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All these estranged parents...

Posted by fluffed (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 3, 08 at 12:47

I have read through most of these postings today, and a couple of things really stand out.

It seems that most of the people who are estranged from their children are obsessed with the idea that they are right and the child/significant other is wrong in their actions. If you want to mend fences, you should be less concerned about being right and most concerned with healing.

There also seems to be a great need to defend their point of view as well as a great concern about money.

I can tell you that reading through these, as an outsider, that I find myself really questioning the posters and seeing something in their posts that makes me feel sympathy toward the adult children.

This is particularly true in the money/will debates. If you are dead, you money is of no value to you. If you truly love your child, why would you care how they spent it (excluding drug/alcohol abuse) or even if the hated spouse had some say? I find it very telling that someone would rather have an act that would likely been seen as a final act of anger toward their child than let the oh so bad spouse have some money. The fact that you could even have this attitude tells me that other attitudes have spilled over to your children despite the claims of being such great parents.

I also find it very interesting that parents of adult children feel they have any say or should express any opinion to their adult children regarding money. Unless asked, you do not get an opinion. Even if you are providing shelter, etc. it is best if you keep your opinions to yourself if not asked. Supportive is not lecturing your child, it is accepting their choices unless they are abusive to you.

Someone once told me that love was an action and not a feeling. I suggest a lot less declaring your love and a lot more expressing it. You can be hurt by the actions and still act lovingly toward your child (and the spouse/significant other) that you don't really like.

I'm not saying that some of these children aren't acting like complete idiots and aren't totally ungrateful for all that is done, however, I think the focus needs to be turned toward healing and not proving you are right.

If a total stranger comes in here, reads through your side of the posts, and finds themself siding with the adult children (at times - not all the time), can you at least consider changing your POV long enough to heal?

I guarantee you that no matter how accurate your description of the situation is, the perception (and that is all that really matters) from the other side is far different.

And those with money issues, need to first imagine them giving every dime they have to the person they love so desperately and find a way to be happy they have it rather than resent it, or see it as rewarding bad behavior, etc. Money is almost always about control no matter what you say. If you can truly be happy seeing your child with all your money, with no resentment, then you DO truly love your child without expectation. Your child will sense this. It really isn't about the money.

Anyway -- just some thoughts. Do with them what you want.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: All these estranged parents...

Ok, I just tossed your thoughts in the garbage can. You either don't have adult children or you have perfect ones, because you don't know what you are talking about. Methinks you are just stirring the pot to get a reaction.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I agree with you fluffed! Especially the focus on being right over reconciliation.

Just get ready to be flamed, criticized and lambasted... it is coming!


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I know, talk about opening a can 'o werms...

Dear fluffed,
Nice try, but I'm afraid you're not dressed properly. In order to comment on that subject here, you must be wearing the exact same shoes. (and it doesn't count if you tried them on once, but have since replaced them with something more comfortable.)

Otherwise, the best thing is to say nothing.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I agree that many of these parents have some of the blame. It takes 2 hands to clap, as the saying goes.

I don't care if your adult son screamed "F*** You" in your face. There are 2 people in a relationship. How you react to that attack, both before it came and after, is just as important.

If you reach out 20 times and are slapped, so be it. But what did YOU do that got things to that point?

Yes, overenabling a drug-addicted child, I'm sympathetic to this path, so many good parents go down it.

Mentally ill child? Yes, of course.

But your normal, everyday conflicts (bad spouse, money, etc.), really the parents are just as much to blame.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

fluffed,

I am one of the regular posters on the blogs you are referring to. I agree with everything you are saying except how can you have a relationship with a child that one minute says they love you and are happy and the next per his words is forced to choose between his parents or her)GF). He is almost 26 years old---- once he graduated from getting his bachelors degree, got a job, and a full scholarship for his masters degree. He now is finished with college makes good money and is doing well. He told my husband with tears in his eyes and pain in his voice as he hugged my husband and said that he could never see us again because his girlfriend gave him an ultimatum us or her. She has also given him other ultimatums basically her or anyone or anything. He loves her and as many men do--- love their wife/GF as this is their future and first priority as adult males. We raised him to love and support his future wife and family.

Yes, I think our son is a coward for not sticking up for his extended family, but this ultimatum didn't happen until they were together (mostly away at college) for over 3 years and he was already in love. We spoke with him frequently and he would even tell us the things he didn't like about her. When they did spend time with us, she was always rude, our son ignored it and we tried to be nice to the women our son was dating. We had no idea how serious they were as it was his first serious GF and I'm not even sure he even knew if it was serious as she attempted to break up with him on various occasions. We paid for our son's undergraduate college and bought him a new car--no strings attached--he is still in our will--but my mom took him out of hers---a decision I had no control over. He doesn't even know. I have begged that we sit down and talk about things----but just receive nasty, cruel, threaatening emails, phone calls from GF or her father. They will not tell us where our son lives or works, but it wouldn't matter anyway as he said he could never see or speak to us again because of her ultimatum and the fact that he loves her.

Please don't be so judgemental---we love our son very much and want both him and his GF/wife in our lives, but this only works if both sides are willing to try. We did the best job we could to parent him. We would both give our life for him.

Understand these posts are written by people in pain, ones that are very hurt and have no where to turn for support. The money is not really even an issue until after these parents spend hours, days, years of hurt and pain asking themselves what went wrong---they are grieving the loss of a child and anger is a normal part of the grieving process. Let these parents grieve without judgement.

Also understand that there is a lot of literature out there and if you researched the subject you would see that this situation is a lot more common than you think. The anger you are hearing in the post comes from months, years of pain parents feel after having a loving relationship with their child most of their lives end with estrangement. All most of these parents want is love, kindness, respect from the child they raised and most want to give their child and significant other the same.

Many excellent parents have estranged children and have not even been given the courtesy of being told why--or being told they are estranged for some crazy reason as in my case GF said it was because I didn't breastfeed which hurt my son's chances of a higher IQ (one reason)---I was 20 when I gave birth and my son needed iron formula per physician's order as his iron was extremely low--thus preventing my breastfeeding. The reason is not as important as sitting down and working on the real problem, but it only works when both sides are willing.

Please don't judge people in pain, writing in a blog designed to support them. You can not judge another unless you have truly walked in their shoes. I have read other blogs on this site that relate to situations that I have not experienced and have felt like you---but then realize I never walked in their shoes so it is not my business to judge. You judgement does not bring these estranged children home---it simple berates things you think these parents did to cause the estrangements---we parents already judge ourselves enough---we are our own worse critics and most have made many attempts at a reunion without success-----Judge only if you have had your once, kind, loving child spit in your face!

If you have children I hope this never happens to you as I would have had no idea this would happen until it did at age 23! We were a happy family, our son often expressed his happiness to us and others! This estrangement came out of the blue.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

fluffed:

I pray to heaven that you never have to wear the shoes of those of us who have lived the pain expressed here. Or seen a once strong husband collapse in uncontrollable tears as he tries to understand the loss of the daughter who was the light of his life for so many years. I hope you never see a child (grown but always your child) be in such pain that she lashes out at you, but won't tell you why. It is devastating and we seek help from others "wearing the same shoes," because only they understand our pain.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

penbyrd - after reading your post (very good by the way) it reminded me of the fact that a lot of people forget that a lot of men are abused by their wives. People only seem to think of "wife abuse" but not "husband abuse".

I mentioned to my 16-1/2 year old daughter about how some of you are estranged by your children, to see what her reaction would be. Her words were "Yeah. So? They're living their lives. What's the big deal?" Ouch!! LOL It wasn't what I was expecting and makes me wonder how she'll be with us. All I know is that she's so desperate to start "living her life" and doesn't want to wait anymore and will never live in the country again.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I find it very interesting that "fluffed" and "western pa luann" have the same birthday. Could they be one-in-the-same?


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RE: All these estranged parents...

garden60, I seriously doubt fluffed & western are the same person. They both probably chose Jan 1st as their birthday for privacy reasons.

I think fluffed was only trying to help.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

In a way, I agree with the OP. I hear a lot of heartbreak on this forum, but do not wear their shoes. I often wonder why there is not much responsibility taken by the parents. I find it odd when I hear that they have no idea why. I have much reason to be estranged from my mother, and choose not to be. Not for myself, but for my family. I take responsibility for HER actions to protect others. If it came to my child I would do the same. Just my two cents, and for the record I recognize that many peoples' posts are from the heart. I recognize people hurt. There was a thread awhile back about people who have several identities. It made me think, I would seek answers to what happened to me, if I weren't afraid I'd be found out. If someone did stumble across my threads and know me, would they find out my secrets?? I don't know what else to say. Christy


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Christy,

Did you not read my post. It explains why there is an estrangement---it pretty much addresses all your questions/statements. I also take responsibility for my actions, but have no idea how to take responsibility for the actions of a person who chooses to be cruel and give not breast feeding as a reason for estrangement. I also mentioned that we were a happy family with a happy, very open son until he was 23. This estrangement happened very quickly. The parents in these posts do not have a choice. Their child has made the choice for them---so glad you choose to keep your relationship with your terrible mother. My mother(adopted) is up there as one of the cruelist and I also have choosen to have a relationship and protect others from her cruelty. Due to me most of the family think she is a nice person!

This dual identity thing is stupid, if people don't have better things to do with there time then we should just ignore their posts. This forum is to provide support not to be cruel and judgemental. It simply does no good to judge things that one knows nothings about. Estranging yourself from a parent is very different than being estranged by an adult child.

Also Christy---hope you never have a child estrange themselves from you as it is not something you can predict and if you did your research before commenting you would see it has little or nothing to do with the type of parent one is.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Fluff, you obviously come here to focus on the negative and attempt to make parents feel sad, ashamed, guilty. Why not really read what is written and quit having a bias toward people your age. If you haven't walked the walk you have very little room to talk, and especially express opinions.

I read a while back that if you can't say something nice about someone, then be vague. Perhaps you could use to take this advice before posting such criticisms that have no place or validity.

If you just want to hurt someone then perhaps you need to get back to work in your own family since I'm sure you've caused a lot of heartache there. At least they're used to it.

anniebal

PS....how interesting that you are of the opinion that children deserve the money no matter what they do,or how they behave. Of course you do, since this is what you expect to happen in your case obviously.

Why would any disrespectful, unloving child stand to benefit from my death? Not worthy, pure and simple. I'd rather give it to a charity with a big heart then to two cold, unloving people who never cared about me for any other reason but greed.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Why would I do research? I'm not in that situation. I am entitled to my opinion, just like everyone else. I did read your post. I read all of them. I don't believe that everyone on these forums never had a choice. I don't believe that every parent on this forum is entirely correct and their children are entirely wrong. There is probably fault on both sides. This is just my opinion. I do empathize with many of the posters on here. I realize that their hurt is genuine. I hear a lot of anger in your posts, lastly directed at me. I hope I am never estranged from my daughter, and I hope your issues are resolved as well. Christy


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I agree with Christy -- not every estranged parent or child on these forums can be absolutely right or absolutely wrong. I don't think she is pointing her finger at anyone in particular. And as to whether estrangements have little or nothing to do with the type of parent one is -- that might be the case for some situations, but certainly not all. One only has to read some of the multiple books on the subject of abusive parents to understand that, i.e., Toxic Parents, Stop Walking on Eggshells, the Borderline Mother, etc. And I'm absolutely not trying to insinuate that anyone here was an abusive parent. I'm just trying to point out it is misleading to make a generalized statement like: Estrangement has little or nothing to do with the type of parent one is. Maybe it had nothing to do with your particular estrangements discussed on this forum, but had everything to do with others.

I also find it a bit odd that many parents on this forum attack anyone who disagrees with their position(s), and often make statements to the effect that if someone isn't in their exact same position, he/she must not know what he/she is talking about and the opinion that he/she expressed is therefore irrelevant or not worthy of consideration, etc. This doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. I think the benefit of these forums is getting multiple different perspectives regarding a particular issue. That's the way I see it at least. I've learned tremendously from lots of posts here. I may not agree with everything, but everything gives me food for thought and I like to think I might be persuaded to change my mind about something either now or in the future.

As for the money issue -- I really don't know how to look at that. I see both sides of the argument as having a certain amount of validity. Ultimately, though, I'm not sure why one would care about material wealth on either side of an estrangement (child or parent) -- it just doesn't seem to be that important in the scheme of things.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

"I find it very interesting that "fluffed" and "western pa luann" have the same birthday. Could they be one-in-the-same?"

Oh, so now there's conspiracies too ???? Sheesh....

emptyshore is right...
My birthday is January 1st on this board (and a few others) because I do not want personal information available to strangers.

fluffed in a much better writer than I am!


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I feel like this thread is a "kick'em when their down".

Obviously, everyone that posts on any of these forums are not "perfect" in any regard. More than likely there are estranged parents that should carry the brunt of fault, for lack of a better word. I just think that threads such as this one hurts each and every poster that is estranged from their children.

We are going through terrible times with DD who is now 16. She could very well end up in a group home if she choses not to change her behaviors. This really scares me. A one year program would put her to being almost 18 by the time should would get out. She can really hold a grudge and I feel like if she's placed, it would be the beginning of an estrangement for us all. At this point, if she were to be placed in a group home, it would be against our wishes but some things have gotten out of our control.

How do you stop an estrangement before it begins? I have no clue. I can only do what I feel is right for DD.

My heart goes out to all those estranged from loved ones.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Unless you are blind, then don't bother to offer a hand to other blind people. They will slap it.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

amsunshine, you wrote:

"As for the money issue -- I really don't know how to look at that. I see both sides of the argument as having a certain amount of validity. Ultimately, though, I'm not sure why one would care about material wealth on either side of an estrangement (child or parent) -- it just doesn't seem to be that important in the scheme of things."

Do you really think that some people don't care about material wealth? Your very correct in stating that it isn't that important in the scheme of things, I totally agree. That being said however, I feel that some people will be much better off if they are left an inheritance. If those people are undeserving, meaning they had little to do with the people who was leaving the inheritance, why should they benefit? Shouldn't one practice love and tolerance with the people they call family?

Moonie, As far as fault on both sides, I totally agree. I don't think that a relationship can possibly be based soley on the shoulders of one or two people. Even if the parents or children were not the instigators, it is far too easy to say or do things one regrets once a highly volatile atmosphere such as an estrangement begins.

I've tried to tell my son that we should forget the past, and move forward with ALL of us accepting who we each are. I've admitted we made mistakes, but not seeing each other is wrong. None of our mistakes were so grave that we can't put them behind us and move forward, if we set our minds to it. Apparently he cannot do that, or he and my dil cannot do that. Correction, more likely they don't want to do it. In that case, there is no future.

There are many valid reasons a child would not see his parents, and you laid out some of those reasons. I know it happens that kids abuse their parents also, or theaten them. In those cases, it is understandable why there is an estrangement.

anniebal


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RE: All these estranged parents...

"Do you really think that some people don't care about material wealth?"

Yes, I do.

And I think the real issue here is not the money -- it's the pain on both sides of an estrangement.

In my opinion, most of the time, there is little benefit to the parent in cutting an estranged child out of a will other than the satisfaction derived from being vindictive. Of course, there would be exceptions to that, i.e., if the child is addicted, in jail, or any number of extreme situations where a trust would solve the issue of making sure the child did not misuse an inheritance.

I think cutting an estranged child out of a will is the ultimate act of revenge that cannot be undone. That is how such a parent would be remembered after he or she is gone. Vengeful and bitter.

Personally, I would rather take the high road and be remembered for my generosity and unconditional love of my child after I am gone, despite any differences we may have had during my lifetime. I think this would be a lasting message my children would have to live with for the rest of their lives. In the context of an estrangement, I think that would be very powerful. Not to mention that grandchildren, who probably had nothing to do with an estrangement, would benefit. However, when someone has been hurt and is in pain, I can see how this would be a very difficult decision to make.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Sorry, just got back to read these responses.

I am not judging anyone here. I don't know any of you, and to be honest, I am not personally invested in any of your lives, so how you choose to run your life is not really that important to me.

I read through your posts because I am very much aware of these types of situations. But to be honest, it isn't important what type of research I've done, or what my personal experiences are. I was curious to see what was written. Then I noticed a pattern.

I didn't write anything to sound harsh, but some times, a completely ouside perspective is good in these types of situations. That is why counseling is so valuabel to most people. It is an objective point of view.

You can lash out at me, justify your actions until you are blue in the face, or take a moment to consider if I might be right about any of it. Truthfully, I don't actually know anything except what I have read here.

There are certainly situations where the adult children are completely at fault, and the parents are truly saints. It is rarely the case. I do understand the frustrations expressed in these posts. I also understand the views on the money. I just disagree.

But again, instead of trying to convince me, or anyone else of WHY or HOW this happened, if your true desire is to HEAL the relationship, you have to focus on that aspect. Not all relationships can be healed, and frankly, I support removing those toxic people from your life. Family ties only go so far. Some of you will have to find a way to love the "evil" (truly or not) spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend etc. if you want to have a relationship with your child. It CAN be done. It is not at all easy, but I guarantee you that it can be worth it. But there is no guarantee. Only you can decide.

Once or twice in my life, someone has come out of the blue and said something that just struck a chord. And those comments changed my life. People around me had been expressing sympathy, understanding and reinforcing my point of view. But it was someone that didn't know me, or my situation all that well, that prompted some new revelations. Sometimes a person is so caught up in their own situation that they lose sight of the overall picture. So, I threw my comments out there.

If you don't get it, or still think I came here to stir the pot, I think someone suggested a trashcan for my comments.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Amsunshine, I suspect that people who ultimately disinherit their estranged adult children do so because they feel that to leave these estranged offspring an inheritance would only leave the beneficiaries thinking, "Of course I got this because I deserved it. Ignoring my parents was the right thing to do and I have got my just rewards." The parents, with some justification think, "I've already given my estranged child love, education, a home and lots of material goods and clearly it is not appreciated. I worked and saved hard for what I will leave behind; I would like to think that the person who gets it will be grateful and appreciative." They know their estranged children will be neither and so choose to leave what is, after all, THEIR property, to someone who WILL appreciate it. I can't blame them for that.
If someone deliberately estranges him/her self from his/her parents, it is highly unlikely that person will perceive a bequest as representing "unconditional love and generosity".


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RE: All these estranged parents...

fluffed....I agree that it IS, sometimes, good to listen to the opinions of someone who has not necessarily experienced a particular situation as they just MIGHT have a perspective on it that has not been viewed. But, I think that on this forum, those that usually post are looking for emotional support and understanding with a situation that even for them is incomprehensible. Relationships are mostly complex as are the people in them. I think, being human, we all make mistakes as parents, as do our children when they are grown and have their own children. I have witnessed parents who are emotionally unavailable and, at times, harsh and emotionally abusive towards their children. When these children are grown, the past seems to have been forgotten or at least forgiven and they enjoy a close relationship now. Then there are other parents who have been there for their children, provided for them emotionally and physically, and when their children are grown, they are treated with disrespect and contempt. I don't think there are any pat answers to this issue and I don't believe blaming the parents for this solves anything. I also think that it is safe to say that were the parents that post on this forum so uncaring and abusive,etc. they would not be so heartbroken, but would be finding other things to do besides baring their souls to strangers.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

amsunshine

it has always seemed to me that a person's last will and testament, is just that, their last 'word'. it is their last opportunity to make a statement. their only opportunity to offer up the remains of their life endeavors.

it is traditional and common for stipulated distribution of their remaining assets to go to either someone who has been a great source of happiness in their lives and/or to organizations that share their hearts mission.

if a child turns their back on their parents, absent of these parents being 'toxic' or 'abusive', isn't that the ultimate injury?

parents are human beings too. as so many say here, these parents need to move on, move forward. one way is to symbolize that moving forward by omitting these heartless children from benefiting from all of their lifes savings.
these parents (again absent them being toxic and abusive) have already given their children more than enough - do you have children amsunshine? it's the only way you will understand. from what i see on these posts, they probably put these kids first for most of their lives as most parents do - successful or not.

tell me, amshine, can you give an example of when you yourself have overlooked the terrible things someone did to you and you still rewarded them for it - with everything you had? do you tip for bad service? do you give your children special gifts after they've misbehaved? if your husband cheats on you, do you then make him a special dinner? of course you do, because that's true unselfish love.

be real.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

"do you tip for bad service?" do you give your children special gifts after they've misbehaved?"

You equate an estranged child with a waitress who gives you "bad service"? Now that's an analogy I never would have come up with. (Maybe because I never thought of my children as being put here to "serve" me?)


"do you give your children special gifts after they've misbehaved?"

If you mean do I give a child a special treat BECAUSE they misbehave, no. But that doesn't mean that a child who has misbehaved is never, ever going to get another treat. How petty and mean spirited that would be. To be honest, I might very well give a child a treat within -hours- of their misbehaving. (in fact, I have) It depends on what they did wrong, why they acted like they did, what they've done since, and what kind of behaviour I can expect from them in the future.

"if your husband cheats on you, do you then make him a special dinner?"

A wise person answers a hypothetical question about what they would or would not do with the same answer: "depends."
Again, if you're asking if I would prepare a special dinner for a cheating spouse BECAUSE s/he is cheating, of course not. BUT, if we are trying to iron out our problems by going to counseling, and actively working to repair our relationship, then yes, I would. Taking time to do something like prepare a special meal for someone (even after they have betrayed your trust) tells them you DO still love them, you still care, and most importantly, yes, in spite of what has happened, that you believe there is something the two of you have togteher that is worth working for.

OTOH, if one's goal is to be vindictive and punishing, you could not only refuse to do anything simple like preparing a special meal, why, you could just run out and file for divorce. ("There. That'll show that no good, too timing creep.") I actually know several women who went down that path, and even though they have ended up becoming little more than a lonely, bitter old shrew, I suppose there is still some cold comfort to be gained from the knowledge that "I hurt him back."

Ummm, still, no thanks. That's not how I want to live my life.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

"it has always seemed to me that a person's last will and testament, is just that, their last 'word'. it is their last opportunity to make a statement."

Exactly. Which is why I, personally, would not want my own "last word" to be one of revenge and/or vindictiveness. To me, that's as "real" as it gets.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

bloobird,

i believe you missed my point. my analogies were not intended for some deep discussion or set of 'rules'. they're just analogies comparing when you are treated badly, a natural response is to NOT offer a reward (or whatever you want to call it) how silly to think i'm comparing estranged children with a waitress.

i highly doubt that the sad parents on this forum are the product of a one time act - such as the cheating spouse example. unfortunately, as with every relationship, even that cheating spouse - there are millions of interactions that eventually result in these estrangements.

please try to see what i see. these parents probably did their best. and have ended up with the worst possible response. they have been rejected by the loved ones who are never to reject them. so if they need to set on a course of action that allows them or helps them to move forward. and if cutting their kids out of their will is part of that. so be it. those children want to be severed from their parents. why would those children want any of the money from the terrible parents anyway? you should never accept money from strangers you know.

and amsunshine... you must be psychic to know the motivation for cutting someone out of their will to be vindictiveness or revenge... you can never know anyones motivation for anything. even if they tell you.

and another thing for both of you. since it doesn't seem that you are parents estranged from your children. when your child, your own child, that for all of their lives, you love them more than life itself, you give up anything for them - when that child cuts you off like a bill collector - the relationship is seriously damaged. and now, they are not parents anymore in the same way they were. they don't feel the same way about their kids. just read the posts. it is a hurt so deep -soooo deep. you just want to mourn them and move on. otherwise these parents would probably be lined up at the golden gate bridge for their turn at a swan dive.

isn't it sad when we read the posts of the parents who still- after years - can't find happiness.

it's life, we all need to find happiness.

and lastly, i think these posts are for sharing a similar and very very rare family dynamic. these parents are beat up enough by the outside world. every time someone says, oh do you have children? do you have grandchildren? so are you spending christmas with your children? and on and on and on.... and everyone, everyone, and apparently bloobird and amsunshine, agree that these parents are the blame. why don't you two just leave them alone and let them get some solace from those that can share their story.

i've heard talk about god, how bout, he who has not sinned, may he cast the first stone.

another one, i'm sure you learned in kindergarten, if you don't have something nice to say, then don't say anything at all.

instead of starting a blog argument, how about showing some heart?


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RE: All these estranged parents...

kaynsd -- if you read my posts carefully, I never put "blame" on parents. I do believe that, in the context of an estrangement, both parties (child and parents) share some degree of responsibility for said estrangement, but each case is unique, of course.

I realize the parents on this forum are in pain and for that, I am very sad. I only hope that, should they choose to disinherit their estranged child, it brings them lasting peace and comfort. For myself, I strongly doubt it would. To each his own.

I wish you well and better days ahead. Take care.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

"and another thing for both of you."

I'm sorry, do you realize how much you sound like some caricature of a scolding fishwife? Is that how you really speak to people IRL? I don't know what you're thinking of, but this is not a "blog". It's a thread on a corporate owned public forum. The best I can tell, this thread was not written to or about any one person specifically; it was very generic and good observations and advice. I think it's time for some people to put on the big girl panties and realize that just because someone isn't patting their hand and saying "oh you poor, poor dear" doesn't mean they are out to "hurt" them. I agree, let's be real. Everyone has problems, everyone has pain. You want heart? Put yourself in the shoes of someone who has BURIED their child, reading some melodramatic pronouncement claiming their adult child is "dead to me" because they didn't drop everything (including their spouse) and rush to their parent's side, or how they need to cut this ingrateful child out of their will, or how beat up they feel simply because someone asks if they have Grandchildren, or how deeply hurt they are because they felt ignored at the wedding. I'd like to see some of these folks try on the shoes of the parent whose son died before he could meet and marry anyone, even a DIL from hell. No graduations, no wedding to foolishly obsess about, no vacations, no grandkids, nothing. Just a cold stone to decorate. I bet those parents would give ANYTHING to be wearing your shoes.

Compared to that, whatever it is that caused an estrangement is a cakewalk. Where there's life, there's hope. There's a chance for forgivness on both sides and making amends. Or maybe not. You (hypothetical "you", not anyone here specifically) might decide it's better to be right than happy, and continue to wallow in misery for decades. That's not what I would do, but as always, ymmv.

kaynsd, I did not "miss the point" of what you wrote. You were very plainly mocking the POV of anyone advocating forgivness. The naughty child/waitress analogy, was yours, not mine. If you're unhappy with it, you're welcome to suggest something better, but personally, I think you come up with some interesting analogies; for example, I really like the bill collector.

Why would anyone be cut off "like a bill collector"? What is it people don't like about bill collectors? Oh, yeah. They nag, and they're demanding, often sarcastic, and have little or no real interest in YOU; they only want what they want when they want it. Basically, unless you're following their schedule, you and your plans can take a flying leap. I don't know, I think it's understandable why you wouldn't want to spend much free time with someone like that. (not saying *anyone* here is like that, just thinking out loud about your analogy)

Every grown up knows that cheating spouses are NOT the result of a one time act. (nor are they ever accidents as in, "oops, I tripped and fell into bed with my secretary!") Adultry is a chain of infidelity on several levels long before they end up in some motel. In that sense, adultry is also a decent analogy for the kind of damaged relationship one has with an estrangement. Toxic and abusive are not always physical. Mental anguish used to be grounds for divorce from your spouse. Real or imagined, it's still grounds for an estrangement. To really repair a damaged relationship, whether it's a marriage or an estrangement, both sides have to acknowledge their fault. You can't say "well yes, I did such and such, or acted this or that way, but it's because I was so hurt/angry/sad/frustrated..." and expect that to work. No one gets a pass on bad behaviour because their feelings were hurt. There's only one thing you can change and that's yourself. But if all you ever do is all you've ever done, then all you've ever got is all you'll ever get.

Come to think of it, I believe I already see what you see.
And then some.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

so bloobird. do you remember the show, what's my line? well that's me asking you, so what's your line? my guess is you are the child that estranged herself from her parents and they cut her off financially.

please note that i have not discussed my situation. i was - before reading yours and similar diatribes filled with ridicule - finding some comfort in the conversation. or as you corrected me, thread. not blog.

you may know there are millions of places for those who have lost loved ones to death. the whole world cries for them. this is not the place for that. what i was hoping for here was a place for estranged family members who need comfort.

and honestly, alot of times cheating is pretty random. a man's fidelity has an inverse relationship with their opportunities to cheat. for some reason i also think your husband has cheated on you. or should i say your dh - am i getting the thread lingo now?

i think i'm done reading your words. we have very little in common indeed. your rambling irritates me.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Kaynsd: after thinking about your previous posts, I have a question.

You say: "you must be psychic to know the motivation for cutting someone out of their will to be vindictiveness or revenge... you can never know anyones motivation for anything. even if they tell you"

I'm not sure what you mean here, because I was under the impression we were talking specifically about parents disinheriting their estranged child due to reasons associated with the estrangement. Can you elaborate on why such a disinheritance would be something other than retaliatory?


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RE: All these estranged parents...

personally - when i think of the assets i will leave behind when i die. i think about how hard it was to acquire them. and how i would want them to go to what i feel would be good use. to a person that has made my life better - like the friends that have helped me through this - the worst time of my life, or an organization that resonates to me. that's all.

if i did not leave them to my estranged child it would not be out of anger, it would just be that i would want everything to go to someone/place that was sympatico to my life. someone or someplace that would be thankful and would have good memories of me. i know the estranged child does not have good memories of me anymore. quite the contrary. to think of someone who hates me to be enjoying extravagance.... nope, it's that funny expression, i will roll over in my grave. my soul will never rest.

don't we all (or maybe i'm just nuts) think about life after we die? and how we will be perceived? a legacy i guess.

additionally, as i said earlier, it's also a way to move on, it's symbolic. when you have too many nights that you wake up in tears from a sound sleep. a happy life, not just survival, dictates moving forward.

i would guess that for these parents on this forum - because i don't think the selfish crappy parents are here, they don't care, when these parents actually change their wills, i would guess it is unbelievably painful. it's closing another door.

i will add one thing, i would never ever hold this over their head. meaning - i will disinherit you if you.....that's kids stuff.

ps, i'm also onthe other side of this situation w/my parents and siblings. a few estranged from my parents. and my dad struggles with this. he thinks about it alot. he's old and lonely. they were poor parents, but they gave it all they had. if he changes his will that's his choice. it's my siblings choice to expel him.

talk about a long response - but you know, it's just personnal. and personally i try very hard not to act from anger. we should all do what feels right for us.

hey, if i'm lucky, i will spend it all on my own happiness :)


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Well, it's a good thing you aren't a real contestant playing for money kaynsd, because not only am I NOT estranged from my parents, (or cut off financially), I also get along well with my MIL. For the bonus round, I suppose I should mention that there are no estrangements between myself and my adult children/grandchildren, and I am not having any trouble maintaining a comfortable, friendly relationship with their spouses. Let's just say we're all on speaking terms.

(And for the record, though we have certainly had our rough patches, my spouse has never had an affair. Neither have I.)

That does not mean my children, my Mother, my MIL, or my Beloved are "perfect". And no, I don't rise bright and early every morning to polish my halo either.

I have no special secret, other than the fact that as they have grown up, I let go. I did not "fight for my place" or weep and wail when I slipped from the number 1 person in my children's lives to hopefully somewhere in the top ten. I never expected to be as "important" in my adult children's everyday life as their spouse, their children, their boss, coworkers, neighbors, even their friends. That is the natural order of life. Fighting it is like trying to pin a wave on the sand.

"you may know there are millions of places for those who have lost loved ones to death. the whole world cries for them. this is not the place for that. what i was hoping for here was a place for estranged family members who need comfort."
Actually, this is just as much a place "for that" as you put it as it is for those seeking comfort in their decision not to maintain a relationship with their children. This is a public forum for ALL parents.

However, there *is* a blog exclusively devoted to the estranged parents of adult children, a place offering nothing but comfort and understanding, where absolutely no one would insult you by daring to suggest that things might be different if you were willing to make some genuine changes. One of the other posters usually adds a link to it whenever they write, but I'm sure if you google "estrangment parents blog" you'd find it.

Since you're still reading, there is one last thing I'd like to mention: Please note that use of the word "you" in my posts is in reference to the universal "you", not you personally. I know nothing about your "situation", and I am neither nosey enough to ask nor foolish enough to make wild guesses about it.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I realize that most of these posts are really seeking support and sympathy over advice. But there seems to be plenty of sympathy and support already here.

I am not sure why you think I do not have experience with this situation other than I have not shared my story, but I will tell you that what is important is that I have experience in what it took to heal.

I just wonder what some people want more - to heal or to be right. I think that some people have lost focus of what is important.

I also think some of you may have misunderstood what I said about money. I don't think anyone should expect or deserves an inheritance. Even in cases where there is great wealth, there should not be an assumption of what is going to be done with the money or how trusts will be managed. But even people who claim they aren't using money as a form of control, often are. Comments like "rewarding them" etc. indicates that loves isn't unconditional.

I'm not blaming anyone in my comments. I am questioning those that seem to want to be right over wanting to heal. I think that it is a natural instinct but in the end, I think that it is much better to love and be loved.

Shift the focus from being wronged to showing love.


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RE: Amsunshine

"I also find it a bit odd that many parents on this forum attack anyone who disagrees with their position(s), and often make statements to the effect that if someone isn't in their exact same position, he/she must not know what he/she is talking about and the opinion that he/she expressed is therefore irrelevant or not worthy of consideration, etc."

Amsunshine, I see this a lot on the Home Forum in general, not just on this forum. I think it makes sense. People want to hear things that validate their position, not things that make them reconsider their decisions. I'm new to this but it seems like there are cliques and then there are those who play devil's advocate for fun, and then there are the few earnest ones just trying to communicate. I could be wrong. Like I said, I'm new.

Fluffed wrote..."If a total stranger comes in here, reads through your side of the posts, and finds themself siding with the adult children (at times - not all the time), can you at least consider changing your POV long enough to heal? I guarantee you that no matter how accurate your description of the situation is, the perception (and that is all that really matters) from the other side is far different."

I am not an estranged parent. I don't know what it feels like. But I read this forum because I want to know what it's like from the other side because I am an estranged child. Right now I am, by choice, not interacting with my mother. This was a joint decision that I am struggling with but I cannot be around her at this time because I am too angry and would say things that cause more damage. She doesn't see anything from my perspective and is blaming everything on my DH (her pattern). That way she can rationalize that she is a good mother (See what a good relationship we have? See how well behaved my daughter is? There's your proof!)

I realized that her self-worth was directly tied to our relationship. "Good" parents are very close to their children. "Good" parents are best friends with their children, can be completely "open and honest" and tell each other anything. (this is her thought process anyway) So if I don't want to be her BFF there must be something wrong with her parenting. I actually do not like my mother that much. I like her a lot better if I don't have to spend that much time together. She is judgmental, self-absorbed, needy and somehow manages to put me down, consciously or not. I've put my problem out on a message hoping for some clarity from others here, so I'll stop hijacking this post with my own issues!

My point is that if parents continue to make it known that they are there for their children, through the child going through (what parents feel are) bad relationships (with people who insist on cutting off parents), issues with sexuality that parents can't handle/are against their beliefs, religion differences, problems with drugs/alcohol/money etc... (not saying to be enablers, but letting the child know the love is unconditional), eventually the ties will be mended again. Sympathy and empathy are needed for anyone going through this emotional upheaval.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

bloobird,
i'll repeat: i think i'm done reading your words. we have very little in common indeed. your rambling irritates me

and to fluffed
i'm on both sides of the fence in my family. i hope you find the answers you're looking for. i do not agree with your statement beginning: if parents continue.... bad things DO happen to good people. it's true. believe it or not. there are toxic people everywhere, some are parents and some are children. i think when we come into these websites,since we don't know each other, i tend to believe the writer. that they are the party that was wronged. honestly, people that step on other people are not sitting around going boo hoo... that's always been my observation. it's like that crazy driver on the highway... causing everyone else to crash around them.

anyway, peace


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RE: All these estranged parents...

kaynsd -- thanks for the response. I appreciate that a parent is in pain when he/she disinherits a child. I still have to respectfully disagree with you that it is not retaliatory -- from what you are saying, it is in direct response to what the parent perceives the child has done to him/her. I'm not denying that the parent is hurting, just clarifying that the disinheritantance represents retaliation for perceived wrongs the child has committed on the parent. This is what I would not want for myself. You indicate this is a way for some parents to "move on" or "move forward". Perhaps some parents see it that way. I see it differently. For me, I would want to "move on" or "move forward" by "paying it forward." Maybe I didn't get along with or understand my child during my lifetime. But my "things" are of no use to me after my death. And I would personally rather move forward by giving my child a gift, than by doing something that could be permanently damaging.

Yes, disinheriting my child, estranged or not, would be a symbolic act -- symbolic of closing the door to my child forever. Closing the door to the possibility of my child ever coming to terms with my memory, or understanding me, or changing his/her mind about me at any time after my death.

I don't believe estranged children are generally that interested in their parents' "things" or their money. Most kids want a good and meaningful relationship with their parents, and are pained if it doesn't exist in their adulthood. Disinheriting an estranged child would symbolically confirm that child's belief that his/her parents didn't love him/her, or were just plain spiteful.

Clearly, we see this issue differently. I'm not arguing with you. I find it interesting to hear your viewpoints, whether I agree with them or not.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

amsunshine,

how can you determine what something is symbolic of? who are you to make this statement: .... Disinheriting an estranged child would symbolically confirm that child's belief that his/her parents didn't love him/her, or were just plain spiteful.

i guess you know everything.... you're very very lucky indeed.

i'm not here to air my dirty laundry or to argue, accordingly i do not need to share my story with you. but your other statement that includes:. perceived wrongs the child has committed on the parent. perceived? wow, you are truly the psychic.

and you know it's funny about doors. they swing both ways and are sometimes open and sometimes closed. until i'm actually dead, i guess there is always hope for reconciliation.

i find your comments in addition to many others above to be very very inflammatory and judgemental. somewhat punishing tones. nothing kind about them. alot of people on very high horses.

to you also, peace.


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RE: Kaynsd 'toxic people'

"...there are toxic people everywhere, some are parents and some are children...honestly, people that step on other people are not sitting around going boo hoo...it's like that crazy driver on the highway... causing everyone else to crash around them."

That is so true. Although sometimes I do think people are stepping on people and then act surprised when they get wallopped back and run crying and acting like a victim. I told my mother many times that I didn't like what she was doing, and she was stepping on me, and when I finally said "enough!" all of a sudden she was the one who was being victimized.

Fluffed: I agree with you on the money issue. Children are not entitled to an inheritance, but if anyone gives anything away it should be with love and letting go. But I'm of the mindset that re-gifting is ok. If someone gives me something I'm happy for the gift, and if I find I can't use it or don't like it, and I find someone that would love it I give it away without a second thought. My grandmother attaches everything to her inheritance. She asked me what I wanted when she died. I said nothing. She told me I had to pick something. So I mentioned a painting I had always liked. She already had it marked for someone else. So I mentioned an old phone. She gave it away already. So I mentioned an orange monkey that used to sit in her den. That too, was gone. I honestly could not think of another thing. Those were the things that reminded me of her. If I get something when she dies, great. If not, fine. I had a great grandmother and I'm lucky to be 30 with a grandmother still alive and fully functional. That's a gift in itself.

But, either give your money/possessions out with love and really make them a gift with no strings, or it starts to feel like a burden.

My father, I think, has a really good idea where this is concerned. He says he won't leave anything in his will. Everything he has to give will be while he is alive. Help with college, a down payment, fixing a car, braces or school for the grandkids... Gifts that he can feel good about paying for that advance my quality of life. That way he knows where his money is going, and can feel good about helping where he wants to help. And it makes me feel good too, because I'm not "wasting" a big chunk of money that my dad could have used to relax and retire with, but instead squirrelled away so I'd have an inheritance.

Maybe those who are conflicted about wills and want to have control over what the money pays for(which I can understand, I work too hard for someone I don't like to spend my hard earned money on fancy clothes or something) should do something like this:

Make a fund for education only for the grandkids. Put money in an account with a trustee to be used only for medical bills. Or leave it all to your dog. But money makes people resent each other. Do it with love, not malice.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Kaynsd: I'm sorry you find my comments inflammatory and judgmental. They are not meant to be.

Perhaps you should read the article in this link. This is from a psychiatrist who deals with this issue, and my viewpoint is very much aligned with his. I don't think this is a "judgmental" viewpoint. At least from his perspective, it comes from years of study and dealing with estrangements on a therapeutic level.

Here is a link that might be useful: Should I disinherit my adult child?


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Any one who gets in my face and says F*** you is out as far as I am concerned. If that person respects me or not is not as important as do I respect myself. No one is going to talk to me that way in my own home and get away with it. If I am in their home I leave. I don't do anything that would make a person treat me that way except saying no to loans to almost 50 year old children. My neighbor was complaining about her friend of 30 years who got smart with her and my friend called her on it. I asked her if she always acted like that and she said "yes", and I said because you have allowed it and she said "yes".


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RE: All these estranged parents...

amsunshine, Joshua Coleman seems like a heck of a nice guy and obviously has great intentions in his advice giving. But he is not a psychiatrist. Not everyone agrees with him on bending over so far backwards to please adult kids who estrange them and treat them badly.

On the idea of what adult kids might think of parents who leave them nothing. Some parents here don't want to be seen as vindictive. Some wish to be seen as loving no matter what happened. Some don't wish to look like a fool. Those who treat others badly and then are well treated by their victims often do see their victims as fools. So there is that possibility as well as the others.

I read an article recently on how the very wealthy feel about leaving large amounts of money to their offspring. They were talking about offspring with whom they got along well. They were concerned about the damaging effects of large amounts of money given to their kids as some of them had seen kids who did not do well after being so well provided for without having worked for it. They set things up so that their kids would not get these huge windfalls. Or if their kids were recipients, it would be under circumstances where they were paid to work for the family nonprofit foundation. This seems like a good strategy.

I grew up in a blue collar family. I've known a few people who were born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouths. They often were astonishingly messed up. Some hoped to get money that they never got and then never worked really hard at anything because they had that expectation. Some were given large amounts of money that did not seem to improve them. In fact quite often it seemed to have a rather bad effect on them. I know some now. This is an effect accomplished without even any estrangement.

I don't think that someone who leaves their money to their estranging kid is going to improve their kid or make their kid love them. The money might even do the kid harm. Leaving money with the idea of influencing someone to love a person is not going to work.

Funny but yesterday a man told me he was spending $9,000 on his dog. His dog was hurt chasing a cat in his back yard. The vet said it would cost $9,000 to fix up the dog. While he was thinking about that, the man's wife said, "You can afford it. You'd just leave the money to your nieces who don't even talk to you much or care about you. You love the dog." So he chose to fix up his dog. He doesn't have any kids but he's mentioned his nieces several times and how uninterested they are. He told me what a love the dog is.

I don't agree with Coleman. I think there are better things to do the things we care about and our assets than to leave them to people who do not care about them or us.

Ginny

Here is a link that might be useful: Estrangements: The Website


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Many apologies, Ginny, I mis-spoke. Joshua Coleman is a psychologist, not a psychiatrist. However, I don't believe that lessens his credibility.

In any event, I'm sure there are a lot of arguments as to how an inheritance might harm/not harm an heir. However, that confuses the issue at hand which is: This is a child who would otherwise have inherited but for the fact of the estrangement. Outside of extreme situations, in such a case, this disinheritance represents retaliation for what the parent feels the child has done to wrong them. It's human nature to want to hurt back the people who hurt us. That's what a disinheritance is symbolic of -- it's not about the money or the things. It's about making a statement to the estranged child of disapproval, rejection, etc. Sure, there's always a chance I might look like a fool for keeping an estranged child in my will. But I'd rather that than close off any possibility of healing for my child after my death by disinheriting him/her.

And I don't advocate bending over backwards for an estranged child. There are ways to set and maintain healthy boundaries with love during one's lifetime. But after one's death, my money and things won't matter to me. With my "last statement", as kaynsd puts it, I'd rather make it one of reaching out to my estranged child, as opposed to closing the door forever. This isn't about trying to get a child to love me by keeping him/her in my will. It's what I want for myself. For me, I can't see how hurting back my child would undo my own pain.

I'm not sure the "nieces or the dog" analogy is really on point in a discussion about disinheriting estranged children. The relationship is very different.

So, anyway, we'll probably have to respectfully agree to disagree, Ginny. I do enjoy reading your posts.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

it happens that people do not have a good relationship with one family member or are estranged from one. I guess things happen.

But when I hear that a person has poor relationship with more than one family member, or maybe even with all of them then...question comes to mind...is it coincidence? hmmm could it be that it is YOU at fault not other people?

I also think that inheritance and money issue seems to be the source of estrangement. Kids know there is money, so they demand it, and parents use money to manipulate the kids. more money people have more likely there is argument in the family. I have very little money so nobody demands much and I can't manipulate anyone. ha. maybe estrangement is more common (I doubt it though since I have never met anyone IRL) because people have more money.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

What you are saying with this statement, amsunshine

"Sure, there's always a chance I might look like a fool for keeping an estranged child in my will. But I'd rather that than close off any possibility of healing for my child after my death by disinheriting him/her."

is that you are responsible for your child's healing. No, you are not. It is your child who is responsible for that and can chose to do that at any time regardless of whether or not he/she gets an inheritance from you.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

to the theory that estrangement is more prevelant than it once was: all the theories that 'today' x happens more than 'yesterday'.

it's doubtful to me. we just have a much more open society, where everyone airs their stories, good and bad. such as on this online site. we hear news from around the world. our 'neighborhood' has become vast.

if it was 20 years ago, i would have canvassed my friends, etc, maybe a mental health professional. and concluded, since none of my friends share this problem, i would have concluded that it just doesn't happen to other people.

i'm not nuts about all the supposition that joshua produces on the causes. so many of them are parental related. there are just some people who are unable and/or unwilling to be true participants in a relationship. stubborn or whathaveyou.

also, to the person who thinks that if it's more than just one person who an individual is estranged from.... there is quite a bit of research out there that there are significant genetic factors to our personalities. there are some very toxic families out there. so, it would follow that this issue will frequent a family. same with alchoholism, divorce, etc.


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amsunshine

amsunshine,
i have a question for you. but first you have to put yourself in the place of an estranged parent. you have not had any contact with your child for a couple years. they consider you dead. ok, so that's the given here.

now, you come into some 'extra' money. you don't really need anything. you're feelling good, like donating it or having a big party for friends, you're really desiring to give it away.

what would be your first instinct? to send your orphaned child this money? or give it to your favorite charity?

i'm just wondering.

but you can't be flippant here, you must really really feel that you are dead to your child. they have expressed with great venom, their displeasure with you.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

uponreflection -- no -- you misunderstand my statement. I do not feel I am responsible for my child's healing. However, if there is ever a chance of my child's healing in the future after my death, disinheriting would certainly hinder that. And while I may not be responsible for my child -- I am responsible for myself. If I do healthy things for myself, and it helps my child, wonderful. If not, I don't feel anything is truly lost, because I know in my heart I've done what is right and healthy.

And kaynsd -- your example really is not on point. We are talking about where your "things" and money will go after your death -- which means after they are of no use to you anymore. My struggle with this is I fail to understand why some parents place so much importance on things that will have absolutely no value to them after their deaths. It seems to me that more importance is placed on the material things than trying to mend a relationship.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

After reading these posts and trying to picture a scenario in my mind, I came up with this:

Son/daughter is estranged from parents. Both parties feel that the other is at fault for the estrangement, for whatever reason. Parents die.

1) All money/possessions are given to charity. The child receives nothing. Child feels he/she was right! Parents did hate me. It was their fault, not mine! Child will live rest of his life knowing his parents didn't love him at all and were bitter folks. Will continue to have bitterness towards his parents and will probably tell his children how they were... unlovable, hateful and bitter! That's how they will be remembered.

2) Everything is left to the child. Child feels the love his parents really felt. Child feels guilty now cuz realizes that he may be at some fault for the estrangement afterall. Maybe if he would have done this or done that... Although child feels guilty about not doing more to heal the estrangement, he will KNOW that he was loved no matter what. The healing of his guilt can begin. His parents will always be remembered as loving and forgiving people!

It's not the actual "possessions" that is meaningful, it's the "act"... which, IMO, speaks volumes!

There also might be some child that would laugh at their parents for leaving them everything anways and would probably "not get it". But at least YOU will know that you did the right thing FOR YOU. Your last "act of love" if you will.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

khandi,
what if one party in the estrangement reaches out to the other on a regular basis. always making attempts and telling them they love them and would like to reconnect? and the other just keeps blaming them and won't communicate.

i don't like the word blame, but some people are like walls, you can't move them.

so - do they still share equal responsibility for the estrangement?

so, that person, goes for 20 years - more even - and never communicates...or keeps blaming. and you really think that when they are beneficiaries of their parents will, the light will go off and they will say, oh my parents really did love me? (anyway i'm sure they know their parents love them, they just don't love them back)

cool... i don't think so.

if there is some type of after life, i hope that when they read my will (assuming that there's something left :)), and it goes to those that have always been there for me and shared love with me, maybe even changed my diapers in my old age, and they know how much i appreciated it and it makes their lives just a little easier.... that will make me feel good - up there in the afterlife. & i guess that would be a lesson learned to the estranged child. that SOMETIMES we reep what we sow. it's not revenge. it's love, and i would choose to share my love and my possessions with those who share their love and possessions with me. if i can't get through to my child in my lifetime, who cares about the afterlife.

i'm just glad all of you above aren't in charge of my will :)

smiles....


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I often read, but rarely post on these forums, so please bare with me. I have an interesting perspective. My mother and family were estranged by my older sister, and my husband has become estranged from his family.

With my older sister, she cut us all off after getting married and after my mother refused to give her anymore money. She cut us off for 10 years. My mother didn't pursue her, but she left the door open if ever she should want to regain contact. When my sister did decide to end the cut off, none of us brought up the problems of the past, we simply accepted that she had grown and matured into a new person and we now enjoy having her as part of the family again. In this case, the fault for the estrangement is clearly with my sister (although none of us were perfect of course). I cannot even say, "well, my sister acted that way because that's how my mother raised her", because myself and my sister are not like that at all. I blame my sister's behavior on herself and the crowd she used to spend her time with.

My husband's family cut him off for the crimes of growing up, marrying, and having his own family. i.e., not visiting weekly. They, however, claim that he cut them off, and occasionally leave cursing voice-mails on his phone (not very endearing). His mother says that him and her were always very close and had a wonderful family, all until I came along and corrupted him. The reality is I wanted nothing more than to have a good relationship with his family and tried very hard to fix this situation, obviously I couldn't.

On a side note, on the issue of inheritance. I kind of feel like if you're estranged from your child, why *would* you have them in your will?? I don't really see anything wrong with it. I would be very surprised if my in laws had my husband in their will.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I guess a person has to do what he/she feels is right for their particular situation since all situations are different and yet similar in certain instances.

I have a neighbour friend who admits that he's only talking with his dad because of his bank account. If he didn't have any money, he wouldn't be talking with him at all. Why?

1) He gave all his kids (when they were very young, and I remember this too) to the Children's Aid Society to raise cuz his wife was spending too much money on herself (fur coats, etc.). These kids were passed around foster homes for years! He said he couldn't afford to raise them!

2) The father is VERY ignorant and rude.. don't matter who you are! He has called his grand-daughters b*tches right to their face (ages 8 and 12).

3) Cuts down his kids all the time and is always accusing a family member of stealing from him.

4) The father physically abused the mother (and the mother physically and verbally abused the kids).

One of the sons didn't even go to his mother's funeral. IMO, he blamed her for how they lived their childhood.

Another person I know told me how her mother was always yelling and freaking out. The reason her dad divorced her mom. The reason why she does not communicate too much with her mom. Turns out that this person is the SAME as her mother, and her daughter is the same as her! LOL I guess that's what you call genetics.


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RE: Khandi

Blood money. Don't want to judge anyone for what they are doing, because who knows the whole story, but "he's only talking with his dad because of his bank account" seems really wrong to me. If that were my dad I'd walk away. But again, it's easy to judge.

That makes me feel a little better though. My life is not that bad!


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RE: Kaynsd - equal responsibility

"so - do they still share equal responsibility for the estrangement? ...so, that person, goes for 20 years - more even - and never communicates...or keeps blaming. and you really think that when they are beneficiaries of their parents will, the light will go off and they will say, oh my parents really did love me? (anyway i'm sure they know their parents love them, they just don't love them back)"

Not in my opinion. I think their thought process will be more like "finally, the old bat gives me what I deserve!"


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RE: All these estranged parents...

old bat !!! i'm offended :)


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RE: All these estranged parents...

kaynsd:

I just wanted to say that it sounds like your childhood with your father was just horrible and I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. But I also wanted you to know I don't think this discussion really applies to a parent with NPD, who has little to no capacity to empathize with or love anyone other than themselves, let alone their own children. Of course someone like that would cut an estranged child out of their will and I wouldn't expect it to be any different.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

silversword - I know what you mean. Actually none of his kids have anything nice to say about him. Might be the fact that he was too cheap to spend his money taking care of his kids. I'm talking about feeding them, clothing them, providing a roof over their heads, etc. There were like 8 kids and as young as 4 when this all started. You see his wife would spend, spend, spend. So he decided to give the kids to Children's Aid and take complete control of all money matters. His wife had no money at all. This went on for 30+ years until she died. Then he got himself a girlfriend and was spending his money on her. Some of his kids had a really hard time financially (no drugs or alcohol.. got laid off and almost lost his home) and he never once helped him. All he gave him were insults. The father is very uneducated, can't read, and speaks his mind no matter how rude or how hurtful it is to the other person. Actually, several people in our neighbourhood don't care for the man at all.

Actually, none of the kids expect to get any money/possessions at all. He also plays the kids against each other. I think they are more curious to see what he will do with his stuff when he passes. When the kids all get together for a "family reunion", the father is invited only because of the fact that he's the father, which usually results in him causing some type of commotion within the family.

Maybe if there were no money, all the kids would be estranged from him! I don't know.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

amshunshine.
what if the child is npd?


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RE: All these estranged parents...

kaynsd: I think the answer depends on a lot of different variables. Is the child truly pathologically NPD, or does he/she just have some narcissistic traits which everyone has to a certain degree? Assuming the child is truly pathologically NPD (which I think is the thrust of your question) -- it is most likely due to dysfunctional family dynamics and even having a parent who has NPD. I think it would be extremely rare for a child to have full-blown pathological NPD without some serious dysfunction in the family. In such a case, there's really no reasoning with the parents or the child in terms of getting each side to empathize with the other. Pretty much a lost cause unless there was some serious therapy for all involved. However, NPD's rarely get therapy, and even those who do are rarely treated successfully.


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RE: So sorry!

Posted by kaynsd (My Page) on Fri, Aug 15, 08 at 16:06

"old bat !!! i'm offended :)"

I hope you aren't! Really!!! :) (that was selfish, non cooporative child speaking!)


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RE: All these estranged parents...

silver,

no way, i'm just joking. these conversations get so serious (as they should). i really liked the 'old bat' reference. i'm sure that's how i'm seen - by gf for sure.

amsunshine,

please do a little reading on NPD. Due to the rarity of it and it's characteristics - that of being always right - make it uncommon for the NPD to land in therapy. However, the medical community is discovering more and more about our genetic makeup and it's impact on personality. it can be as simple as having the genetics in combo with doting parenting. much is being done with functional mri's. also twin studies, both fraternal and identical. very intersting stuff. so now is the time to stop putting all the responsibility on the parents shoulders. it's a big world out there, and absent living in a vaccuum, our children are impacted by everyone in their midst, not just us.

do you have young children amsunshine? are you impacted by NPD? if you are check out the NPD discussion (something about mom is npd). if there is one with any influence on your children, i would sever that relationship to the point of casual contact only. there's nothing good that comes out of that relationship. to love something that really can't LOVE you back. how f'd is that?


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RE: All these estranged parents...

kaynsd -- I've read a lot about NPD and have known a number of people who have had it. If you read my post carefully, I did note that NPD's rarely get therapy.

From what I've read, there is very little evidence to support that the cause for NPD is solely genetic, but an overwhelming amount of evidence to support that the causes are the result of poor parenting, either overly permissive parenting or overly authoritarian (abusive either way). Even if one might be born with a propensity to develop NPD, it seems that the disorder is only developed after environmental triggers occur, and this starts in early childhood. (This is something your Sam Vaknin observes).

I agree wholeheartedly that it best to sever a relationship with someone with NPD, and keep one's children away from someone with NPD. If that person is your child, that is a truly difficult situation b/c the overwhelming amount of evidence right now suggests that poor parenting plays a large part in the development of the disorder, whether there is a genetic disposition or not.

Here is a link that might be useful: Narcissism more nurture than nature


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Be careful reading psych studies...

When you read psych studies, i.e., twin studies, make sure you are looking for the heritability of a personality disorder, not a trait associated with a personality disorder. While narcissism is a trait associated with narcissistic personality disorder, there are far more criteria to meet for the actual disorder. The trait of narcissism can be found to a greater or lesser degree in the general population -- and it is not just a trait of NPD -- there is healthy narcissm, too. I've heard of no studies, thus far, that claim specifically that narcissistic personality disorder can be heritable -- although there may be something very, very recent. That would be interesting to see.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

amsunshine,
i don't find the same when i do the research. it's a topic very dear to my heart - as i'm sure you can imagine. and i'm finding over and over so many discussions about the brain and it's differences.
so can you send me the links to the studies you find? and please not vaknin, i like reading his stuff, cause he's NPD and gives great warnings, but he's no scientist. when did he do his last functional MRI study? :)


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RE: All these estranged parents...

kaynsd: the studies are difficult to read if you aren't familiar with the terminology. Again, focus on specific heritability of the disorder, itself. If the study talks about heritability of narcissism as a trait, only, it does not purport to claim that NPD is heritable.

A good book to read that might help: The Behavioral Genetics of Psychopathology (2005), by Jang, Vernon, at pp. 90-91: "...the heritability of clinically diagnosed personality disorder is not really known. Unlike other psychopathologies, heritability studies of twin pairs with diagnosed personality disorders are virtually non-existent....Heritability studies of diagnosed personality disorders are rare, and the few that exist are based upon few samples (e.g., fewer than 20 pairs) or on patients who present with comorbid conditions that confound the results."

HTH.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

amsunshine,
so are you saying there are no studies? and samples less than 50 don't count.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

It appears so (and I am quoting from the book I cited to you -- I did not make it up). And I agree, samples less than 50 would pbly yield unconvincing results.

Again, there may be a number of studies on individual traits. But individual traits do not make a personality disorder. There has to be a confluence of factors. Which is why it's important to be careful about assuming someone else truly has a personality disorder without a diagnosis.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I have to say that I find myself agreeing with fluffed (I believe that is the poster's name.)

I am both a mil and a dil. I have been married (extremely happily) to my husband for over 32 years. We have two sons--one has been married for 6 years.

For fifteen years of our marriage, I got along (or thought I did ) very well with my mil. As she approached her early 60s, things seemed to fall apart between us. To me, it appeared out of the blue. She started criticizing me vocally--saying things that were curt and hurtful. I was shocked at first--and very hurt. As time went on, she started treating my husband the same way. She is in her early 80s now and has given other members the same treatment. She seems to think she can do or say anything that comes to mind--without regard of how her words affect others. She even says that she has earned this right due to her age. At this point, I avoid her whenever possible--and feel extremely stressed out when I do have to see her. To compound all that, I have learned that she regularly talks about my perceived shortcomings with other extended members of the family. She even told our married son and his wife that my husband and I have poor parenting skills. (We have two fine well educated responsible sons.)

On the other hand, I am a mil and get along very well with my dil. I would never dream of interfering with our son and dil's life, lecturing them about money---or anything else. We make no demands on them---in other words--no command appearances, etc. When a guest in their home, I don't try to take over or dictate what is cooked for meals (like my own mil does). There are plenty of things my dil does that I would not do---but I love her and would not dream of criticizing her to her face or to anyone else. We are all different people and have different ways of doing things.

I find myself very sad over the state of my relationship with my mil. I have become one of those "hated spouses" that I have seen some of the mils here rave about. It has really hurt my heart and I am finding it difficult to even be around a woman who I know despises me. My husband is very supportive and tries to shield me from her.

I just wanted to present my situation---as an example of another side to a story.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

In the book healing from family rifts, there is a list of probable signs of being NPD. One of the biggest indications someone is NPD is that they will not see a therapist! If one is willing to see a therapist, they are open to change and acceptance. NPDs are not open to change, since there is nothing wrong with them. NPDs are superior in everyway (in their minds at least.) With that superiority comes intolerance, lack of empathy for others being less intelligent then themselves, and controling behavior. If an NPD went to see a therapist, the therapist would be teaching them that they must work on certain things in order to have harmony....these people won't do that, they won't budge from who they believe they are (perfect!)

I still say if they treat us like dirt, they get nothing. No amount of money or personal items I leave them is going to convince them that we did love them. In fact, I believe that they not only know we love them, but use that love as a tool to get what they want. It's when we stop allowing them to abuse us in that fashion that we are moving forward. It would make me sick to leave anything to such a thoughtless, rude, insensitive person and I don't care if he is my son or not.

I see it as if I left some type of inheritance to my estranged son, that all he'd be doing is gloating over how right he was about my lack of intelligence.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

amsunshine,

check these out... looks like genetics play quite a role in personality:

http://personalitydisorders.suite101.com/article.cfm/antisocial_children

http://personalitydisorders.suite101.com/article.cfm/early_signs_of_antisocial_personal


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Anniebal, Just curious--have you gone for therapy?


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RE: All these estranged parents...

kaynsd: Interesting. However, neither of these studies deals specifically with NPD -- they are purporting to do research related to antisocial personality disorder (APD or ASPD) -- a different disorder. A study about a different personality disorder cannot demonstrate NPD is heritable.

Next, the first study "sets out to examine . . . antisocial behavior . . . [and] antisocial traits" but not the heritability of a personality disorder. As the authors of the book I quoted to you above indicated -- this research does not purport to study twins with personality disorders -- these are apparently healthy 7 yr old children who are exhibiting certain behaviors and/or traits. Whether they develop APD later remains to be seen.

Lastly, the second link you gave (from 2007) is apparently the very first long term study relating to traits of young children as predictive of adult psychopathy (and they are talking about APD -- not NPD). The authors of the study admit their research is preliminary -- and postulate their results may lead to an understanding of the heritability of APD (again, not NPD).

So, in any event, genetics may play a role in the heritability of APD -- but what role that is remains to be determined and the subject of further study. In any event, as was my original point, the weight of evidence we have today is that NPD is most strongly related to environmental factors, rather than genetics. I'm actually not sure why you are looking at APD studies to support your argument that NPD is heritable.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

the results in the current studies on personality (all personality) are finding genetics to be a factor. so, i'm really not that interested on the specific label NPD, only that we are a true combo of our genetics and our upbringing. that's all.

you seem to be so vigilant in your belief that that NPD is environmental. i doubt it.

it's like my dog, she's a lab. you could never turn her into a vicious guard dog. it's genetics. and vice versa. i could make her a better or worse hunting dog. i could make her more or less social.... but i couldn't make her aggressive. michael phelps would never been who he was if no one took him swimming. genetics? environment?

ps, my interest? i'm sick and tired of thinking it's my fault. of course if i knew the risk of less discipline, i would have done things differently, but i didn't. and people need to know these things about the potential risks of their childrens genetic personality traits. or initially about the importance of picking a good mate. it's in the genes, you can't change personality, only enhance or stiffle it. everything in our system tries to steer all children in the same direction irrespective of their very unique characteristics. i think it wouldn't hurt if we had some kind of a warning system. parents need all the help they can get. i never abused my son, he was a pretty happy, fun, kid.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

kaynsd,

I have done a lot of reading on NPD as well. I can not give you the exact sourse at the moment, but will try to find it.

I read the a person may just have narcissistic traits, but not the actual personality disorder. Traits can be partially hereditary and /or environmental. The thing most parents don't think of is that our children are exposed to many, many environmental factors than their parents. There was one study I read that was fairly recent about NPD/and Narcissistic traits, that pointed out that peers often have a bigger influence on a child's personality than parents. If you think about it, look at how much time they spend away from us just at school alone!


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I have been reading this thread with interest and wanted to share my "2 cents;" particularly about "blame" and "inheritance."

I grew up in a severely abusive home both physical and emotional. Two years ago, after being estranged from my entire family of origin for 14 years, we all reconciled.

I haven't met anyone yet (including myself) who has said, "I am estranged from so and so, and it is all MY fault." We tend to say, "I am estranged and it is THEIR fault; listen to what happened - this is my experience."

Currently, after moving through the reconciliation process with my mother, I have a new vantage point. She has her experience and I have mine. They are quite different; yet, to me it doesn't matter.

Sixteen years ago, I estranged myself from my mother (when I did, the rest of my family estranged from me). I don't regret my decision to estrange. As painful as it was - it afforded me the opportunity to heal from my abuse and find some peace in my life.

In the beginning of our estrangement, I looked at our conflicts and considered my perspective to be "right" and her perspective to be "wrong." I needed to do this to build a foundation for healing - to honor the depth of my injuries, to release my anger and to mourn my losses. It was the first layer of a necessary process.

Later, I understood that we were both "right" about our own experiences. Even though I could "hold" both of our experiences I still kept proper boundaries and didn't see her because I didn't feel safe. It was a major step for me to be able to have compassion for her without acting on that compassion vs. only seeing my side.

It seems clear that everyone has a right to protect themselves from severe abuse. My experience was that the estrangement was necessary for my very survival. At some point during our estrangement, I realized that whether I liked it or not, Mom and I had different experiences. Mom's experience was that I kept causing turmoil in her life by "complaining" about the abuse in the family. As skewed as this may seem to me, I do agree that this WAS her experience. My complaints DID cause turmoil in her life.

During our estrangement, I sought and received validation from others that it wasn't okay to abuse me. And Mom sought and received validation from others that I was a trouble-maker and shouldn't have cut her out of my life for any reason.

The validation I received from others to help me heal from my abuse and to navigate estrangement were invaluable to me. Conversely, as a mother myself, I am glad that my mother was able to find validation from others for her situation.

Estrangement is extremely painful. I have compassion for anyone dealing with this devastating loss.

About inheritance: My father died when I was a small child. When he died, the summer lake home he bought prior to his marriage to my mother was left in four equal parts to my mother, my two brothers and me. Mom immediately petitioned the courts for sole ownership and won. She made a promise to my brothers and me that she would transfer the property back to us in adulthood. The Lake encompassed wonderful childhood memories, our history and our connection to our beloved father. During our estrangement, Mom transferred the property to my two brothers and my half-brother by one of her subsequent marriages. I think my father would be very sad (as I am) that through a legal (and emotional) loop-hole I was cut out of the place he cherished so much.

This has been one of the greatest emotional hurdles I have encountered with respect to reconciliation.

For me, at least, inheritance isnt about money; one way or another it is an emotional statement. I believe everyone is entitled to make the statement they wish to make. As I said, when I stopped seeing my mother, the rest of my family stopped seeing me. My grandmother and I had always shared a loving relationship, so, I was both surprised and devastated when she refused to see me right up until her death.

After grandma died, my aunt brought me a check for my share of her inheritance. I cried for hours. Her "final" word was that she loved me after all. I assume that grandma suffered in life trying to "choose" between her daughter and her granddaughter. In death, she let me know she loved me.

Nancy


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I feel that "blaming" in regards to whose fault it is that individuals become estranged doesn't resolve the issues. We all come from imperfect parents; some parents make choices with their children that they are willing to take responsibility for, others may not ever get what their part was in the dissolution of the relationship...likewise for the children as adults. I agree that part of who we become is nature rather than nurture. At this stage of my life I realize that there are many things I cannot change...so I can only change the things I can and pray for the wisdom to know the difference. (i.e., "the serenity prayer")


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I agree that blaming anyone does not help. I know I have vented my frustration on this site which did appear like I was blaming, but it was more out of frustration that my DS won't make contact or allow direct contact. I so wish we could sit down and have a civil conversation and figure out a way to have a civil relationship with respect and dignty on both sides. I know for sure my husband and I made mistakes especially at the beginning of the estrangement. During this time we were having emails and phone calls fired at us with such cruelty, rudeness and accusations. Of course, our first response was to be defensive. Now that we have had time to think about it, we wish we would have either remained silent or were not defensive, but at the time it seemed like anything we said or did was wrong, even when we tried to apologize for whatever it was that we did wrong. I also think that no matter what we did this estrangement was going to happen, even though it was very, very sudden. Now that I look back over the 8 years that we knew our DS's GF the tension continued to get worse slowly over time. We tried to address it with our son asking him what we did or could do to make his GF not so upset with us and he said nothing---no explanation. Also after the estrangement our son gave us no real reason, but through GF it was communicated that I was crazy, my husband was manipulative and then a lot of silly little reasons (such as me not breast feeding DS 26 years ago).

SO now we are just at the point to accept the things we can not change as both parties in a realtionship have to want the change/relationship. We so admit that we made mistakes, but is so difficult when your only child won't even explain why he won't communicate with you and give you the opportunity to move forward.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

* Posted by straycat_wandering (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 26, 08 at 0:59

First of all I would like to say I KNOW it's got to be next to impossible to understand this blog if you've never been in this situation, which I know has been said before but for some it seems to be impossible to accept. The advise from people who have never "been in our shoes" keeps coming as if their lack of experience in this domain makes the feel "entitled" to give advise or critique the ones that live this on a daily basis.
Let me offer those of you who think you are great mother's because this didn't happen to you a straight forward answer to what I know to be true concerning your opinion/advise:
For once, lack of experience doesn't make you any more knowledgeable about the subject material.
Two- You are no "better mother's" than we were/are-believe it or not
Three-We don't "value" you're opinion; because you haven't been there-so you DON'T know what you are talking about.
Three-We are TRYING to heal and you are NOT helping
Four-Please, if you cannot support our "mission" find a mission you can support
I realize you are trying to help but please-realize you cannot help here. Experience is required.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

"it's like my dog, she's a lab. you could never turn her into a vicious guard dog. it's genetics. and vice versa. i could make her a better or worse hunting dog. i could make her more or less social.... but i couldn't make her aggressive. michael phelps would never been who he was if no one took him swimming. genetics? environment?"

You can teach any dog to attack and act aggressively, it's just some are going to be more effective at it than others. (I mean, a Chihuahua can be a non-stop, vicious little fiend, but if you're wearing boots, who cares?) In the UK, where for decades the German breeds were unpopular as a matter of national pride, the Labrador Retriever was, and FAIK still is, the favorite breed for Police/attack work. Considering that it's within recent memory that Bobbies started carrying firearms, it's doubtful they would have depended on the Lab if it wasn't capable of doing the job.

I don't understand your point about Phelps concerning genetics vs upbringing. He doesn't have webbed feet; his success is the result of years of dedication on his part (hours of practice), and years of tweaking and technological advances on the part of the sport such as the high tech suits and the micromanaged training program. If he hadn't been introduced to swimming, he probably would have spent high school on some basketball team. Perhaps Phelps represents the new direction competitive swimming is headed; maybe in 10 or 15 years all the male swimmers will be tall, lanky, loose jointed lads with low slung, computer designed plastic swim suits and a killer bikini wax. (and won't that be fun to watch?)

But only time, and the corporate sponsors, will tell.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

straycat,
First, please allow me to explain this is not a "blog"; it's a corporate sponsored, public forum, open to ALL. Personal experinence may be helpful, but it is NOT "required" to post on this or any other topic at THS or GW.

I have not seen anyone making any claims about being a "better mother" than anyone else, so I don't understand the apparent chip on your shoulder regarding that point.

If you personally don't like what someone else has written, you are free to address your concerns/complaints to that person, -but- it is not up to you or any other poster to decide whether or not something is "helpful" to the group. Unless you are posting here as multiple personalities (which HAS been done), you are not a "we". Just because YOU personally don't value the opinion/advice of others does not give you the final say in who is allowed to contribute, or what they may be allowed to discuss. I suppose that if you consider that offensive, you are free to start your own board or blog or whatever where you may manage both the members and the content, but as long as this is a public forum, everyone is still welcome to contribute as they see fit.

"
Four-Please, if you cannot support our "mission" find a mission you can support"

I probably shouldn't, but I have to ask; what exactly is the "mission"?


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Straycat, don't let yourself fall prey to the gallimaufry of certain "participants." Ignore them.

("Gallimaufry" from Medieval Dutch maffelen, "to open one's mouth wide.")


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Oh look; a new userID. It just makes me get all fuzzy inside when when I get a chance to learn a new vocabulary word.

Here's a new word for you: disapprobation.

I won't spoil your fun by giving you the definition, but I will use it in a sentance.
"I have nothing but disapprobation for so called "adults" who hide behind multiple user IDs like a nerdy 8th grader in computer science class."

(Don't you think it's about time to grow up and knock it off?)


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Ah, bloobird, you fell for that one even better than we had hoped.

Now we all know who has appointed herself the internet police. You see, folks, when someone responds to one of her posts in a fashion she does not care for, she gets them banned.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Hey, if the shoe fits, wear it Cinderella. I didn't even have to bother looking anything up, as the snarky hit and run style of the uh, "newest" poster was such a good match for someone else already known for their multiple IDs. (But thanks anyway for confirming a lucky guess.) FWIW, believe me when I tell you, not only am I not the "internet police", I have no authority or position that enables me to have anyone "banned" from this or any other site.

I'm no expert in these things, but you know, if someone really is finding his or her self "banned" from THS or GW, rather than trying to blame others, they might want to look at changing their behaviour.

I'm just sayin'...


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Thanks, no1name, for the new word-"gallimaufrey"...seriously!


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Well bloobird, after your response I read over the posts (it's just a word, relax) again.
I think because we are all in some degree of pain here that sometimes we can't "hear" the meaning behind the words-it's like adrenalin it can save our lives if we have to run from an attacker- but it can block our thought process if we have to also "feel" the words.
You sound like you are hurting and hurting and all you can get out sounds a lot like anger. You argue, you pick, you insult and all this time your one true emotion is left unexpressed, your pain.
I would like to hear what you are really feeling, and if that includes some anger and harsh words to me; so be it. I do wear "big girl panties" and there are a lot of days they have to be made of cast iron-so please share.
I think you did pick the right place to share your thoughts. The short time I've been reading these posts, Ive noticed many, many people with warm hearts, who truly want to help one another. But please, give us the real feelings, hurt-whatever-don't just slap on the "critique"-ok-because that just gets in the way and it doesn't make it better...
Take care - I know it seems easier to cover up our feelings with anger, but it doesn't help our feelings. Just give this some thought, ok...


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I've lurked on here for some time, but this post is the first that made me angry enough to register and respond.

first off - i'm not estranged from my parents. i'm 26 years old and have a sister, my only other sibling, that is estranged. i read some of these posts about, 'don't try to offer help to the blind, unless you yourself is blind,' or something equally as inconsiderate, and i have only one thing to say: unless you're not going through it, then you truly cannot understand it. you can't. you may think you can, but you can't. you just can't. estrangement deals with a depth of pain that one cannot sympathize with. in order to actually understand what it feels like, you have to go through it yourself. i don't care what you say, but that's the bottom line with me: unless you're going through an estrangement yourself, then you CANNOT understand what it feels like. and this means you cannot sit there and be judgmental and tell ppl what they're doing wrong. you're talking about parents and children, and there is no relationship deeper than that. to even presume to know what has gone wrong and to tell that parent what they have done wrong is ludicrous. you, in no way, can judge any of these parents on this forum. you think you understand the pain of estrangement even though you haven't been through it yourself? you don't. not even a little. i see the pain my parents, particularly my mother, go through everyday. you think you can come even close to comprehending that pain? you can't.

so save your judgment. save your holier-than-thou-if-it-were-me-i-wouldn't-disinherit-them. save it. you don't know what these people are going through. you don't know their pain, and unless you go through it yourself, you will NEVER know their pain. that's right. it's the kind of pain that you know only when you yourself go through it. there is pain like that in the world. agree with me or not, i don't care. feel insulted, i don't care. just don't presume to think you know enough to even come close to what these people are feeling like. they come on here seeking support from others who are going through the same thing. they don't need someone who doesn't know what estrangement feels like to sit there and point out what that person thinks they're doing wrong. save it.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

But, it's okay for the so called estranged parents to invalidate other people who have been abused by their parents? There is a reason for the estrangement and in some cases it is due to the parents abusing their own children. In other cases it could be the children who are mainly at fault. Each case is different and needs to be treated as such.

I consider having my story and feelings invalidated a form of abuse so there is a prime example of what I am referring to.

For those that it applies to you need to look at yourselves to see what role you played in the prior events leading up to the estrangement.

And as for not knowing about the pain of estrangement. Whether it is the child that is initiating the estrangement or the parent doesn't really matter. Pain is pain and it is valid on both sides of the fence. If I have to totally cut off my mother in my life it is painful for me also. I don't want to have to do that but since she refuses to see her part in the equation and wants to continually heap abuse upon me she leaves me no choice. My happiness and sanity are important too.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I;m sorry, but it's just not as painful for you as it is the parents. Haven't you ever heard about how most parents don't recover after the loss of a child? How many kids do you hear of not recovering over the death of a parent? It's a completely different relationship on each side. Yes, the children love their parents, but not to the depth that a parent loves a child.

I don't know many kids that would jump in front of a speeding train to save their mom or dad, but the other way around is the norm (especially for mothers.)

You only think you have the same pain, but you have idea of how deeply it hurts. Your the one doing the estranging, that makes it easier right off the bat.

The amount of abusers on these sites is probably miniscule if any. Abusive parents aren't searching the internet looking for support about why their abused children don't love them. You think those parents really care? If they cared they wouldn't have abused the kids in the first place.

I cannot understand the cowardly step of estrangement unless it is because of physical/sexual or emotional abuse. There is not reason that the majority of differences cannot be talked through and worked out in some form or another. That's not my opinion, that's fact. I've read many many books on psychology, families, children, etc. and there is just no reason for this type of behavior other than the rare reasons I gave above.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Hey Annie:

I tried to give you some support on another post regarding your son not seeing you but I take exception to your comments below and feel the need to oppose your false statements as follows:

Posted by anniebal (My Page) on Sun, Sep 21, 08 at 3:01

You Said: I;m sorry, but it's just not as painful for you as it is the parents. Yes, the children love their parents, but not to the depth that a parent loves a child.

That is a bunch of b.s. and I find that statement insulting. Like I said before pain is pain and it applies to both sides of the fence whether you like it or not. I think I did more than my share by putting up with my mom for as long as I did. Relationships are two way streets and sometimes love is not enough.

You Said: You only think you have the same pain, but you have idea of how deeply it hurts.

I never said I only think I have the same pain and comparing pain and who hurts more is totally pointless and doesn't solve the problem of the estrangement. If you want to solve your problem then you need to look at what is behind the estrangement and deal with that.

You Said: Your the one doing the estranging, that makes it easier right off the bat.

You need to think before you speak. You think that it is easier for me since I am doing the estranging? How would you know? Are you me? Have you or are you putting up with what I have and am putting up with? No it is not easier for me and anyone in their right mind would not want to be estranged from their parents unless there was a very good reason for it. For me being estranged is a last resort after all avenues have been considered and still nothing works and the same destructive and abusive behaviours still continue to go on and on.

I have put up with many years of garbage and even offered to go to counselling together but my mother refuses to go. She discounts my feelings and my needs and refuses to stop doing what she is doing that is destructive to the relationship. Her position is and always has been that she is doing nothing wrong and that the responsibility for the relationship is all on me. No matter what I do or don't do it doesn't make a difference. She is never pleased or satisfied.

She constantly criticizes me and puts me down. Even behind my back to my grown son if you can believe that. She takes no responsibility at all for her actions but somehow makes everything my fault.

Even though she is a pain in the backside I have invited her for holiday dinners and she still treats me like garbage.

My sister was always the favourite and has estranged from her totally. I have been more loyal to my mom than my sister and have been dumped on as a reward. How do you think that feels smartypants? I ended up being her executor since my sister won't do it and my mom still treats me like garbage and accuses me of wanting her money when she dies. I am sick of her garbage and told her she can take her money and stick it and that I wanted to be disinherited. Then she says that if she disinherits me that I will contest her will? Why would I want her money when I want nothing to do with her? I don't need her money but she can't get that through her thick head. Being falsely accused over and over and emotionally abused has pushed me over the edge and enough is enough. It's time for some natural consequences. But I suppose you don't think all of this plus things that you don't know are painful enough.

You Said: The amount of abusers on these sites is probably miniscule if any. Abusive parents aren't searching the internet looking for support about why their abused children don't love them. You think those parents really care? If they cared they wouldn't have abused the kids in the first place.

That is not true. First of all my mom doesn't have a computer or go on the internet. Second, my mom was going to an old lady widow club or as I like to call it the Pity Party. What do you think that she did there? Complain about me and how I am angry at her all the time. Try to make it out that I am the bad daughter and that she is the innocent one. By only telling one side of the story and exaggerating the details she tries to illicit other's to feel sorry for her at my expense. So you are wrong. Abusive people do illicit sympathy and put on an innocent face and act like they are the victim just to get attention. Happens all the time.

You Said: I cannot understand the cowardly step of estrangement unless it is because of physical/sexual or emotional abuse.

Estrangement is not normal so if there is an estrangement then there is a reason behind it. It is not cowardly to protect yourself and ensure your survival if someone is trying to destroy you. Even if it is a family member it doesn't matter. If they will not get help or stop then you either put up and shut up and self destruct or protect yourself and survive. It is as simple as that. And go call someone else a coward because it doesn't apply to me and my situation.

You Said: There is not reason that the majority of differences cannot be talked through and worked out in some form or another. That's not my opinion, that's fact. I've read many many books on psychology, families, children, etc. and there is just no reason for this type of behavior other than the rare reasons I gave above.

I don't care how many books you read. Real life is not a book and theory is not the same as practical. But you are right that differences can be worked out. But that doesn't mean that they will be worked out. You need both parties to be willing to communicate and make adjustments if necessary. But, when there is no honest communication and/or cooperation on both sides then a resolution is not forthcoming. Relationships are two way streets and both sides need to do their part. Rare reasons my backside. Abusive parents are more common than you think. I do not think it is rare at all. It makes you wonder why some people even bother to have families in the first place if they don't know what a family is. My family of origin was a group of people who were more like enemies in the war zone than any kind of family. Families should love and support one another. I never had that growing up.

Oh, I almost forgot. I believe you made a reference to mother's protecting their children but not the other way around. Well you are full of you know what regarding that too. You want proof. Well contemplate this.

When I was growing up there were many times when my dad was drunk and about to get violent with my mother. I am a girl and was quite young maybe 6 or so and I had called the cops on many occasions. I also remember many times literally running out of the house not even having time to put shoes on and going to the neighbor's two doors down and getting them to phone the police. That was done to protect my mom. Where the hell was my protection? One time I even was about to phone the cops and my dad literally ripped the phone out of the wall. Remember I am a girl and was quite small when doing this. Who is the coward now, huh?

When I was older as a teenager. My dad decided to act like a crazy person and was following me down the hallway pointing a knife at me. Did my mom protect me and phone the cops like I did for her many times before? Absolutely not. I asked her later on why she did nothing to protect me and her answer was that if she did he might go after her with the knife. So much for your idea of motherly protective instincts.

I was a little kid and was not thinking of myself. She was a grown woman and only thought of herself. You get the picture now?


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RE: All these estranged parents...

mommybunny, as I stated there are extreme situations where estrangements are warranted, and yours certainly seems to fit that criteria.

I'm sorry if I offended you, obviously your mother is a difficult person who doesn't or didn't possess the normal mother child protective instincts.

Your situation actually sounds like role reversal which I think could have happened due to the alcohol situation. I feel very badly that you suffered the way you did, having to run and call the police as such a young child. How terrified you must have been, I can only imagine. Your mother was probably co-dependant and did everything your dad wanted, pleasing him when her first obligtion was to love and protect you.

I know that you cannot judge every situation from a book. I still believe in many, many cases estrangement is a cowardly act such as how my son is using it against us. With my son it is a tool to get what he wants, which is more control and power.

What you state about your sister being estranged even tho she was the favorite certainly speaks volumes also. It sounds like you were the one who tried the hardest to make things work and certainly shouldn't be blamed for your actions to not see your mother any longer. It does sound like it was estrangement or bust.

I do agree that your mom is using her friends to paint you as a bad daughter, however I still don't think truly abusive parents are on the internet searching for people to support them for behaving badly. Most of those people (I feel,) don't even realize that they are terrible people and treated their loved ones badly. Just as you offered to do therapy with you mom and she won't have it, we have done the same. We have offered everything but the kitchen sink to try and get along and move forward, but my dil is making it very difficult for my son. There's no question in my mind she suffers from some sort of personality disorder.

I hope you'll accept my explanation and realize that I truly wasn't pointing fingers and you directly with my comments.

anniebal


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Wow- emotions are running at full speed I see...
Well, I feel I should add a thought...Because I've been on both sides of the fence, in fact all around the barn yard.
BAckground:
First of all my job exposes me to abusive parents every day of the week, and I was raised (part-time) with a cruel mother. Whom I still see and try my best to care for...yes, she is still abusive and I know everyone's case is different and everyone has limits to what they can handle. That is a God given right and I respect that.
Second-I have lost a child to death, and a part of me died...
Third-I have also lost my children who are alive.
I have lost the only real parents I ever had (grand-parents) who raised me.

NOW: I'd like to say this: There is no greater HELL on earth than losing a child. Yes, my feelings and my opinion-but obviously shared by many, many mothers as witnessed by the many many posts.
No mother is perfect, but I can also tell you this: The abused children I work with (and I am talking severally abused) love their mother. They want their mother and it's for sure not always in their best interests.

So, this is the second go-round for me as my other children are estranged not because of abuse-because they are mad at me for divorcing their father (who was an ok..father) but an awful husband. Unfortunately I am the bad one, because I was the one who was sober...and not passed out. So yes, they think he was a good father, because he never did a thing.
So....I was the one who went out in the worst parts of town to find them-went to the plays and track meets, and was always there and loved with all of my heart and soul. AMD I WAS Fully awake and knew what was going on all the time...
So...some of us got here not because we didn't put our heart and our souls on the line again and again for our children, but because we didn't ever get the respect we earned. Why...well I will tell you this-just because you earn it doesn't mean you'll get it. If you think differently stick around in the reality section of life a little longer and I'm sure you'll get the change to experience that one.
We are here to support mothers who have lost their children. Not to put them down or figure out "what they did wrong." Let me tell you and I will bet money on this one-Everyone of us has racked our brains, our hearts, our souls, and yes, saw-therapists-counselors-prayed, cried and at times thought surely we would die. Know why-(you won't if you haven't been there and I hope with all of my heart that those of you who don't exactly have an encouraging word never have to experience this) this is why-because mothers who love their children the way we do- have a hole in their hearts that cannot be healed. AND it hurts! It hurts like nothing you can imagine. AND WE all know that we are going to carry this hole in our hearts for the rest of our lives...it will never get better and it certainly will never heal.
So when we say-if you are not in the situation that we are in you cannot possibly imagine how we hurt we know what we are talking about.
AND we don't need your well thought out advise because we already tried to blame the problems on ourselves YES-DON'T" YOU SEE? That way we could FIX EVERYTHING! Do you see it fixed-NO!!!
that must not be it...so please "have mercy" if you can't say something nice-then please just leave us in peace...


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RE: All these estranged parents...

straycat wandering: THANK YOU so much for your message, particularly where you say "mothers who love their children the way we do- have a hole in their hearts that cannot be healed. AND it hurts! It hurts like nothing you can imagine. AND WE all know that we are going to carry this hole in our hearts for the rest of our lives...it will never get better and it certainly will never heal."

My problem stems from my dil trying to bully my husband and me regarding their wedding; she would call and "tell" us what we were to give them and why we should pay more than her parents; long story short, we didn't give in to their immature ways; my son refused to speak with us about it other than to say "I go along with whatever she says" and after the wedding they came to our home, swore at us for leaving the reception early and stormed out, followed by my son sending me an email saying he never wants to hear from me again, no b'day cards, no holiday cards, nothing.

I have felt what you wrote for over a year and continue to feel the pain. My hope is that each day without my son will get easier. Thank you again.


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Tough Love Is A Good Thing Sometimes

In regards to your message Annie:

You Said: Your situation actually sounds like role reversal which I think could have happened due to the alcohol situation....Your mother was probably co-dependant and did everything your dad wanted, pleasing him when her first obligtion was to love and protect you.

I think it is more of an abandonment of any responsibility not only to herself but also to her children. As for being co-dependant. That is a given for any spouse that is with an alcoholic or drug addicted spouse. Anyone can get into these relationships but if you stay then I think there is something wrong with you putting up with it. In my case when I was born in the sixties they had welfare so she could have left and got support for herself and her children. She could have got a divorce and a court order for alimony and child support. She chose to be dysfunctional and stay with an alcoholic.

You Said: With my son it is a tool to get what he wants, which is more control and power.

How does he get more control and power? By saying unless you do this or that I won't see you? If that is the case then a little bit of tough love is in order. He won't get very far if you don't put up with or buy into it.

You Said: We have offered everything but the kitchen sink to try and get along and move forward, but my dil is making it very difficult for my son. There's no question in my mind she suffers from some sort of personality disorder.

Maybe that is part of the problem. You are trying too hard and certain individuals are aware of that and using it to their advantage and against you. Whether your dil is suffering from a personality disorder or not doesn't change what is happening.

If your son really wants to have contact with you I don't see how your dil can totally control that. If he has a cell phone he can call you when she's not around. He can go to a pay phone to call you. He can arrange to meet you somewhere on his own time. Unless she follows him everywhere he goes she doesn't have total control of him.

Other than that. If you feel your son is playing games with you you can always inform him that it is not appropriate and that if he thinks that it is funny to treat you without any respect that you won't put up with it anymore. Leave the door open but at the same time don't set yourself up to be abused. I've had to do a similiar thing with my daughter due to her poor lifestyle choices.


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No, I Don't See

Well, I think this will be my last post. Taking up too much of my time and I don't totally agree with a lot of posters here. The only reason I was here was I was doing a search on estrangement because of the situation with my mother and this was one of the search results.

No one here has to agree with me but I still feel there are two sides to the story and I also have a right to my opinion even if people can't handle it or don't like it.

I don't see why someone would take care of their abusive aging mother especially if she is still being abusive. Yes I know there is a sense of obligation but nowadays there are homes and agencies that can care for the elderly. The family doesn't necessarily have to do all the work. What is the point of putting up with abuse? You won't get any special awards or brownies for what you are doing. Do you want everyone to say what a good person you are for putting up with abuse? I just don't get it. How can you love and care for someone that abuses you? You would think that it would make you angry and that you would come to hate the person. Unless you are confusing love with abuse.

NOW: I'd like to say that there is no point comparing who is going through the greater HELL on earth. Since everyone's life is different that answer would also be different. Someone else may be going through the greater HELL but you may not see it that way. So what? Why the need to compare pain?

Who said you have to be a perfect mother? There is no such thing. Big difference between being an imperfect mother and being an abusive one. There is no comparison. And again I don't see how you can love someone that continually abuses you. This doesn't seem normal to me but maybe you see it differently and that is fine.

How can you have an ok father and an awful husband? Doesn't seem to go together at all. If the parent's marriage is bad then it is going to affect the kids. If the husband is alcoholic then he's not going to be a good husband or a good father. His only concern is himself and the bottle. If you are married to an alcoholic then you are a co-dependent and your only concern is yourself and the alcoholic. Strong words I know but I grew up in an alcoholic home and am talking from experience. If what I'm saying doesn't apply in your situation then accept my apologies but usually that is the way it is.

It is also not unusual for the kids to have resentments against the non-alcoholic parent. By being co-dependent and tolerating the alcoholic's behaviour the kids will often lose respect for the co-dependent mother. See it from the kids perspective. The kids look up to and depend on the parent's. What they end up getting is parent's that can't even get a handle on their own lives and provide adequate role models.

And probably because of this lack of respect the kids may blame you and not the alcoholic. Maybe if you confront your kids and apologize for putting them in an alcoholic family environment that will help. Then again, maybe not. It depends on how much they know about the family dynamics of alcoholic homes, how mature they are, and if they are willing to accept reality.

My intention was not to give well thought advice but just stating my own experiences and how I see things. You don't have to accept what I say if it doesn't apply to you.

Typical co-dependent thinking. You do everything for someone else and you can't figure out why you don't get the respect back. You see yourself as good and self-sacrificing and don't even consider your role in the failed relationship. Maybe your kids are ungrateful and selfish. Did you teach and expect your kids to respect you when they were growing up. Now that they are grown do you let them get away with not respecting you? Do you let them use you? Then you need to stop enabling them to treat you like garbage. Do you think they are going to stop what they are doing if they are selfish and ungrateful kids or are getting what they want from you when they want it?

Okay, I guess I've said enough and caused enough turmoil on here. But I would like to ask you board members one question.

When is enough misery enough? How long are you going to wallow in misery over something that someone else has done to you that you may have little to no control over? What is your purpose in life? I'm sure it is not to be miserable indefinately. Eventually you need to work through your pain and come out the other end. Make the best of what you have in life. That is all anyone really has control over.

As one last example. My dad has been dead for about 21 years now. Yet my mom still complains about him and is still telling me what a b*****d and w***e m****r he is. She is a pathetic co-dependent that refuses to see reality. She continues to wallow in the misery and probably will till she dies. She is a miserable, self-absorbed, nasty and bitter person. She is wasting her remaining years on earth in misery and it doesn't have to be this way. She chooses misery instead of healing and making her life better.

Don't be like my mother and waste your life on misery and wallowing in self pity. It is a waste of time. Try to fix your end of the estranged relationship. If it doesn't work then move on. Of course it is hard but who said life was easy. Sometimes life is like the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme. Not everything can be fixed.

That is about all I am willing to say. Good luck to all posters resolving your difficulties.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

amommybunny,
I'm sorry if you got the idea I was trying to win at a competitive sport.
You and you're relationship with your mother is I'm sure the best you can do for her under the circumstances. Please understand that no matter how I feel about my mother I must live with myself and the choices I make, that is why I am there for her. I feel she has deep issues of which she may-or for that matter may not be consciously aware of or in control of, and I can say that I did the best I could and tried no matter waht the outcome. I do not base my self-esteem on the way she acts towards me or the things she says...So; as you said; my choice and it is never in anyone's best interest to judge or let preconceived notions be an excure to judge someone especially their intentions.
NO, you were not on target about the alcohole issue it also has deeper roots than I explained. For the support we offer each other is not conditional on our ability to agree or present ideals for someone to follow.
Many times it is hard for people to reach out and offer support without judgement, and I'm sure that is especially true in your predictament due to the abuse you suffered as a child.
HOwever, it does not mean that those of us who can offer such support are lacking or fail to see a bigger picture.
Or is true, everyone feels differently about the pain they suffer and which ones are the most painful for them. That is why I added the note about for those of us who are deeply hurt because we feel we tried our best.
I hope your research project was successful, but I'm not sure the majority of us feel good about beomg guinea pig for your research . Next time you may want to ask...
Good luck with your mom.


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What Are You Talking About?

Hello straycat:

I don't totally get what you are talking about and you are making some false assumptions. I have no idea why but it seems to be prevalent on this board.

You Said: I'm sorry if you got the idea I was trying to win at a competitive sport.

I don't know where you got this idea from. I never said such a thing or even thought such a thing. Maybe you should ask first before making such assumptions.

You Said: You and you're relationship with your mother is I'm sure the best you can do for her under the circumstances. Please understand that no matter how I feel about my mother I must live with myself and the choices I make, that is why I am there for her. I feel she has deep issues of which she may-or for that matter may not be consciously aware of or in control of, and I can say that I did the best I could and tried no matter waht the outcome.

That is fine with me. You need to follow your own conscience. I just choose not to be the martyr in my situation. The door is open if my Mom wants to communicate and resolve issues but that is usually not the case. I'm not the dumping ground for abuse.

You Said: I do not base my self-esteem on the way she acts towards me or the things she says...So; as you said; my choice and it is never in anyone's best interest to judge or let preconceived notions be an excure to judge someone especially their intentions.

I've already been down the self-esteem road with someone else on this board and I don't personally believe in the concept of self-esteem. And no one can know another person's intentions unless they ask and are given an honest answer. I don't believe I judged anyone's intentions.

You Said: NO, you were not on target about the alcohole issue it also has deeper roots than I explained. For the support we offer each other is not conditional on our ability to agree or present ideals for someone to follow.

I have no idea what you mean by this statement. I do know about alcoholic homes since I grew up in one and have firsthand experience of it. I also have lots of books regarding the subject and even though some of the circumstances may be different the dynamics of an alcoholic home are quite similar.

You Said: Many times it is hard for people to reach out and offer support without judgement, and I'm sure that is especially true in your predictament due to the abuse you suffered as a child.

I don't know what you mean by this statement either. I wasn't judging anyone. I was just stating that there are two sides to the story. I also was stating my own experiences to back up what I was saying. I state what I think and don't go around judging people on purpose. More than can be said for some people on this board I might add.

You Said: HOwever, it does not mean that those of us who can offer such support are lacking or fail to see a bigger picture.
Or is true, everyone feels differently about the pain they suffer and which ones are the most painful for them. That is why I added the note about for those of us who are deeply hurt because we feel we tried our best.

Anyone can offer support. That has nothing to do with me. I just didn't see the point of comparing pain levels. To me pain is pain and it is valid on both sides of the fence. And if you feel that you tried your best then that is what you did. Maybe it is better to move on instead of re-hashing the same old thing if nothing good comes out of it.

You Said: I hope your research project was successful, but I'm not sure the majority of us feel good about beomg guinea pig for your research . Next time you may want to ask...

Speaking of judgments, this is a prime example of what I was talking about. You are way out of line on this one. Don't even think about accusing me of something so stupid as this. I am not doing a research project and I have no idea where you got that idea from. And I wasn't using anyone as a guinea pig for my so called research. You're way off base and I have no idea why you would even accuse me of such a thing.

Why should I have to defend myself against stupid false accusations like this anyways. This is how it is. I am currently still having problems with my mom. Every now and then I look on the internet for information to help me out and I was looking for information on estrangement. That is how I saw this website. I read the messages and got the impression that they seemed a bit one sided so I just offered the other side of the story. Being that kids don't want to be estranged from their parent's but sometimes they feel they have no choice. It's either put up with the abuse or put a stop to it.

In case you're wondering I'm not some University kid doing some research for some thesis or term paper. I happen to have two full grown children and am a grandmother of one grandson whom I am raising as my own. Any information that I gather from the internet is for my own personal use. But, why should I have to explain this anyways?

You Said: Good luck with your mom.

I'll deal with my Mom as best as I can. Thanks for the sentiment.


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RE: Chihuahuas

(I mean, a Chihuahua can be a non-stop, vicious little fiend, but if you're wearing boots, who cares?)

Put your boots on ladies, they've released the Chihuahuas!

:)


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RE: Total confusion

Am I the only one who's confused? What is this all about?


Posted by no1name (My Page) on Fri, Aug 29, 08 at 18:03
Straycat, don't let yourself fall prey to the gallimaufry of certain "participants." Ignore them. ("Gallimaufry" from Medieval Dutch maffelen, "to open one's mouth wide.")

Posted by bloobird (My Page) on Fri, Aug 29, 08 at 20:47
Oh look; a new userID. It just makes me get all fuzzy inside when when I get a chance to learn a new vocabulary word. Here's a new word for you: disapprobation. I won't spoil your fun by giving you the definition, but I will use it in a sentance. "I have nothing but disapprobation for so called "adults" who hide behind multiple user IDs like a nerdy 8th grader in computer science class." (Don't you think it's about time to grow up and knock it off?)

Posted by bobosfriend (My Page) on Sat, Aug 30, 08 at 10:55
Ah, bloobird, you fell for that one even better than we had hoped. Now we all know who has appointed herself the internet police. You see, folks, when someone responds to one of her posts in a fashion she does not care for, she gets them banned.

Posted by bloobird (My Page) on Sun, Aug 31, 08 at 1:06
Hey, if the shoe fits, wear it Cinderella. I didn't even have to bother looking anything up, as the snarky hit and run style of the uh, "newest" poster was such a good match for someone else already known for their multiple IDs. (But thanks anyway for confirming a lucky guess.) FWIW, believe me when I tell you, not only am I not the "internet police", I have no authority or position that enables me to have anyone "banned" from this or any other site. I'm no expert in these things, but you know, if someone really is finding his or her self "banned" from THS or GW, rather than trying to blame others, they might want to look at changing their behaviour. I'm just sayin'...


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Chihuahuas & Total Confusion

There seems to be a post missing or else the last two don't make any sense at all.

I presume that someone didn't like what I said, again. Oh, well. Some of you guys need to grow up and look at yourselves. If you don't like someone's opinion then you don't have to accept it but making false accusations is just plain sick.

It's not uncommon for people on message boards to make up stories and play mind games with people. Guess they have nothing better to do.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

i want to thank everyone who has expressed themselves regardless of their motives. i know its easier to play it safe and say nothing rather than take a chance and put your heart out there in the open, but i'm grateful to you for your words. you have helped to give me greater insight into this very deep and pervasive reality.

i am 50 years old and i feel i have a good relationship with my mother. but unfortunately my older brother and sister decided to divorse my mother about three years ago. it's a long story which i will spare you the details but because i was trying to play peacekeeper my brother and sister decided to divorse me too. the last communication i had from them was their refusal to meet with me with a family mediation expert who i had found to help teach us how to resolve these emotional issues in a way that doesn't antagonize or demonize the other point of view. as i sat in his office alone he looked at me knowing that my siblings would not show up and asked me "how many psychologist does it take to change a light bulb?" not knowing where this was going i said 'I don't know, three?" he said " no only one, but the light bulb has to want to change."

the bottomline is my older brother and sister are not interested in a process that requires them to stop blaming my mother since this would mean they would have to finally take responsibility for all the failures in their life. as sucessful as they've been professionally i doubt they are capable of this feat personally. they've invested so much of this "blame mother" rationalization that i think ressolving our differences threatens them existentially on some level and they wouldn't know what it means to live without blame. it's an addiction of some kind. the avoidance of taking responsibility for you anger.

parents are easy targets. though i've always communicated with my mother i too use to blame her for all my woes but then i realized that blame is just a way to mask the fears i have about my own failures and the poor choices i've made in life. as soon as i realized this my life began to change. now i see my mother as a human being. she is not perfect and she made mistakes along the way but we are able to talk about it. my older brother and sister underestimate my mother's capability for dialogue, that reality in itself says more about how they allow fear to rule their thoughts. how is it in their interest to allow us an oppurtunity to ressolve the issues between us? the answer is it's not. they're only interested and validating they're own sense of victimization. no one represses them they repress themselves. just as i use to repress myself, no one was doing it to me. i was doing it to myself!

presently my mother is doing fine. she's gone thru the different stages of acceptance but refuses to feel depressed or sorry for herself. i admire her and she knows i will be there for her all the way to the end.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Hello beginnerseye:

I agree with most of what you are saying. But would like to add that children are also easy targets not just the mothers. It is also true that nothing will be resolved unless everyone is willing to participate and contemplate change.

As for blaming. Stating what your parent or child did is just stating the facts. However, using them as an excuse is another thing. I also agree that you need to be responsible for your own actions. The parents are responsible for the children until they are grown up. After that the adult children need to take responsibility for their own actions. The children are not responsible for the parents so parents are also responsible for their actions. I strongly believe in personal accountability.

And as for validating victimization. That is a waste of time. I don't know why people do this other than to continue to use the self-pity stance as an excuse not to do something about their situation. As long as you see yourself as a victim you will continue to be stuck. As I've said before. Victims need to take action to change their situation the best they can. Better yet, stop seeing yourself as a victim. Seeing yourself as a victim is degrading and depressing. I think it is much better and productive to see yourself as an over comer of adverse circumstances.

This is just my opinion and anyone is free to disagree if they choose but there is no need for immature posts referring to small mexican dogs. If I were really a dog of which I'm not I would choose to be a poodle since they are intelligent and dignified.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

hello mommybunny, i appreciate your response.

yes you are correct in stating that children are indeed easy targets as well. but eventually the child has to grow up and evolve into an adult. part of that evolution involves learning how to take responsibility for your actions/thoughts/feelings. it's a journey each individual must walk and a big part of it is learning how to stop blaming; for this will impede personal growth. i'm not saying it is easy. it can be a long road for some, but a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

my mother is 79 years old and yet she wanted to participate in a family mediation meeting that would bring all parties together to facilitate constructive dialogue. her only condition being that an objective third party be present to help promote civil discourse. after initially agreeing to meet they eventually backed out and didn't show up. what else can one do to begin the process of healing. what reason could someone have to not participate unless there too invested in wanting things to remain as they are? here was the perfect oppurtunity to articulate and express their feelings and give my mother an oppurtunity to respond to their feelings and in the end they chose to deny her this possibility. how can we proceed toward reconciliation if we can't agree to meet somewhere and talk about it?

of course my sister and brother had a highly principled and just rationalization for not wanting to participate in the meeting but isn't just a fancy excuse that only helps to perpetuate the problem? it confuses me as to their real motives.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Hello beginnerseye:

You Said: of course my sister and brother had a highly principled and just rationalization for not wanting to participate in the meeting but isn't just a fancy excuse that only helps to perpetuate the problem? it confuses me as to their real motives.

One thing that I've learned from experience is that you can't control other people. Other people may do a lot of things that don't make sense and even if you confront them on the issues they are still free to do what they please. With some people there is no reasoning. If you can't communicate and reason with another person then it's almost impossible to resolve a conflict. Sometimes people will even refuse to acknowledge that there is a conflict or their part in it and problems just don't get resolved. Some people also have an issue with denial and ignore problems and the people they have problems with. Again, there is no resolution there either.

I also have offered my mother, my sister and me to go to counseling to resolve our differences but my mother and sister refuse to participate. My mother refuses because she is not willing to look at her part in the conflict and has never made a mistake in her life. Or so she thinks. My sister is weak and doesn't want to face the problems because it hurts too much. Or so she says. I think it is an excuse and she just doesn't care. Funny thing is she was always the favorite yet in the end she is the least loyal.

Maybe you can go to counseling with your mom yourself and resolve some issues without the other family members involvement.

I also used to care a lot about other people's motives. But I find what is really important is what people do and how you are going to deal with it.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Mommybunny:
You misunderstood my complete post...I think that must "do your heart good" because you seem to thrive on it. Anytime someone posts something that expresses the pain they feel about losing (or being estranged from) their children you write about your awful mother and express your "right" to exclude her from your life...then you have the swallowness to tell others to "grow up." Personally I don't care how old you are, how many children or grandchildren you have or raise, or what your "insights" are into the woman responding to the posts about this subject. From the lack of support you continue to give-and the "digs" you continue to dish out I think it sounds like a lot of people are "tuning you out."
I know you think you know everything by your posts, but just one work of advise; if you really are looking for understanding, validation or whatever you are seeking you may want to start a new post. Because I don't think your constant criticism appears appreciated here.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Hello straycat:

First of all my post was not directed to you. Second of all I was offering support to the poster.

I have a right to my opinion just like you have a right to yours. If I feel I have to exclude my mother from my life because I have tried everything with her and nothing works and it adversely affects my health then it is my business and I don't need your approval to do so.

The grow up is referring to people that like to falsely accuse, play mind games, etc on the board. And yes, I think they should grow up.

It's nice to know that you don't care about my age and my children or grandchildren. It's also nice that you don't care what my insights are. I suppose you are saying that only your views and opinions count and mine don't because they don't agree with yours and meet your approval. Well, that's just too bad for you. Maybe you shouldn't be so self-absorbed.

I give support where I'm able to. I'll give digs as you call them to ignorant individuals that choose to falsely accuse me, personally insult me, or otherwise antagonize me.

I never said I know everything and I don't want or need your advice. If I were looking for understanding, validation or whatever you would be the last person I would ask for it.

Your constant accusations are not appreciated.

Thank you and have a nice evening.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Hello again straycat:

I've been thinking about what you said. And I have to ask myself. Why am I here revealing my personal information regarding my mother, my life and my opinions when it is quite obvious that my presence, opinions and life experiences are not valued?

I feel that you have totally devalued me as a person and totally rejected me as a person. I don't know why your life experiences are important and valid but mine are not but that is obviously how you see it.

Thank God that I'm not a weak minded person or else your comments would really put me into a deep depression. I admit that I feel hurt by your abusive comments but don't worry I will get over it. After all, I don't know you personally and my life doesn't depend on you and your opinions of me.

I don't like to be where I don't feel wanted so I guess it's time for me to move on.

Thanks for the invalidation and rejection straycat. I think that you are a very caring person.

P.S. Sorry for the sarcasm but that is the way I react when I've been hurt.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

straycat:

I guess I am still upset by what you said and am having trouble getting to sleep.

You know. How you treated me in your message reminds me a lot of how my mother treats me. Like cr*p. Like I don't count. Like my opinions don't count. Like my feelings don't count. Like my life doesn't count.

I think there is a lot of dysfunction here on this message board and I have enough problems with my own mother and oldest child and I sure don't need this cr*p from this board from people that I don't even know.

I hope you feel good about yourself. Right now I'm feeling very angry and depressed. And to be honest I think you are a real j**k.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Beginner,
That pains me when I read that your mother at 79 would be willing to talk it out with a mediator and her children would not be willing to engage with her. What a lot of history must be behind that decision. I don't think I can possibly, even with all the time in the world to hear the reasons, understand what got them to that place.

It got me thinking what I would do if my mother (age 60+) wanted to meet with a mediator. Right now my anger is still fresh, but one part of me would love to get it all out. The other part is afraid she will somehow manipulate the situation (as she always does, being a master at it) and get the supposedly impartial mediator over to her side, and I would feel discredited again.

"now i see my mother as a human being. she is not perfect and she made mistakes along the way but we are able to talk about it."

That is so nice that you were able to come out the other end. I also was able to do this, around 8 years ago. Seperate from the parent/child dynamic and really see my mother as a person. The problem was that the person who finally emerged ended up being a very toxic woman. It took me a few years to figure that out. I hope, and it appears from your words, that the issues with your mother were in the past.

You say that once you were able to seperate your inner child from your inner adult you could see your part and her part and forgive both for their involvement. It seems that your siblings are not able to do that, not wanting to look in the mirror, mommy being bad is an easier solution.

In my situation, I was constantly defending my mother, her choices, validating the things she had done with instances from her life that were less than savory. I was taking the blame. Once I could remove that cloak of blame from myself and put it on the ground, I saw her for the person she really is. My mother. Who is manipulative, selfish and very intelligent, yet socially and emotionally stunted.

It's so hard. It's so hard. It's so hard. OMG it is so hard. Repair what you can, so that you can ease whatever bad feelings/issues/unspoken words with your mom and move forward for her sake and your sake. I'm really sorry about your siblings. I hope once she passes they don't regret their choices.

Is there one who may be more sympathetic than the other? You might want to consider talking to them, and maybe putting a little chink in their armor.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I really think more and more people are noticing the increase of children who have chosen to be estranged from one or more of their parents. Example: "conversations I've overheard in the Doctor's offices, work, Wal-Mart and so on about the movie "The Bucket List."
(Which if you haven't seen is more about the real wealth of our relationships vs. money).
I really feel after reading so many posts and also having experienced the same "pain." (not really a strong enough word) that there are a lot of us who have really tried to be good parents, were "there" for our children, and most of all-love them unconditionally, and yet continue to be left out of their lives. Many of us have "tried and tried" to repair the relationships with our children without success.
No one has to convience me that there are parents out there that have abused their children and if allowed back into their lives would continue to do so. I also agree with all of my heart that those types of realtionships should be severed.
However; the point I was trying to make to "MommyBunny" was-The Posts on this site have no indication of such abuse...In Fact; the pain I and others have suffered and continue to suffer is enormous, and we are trying to gain support from each other by sharing our experiences and having others to confide in...The pain most of the posts on this subject seem obvcious to me...and II just can't iminage someone writing to discredit (and...that is the message mommybunny) our responsibility and/or pain.
To me; you sound like this separation from your mother continiues to cause you pain even though your relationship is not healthy...I am sorry for that, and I can't help but wonder if you could set some boundaries with her in order to have some limited contact which you could benefit from and still feel safe.
Personally; I'm not very good at setting boundaries-I'll admit...but there is a lot of information availabe on the subject, ehich could assist and offer you support if that is something you would like to pursue.
Please, I did not mean to offend you or hurt you in any way. I just wanted and want to remind you this is about good partents who have really tried and are suffering from the loss/losses of their children. WE -as I am sure you also- need support. WE scold ourselves everyday...trying to figure out what we can do to change our circumstances-we are not denying we are not perfect. We are simply hurting. Please understand none of us are your mother, and we are not here to hurt you and by the same token-we also wnat to receive support.
So; please don't be depressed....ok? Life is so short and it appears that everyone here is dealing with some heavy pain. You are right-we won't understand or agree with everyone, BUT...that is what helps us grow. What also helps is the support we receive. SUPPORT-so please try and understand I feel protective of my "sisters" and myself. I know this pain and I know you have your's but that does not give anyone the right to question the quality of our mothering skills/or your behaviors growing up, now does it? NO, and no one has said that to you...so in kind...be gentle, please.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

again i want to thank all of you for trying to talk about your experiences with this issue. your words help inspire me to continue seeking out for new answers and possibilities.

i can only speak from my own experiences. it was a personal choice for me to not want to go through the rest of my life blaming my mother for everything that wasn't perfect in my life. as soon as you take responsibility for your feelings you now take the power away from the other person who was causing all the pain (both real and percieved). taking responsibility for my feelings empowered me to see that if i wait for others to change, i will be waiting for the rest of my life. i had to learn to change without the precondition that others had to change first or at the same time.
as far as "forgiving" my mother, she doesn't need my forgiveness. i can't judge her. that's when all my problems began. if anything i'm the one who needs her forgiveness! of course my mother is just glad that i've begun to take responsibility for my life.
as for my older brother and sister it appears they want to punish my mother. their actions, or lack of, indicate that she is not worthy of their their time to help ressolve the problem. they like the situation as it remains and don't appear willing to do anything that would help to bring closure to these issues. the healing process threatens them since it would require some degree of transparency and personal accountability. my mother and i have tried to meet with them but they refuse to participate. i believe in prayer that someday they will feel secure enough within themselves to give up blame and take responsibility for their own lives. if people aren't happy in their lives then do something constructive about it. don't blame someone or something outside yourself because then you take the power away from yourself.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Hi, I just joined today. It has been three weeks that my daughter, 18, moved out. She is still in high school. She tells everyone that we kicked her out. People who were our friends have taken her in at times. They never told us she was with them, but blame us for her actions. Teachers, husband and wife, took her in also, and other teachers we know were looking for a place for her to live. My husband teaches with all the teachers, but no one ever talked with him about her. People have sided with her because she is so sweet and good, how could she be wrong? They never saw how she was alienating herself from us these past few months, arguing with, screaming at us, and loudly defying us in front of her other four sibs. People whom I thought were friends are turning against us, because of her. This is the most heart-rending and painful thing I have ever experienced. I am finding that, yes, no one knows what it is like unless they have gone through it.Otherwise they blame the parents---especially if the child is charming. (I will read more about NPD, I never thought about it.) And she is adopted, like the rest of the family. Another kink in the situation. My emotions are spent. This is hell on earth. All I want to do is sleep, and then I dream about her. I know I have made some mistakes, but she just wanted to do what she wanted to do for her senior year. Her consequences are failing grades. She could have just talked with us, but I find she had planned this for a while.Now she will not talk with us and ignores her father on campus. I can only pray and sometimes I can't do that. I am glad I found this forum. I do understand what others are going through, and I am not looking forward for the pain that will not go away. I also criticized parents who had trouble with their teens, and thought if I raised them right. . .it would never happen to me. How naive!We never know anything until we walk in the other person's shoes, or until their shoes become our own.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Hi, I just joined this site so I am not sure if this is the correct forum. I have an 18 year old daughter who I raised as a single parent. I love my daughter and she is my life but I am sometimes reminded of the movie The Omen when reflecting on the last 18 years. I try to think back on what went wrong and I think it begins when she is a 2 month old infant and I was forced to place her in daycare while I served on active duty working up to 18 hours a day 7 days a week. Knowing this was not good for my child I gave up my 12 year military career to raise her. Nevertheless I still had to work and she was placed in preschool. I would never do this to another child..this is why I never had another. Anyway, beginning with age 2 she began throwing fits, which I attributed to the "terrible twos" only her fits continued throughout her childhood. She would scream and carry on so loud it seemed like Children's Services was out every week. They would physically examine her and not find a single mark or any evidence of abuse or neglect then report "Child appears to be very well taken care of". When my daughter was 13 she began physically attacking me when she didn't get her way. If I told her she couldn't break curfew and go to a party or if I wouldn't wait on her hand and foot she would kick me, hit me, spit on me, pull my hair, and throw things at me. Do not ask me where she learned this. I never abused my child and have never spanked her or laid a hand on her in her entire life. It came to the point that the police were out twice a week. They told me I needed to have her arrested or she would end up killing me one day. I had her arrested finally and she spent a couple of days in juvenile hall then was released and placed into the probation system. Her behavior began spiraling even worse and her grades fell, she got into fist fights in middle school and I got calls at least twice a week from the school counselor for her getting into some kind of trouble. A juvenile court judge eventually placed my daughter into a probation group home when she was 13 as she was so out of control. For the next 3 years she was in and out of probation group homes. At the age of 16 she and another girl ran away (AWOLed) from a probation group home stealing the group home van. I got a call from her saying she was in Albuquerque NM. I called my ex-husband and he drove from Las Vegas to Albuquerque to get her. Although he didn't have legal custody or guardianship he agreed to let her stay with him. He and his new wife did the best they could with her but she was disrespectful to them and gave them problems too. She finally moved in with her boyfriend and his mom. Earlier in the year the boyfriend's mom bought them a house. My daughter feels she has started a new life and pushes me away. I call her and she doesn't return my calls for several days. She brags about how wonderful her boyfriend's mom is and how she makes so much money. I have tried talking to the boyfriend's mom but she won't return my calls. She'll just tell my daughter that I was "bothering" her. I don't know how I am bothering her I've only talked to her 3 times in the last two years. My daughter just had a baby in June and I am trying hard to remain on good terms with her so I can be in my granddaughter's life but my daughter is so disrespectful to me when I call that I really feel I am losing my dignity when I try to call. Her message is "Don't call me I'll call you." However if her mother-in-law calls she'll run to the phone and answer it on the first ring. My calls are ignored for days. I guess I am just going to have to reconcile with the fact that she doesn't want me in her life. Today she said "you know what? me and my boyfriend's mom talk about you and make fun of you!". I was so hurt I had to end the call with her.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

yes you will find that sons and daughters that alienate and estrange their parents are not mature enough in themselves to have a dialogue where parties are able to transcend right and wrong and go further for the real answers and not assign blame. in reality we are all at fault. what do most people acually argue about is who is MORE wrong! children need to realize their parents are human too and sometimes we make mistakes. or how many times do we do something we think is good but it has unintended negative consequences? the key word is INTENT. many children take things personally and really believe something was aimed at them on purpose. so i would worry less about who is right and who is wrong and also not worry about who is on your side. show your child that they are more important to you than what you think your "so-called" friends think of you. insecure people feel the need to recruit other people on their side to help them feel more secure. so don't worry too much about that. you will find out who your real friends are times in like this. and also remember that you have others who are depending on you so don't allow this to consume you to the point where you begin to neglect them. keep the faith


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I was reading through here and wanted to say thanks to susiethecook and healandforgive for sharing your stories. The points you both made about your experiences were very moving.

From my own experience I'd like to say it isn't always the adult children choosing estrangement. We tried on many occasions to work out our issues with my husbands mom.

Isn't sitting down to talk things out the right way to deal with serious relationship problems? She made it clear she hated speaking about the relationship issues, wouldn't do it (but would voice her many complaints to others)and that if we didn't simply bring her our children and shut up we were unacceptable.

Joshua Coleman has a book called When Parents Hurt that talks about when the parent/adult child relationship is hurtful. It might be helpful to some here.

The conclusion for us is that we can't work out what she won't be honest about and she would rather have no contact then talk and work anything out. I feel sorry for her but am relieved to not have the stresses, be afraid of what her next visit we be like or watch my husband self destruct after every contact.

When she was nice she seemed so genuine. When she was angry I was afraid of her. I could never tell which was coming next and was always on guard after I saw that side of her that hated me and wanted me out of the way.

If she would talk about it and be respectful to my husband this could all be fixed. We are all only human. That may never happen though. I am very sad on one hand (I never thought this would happen she was so great before we had our first child.) and on the other hand I am relieved she is currently cutting us off. I hope she gets the help she needs.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

you know each person's experience is so unique and it's hard to respond appropiately, but i think it's good and important to have a dialogue. i hope my input is taken constructively because i value this site.
yes parents are at fault and seem very intolerant and closed minded at times. my mother was this way and yet, though it took many years i, as well as healandforgive it appears, was able to, after great effort, finally realize that for what ever the reason an elder parent is not always able to relinquish their biases. my mother, my mother-in-law and father-in-law still are quite critical of me. but i don't take it personally anymore. they are individuals with their own history. i am secure with who i am and i don't require their validation. my wife knows i love and support her unconditionally. i honor my mother/father-in-law because it's more than just about me. in a strange way it's the only way they know how to show affection for their daughter is by being critical of me. i don't pretend to understand it, but their views don't threaten me. it doesn't mean i've compromised my standards or principles. when i finally stoped idealizing the expectations of how i thought people should treat me and i just started to accept others as they are, with their limitations/faults and have a more realistic expectation of what they are capable of giving and of what they are not, then i began to stop setting myself up for disappointment. i now have a better relationship with my mother and in-laws not because thet've changed but because i choose to focus on the things they can give rather than on the things they can't and perhaps never will.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

beginnerseye-You are blessed to be able to function in your own life inspite of the criticism of those close to you.I admire the effort it must have taken you to see them as limited and change your expectations and appreciate them anyway. It sounds like you also choose to see them as supporting your wife via criticizing you and so you changed that negative into a positive too. You get a healthier self and marriage by reframing your experience, that is a great use of that insight. Does your wife feel supported by the effort you've put in to accepting her family? I would think that it would be a good thing for your marriage that you chose to respond that way.

A different experience I have with estrangement--

My experience with my own mom is actually a story of healed estrangement.

I would become physically ill from the anxiety and stress of dealing with her emotional needs. She was not toxically critical, she did trample boundaries. Her life was just so chaotic it never felt safe to be with her. She enabled an abusive addict while I was a teenager and I never knew what would be coming next. He robbed us, broke out windows and doors trying to get in. (I wouldn't open the door.) Passed out on our floor and on and on...When she was home I was angry that she would be leaving to go to this unworthy person. When she was gone I was afraid for her life. I have a lot of sympathy for the parents who are experiencing situations like that with their kids.

I would have a constantly 'on' adrenaline response. I moved away to go to college but our relationship was not okay for a long time. After she finally escaped from that relationship.(It ended after he tried to kill her (and still she wouldn't call the police). My aunt saved her.(Another miracle from God. My aunt just happened to stop when she was driving by and if she had stopped by 3 times in the six years before that I would have been very surprised. She said she just had the sudden feeling that she should go to my mom. I am glad she listened and did. She interupted the attack.) My mom just moved away from there after that. She never enabled anyone like that again. She later married a nice man and they have a stable life.)

Having a relationship with my mom did not get better for years though. I was often remembering very stressful things from the past whenever we would have contact (a call, letter or especially a visit) even once she seemed okay in the present.

I didn't even know what it was for a long time. I found out a little more than a year ago I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I thought it was only something combat soldiers got or victims of assault. No one ever physically attacked me, I was upset a lot but I didn't feel like a victim.)

I was semi-estranged from my mom for a few years after 18 and suggested every kind of counseling and self help option I could think of to her. (For her to get over the past. I was still trying to rescue her. But I should've been taking care of me.)She didn't want to burden anyone else with the issues. She only wanted to rely on me. (Emotionally.)

I just had nothing left to give and was self destructing. (That was before husband and kids.) I got some counseling which helped me deal with my own life but barely touched on having a relationship with her.

I would have panic attacks after receiving a phone call from her and it was years of effort to find any safe ground.

Limiting contact with her was never about wanting to punish her for any perceived faults. It was a choice between being able to take care of my first priorities (marriage, Children, work etc.) or setting off my stress response. With the normal stresses of my personal life I could do okay. I often was not able to take on one more stressor on top of meeting those responsibilities.(I mean the panic attacks that were often triggered by memories that came up when I was in contact with her.)

I credit God totally with the healing that took place between my mom and I last year. For the first time I can be around my mom and actually have a relationship with her without being blindsided by stressful feelings about the past.

No more adrenaline response when it isn't needed. No more tension. I haven't had a panic attack in a several months. (Since my MIL cut us off I've been free of panic attacks.)No panic attacks in a year that were brought on by being around my mother. I am actually able to enjoy her company in a way I never thought I'd get to.

God is good and I am very, very grateful. I never wanted to be estranged from my mom. I just couldn't survive and be close to her at the same time until my own life and health were well healed and well balanced. She learned how to respect the boundaries of others, including mine. And she learned how to set her own boundaries. I never thought that would happen and I also consider that a God given miracle.

If she were a purposely hurtful person I still couldn't be around her. I am grateful she is not and even more grateful we have been given a new opportunity for a relationship.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

beautiful story flowerfeeder. you demonstrated over time a willingness to remain open for the possibility of reconciliation with your mother, even though it took years for it to materialize. you never gave up. how lucky you both are. your mom, like mine, was able to learn how to modify her behavior so that old thought patterns wouldn't undermine the relationship. this required me to learn how to better communicate with my mother in order to let her know what it was i needed from her; so that our expectations were realistic. i, like you, feel grateful to g-d, there's only so much i can do on my own, i am just one person. i did what i could do at the time and everyone else did what they could do and somehow it all came together in the end. amen

yes my wife does appreciate that i don't exploit the situation for personal gains. i love her and want her to have peace in her life. she has enough going on to repair her own issues between her parents, why pile on?

thankyou for sharing your experience. it gives me hope that maybe someday my siblings will break thru and begin to reconciliate with my mother. thankyou


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RE: adult children who enstrange....

this site is for those adult children who have estranged their parents but wish to seek out information and shared experiences about how to overcome the negativities associated with this issue. i know there is tremendeous hurt and pain on both sides of the issue, and it's important to recognize those feelings, but how do we get to the other side of forgiveness, tolerance, and healing? i would like to encourage anyone to share their story about how they were able to break through the emotional aspects to this issue and achieve some form of communication with their parents. thankyou.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Hey, it looks like the air is more clear in here. I do believe a deep breath is in order!!!
YEA!


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RE: All these estranged parents...

Flowerfeeder, what a touching story. What you said below really hit home with me. I feel like you took the words from my heart...

"I never wanted to be estranged from my mom. I just couldn't survive and be close to her at the same time until my own life and health were well healed and well balanced."


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RE: All these estranged parents...

F had a daughter that hurt me deeply and considered disinheriting her.But I came to the conclusion that to do so would hurt her so deeply for the rest of her life. I realized inheritance is not a reward and should never be used as a punishment. An inheritance is saying..'i love you unconditionally and there is nothing you can do to forfeit my love for you'. It is a time to have a last word to ones children and gift them with your love that is eternal.To leave a child out of your will opens up a world of pain and anguish that lasts a lifetime. It tears down any sibling relationships. It harvests bitter memories and broken relationships.It is a parent saying for the very last time to their child..'i not only refuse to forgive you but you are and always will be unworthy of my love and acceptance of you..may you suffer until the day you die.My contempt of you is now laid in stone and you will die in shame. Can't anyone see that this is what you truly are saying to your child? Do you really want to so damage your children? And if so, then something is very wrong with you.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

I don't love anyone unconditionally. How can you love someone who fathers 3 sweet babies and does not take care of them. He let the wife care for them even after she threw a newborn across the room. He should have called the police and never let her near them.

My youngest son called for money when I finally said no more, he cussed me out. How can you love someone like that. I would never leave a dime to sons like that. My worst nightmare would have them come here when I get old and weak and want to take care of me.


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RE: estranged parents...

I disinherited my son after he returned Christmas cards and money and refused contact over the years. I sent him a copy of the will on Fathers day, letting him know that in my view our relationship or lack thereof, has come to this point. I'm done, I'm though with being rejected. I believe in forgiveness, and the door could be opened again, but I won't do one way streets anymore. Yes, I also wanted to let him know how it feels to be disowned, while I'm still alive and no hope for change after the fact. There are practical considerations too. For years I've been enmeshed in the fantasy of how things could, should or ought to be. I've always been the one that is supposed to do 99% of the work, and prove myself. He is 37, that view was fine as a young adult, but I decided that something has to motivate him to finally grow up. I had an alcoholic parent, in my mid twenties I learned how to let go of my resentment and realize he did the best he could with what he had to work with. I'm not without fault, I keep trying to give him fatherly advice about paying off his credit card debt, getting a job with benefits and having health insurance. In hindsight, I should have kept quiet, instead of trying to pass on the wisdom my parents gave to me, or so I thought.

Now, I would like to leave my estate to folks that actually make an effort to be part of my life and will be there for me when the time comes. I'll forgive my son, but others will get my estate.


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RE: All these estranged parents...

It may seem strange that parents and children become estranged...the word strange is there for a reason....because whether it is an abusive parent or an abusive child...they can become like a stranger...abuse does not even have to be a part of it....

Sometimes one of the two loses interest....yeah..that does happen...I am sure the original poster stumbled on this topic...came in and was fascinated...like a voyeur actually...comments were quite abrasive critical and harsh..

But most often when a parent has seen to financial needs of a child...they might use indifference to get more from the parent....when they get older...

Where children decide to divorce a parent could involve a traumatic childhood...we know it goes both ways...and can happen to anyone for any number of causes...so instead of peeking into the lives of people likely in pain of loss...be grateful it is not you who is asking the question..." why, after a satisfying life with my parent/ child, did this happen"...

Go to whatever reason you sought this site and happily plant your petunias....I see that post is from 08....so likely they will not see this...but if they do...I would like to tell them.." careful, manure stinks and stains"


 o
RE: All these estranged parents...

It may seem strange that parents and children become estranged...the word strange is there for a reason....because whether it is an abusive parent or an abusive child...they can become like a stranger...abuse does not even have to be a part of it....

Sometimes one of the two loses interest....yeah..that does happen...I am sure the original poster stumbled on this topic...came in and was fascinated...like a voyeur actually...comments were quite abrasive critical and harsh..

But most often when a parent has seen to financial needs of a child...they might use indifference to get more from the parent....when they get older...

Where children decide to divorce a parent could involve a traumatic childhood...we know it goes both ways...and can happen to anyone for any number of causes...so instead of peeking into the lives of people likely in pain of loss...be grateful it is not you who is asking the question..." why, after a satisfying life with my parent/ child, did this happen"...

Go to whatever reason you sought this site and happily plant your petunias....I see that post is from 08....so likely they will not see this...but if they do...I would like to tell them.." careful, manure stinks and stains"


 o
RE: All these estranged parents...

It may seem strange that parents and children become estranged...the word strange is there for a reason....because whether it is an abusive parent or an abusive child...they can become like a stranger...abuse does not even have to be a part of it....

Sometimes one of the two loses interest....yeah..that does happen...I am sure the original poster stumbled on this topic...came in and was fascinated...like a voyeur actually...comments were quite abrasive critical and harsh..

But most often when a parent has seen to financial needs of a child...they might use indifference to get more from the parent....when they get older...

Where children decide to divorce a parent could involve a traumatic childhood...we know it goes both ways...and can happen to anyone for any number of causes...so instead of peeking into the lives of people likely in pain of loss...be grateful it is not you who is asking the question..." why, after a satisfying life with my parent/ child, did this happen"...

Go to whatever reason you sought this site and happily plant your petunias....I see that post is from 08....so likely they will not see this...but if they do...I would like to tell them.." careful, manure stinks and stains"


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