Adults Estranged from Parents

flowergardenmuseFebruary 18, 2011

This post is a continuation of the previous Adults Estranged from Parents as it has reached it limit for number of postings.

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For anyone who finds themselves here seeking help with estrangement issues--I am posting a link to a site below, which I've found very helpful.

It is up-to-date, is run by a professional counselor/psychologist and offers many articles as well as current research on the subject.

Here is a link that might be useful: E-Stranged

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 2:02PM
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Hi Flower,
I hope you're doing well. I continue to be semi-estranged from my mother (we talk, but it's superficial and she still blames me). It's sad. But she is toxic and I have a really hard time wanting to reconnect with her when I realize how much she's lied, and how much that has impacted my life.

There's not much anyone can do to help me.

I find myself pulling away from my dad too now. I wonder how much I'm still expecting them to be the adults and our roles... in normal families (haha) is it like this?

Basically I realized that my dad has put me in the middle of his issues with my SM for the past 15 years. I realize now that he has been playing both sides. And he realizes it too, to some extent. But the whole thing just makes me weary. My SM exhausts me, and my dad is at that point too. I just really do not enjoy his company anymore. Which is really sad for me to say.

I LOVE him and (I love my mom too). I'm just exhausted with dealing with them.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 1:47PM
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Hi Silver,

It is good to hear a word from you. I posted then forgot and have been sick too. I'm sorry that your situation has remained the same, but it sounds, despite the situation, that you are doing what you need and taking care of yourself. I can relate to that and really that is all one can do.

I know what you mean. I'm basically semi-estranged too and I doubt it will change. My interest in the subject waxes and wanes and still becomes more intense during the holidays...less so at other times. I wrote posts with the link at the parent's site, but I really wonder about what it is that people truly desire and I sincerely doubt it is change that may be asked of them to open their hearts to another's experience. Oh well...I guess that is the nature of many and part of the human experience.

I can relate to what you say about your feeling exhausted with dealing with them. That is a constant with me.

I've found that other site that I posted the link too helpful and more constructive than other sites dealing with the same issues. I go there from time to time as the mood and need hits. Other than that there is very little that I can do.

This economy sucks bigtime and creates additional strain. Well, it is good to hear from you again and I'm glad to hear that you are hopefully doing well.

Take care,


    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 9:53PM
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Thanks Flower. Sorry to hear you've been ill. It's hit us hard this year too.

Semi-estranged is a good word for it. I'll talk if they call, I have my daughter stay in contact with her grandparents. No one is being punished or made to suffer needlessly. Including me.

I wish it weren't like this but I feel that all the effort is coming from my side and it's wearying. I did get validation from a family member who is having the EXACT same issues with my mother that led to our estrangement. So at least I don't feel crazy or like a spoiled child or like I'm blowing this out of proportion anymore.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 10:59AM
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I found this forum from a Google Search. I am estranged from my Dad, I haven't seen him since I was in my mid-20s. I am middle-aged now.

The earlier post about "Adults Estranged from Parents" was at this URL:

It is at full capacity to post, so I am posting here under a thread with the same name. Even if some of the info is old, I read through most of it relating to others' stories.

My parents are alcoholics. My mom is a very negative person, but shouldered raising me and my brother. I try to have a relationship with her, but her negativity and near-constant criticisms (of everything) make me feel very down most of the time. Abusing alcohol makes her worse in her negativity and view on life. There are times I thought of cutting off all contact, but because I have 2 children, she wants to see them time to time. I've tried to talk to her about minimizing the criticism and treating me like I am still a child. She knows it's wrong, but she stays in that frame of mind.

The good part is I have a good relationship with my husband who also comes from a tormented family. His parents would probably be considered toxic, too.

My parents divorced when I was 10. My dad had cheated on my mom and his presence in my life waned more and more as I got into high school. As an adult I have seen him in person maybe 3 times. As a middle-aged person, I really don't care if I see him again or not, because the pain of abandonment has been so long ago. He is a stranger to me.

I want to be free of the family drama and have a very positive life. I don't abuse drugs, but sometimes I feel I have very low self esteem. I don't want to be like my parents and so far in many ways, I am not. But their shadows are sometimes there in my behaviour.

Reading a book called Toxic Parents by Dr. Susan Forward is helping me work on this issue.

Here is a link that might be useful: Adults Estranged from Parents

    Bookmark   April 9, 2011 at 11:38AM
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Wow! I guess I am not the only one! Whew! I can't tell you what a relief it has been to me to read through these posts (including the "hit the limit" thread). For the past 2 decades I have thought I was alone in the desire to have no relationship with my parents. It feels good to know I am not.

I haven't been here in a nutshell, I am single, 45, no children, female and have a very good professional career.

Today my parents received the letter from me stating that I wished no more contact either via e-mail, phone or in person. For many reasons, it is the right thing to do...just as it was for many of you. I don't regret sending it ~ it will be the best for me.

My only concern is how the rest of the family responds to me as a result. All I have concluded is that I am taking care of myself and if my siblings choose to stay in a dysfunctional family system, that is there choice.

I love being single and dating and I look forward to "meeting" many of you here in the coming days and months!!!!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 11:00PM
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Hi Mary and Elizabeth,
This forum is pretty slow... I'm so sorry you both are having issues with your parents.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 4:26PM
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Hi to everyone, I found this forum with google and I can just say I am so happy to have found a place where I feel less alone... I relare to everyone, especially to sage121 as I'm too in the process of estrangement from my parents and only brother after 32 years of denial that anything was wrong of out of place... when I first confronted them I felt like the ground was opening beneath to swallow me, but after that and a long work on myself, I am finally beginning to enjoy life as I deserve...
I wanted to cite this sentence from silver:
"I can forgive someone, meaning that I no longer hold something against them. Forgiving them, doesn't mean I trust them. Trust needs to be earned. A simple "I'm sorry" doesn't rebuild trust after years of emotional and sometimes physical abuse. Especially, when their bad behavior continues after they have said they are sorry."
that is expecially true. at first you are so angry, also because you're disappointed that yours are not the perfect parents, but just human persons with their defects. then you come to terms with their humanity, and start to go on with your life; but this doesn't mean that you trust them back: no matter they said they're sorry and want to make amends, when all they believe is that they have done their best and you're just being difficult about silly things... and they go on as before.
they keep telling that mine was not an abusive family and for most part it's true, they didnt beat me, or come home drunk, but I remember-and this is the first time I talk about this ever to anyone-that a friend of my brother who's 5 years older than me use to be abusive of me from 6 to 10 years old, touching me and making me touch him... my mother became aware of that and instead of kicking the boy out, spoke to me telling that "I had to stop letting him do those things or she would be forced to tell dad and he would make him leave"...I was 6 or 7, and had no means to make him stop... but he was best buddy with my brother who of course is parents' pet, and at the time I was just so focused on getting the love of my big bro' that for years I endured his abuse in secret for fear of him being kicked out and my brother put the blame on me.
I felt, god, still feel so dirty and ashamed of this that I've never told anyone, but that was just a big situation in which my parents (especially my mom) refused to side up with me, leaving me with the weight of doing myself what should have been their job, protect me. my brother, on the other hand, has always been the sicky mommy's boy, so even through his adulthood, they've felt their responsibility to shelter him from any thing bad... while I was the tough one who could do by herself, and they take for granted every thing that I accomplish. which they say, is because they have great esteem in my abilities, and I say, ok it's flattering, but hey, your're my parents, it would be nice to have a little cheering from you from time to time.
moreover, I choose academic research while he's in industry, so he has a fairly easier life than mine: a permanent, secure job, a house, a wife in the same condition while on the other hand, I have a fellowship which last a year, my partner has a temporary job and obviously we are in a rented house 'cause we can't afford to buy one... but HE is the poor one, the one who needs their help, while we're tough and somehow, we'll manage.... they also started to take big life (and economic) decisions which favoured him (for example, they're having a baby soon-first grandchild) and they're deciding to sell everything at home to buy a house to be near to him, in case he needs any help with the baby... leaving me by myself, for the future too. and I can bet that once they are old they will "offer" (cause obviosly, they say it's them who offer, not the golden boy who asks) to move in bro's small house, leaving them the big hose with the garden...
I tried to talk them out of this madness, but they refuse to think that it's wrong, keep saying they would do the same for me, if I were in his shoes... but I know it's just b*****it. we talked about is some time ago (as they're getting older and live some time from here) telling them 'why dont you come to live closer?' (also to try being the perfect little girl and please them) and they kept stalling the decision to look for houses, and then, weeks after my bro told them they're expecting, they merrily announced they were making plans to sell their house and they were looking at new ones near him....
I feel so bad, angry, frustrated, disillusioned...guilty when they call me and seem so sad, and then angry again with myself for feeling guilty.... my partner too is involved as they treated him with poor respect in some occasions (and he doen't want anything to do with them) and every time they keep saying that they've done nothing wrong... I've been in this trap for years, until I realized that I had started to hurt him in order to avoid confronting my parents as it would leed to their disappointment in me, and because I refused to aknowledge the truth of my dysfunctional family... I also felt so ashamed of this situation (of me barely talking to them)....also because here (I'm italian) it is almost a public disgrace not to feel bound to one's family, something people should never know about.
I am trying to keep my head up but it's hard.
it's good to know that I'm not alone... big hug to everyone!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 9:20AM
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