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.

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

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

© 2017 Kim Bryan

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Jessica Beasley profile image

      Jessica B 

      2 days ago from United States

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

    • profile image

      NC4me 

      2 weeks ago

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

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

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

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      4 weeks ago

      Elly,

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

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      4 weeks ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      Katie 

      5 weeks ago

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

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

      Thank you so much for your article and responses

    • profile image

      JOinDC 

      8 weeks ago

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

    • profile image

      KM 

      8 weeks ago

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      2 months ago

      Life Without Annette,

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

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

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

      Plus, trauma bond.

      So it takes time to wake up to reality.

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

      Colossians,

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

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      2 months ago

      To Life Without Annette:

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      2 months ago

      To Life Without Annette:

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

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

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

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      2 months ago

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

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      2 months ago

      To Colossians3:

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

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

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

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      2 months ago

      To Life Without Annette:

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      2 months ago

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

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

    • profile image

      Colossians3 

      2 months ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      3 months ago

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

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      Colossians3 

      3 months ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      So yes, I feel betrayed and bitter.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      3 months ago

      To NarcFree:

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

      To Colossians3:

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

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

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

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      3 months ago

      Colossians3

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

    • profile image

      Colossians3 

      3 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      3 months ago

      To Colossians3 and onyxia1983:

      Welcome here.

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

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

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

    • profile image

      onyxia1983 

      3 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Colossians3 

      3 months ago

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

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

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

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

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      3 months ago

      @Karen, the estranged mother:

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

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      3 months ago

      @Karen, the estranged mother:

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

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

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

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

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

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

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

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      3 months ago

      Hello Clay!

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

      To Karen:

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

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

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

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

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

      Listen closely Karen -- You are NOT a victim.

    • profile image

      Nada 

      3 months ago

      Great answers on different family. Issues.

    • profile image

      Clay 

      4 months ago

      I have been estranged from both parents for 12 years. I was raised by narcissistic authoritarian abusers who still disrespect my boundaries. My mother and her family believe that parents should have rights to their adult children (even the right to control them). If not, the adult child is ungrateful/disrespectful etc. Like the parents should be worshipped for doing the job of raising a child to adulthood.

      What they fail to understand is that if there is no mutual respect there cannot be a relationship. Period. And this is true for many kinds of relationships.

      I am married and her thought on them is "there is no respect."

      I find those who trash talk other adults that estrange themselves not only lacking compassion but also most likely uneducated in terms of what a healthy relationship is.

      Also it is almost always the case that this is not how we actually want it to be. It just has to be this way for the preservation of our/our spouse/our kids own well being.

      Every time Ive tried to hold them accountable for their different forms of abuse I just get more; I become a victim of gaslighting/manipulation. "You think you are so perfect...." etc.

    • profile image

      Karen 

      4 months ago

      I am estranged from both my two children, daughter and son. I left their abusive father who was not always around when they were 11 and 8. Their father told them constantly it was my fault. After my boyfriend died, my daughter aged 15 became too much for me to handle. She went to live with my parents. We still saw one another. Then when my father died 4 years later my son became difficult too. Again he went to live with my mother. I never had a close relationship with my mother. I always hoped we would all get back together. Unfortunately it became more strained and then eventually they stopped seeing me in 2011. I saw my son briefly beginning of 2018 but then that stopped. His last txt to me was June 2018 saying he knew all I had done for him etc. he never replies to my messages now. He leaves Christmas, Birthday cards and presents outside my door. He never sent anything to me from 2011 until last year. My daughter is married and has 3 children, none of which I have seen. I found out on facebook she got married. Due to this and knowing my family see them and know all about it but don't tell me I decided to stop having any contact with them. I took my daughter to court to see my grandchildren and lost due to my relationship with them. I tried mediation before that but she decided to refuse. I have sent cards and presents to my daughter and grandchildren as well as my son. I have asked if we can sit down and talk and move on. My daughter and my son have both lived with their father and I knew they were seeing him in the way they changed. My son still lives with him but says he has no real relationship with him. My ex managed to have at least 2 more children with two different mothers afterwards and believe he only sees one of them. He doesn't live with either mother. I don't know what I did so bad to my children to deserve this, my health has suffered so much. We all had a close relationship and I did whatever I could for them. I just wish we could sit down and deal with whatever the problems are and move on. I don't think my son sees my daughter much since she moved far away. Its worst than bereavement in a way as I have had to deal with that and accepted it, but I just cant accept this.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      4 months ago

      Hello All:

      I want to make an observation on point #2 as well as the long-running theme here of EP's always being 'right'...

      From an EP site "It all came to a head when my husband said something in jest to our son in law. Everyone else laughed except for them. My husband wouldn’t apologize because he was joking and voiced that but no they insisted on one. We dug in our heels. We were then like the the other set of grandparents, cut off, destroyed . Our daughters viciousness towards us were epic, she almost destroyed me and my husband."

      It reminds me of perrya a coupe of months ago, "well in my case, my younger son got married to a woman who I clashed with in cordial ways, but a comment of mine, which was not bad in my eyes, was taken the totally wrong way and offended my son, which simply festured so much it became a contentious issue over years. we have not spoke in over 10 years now! Totally ridiculous IMO and even after I apologized (not really knowing why) nothing has changed."

      In both cases the EC made it clear there was an "issue" (hence the demand for an apology) and the EP's refuses to both admit they were wrong and issue a meaningful apology.

      So clearly they are not ALL "clueless" -- I found two that very clearly demonstrate EXACTLY what Kim was describing.

      These people do read sites like this, so they have been exposed to the concept of Us wanting an apology, but they prefer to "dig in their heels..."

      My husband and I have been adopted into a very large, generous and functional family and one evening someone told a 'joke' aimed at Us and everyone laughed but Us. Knowing Us and the background, the 'joke teller' immediately said, "I didn't think about how that might sound to you two..." At which point my husband and I burst out half laughing/half crying...

      No family is perfect, but being a good family is not that difficult... Unless someone wants it to be.

    • profile image

      JacquiePE 

      4 months ago

      Wow! I've read a lot on this subject. This is the first I've read that is really well thought out, emotionally mature, integral, responsible and good. Spot On. Thanks so much!

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      4 months ago

      Just an addendum to the previously posted site. She’s also got a facebook page.

      https://www.facebook.com/ParentalAlienationSolutio...

      (I guess I’m having a very unproductive day today.)

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      4 months ago

      To write this post, I confess I occasionally watch the Dr. Phil show; it’s a guilty indulgence. Anyway, I was intrigued by this one show (S:12, E:39), and googled it to see if there was any follow-up. The mother claimed parental alienation, the ex-husband and the one adult child willing to go on the show tell a very different story.

      I offer this link as an insight to this woman’s behavior. It is her own website.

      http://www.palienation.org/an-update-since-the-dr-...

      It’s just a fascinating read.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      4 months ago

      To NarcFree:

      You said, "I get these random memories at random times, of various dysfunctional events from my childhood, and they just piss me off. I wish that I could confront about this and that, even though I know that it's totally useless, to confront a narc. I just don't know what to do with all this anger." -- This is 100% Me. I just found this quote from a Narc and broke it down.

      "The horrible things said behind my back, were never said to my face. On our last visit, there were moments when he had trouble maintaining eye contact. He cannot say those things to my face because they are not true. I recall him “breaking” instead of lying to me. My son was a young man with great integrity. Obviously something within the last 5 years did not coincide with his integrity."

      I know when I first realized I was a victim, I DID start to "speak out" about 'mom' "behind her back" which IS/equals I started telling MY truth/reality. To her MY REALITY would equal "horrible things". Mostly because what she did and how she treated me/us (I have a sister) was HORRIBLE.

      Next, "there were moments when he had trouble maintaining eye contact..." I am Autistic... When I am multi-tasking? Eye contact is a distant idea versus trying to pay attention... Add stress from abuse? In that case I would be totally 'fight or flight'...

      "He cannot say those things to my face because they are not true." -- Oh IF WE COULD... WE would ALL rejoice in shoving REALITY down our abusers throats with WORDS... HE cannot say 'those things' to your face because IF he starts telling? He'll sound like the 'raving loon' you think he is... Besides, finishing our small list of 'petty reasons'/"horrible things" would never be allowed. After the first perceived insult 'mom' is going to go off like Old Faithful.

      "I recall him “breaking” instead of lying to me. My son was a young man with great integrity." I assume by this point 'mom' has been told she is abusive and is shocked by the idea that an abuse victim might "break" when confronted by their ABUSER. By the second line of that I would say the 'integrity' he used to have was taking the abuse without protest.

      "Obviously something within the last 5 years did not coincide with his integrity." Yes, "something" happened. Like the rest of Us, he finally realized how horrid you are and now is trying to swim to the surface. What these monsters don't "get" is that if they keep holding our feet, to save our lives We WILL cut a foot off. And the "foot" is THEM.

      Hell YES. I am angry too. I find solace in fantasy video games -- Slaying dragons relieves stress.

      Peace to All.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      4 months ago

      Eww gross. Is that what they nowadays refer to as enmeshment?

      I got my hands on the entire documentary series about Queen Victoria and her children, but I can't decide if I want to watch it as a learning experience, or avoid it due to fear of getting overwhelmed with all kinds of flashbacks.

      I get these random memories at random times, of various dysfunctional events from my childhood, and they just piss me off. I wish that I could confront about this and that, even though I know that it's totally useless, to confront a narc. I just don't know what to do with all this anger.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      5 months ago

      NarcFree,

      Gloomy, but fascinating. Queen Victoria treated her children appallingly.

      Some followers might also be interested in reading about the dysfunctional and borderline incestuous relationship between Queen Victoria's grandson, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and his mother, Vicky.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ka...

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      5 months ago

      https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-20782442

      If anyone has interest in reading this piece, I have 2 observations:

      1. It says Victoria's desire to control her children was almost pathological. I see the need to remove the word "almost" from that statement.

      2. At the end, when noting that Victoria's son turned out to be quite a successful monarch after her death, the conclusion is that "Perhaps Queen Victoria was not such a bad mother after all". Ugh. Perpetuating abusive parent's attitude that if a child succeeds, the parent owns this success. No credit goes to the son, all to his mother. As if she contributes to his success from the grave. She didn't even contribute when she was alive.

      Too gloomy? :)

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      5 months ago

      Hello Rae!

      The eternal "why"... If someone could figure THAT out, they would be set for life.

      I don't know if I mourned losing the 'family' I never had. I do mourn for the life I was supposed to have and the happiness I was denied for so long by abusers.

      Breaking free from the insanity/'family' with the help of good therapy and an amazing man (my husband and fellow No Contact scapegoat of his family) has allowed me to get my legs under myself and become the me I was supposed to be.

      I have some theories as to the "why' but in the end I am realizing the "why" doesn't really matter because it's like asking yourself a question that only someone else can answer. From my 'mom's attitude toward me it seems she hated me from conception forward and since she can't blame me for THAT...

      Having children myself I do not understand that mentality. It has also eliminated any possibility of reconciliation. I have nothing in common with my 'family' but shared DNA and that isn't enough.

    • profile image

      Rae 

      5 months ago

      Hi everyone, I am two years into no contact with my entire nuclear family. It has been quite a shock to realize after all my years of hope and patience to realize that they don't love me and never really did. My reputation is in ruin from the many years of false information spread about me but it is the lack of love and compassion and kindness that shocks me the most. It took me nearly 50 years to walk away. I am not happy about it but I mourned the death of a family I never had. I always knew my mother wasn't right and when I tried to get my father to help me he called me a liar. I knew at a small age that I was on my own. But somewhere along the way you want to belong so badly you bury the truth. Years of depression and not really knowing why got explained to me from a very good shrink. That woman saved my life. Denial can be a powerful tool for survival. I wasted my entire life on abusers. My siblings are awful to me. I have never done anything to them. Except stand up to them and then it was a family mobbing. When they all went to Hawaii for my sisters wedding and I wasn't invited and never knew why that was the end of the family for me. I cannot force them to want me around but it tortures me wondering why me. I mean I know why clinically but when you consider yourself a smart and kind, compassionate person it cuts to the core to come from pure narcissists. All I can tell you in the way of advice is that the scapegoat is the one that got away! The one who gets to live. Because the others get killed and eaten. Live large and believe in yourself because the bast part of your life is just beginning.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      5 months ago

      NarcFree,

      It's the same with speech. Learning to be silent, but then being accused of muttering things under your breath or talking back when you haven't said anything at all.

    • profile image

      Audrey 

      5 months ago

      I no longer speak to my father due to his horrible behaviour. I don’t remember any happy memories with him as a child and when I became older, I finally felt able to say no, enough is enough! He was never around for me or my brother when we were kids, as a teenager, I remember hearing him yelling at my mother (while they were still together) saying “you’re daughter is a lazy f**k and needs to get a summer job”. Few year later, he left my mother....by email. I wrote an email to him asking why and his repose was that his parents separated when he was my age, so I should be fine. I spent the next month taking care of my mother and I was only 17. He tried to shower me with money to buy my love back but that didn’t work. I did one dinner with him and his side of the family (only because my mother told me to try and be nice). Told them I was moving to another country as I got into the uni there for my masters degree....I got nothing but negative comments. A few years ago, I found out the my father was married...didn’t even have the decency to let me know...I found out through Facebook, from a stranger. That was the last straw. I sent him a message saying that I had enough and that if he wasn’t willing to treat me like a daughter, I would not treat him like a father. Blocked him from all social platforms. The only time of year I hear from him is his annual email for my bday (always a few days late btw) but he just writes about himself in them and never even asks how I am....I just don’t respond anymore and delete the email. Life has been so much better without him in my life and the older I have become, the easier it has been to ignore him.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      5 months ago

      Starlight444,

      These parents are sadistic in their efforts to provoke negative emotions in their kids. At the same time, kids are expected to not show any emotions at all. It's like growing up in a bipolar universe of contradictions and confusion. It's like having someone cut you, and then punish you for bleeding.

      You learn not to show any facial expressions, and the narc can still go bat$t crazy on you, insisting that you did have a facial expression. Just because the narc feels like screaming at the moment. You could be punished for perceived emotions, not just real emotions. I remember being punished for emotions my momster insisted I had. Doesn't matter that she just made them up. She's the one with all he power, so she gets to tell me how I feel, and then to punish me for how she says I feel.

      And then you go out into the "real world" decades later, and people don't understand why it's so hard for you to figure out and express your own feelings...

    • profile image

      sisyphus123 

      5 months ago

      Also, my friend -no really, it's not me, it's an actual friend- wrote this article sharing her experience with a NarcMom. I think there's a lot folks here can sympathize with:

      http://www.belongcon.com/2019/01/10/when-i-was-sev...

      I'm curious, who else had this feeling from a young age that something was wrong with them? This feeling like they can all tell that I'm bad, and I know it's true.

      Anyway, best wishes to you all.

    • profile image

      sisyphus123 

      5 months ago

      Happy 2019 Estrangement Fam :)

      It was my no-contact-aversary, and I thought it would be really painful. But it was fine, I'm fine, and time is starting to heal.

      I had a lot of anxiety leading up to the holidays because I was expecting to be contacted by them, or some "family", (similar to my bday, when NarcD sent me an email essentially demanding that I talk to him on his terms without any recognition of his behavior or apology.) BUT, no contact, nothing. Radio silence. Which was disappointing in its own way, like now that they know they can't control me, I'm dead to them. But, I never really existed to them as my own person anyway, so good riddens to bad rubbish.

      I finally went to my GP about my insomnia, and she prescribed me medication that really helps me sleep. I've never had 3 consecutive weeks of decent sleep before, and I feel like I took an itchy wool sweater off of my brain, if that makes sense... I'm still having nightmares that wake me up most nights, but other than that I can sleep for the first time I can remember, and it's making a huge difference.

      I'm also starting to "come out" more to people when they ask me about my family. What are you experiences with "outness" as an estranged adult child/ survivor?

      It's a strange thing for me so far. People are Always so shocked, and also overly curious. Even my doctor- there's this law&order SVU vibe to it, which seems gross to me. I don't want it to define me, but it is part of me.

      Anyway, hang in there, and good luck!

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      5 months ago

      NarcFree,

      That's a very good point. In order to survive abuse, I had to learn not to cry, show facial expression, or any sign of vulnerability or 'weakness'. My mother enjoyed hurting me and making me cry far too much. If I did cry, she'd smirk, laugh and ridicule me, ramping up the abuse even more. These parents thrive on the distress and pain they cause their own children.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      5 months ago

      Starlight444 ,

      I'm even more skeptical about this "gift". I bet the plan was to wait till the daughter is old enough to google herself and to read the results. Then mommy dearest gets to watch (and enjoy) the immediate reaction to what the daughter just found on the internet, and then mommy gets to enjoy writing about the reaction. Double whammy for the child, narc supply for the "mother".

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      5 months ago

      I'm not convinced that the daughter didn't already know about the blog before she was given the laptop. This was definitely a gift with major strings attached and a way for mommie dearest to justify what she'd done. Overly generous mother/spoilt ungrateful brat. How many times have we seen this on EP forums?

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      5 months ago

      I think this statement says it all for me... "When I had pictured our first serious conversation about how the Internet is forever, I always thought we’d be talking about content posted by her, not me."

      This is my life story and from every child of a Narc 'mom' EVER -- "As soon as my kid does something? (like post on the internet) It'll be a "disaster" that I will have to 'explain' to her how 'wrong' she is." There is no thought in her statement that shows any possibility that SHE might EVER post anything questionable herself or that her daughter might be able to post appropriately.

      Anything MOM posted is completely justifiable, right, okay etc... But it is a CERTAINTY that daughter will 'screw up' by how SHE posts on-line.

      Double standards and denial turned into an art-form.

      And sadly, most of the time, 'mom' wraps it all in a "pretty bow" that everyone 'buys'... At least this time? The net is having none of it.

      P.S. Even if you are not a fan of the show, this is a MUST WATCH episode...

      https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1635876/?ref_=ttep_ep...

    • Kim Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Bryan 

      5 months ago

      @Starlight444, omg, that is horrible! She's violating everybody's trust. I sincerely hope those comments make her understand none of that is okay. Ever. Violate your own privacy, fine; violate others, there are serious consequences to pay. May not happen today or next week or even in this decade, but there will be consequences; divorce, estrangement from a child who has grown to an adult, loss of friendships...just to name a few.

    • Kim Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Bryan 

      5 months ago

      @NarcFree, we had the same thought! The author doesn't realize while many of us estranged children are not believed by others because our parents put on quite the show to others, this young lady will be able to Google her mother's name and then show it to the naysayer as proof.

      Still doesn't do away with the hurt caused by realizing you can't trust your own mother or the teasing and such she will take from peers, which is why my heart breaks for her. It's all just so very, very sad.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      5 months ago

      More info on reddit (3 days ago) - r/narcsinthewild, "Mommy Blogger: My daughter asked me to stop writing about her. Here’s why I don't care what she thinks."

      This blogger posted personal info about her husband, and participants in a group therapy session.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      5 months ago

      What we need to do is post the text of this article on an estranged parent forum and then compare the comments.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      5 months ago

      When this daughter is old enough to go No Contact, she will be writing comments on here :) And the mother will be blogging about an ungrateful cruel daughter who doesn't call her elderly wonderful self-sacrificing mother.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      5 months ago

      OmG! I just read the comments on that article. Those comments restored my faith in humanity. And I see what you're saying about click ad revenue - I couldn't stop reading them. I've only seen 2 supporting the mother, out of 600.

      In a weird way, I'm envious of this daughter, because in the future, when she informs people in her life that she's estranged from her mother, she won't have to explain why. All she'll have to do is provide a link to an article! I wish my DNA contributor exposed herself like this, so I didn't have to explain myself as much.

      I'm also wondering - does this child have a father! He needs to grow a pair and protect his daughter from the monster that HE impregnated. He's either as sick as the mother, or a spineless enabler, if he doesn't do anything about this.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      5 months ago

      The article makes me feel like if my husband and I had grown up in the internet era we would be having this conversation with our 'mom'...

      What was 'wrong' with the story was EVERYTHING. It was easier to look for what was right... Which was very little. Even where things were right-ish I could still see the pit-falls.

      As one of the comments stated, yes, 'mom' did offer to give kid 'veto power' etc but what happens if kid says, "No" to EVERYTHING? You can bet if it was our 'mom', eventually and as always, she'd go ahead and do whatever she wanted to do!

      Before I went low/no contact I e-mailed my 'mom' and told her that talking on the phone was too much for me and to please just communicate by e-mail. Her response to my e-mail was to PHONE ME and demand I explain verbally, why I had trouble verbally communicating....

      It's absolutely mind blowing and yes, I wondered at the motive for publication as well and I'm hoping it was to show that there are other people, just like my 'mom', out there.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      5 months ago

      Re: article.

      Completely agree with NarcFree.

      The mother sets the scene from the start, trying to control how we view her. The generous mother who "gifted" a laptop, cares enough to put parental controls in place, and the laptop being bought as a "tool for schoolwork". Why the need for unnecessary details? Most parents would just say that they bought their child a laptop for Christmas without further explanation.

      The mother has a need for praise and adoration. She doesn't just say that her daughter loves the laptop, but goes OTT. Note the use of dramatic language. - "This is the most epic Christmas ever" (not convinced the daughter said that. Doesn't sound natural), and "to soak in her gratitude and unalloyed joy." You can guarantee she'll be using that gift to try and manipulate her daughter for the rest of her life.

      "When I had pictured our first serious conversation about how the Internet is forever, I always thought we’d be talking about content posted by her, not me." - Projecting own behaviour onto daughter.

      "I read through some of my old pieces, and none of them seemed embarrassing to me, though she might not agree." - You see this on estranged parent forums all the time. The EP refuses to accept that something is a major issue simply because they feel it isn't an issue. The adult child disagrees and the estrangement continues.

      "I wrote about the experience from the perspective of a mother trying to help her daughter through a rough patch." - Me, me, me. Look at me. It's all about me!

      "Prefer the hard work of charting the middle course to giving up altogether." - Self-sacrificing mummy martyr BS. This woman is beyond selfish.

      "Amputating parts of my experience feels as abusive to our relationship as writing about her without any consideration for her feelings and privacy." - More overdramatic BS and feelings aren't facts. The mother isn't being abused, and she's shown absolutely no consideration for her daughter's feelings and privacy at all. Not letting mommie dearest invade her daughter's privacy and post her personal info online = mommie dearest being abused by daughter.

      Self-entitlement, gaslighting, repeatedly minimizes and excuses her own behaviour, boundary stomping, treating her daughter as an object she can use to meet her needs, no empathy and completely lacking in insight. This one's a right piece of work.

    • Kim Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Bryan 

      5 months ago

      @NarcFree, I was like you; in shock that WaPo would publish this and then I came to the conclusion that they knew this would be a highly debated topic and did it for the clicks to gain advertising revenue.

      First and foremost, however, I want people to see just how brazen and uncaring some mothers can be when it comes to their children's thoughts and feelings, caring none about the long-term effects this will have on their children.

      It was said in the comments but I'll say it here because it needs to be shouted from the rooftops: this author has pretty much guaranteed her daughter will not talk to her about anything, ANYTHING, such as important life struggles where it is very important for parental guidance, out of fear it will wind up on a blog or a wildly popular national newspaper.

      Bottom line, that mother is the very definition of a narcissistic or borderline mother. I hope those comments have jerked her awake to the very real consequences that could be in her future and motivates her to make the changes necessary to fix a mother/daughter relationship headed for the skids.

    • Kim Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Bryan 

      5 months ago

      @Life Without Annette ... There's a reason there are so few comments posted anymore. Unfortunately, after the debacle in mid-18 (I'm hoping you remember the one referring to) made me decide to make comments visible after approval only. At that time too, I noticed a large drop in estranged adult children commenting and I'm sure that's out of fear of retaliation by these extremely angry parents.

      From time to time, when a parent who is experiencing estrangement is looking for help and their comment is well-written and sincere, I'll approve the comment.

      As for those comments from estranged children, I always allow them through provided they do not list any identifying information or aren't filled with racist, homophobic, threatening violence, or the sorts. I know sometimes the comment made seem "petty," but I try to remember we all had different experiences and we all express our hurt and frustration in different ways, thus the approval. I think we should all support one another, even if sometimes that means pointing out what is or is not important to focus on in healing.

      As for the no identifying info on, well, I can't make a call on that one. I was hoping by approving the comment, she might return and at that time a determination of "friend or foe" could be made.

      I'm always open to suggestions, so please always feel free to share. :)

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      5 months ago

      Okay, Kim, I’ll elaborate.

      Activity on this article has trickled down to a slow drip. Then, within a 1-2 day period, there’s 3 new posts, one which is a tentative greeting with no personal info, another with relatively minor complaints, and one that sounds so mean-spirited that my first thought was it was made up by an estranged parent of an adult child to try to undermine the validity of their own child’s estrangement decision.

      Maybe folks are just getting around to expressing their frustrations after the holidays. Or maybe there’s just another sour parent trying to make a manipulative stand. The suspect posts stand in contrast to the genuinely pain-soaked, wounded narratives from adult children who are trying to come to terms with lifelong pain using estrangement...not in an act of spiteful contempt, but purely as a defensive last resort.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      5 months ago

      At first, I was shocked that WaPo would even provide space for an article like this! On second thought, maybe it's a blessing in disguise? A way to expose self absorbed females who unfortunately reproduced? A way to make the general public aware that such "mothers" even exist?

      A lot of people are in denial about selfish mothers, and would invalidate children's experience even if children chose to share. This article is evidence that not all mothers are created equal, not all mothers do what's best for the child, and not all mothers do the best they can. Some choose to do what they want without regard for how it affects the child.

      I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when the decision was being made about publishing this. Did WaPo publishers think that they were doing a personal favor for the author by allowing her to publish this? Or did they knowingly allow her to shoot herself in the foot, and to expose her selfishness? I would love to know WaPo's motivation in allowing this to go to print.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      5 months ago

      Kim,

      This article has Narc Mom written all over it. Violating boundaries, violating privacy, putting herself first, AND playing martyr all at once. Repulsive.

    • Kim Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Bryan 

      5 months ago

      I'd just like to leave this here...

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/01/0...

      The 600+ comments (as of this posting) are an important read for those who.... well, I'd be interested in others' feedback so I'll keep my opinions to myself for now.

    • Kim Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Bryan 

      5 months ago

      Life Without Annette...carry to expand? My curiosity is piqued. :)

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      5 months ago

      My B.S. alarm is ringing.

    • profile image

      Helen 

      5 months ago

      New member

    • profile image

      amymiller99 

      5 months ago

      also a lot of my parents bullying and comments come from me not giving them what they want? which is a control issue i think?

      By my age my parents were married and had me.

      I am an only child in a small family, ive over and over expressed that i do not ever want children, im not an affectionate or motherly person, to be completely honest, if i were to have a child, i would end up harming it though my own inability to give a single "care" about a child. Im a very career driven person, i just want to put 100% into my success and nothing else. i dont see why on earth i should have a child i wouldnt care about, ruin its life and ruin my own life, simply to make someone else happy?

      surely birthing a human life is NOT up to my parents to decide?

    • profile image

      amymiller99 

      5 months ago

      my reason for wanting to cut parents off is not on here.

      They are my biggest bullies, they make me feel hideous.

      Any time i see my parents, i get comments like "youre too fat" so i lose weight "youre too skinny" so i gain some, "your tattoos make you gross your skin is ugly" like this is ME. I know im pretty but any time i see them i get made to feel like the most disgusting creature alive.

      To the point that 5 times in a row of seeing them over a year they bullied me, so i started fearing seeing them as to not get bullied, to the point i thought WHY should i see them anymore then? why should i feel miserable about the thought of seeing them? so i didnt see them. ever.

    • profile image

      Weiso 

      5 months ago

      What about idiot parents, not up to snuff with the times kind of idiots?

      Somewhere between short term memory loss and overly chatty they brake the rules of small talk with complete strangers. Yup that's my parents, half the time I don't need to make up excuses even in front complete strangers. A conversation would start with the stranger asking about my old man, I would say something like wait till you meet his personality then let me know. Then I would be told "They are you parents just give them a chance." logic you say? Here it comes 3...2...1 they sink their own expectations, stranger looks at me cockeyed and me standing there secretly muttering yup I know I told you so.

      My mom is a completely whole other story she understands next to nothing about the world she lives in the truest sense of the word idiot rolls off. The kind of mother that never thinks before speaking, can't make decsions at all unless you literally lay down the specfics. She is always irritated and was abusive at one point in my life, sometimes can't even remember or misremembers her own children. I even remember when I was kid asking her when my birthday was, she didn't even know the day her own son was born.

      Well I'm a man myself now, no point crying over spilled milk of things that could have been. My only regret in life is not having moved out sooner in life, it would have been easier on everyone. Its like like dealing with elderly kids when it comes to my parents, its a hornets nest.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      6 months ago

      Hi Sisyphus,

      Yes, I experience both flashbacks and emotional flashbacks, and you seem to be experiencing the latter. When it happens it can sometimes feel like you're going crazy, but you're not! Emotional flashbacks occur as a result of long-term abuse and trauma, and you are now experiencing the fallout. The good news is that it gets better over time, and you'll find that things like flashbacks and nightmares happen less and less.

      My commonest flashback is hearing my mother calling to me from another room in my house. She's angry and ordering me to go into the kitchen, and I know she wants me to go into the kitchen so that she can hurt me. When this happens it's incredibly disturbing and so much more than a simple memory. I can clearly hear my mother's voice, feel her presence and this overwhelming sense of fear and dread. It's like being stuck in a nightmare, but the difference is that I'm awake.

      In regards to emotional flashbacks, this is part of Complex-PTSD, a form of PTSD that's often left undiagnosed or misdiagnosed (I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression). When you experience emotional flashbacks, you start to feel what you felt as a helpless child stuck in an abusive situation that you couldn't escape and had no control over. There's often a trigger for these emotional flashbacks, but not always, and these feelings can be so strong and overpowering that it really can hit you for six.

      Pete Walker has provided information on how to manage flashbacks (links to flashback management are on the left). I've found it really useful: http://www.pete-walker.com/index.htm

      I'm not normally big on YouTube videos about abuse, but I do follow 'Narcissism Survivor'. Tom or 'Narcissism Survivor' is a gentleman in the US who survived horrendous abuse, including sexual abuse. His videos are calming and informative, and he sometimes talks about flashbacks and C-PTSD: https://www.youtube.com/user/NarcissimSurvivor/vid...

    • profile image

      sisyphus123 

      6 months ago

      Hey Estrangement Fam,

      Do any of you guys get flashbacks? If so, would you share what they feel like?

      I've been doing really well lately, like really well- and then...

      I had an experience a couple days ago where a colleague's behavior was similar to my father's -particularly from the "blow out" moment. At first I just felt frustrated with the obnoxious behavior, but the anxiety and other feelings didn't dissipate, but got stronger until it was unmanageable. I felt like I was being strangled. Like the floor fell out under me and the walls caved in and all the shame and pain flooded in. I got under the covers and wept and passed out. Couldn't do my usual activities.

      Spent a day just trying to feel normal.

      Still feel sick- nauseous- and emotionally empty. Like nothing is real other than the little girl back in that house who's Always afraid.

      Any ideas? Suggestions?

      Thanks- and good luck.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Darla....I'm not sure I can understand what on earth is stopping you from contacting your son. Do you know where he lives? Have any contact info for reaching him?

      My sincerest advice is to go for it Mom.....now, today, this minute. This is your child, your flesh & blood. Don't be anxious. Act with the love of a mother and just do it. Peace, Paula

    • profile image

      Darla1 

      6 months ago

      I have not talked to my son since 2012 and he is 23 now. I am very heartbroken. I guess he favored his father because he had more to offer him when he was younger. After he moved in with him I really didn't see him too much. We argued in the past and now he doesn't want to talk to me anymore. I would be totally willing to apologize but I don't know if I'll ever see him again. I know he has his own life, but just a phone call would be nice. I was thinking about writing him a letter as a last resort. I just wish that I could have some kind of communication with him. Any sugestions?

    • profile image

      synthonaplinth 

      6 months ago

      Wow, so much truth in a lot of these comments. My relationship with my father has been strained for about the past thirty years. There was only one way to do things: HIS. My mother was an enabler who would call and make excuses for his behavior which further continued the cycle of abuse. She passed away a couple of years ago and there has been no one to make excuses for his behavior, now. I want a relationship with my father more than anything, but the problem is that it could never be healthy because he is not self-aware. Every time he says he wants to make amends he never follows through. My attempts to schedule things to do with him over the past thirty years have been agreed to at first, but have later been explained away by saying 'I've been busy', or 'I forgot'. You can only have your hand slapped away so many times before you get tired of the pain. Sorry if this post is a bit rambling.

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      6 months ago

      Sarah, I’d suggest you look unflinchingly within. People don’t run from relationships that bring them joy. Also, your comments about your son and his wife smack more of jealousy than estrangement. Don’t get mired in seeking explanations from your children about where your relationship went off the rails. I suggest dedicating yourself to being very deliberately cheerful, gracious, uncritical—and offering opinions only when solicited—to see if that improves relations over the next year or so. In the meantime, seek new friendships and activities to occupy your time, and don’t try to get all your social/emotional needs met by your children.

    • profile image

      Sarah 

      6 months ago

      Okay. But my children experienced nothing but support, love and encouragement from me. Everything was great until they met their spouses. The male spouse in the example of my daughter was 10 years older, he resented the closeness my daughter and I had and set about to ridicule her and demean me in her eyes. She was 23 when they met and he was 33.

      My son married into an incredibly close family and his wife insisted on living within 5 minutes of her parents. They interact constantly, vacation 3 or 4 times a year together and his wife is TOTALLY dependent on her mother & father.

      How did I eff up so much that I am excluded from my children's lives based on the partners they chose? I am so confused by this. And very, very sad.

      Seems I am excluded on both ends.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      6 months ago

      perrya,

      Why don't you stay out of your son's marriage. He chose that woman for himself, not for you, so you have no business clashing with her.

      When you make comments, they don't just have to look good in your eyes, they have to be OK with your audience, you have to consider how the listeners will feel after hearing your comments. If you think that your eyes are the only eyes that matter, there's your answer why you haven't spoken in years. If you accept that you need to be considerate, then you will "really know why" the apology was necessary. And then you'll be able to make an apology that sounds sincere. When you call your son's reaction ridiculous, you're saying that your opinion trumps his opinion, and he has to see things your way. Well the truth is, he doesn't. Your power over him may have been strong when he was a child, but now he doesn't have to accept this sort of putdowns from you.

      Abusive parents typically describe their conflicts with children in a very generic manner, providing only high level information, generalizing "it was not that bad", "we clashed" , "it was just one comment". Children of abusive parents, on the other hand, provide vivid details what exactly was said and done, and recall conversations word for word. Hmm I wonder who's covering up for themselves.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      WOW!! Life w/o Annette.....You quite clearly saw within Perry's pathetic comment, his literal complacency & failure to man-up. Talk about being a one-sided, self-indulgent & "clueless" parent! His own words prove how completely inconsiderate he's been!

      He admits that a comment he made which "offended his son" "WAS NOT THAT BAD IN MY EYES!!!" He needn't say much more to confirm that IN HIS MIND, everything is all about HIM.

      He then has the nerve to admit he watched the issue fester & grow contentious over the years, resulting in 10 years of an estrangement from his flesh & blood.

      Kudos to his son for being a dedicated husband and standing up for his wife, against an inconsiderate, unconcerned narcissist father. Perry doesn't explain the offensive comment because he knows damned-well we would see it as fully unacceptable. We can only imagine how weak & insincere his apology must have been for his son and DIL to have rejected it.

      Perhaps Perry has more than one son and couldn't care less about losing one to the benefit of his wretched ego. Too bad, so sad for Perry.

      You got it right, Annette!

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      6 months ago

      Oh, perrya, thanks for boiling down parental hostility against adult children with such black-and-white clarity. You clashed, “in cordial ways,” and then you made a comment which “was taken the totally wrong way and offended my son, which simply festured [sic] so much it became a contentious issue over years. [W]e have not spoke[n] in over 10 years now!“

      Perry, you demonstrate a total lack of self awareness. You have thrown away ten years with your son, your daughter-in-law, and any grandchildren they have produced. Your behavior is pathetic.

      As a middle-aged woman whose has been estranged from my narcissistic, abusive, emotional vampire of a mother for nearly 20 years, I have made my peace with the reality that she is now an octogenarian in declining health, and I will leave her to fend for herself in her remaining years. If you don’t clue into what a miserable turd of a parent you have been, you too will find yourself old, alone, without a loved one to act on your behalf as you navigate geriatric care, nursing homes, and the eventuality of dying...not to mention the joy and love you will have robbed yourself of when you realize that you poisoned the well of love that you may have had with your progeny.

      Now go take pleasure in your certainty about how ridiculous your son and daughter-in-law are. You’re right. They’re wrong. Comfort yourself with your moral certainty as you slide into your cold, lonely, twilight years...unloved, unrevered, unmissed.

      Buh-bye.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 

      6 months ago

      well in my case, my younger son got married to a woman who I clashed with in cordial ways, but a comment of mine, which was not bad in my eyes, was taken the totally wrong way and offended my son, which simply festured so much it became a contentious issue over years. we have not spoke in over 10 years now! Totally ridiculous IMO and even after I apologized (not really knowing why) nothing has changed.

    • profile image

      Starlight444 

      6 months ago

      Many of you will be able to identify with this article - "We Can't Keep Treating Anxiety From Complex Trauma the Same Way We Treat Generalized Anxiety."

      "A traumatized person must be living in a situation which is 100 percent safe before they can even begin to process the tsunami of anger, grief and despair that has been locked inside of them, causing their hypervigilance and other anxious symptoms. That usually means no one who abused them or enabled abuse in the past can be allowed to take up space in their life. It also means eliminating any other people who mirror the same abusive or enabling patterns."

      https://themighty.com/2018/06/anxiety-from-complex...

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      6 months ago

      Mila,

      Your son is not blind. He sees the situation differently than you, that's not the same as blind. If there is going to be any hope of reconciliation, there will have to be genuine attempts to understand the other side and a perspective you may not like or approve of. You don't have to agree with his version of events, but you have to try and understand where his views and feelings came from. Declaring him blind is not going to encourage contact or improve relationships. Genuine attempt to understand might help.

      Why did you support him financially? Was there an expectation of future compliance with your wishes, in exchange for money? If so, was he aware of this expectation? Or did you sign him up for a loan with "Terms and conditions" that he wouldn't have agreed to, if you had made him aware of them? Sometimes people provide for their adult children with unspoken expectations, and I think it's unfair. Even a loan shark makes it very clear exactly what you will owe, BEFORE you take the money. Letting your son know what you expect in exchange for financial support, after he had already spent the money, is not cool. It's manipulative and underhanded. I don't know if that's what you did, but wanted to mention this possibility.

      Why do you say your financial support meant nothing to him? Maybe it did. Maybe it meant a lot. You jump to extreme conclusions because he's not behaving the way you want. Maybe he resents the fact that he's expected to do things that he was not aware he was signing up for, when he took your money.

      You sound like a well meaning person who is just lost as to how to proceed, unaware what's healthy. I can relate to that, because I can recall numerous occasions when I did or said things that were embarrassing, unreasonable, or plain rude, and looking back I'm regretful of that behavior. However, I was unaware what a "normal" person would do, I was simply mimicking the behaviors I've learned growing up in a toxic family. I had no idea how to handle conflict, or discuss boundaries. It took years and years to learn the difference between my impulse reactions versus what a "healthier" person would say or do in similar circumstances. I think there's hope :) You have to learn alternatives to the unhealthy way of relating. It takes time, but it can be done. Having the will to do it, is a major hurdle, and you're well on your way.

      Just one final comment, the most troubling part of your comment, to me, is that BOTH parents are no contact. I hope you guys did not gang up on him. How did he have a falling out with both of you at once? If he's not getting along with one of the parents, he should still be able to have a relationship with the other parent. If someone is taking sides to try to force a resolution, that is unhealthy in my opinion, and a sign of a dysfunctional family.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      6 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Kim & all....It's amazing this article is still active and comments continue to stream in. It appears the most important lesson this brings is that the existence of this particular issue (family estrangement) is most definitely a rampant one.

      Many of the disclosures I have read within this thread, have literally both broken my heart and blown my mind. I find some of the saddest situations so difficult to read. For me this has been one of those experiences that make me wish in the fantasy of having a magic wand. I so sincerely wish there was some magical one-size-fits-all solution to eradicate this family destruction.

      However, what I have also been able to glean in part, is that the vast majority of individuals who have gone through this and continue to grapple with this monster, seem to have come to terms with the worst of it. At least, I would hope so.

      The second paragraph of "Andy's" comment (below) is profound and powerful. I hope it has had a beneficial affect on many of you, as you stop and truly focus on his words.

      With a brand new year around the corner, I want to wish everyone comfort, peace of mind and better tomorrows. Hold firm to your convictions and know that all things become ultimately what they must......Have a wonderful holiday season, Paula

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      6 months ago

      To Mila Lewis:

      You said, "I do not know what to do because my son is blind to what is happening. He does not want to talk to neither me or my husband." This is a troubling statement. You call his behavior 'blind' and when I hear that it makes me feel you are invalidating his feelings. Is he 'blind', or in his mind does he have a reason for not wanting to talk to you?

      "I am so sad because he is spending his youth years hating me and my husband. We supported him financially all those 3.5 years when he did not have a job but apparently this does not mean anything for him." This is seriously troubling for me. You are assuming you know what your son is thinking! And then you add the we gave Him *insert* and are attempting a 'guilt trip' by assuming it didn't mean anything to him and that he hates you. How do you KNOW what your son is feeling and thinking?

      My 'mom' was a master always telling me what I was thinking and feeling and she stunk at it. It's one of the bigger reasons I went No Contact.

      You may very well be being scaegoated in your family but it sounds to me you are attempting to do the same to your son.

    • profile image

      Mila Lewis 

      6 months ago

      Hi,

      I think my sister is narcissist since she was the golden child in my original family. I assume she is a narcissist from her behavior, like she wants everybody to listen to her and do whatever she says, she also make her kids believes that she is always right. That is what her daughter told me years ago that her mother is always right and she does everything her mother tells her. Now her daughter has her own family and 2 kids. My son fall in the trap of his ant because she needs somebody to take care of my old father. It is very complicated. I do not know what to do because my son is blind to what is happening. He does not want to talk to neither me or my husband. The good things is now he is separated from my sister because he went to work in a different country than my sister. However my son is going to spend Christmas with his grand mother and most likely will see my sister. I am so sad because he is spending his youth years hating me and my husband. We supported him financially all those 3.5 years when he did not have a job but apparently this does not mean anything for him. Yes, I am scapegoating even further from my sister. In the past I was scapegoated by my father and now is her. I do finally realized that when I find out about narcissism and red everything about that on google. I do not know what to do further. I am very strong now.

      Will keep reading articles of abusive relationship and keep trying to figure out how to solve my problems.

      Thank you for your support. It means so much to me.

    • profile image

      sisyphus123 

      7 months ago

      Hi Mila,

      Like Elly, it's hard to understand what's going on in your family, all I can tell you is what I wish my family would do for me:

      listen to what they've done to hurt me, acknowledge it, and do the work to be better.

      if your son isn't talking to you, there's a reason. Ask, and be prepared to difficult listening, and to make changes.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      7 months ago

      To Mila Lewis:

      It sounds like there is a lot going on in your family. Without much more detailed information I would only be making guesses.

      It could be you are being further scapegoated...

      It could also be something else.

      All I can suggest is to look inward and see if there was a time your son tried to communicate with you either verbally or in a message, e-mail etc. and tried to express any feelings/issues he was having with you. If there is nothing like that (and you have to be really HONEST with yourself) then it could be text-book Narc alienation in which case? Unless He 'sees the light' there is nothing You can say or do that is likely to change the situation.

    • profile image

      Mila Lewis 

      7 months ago

      Hi everybody,

      I am estranged from my son for 5 years. He does not want to talk or see me. It is sad. I grew up in narcissist family and I was a scapegoat. My father recently pass away. And 10 years ago my sister who was the golden child stole from my family( me and my husband) and I disconnected with her. About that time my relationship with my son deteriorated. My parents were in my sister side and they do not wanted to talk about that she stole from me but wanted me to reconcile with her. My father was narcissist and twisted things the way he wanted. I did not realized that he was narcissist until 3 weeks ago. But my whole life I knew he was not correct when it comes to me for certain things but he did so much for people outside of the family and some people liked him. When I was small I was physically and emotionally abused and I still remember that very vividly. There is so much going on. Like my son talk to my sister and they have good relationship. I do not know what to do to have him talking to me. He is very quiet and introvert and does not have many friends. I apologized to him many times but nothings helps. If you have any idea what to do please write to me. I love him very dearly.

      thank you!

    • profile image

      sisyphus123 

      7 months ago

      Right on, Andy.

    • profile image

      Andy 

      7 months ago

      It's eye-opening to watch these estranged parents rage about having to take any blame. I spent years trying to make my parents happy, trying to change, trying to make the relationship work. And yet I am certain they 100% blame me for the estrangement. I have never been interested in who was to 'blame'. I just eventually realized that I couldn't fix it.

      If walking away from my family, my 'support structure', brings me peace and relief... that support structure was broken in the first place. Your family should not exist to cause you pain and drag you down, especially if they are all healthy and capable adults.

    • profile image

      Elly The Autistic 

      7 months ago

      To Sisyphus:

      You said, "I'm struggling with cutting the last ties. On the one hand, I want to make a difintive statement, that this is what they did, so this is why they will not be in my life. On the other hand, I don't believe that they have any ability to hear me or to take responsibility. It doesn't matter what I say, it's just for my own closure. In which case, it feels spiteful to make this statement that will hurt them but change nothing.

      I want to stop thinking about it and move on, but I feel like I need them to understand, I need to be heard. But to what end?"

      I have been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting on that. I went from very low contact to No Contact very abruptly after I married. I used the excuse of being 'busy' for a while and finally simply blocked or changed their access points to me. Messages did get through with the usual 'why' being asked and my husband and I decided that a simple reply was all that was required.

      He had tried the talk and explain approach when He went No Contact with his family. It didn't work. There is no explaining. The reason is, if your parents and other 'family' have never been validating of you, any explanation is going to be viewed from their warped perspective of You. So you could give 1 or 100 'reasons' and to them it will be 'meaningless gibberish' or viewed as 'abuse'.

      I simply sent an e-mail that said, "I could give you 100 or 1000 reasons I want no further contact with you. The fact that you can't think of even ONE is on my list."

      I have learned that estranged parents/abusers will NOT 'hear' Us. It is their mentality and thought process. Period. They are 'right and justified and We are 'wrong' -- ALWAYS.

      I hope this helps.

    • profile image

      sisyphus123 

      7 months ago

      Hey Kim and ElizabethCa and everybody,

      Holidays are really hard. People always ask if you're going home, and then want to know why not, and keep pushing... and you don't want to talk about it, so you tell a little lie, and that hurts too. There's so little awareness about estrangement, so people can be accidentally really insensitive.

      I'm doing OK, I got through a big "estrangement moment" this month- there was a wedding in my family, and I didn't go, to protect myself from my father and to protect the rest of my family from the conflict. It was hard that no one made it a priority to include me. It was sad, but in the end wasn't so hard.

      I'm hopefully getting some closure. Getting a few important things sent from "home" and then their power over me will be almost completely gone.

      I'm struggling with cutting the last ties. On the one hand, I want to make a difintive statement, that this is what they did, so this is why they will not be in my life. On the other hand, I don't believe that they have any ability to hear me or to take responsibility. It doesn't matter what I say, it's just for my own closure. In which case, it feels spiteful to make this statement that will hurt them but change nothing.

      I want to stop thinking about it and move on, but I feel like I need them to understand, I need to be heard. But to what end?

      Do you have experience/advice?

      Thanks!

    • profile image

      ElizabethCa 

      7 months ago

      May be down but I'm still reading and watching. The holidays are always hard because everyone tends to talk about family this and that.

    • Kim Bryan profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Bryan 

      7 months ago

      Hi Sisyphus, it's still up and available. Comments are fewer and far between because the "disruption" we had a few months ago.

      That said, how've you been? I hope all is well for you these days. :)

    • profile image

      sisyphus123 

      7 months ago

      Hi Kim- Is this comment thread down? I'd be sad to lose this place.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      9 months ago

      Life without Annette,

      I didn't count any bones. I disagreed with every single point you made but one.

      I read a story, and I see a selfish and irresponsible mother, now grandmother, who acts entitled to a relationship with her kids/grandkids. You read the same story, and you see excuses for mother"s behavior, and you have lots of blame/corrections for the now adult daughter.

      I don't see what you see, call it bones or whatever you wish.

      In all your numbered responses, you emphasize how the Daughter could have acted more responsibly, more maturely, and more wisely. You fail to see how the Mother could have been more responsible, more wise, and more mature.

      Would you agree that wisdom is a function of life experiences/lessons that comes with age?

      Why do you expect the daughter to be more mature than the mother?

      You are placing responsibility on someone who has 20 years less of life experience, not to mention abandonment issues. Yeah, she called her mom during a marital argument, and people with healthy boundaries don't do that. A mother, as the wiser one, could have pointed that out, instead of saying "oh, come over and stay the night at my house". A daughter who did not receive proper parental guidance during her formative years, will look to her mother for guidance later in life, given the mother is available. It is not uncommon. It takes time to understand that you have to "raise yourself" if your parents were absent, physically or emotionally. You expect someone to magically wake up one day and be fully mature because they are now biologically 18. Don't forget that most people mature by 18 because they have 18 years of more or less decent parenting. People who don't receive parenting, don't mature by the same biological age.

      Funny how you see accepting a gift with strings attached as an attempt to control. But you don't see that offering a gift with strings attached is controlling. Yes, I agree, don't accept the gift if you don't like the terms. But how old were each of them at the time that "transaction" happened? And which one of them, you think, had a clearer understanding of what exactly was going on? A 20 year old that didn't have a mother (and guidance) growing up, or a 40 year old who walked out on her child and is now back and wants the wedding "mother's way"?

      I agree, grandparents don't owe babysitting services. But PARENTS do owe parenting services. This particular mother shirked her parenting responsibility. I encourage you to go back to your own post from 6 weeks ago, addressed to Leigh. See how your example about a beating alcoholic husband who suddenly "transforms", applies in this case as well? Do you not see that a mother walking out on her own daughter causes deep wound and a lot of pain for the daughter? Daughter is not going to "get over it" in one day. And there's effort required from the mother. If the mother doesn't wish to make up for abandonment, well she is not entitled to visitations with her grandkids, or with her daughter. Maybe it's traumatic for the daughter to see her shirker of a mother every time. Maybe the daughter has some other reasons for estrangement. In any case, it is not an "overreaction".

      You make the argument that a flawed mother is entitled to now be a flawed grandmother, and the daughter should know better than to expect a transformation. I say, kick her to the curb -- if transformation is not on the horizon. Why keep people in your life who cause you nothing but pain, and act entitled to a relationship with you? THAT'S indentured servitude.

      Yes, I agree, "Good parenting means preparing children for self-sufficiency and independence". And this particular mother failed, because she Walked Out on her child. Child has pain and issues to deal with as a result. This mother doesn't get to be absent or nearly absent for 18 years, and at 18 suddenly show up, and say "here I am, where's my grown up daughter, let's have an adult equal relationship now". Neglected and abused children are delayed in their emotional and social development. And if mom wants an equal adult relationship, mom needs to grow up herself, and own her mess.

      What you are suggesting with your indentured servitude comment, is equivalent of a cheating spouse who got caught, said "Sorry", and now expects everything to be back to normal overnight, because the word Sorry has been uttered. No. If you do deep damage, it takes more than words to fix the damage. And no, mother doesn't have to do endless favors and forever, but she does have to try really hard, by going above and beyond what average grandparents would do. I think it's reasonable. It doesn't have to be babysitting. It could be other things that grandparents "don't have to do", but she wants to do.

      I think if she felt genuine remorse for abandoning her daughter in childhood, she would WANT to do those things, to right a wrong. And if she doesn't want to... nobody can make her. But, nobody owes her a relationship, so she can't cry crocodile tears if her daughter chooses estrangement now.

      Legally, NO adult owes another adult a relationship. A PARENT owes a child for 18 years, legally. Stop shaming children of deadbeats into "salvaging" relationships that didn't form in the first place.

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      9 months ago

      NarcFree, you had many bones to pick. I respond below:

      1. “@Hillcity took money from mom for wedding? No. Mom used money to exert control, and throw a wedding for the mother, instead of it being for the newlyweds. That's what controlling people do with gifts - there are strings attached.”

      You’re playing semantics. If someone is offering money with strings attached, and you don’t like the strings, don’t take the money. You can’t control other people. You can and should turn down offers that come with unacceptable terms.

      2. “A mom inviting her daughter to ‘come stay with mom’ after said daughter had a fight with a spouse... Bad call.”

      Calling mom when having a fight with one’s husband is rarely a good idea. It makes the mother privy to matters that should remain between husband and wife, and it becomes a trap where the mother may be blamed for meddling just as likely as blamed for not being sympathetic enough.

      3. “Calling a deaf person deaf is not disparagement...”

      Describing someone with a series of three consecutive adjectives, “...my step dad (who is an almost deaf, racist, drunk)...”, would indicate that “almost deaf” is part of the criticism which is immediately followed by “racist” and “drunk.” If my interpretation of “almost deaf” as a criticism is mistaken, then great, it’s a non-issue.

      4. [hillcity’s mom] “could show that she had matured and is able to handle twins for 3 days.”

      Grandparents do not owe babysitting service for their grandchildren. It’s lovely if they want to, but many older people get very stressed trying to keep up with little ones. Besides, what miracle would have transformed hillcity’s mom from a very flawed mother into a responsible and competent caregiver as a grandmother?

      5. “...in this particular case, mom has some catching up to do, and making up. Seeing how she shirked her responsibilities when the child was still a child.”

      Good parenting means preparing children for self-sufficiency and independence. Parents are not responsible for fixing their adult children’s problems. It’s nice if parents can help, but what would hillcity do if her mom was dead? We all need to stand on our own eventually.

      Hillcity will or won’t opt for estrangement, regardless of what any outsiders say. But hillcity chose to comment here, so it’s a safe bet that she is seeking affirmation, support, or insight. Estrangement is a painful journey; I previously compared it to severing a gangrenous limb...it’s a last resort. Hillcity describes a relationship with a mother who has some real issues, but there are steps hillcity can take that would minimize her mother’s controlling behavior, while still salvaging the relationship. If estrangement is the inevitable destination, then looking for money, babysitting services, or even just mom’s sympathetic ear...all come to a grinding halt anyway. You seem to think that the mom owes various forms of support to make up for the past, to pay off the debt of bad parenting for the rest of her life. That’s not parenthood, that’s not even love...it’s indentured servitude.

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      9 months ago

      Life without Annette,

      @Hillcity took money from mom for wedding? No. Mom used money to exert control, and throw a wedding for the mother, instead of it being for the newlyweds. That's what controlling people do with gifts - there are strings attached.

      A mom inviting her daughter to "come stay with mom" after said daughter had a fight with a spouse... Bad call. Bad suggestion. Inviting and exacerbating problems into daughter's marriage.

      Calling a deaf person deaf is not disparagement, it is a relevant fact in this case, because he may or may not have heard correctly what was said by a child.

      A grandma who just wants to visit her grandkids and then go home, considering she wasn't even a primary caregiver for her own child, well... she did not bond with her own daughter, and is just as disinterested now in bonding with her grandkids. A mother who did not want to be her child's primary caregiver, could show that she had matured and is able to handle twins for 3 days. And could show remorse for not being a good mother, by becoming an excellent grandma. This was her chance to redeem herself.

      You think @hillcity seems to want a lot from her mom? Well welcome to parenting. Children need a lot, I hope it's not breaking news. While I understand that, by adulthood, most people don't "want" that much from their moms, in this particular case, mom has some catching up to do, and making up. Seeing how she shirked her responsibilities when the child was still a child.

      The only point I agree on, is leaving kids for an unsupervised visit with a drunk racist in the house.

    • profile image

      Life without Annette 

      9 months ago

      @hillcity

      You took money from your mom for your wedding. She took you in to live with her when you were in financial distress. You shared your marital problems with her, and blame her when she didn’t give you the advice you wanted to hear. And you fault her for not being able to manage an extended visit with your 4-year-olds. Your mom wasn’t even the primary caregiver to YOU, but you thought she could handle twin preschoolers?

      I can’t judge your personal pain, but the examples you’ve given of your mother’s behavior make estrangement seem like an overreaction.

      You have a lot of control you can assert before estrangement. Don’t take money (or other significant material support) from your mom ever again. Don’t share your marital problems with her; you already know you need to work those problems out with your husband, so leave her out of it. Don’t put her in a position of having to be a caregiver to your children; she may be one of those grandmas who likes to visit her grandkids, and then go home.

      Also, when you needlessly disparage your stepdad for being nearly deaf, you look petty and unreasonably critical, but what really calls your own judgment into question is when you are willing to leave your kids for a prolonged, unsupervised visit with your mom and her alcoholic, racist husband.

      You seem to want a lot from your mom, and invite her help, then get critical when she doesn’t respond the way you want. Am I missing something?

    • profile image

      NarcFree 

      9 months ago

      hillcityhoney,

      This is how you know who the abuser is, and who the abused are. The abuser does not wish to "relive the past" and demands that the other party "stop living in the past".

      The victims have wounds that need healing, and the abusers won't provide any kind of validation or acknowledgement, because they are not prepared to say Sorry, OR change. They just prefer that all be forgotten.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wehavekids.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)