months ago

      Mama to 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      mama to four 

      6 months ago

      Elly-

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

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

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      Elly The Autistic 

      6 months ago

      To mama to four:

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

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

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

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

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

      Peace Be With Us All.

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      mama to four 

      6 months ago

      Elly-

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

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

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

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

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      Starlight444 

      6 months ago

      NarcFree,

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

      Children as property is a running theme on EP forums.

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      NarcFree 

      6 months ago

      Elly,

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

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

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      6 months ago

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

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

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

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

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      NarcFree 

      6 months ago

      Starlight444,

      EPs are lying. They don't accept anything that happens without their approval. IF there is abuse - means they control your decisions And perceptions, they get to decide what's abuse, they tell you if you were abused or not, and they NEVER admit to having been abusive. Every single one of them will say, yes, those other parents, who were really severe abusers, deserve estrangement, but not me, not me, there was never any abuse, i don't remember it and you have false memories. And if there was any mistreatment, there's always a much worse example they can find, and since the worst didn't happen to you, then you have no right to complain.

      During the last few months of contact with my parents, they went back and forth between denying any abuse ever happened, and telling me I'm an a#$hole for living in the past. Which is it? You can't use both defenses because if I'm living in the past, then it did happen. And if it never happened then I'm not living in the past.

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      Starlight444 

      6 months ago

      NarcFree,

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

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      NarcFree 

      6 months ago

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

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

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

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

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      Starlight444 

      6 months ago

      Hi Elly,

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

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

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

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      Elly The Autistic 

      6 months ago

      I'd love some thoughts on this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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      MsChrisC 

      7 months ago

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

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      wsa49 

      7 months ago

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

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

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

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

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      thatothermom 

      7 months ago

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

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      NarcFree 

      7 months ago

      Starlight444

      Malkin is another one. Abuser defender.

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      Starlight444 

      7 months ago

      Hi NarcFree,

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

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      7 months ago

      To Sunshineandalligators:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      7 months ago

      Starlight444

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

    • profile image

      Sunshineandalligators 

      7 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      7 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      7 months ago

      To Starlight:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Peace to All...

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      7 months ago

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

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

    • profile image

      Mark Ttwain 

      7 months ago

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

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

    • profile image

      ElizabethCa 

      7 months ago

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      annabannannna 

      7 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      7 months ago

      To mama to four:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      mama to four 

      8 months ago

      Elly-

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

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

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

    • profile image

      mama to four 

      8 months ago

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

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

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

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      8 months ago

      To mama to four:

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

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      8 months ago

      Mama to 4,

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

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

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

    • profile image

      mama to four 

      8 months ago

      Elly-

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

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      8 months ago

      To mama to four:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Stay strong. It is THEM and not You.

    • profile image

      mama to four 

      8 months ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Kim Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Bryan 

      8 months ago

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

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

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

    • profile image

      ElizabethCa 

      8 months ago

      What struck me about the link Kim posted:

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

      - that the daughter has PTSD from childhood abuse

      - that the mother beat her daughter

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

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

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

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