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Documentary!

Posted by sarahsmom (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 3, 08 at 20:40

I am appealing once again to anyone who lives in the Dallas/Ft Worth area.... I have been blessed by someone from another message board who has offered me frequent flier mile tickets to come to Dallas this weekend to interview her for this documentary I am working on about estrangement.
I am most interested in parents or adult children who have broken relationships due to situations other than drugs, alcohol or real physical/emotional abuse.
I will be in the area this Sat. Nov 8th and I would love to meet you! I want you all to understand that this is not about names, sordid details, etc but about the pain and consequences and the why's, whether understood or not... also the impact on families.. grandchildren, etc.
I have interviewed a few brave souls in this area so far.. they would be happy to attest to their experience. I also interviewed Mark Sichel last weekend.. he was great..
www.marksichel.com.
Please email me thru this site if you would have any interest or if you have any questions..

thank you so much for reading this..

Sarahsmom


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Documentary!

I would very much like to view your interview with Mark Sichel. As a member of Youtube, I thought I read that it was available there.

helene


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RE: Documentary!

sarahsmom,
I tried to contact you by e mail but it wouldn't go through. It's important I talk to you. Please email me so I will have your correct email address.
Thank-you,
stray


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RE: Documentary!

dear sarahsmom: how r u making out with the documentary? last post was n november i believe-i am in canada so i guess it does not matter where you live it can happen to anyone anywhere. keep us informed as to the progress as i had never heard of a situation like estrangement until it happened to me 2 weeks ago. good luck and god bless


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RE: Documentary!

Hi Motherlode..

I have now edited about 37 minutes of this piece.. it is really interesting... I am submitting it to Sundance .. Feb 9th deadline to try to get some funding.. I need to interview a lot more people so I need money to travel. I was so lucky to be able to go to Dallas as someone on another site offered me frequent flier mile plane tickets. I was able to interview 3 more people there.
If I get this grant.. I will be able to interview more people to make this a real story.

Thank you so much for your encouragement! I am so sorry that it happened to you.. I had never imagined it either.


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yes go for it. would like to help. but will your story tell both sides?


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RE: Documentary!

I would love to have both sides... however, so far, no one to step up to the plate.. wish I could get some of the people that post here to agree to be interviewed. There are lots of people writing, but no one has stepped up when I have posted about looking for people who would be willing to be interviewed. In these interviews I am less concerned about names and very specific events than I am about the bigger picture.. how and why is this happening? what is the shift in our society/culture that says its ok to just walk away? (Obviously we all know there are times when one should walk away.. but that's not the subject here)

Anyway.. anyone????? let me know!


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RE: Documentary!

Hi, how opportune. I have been reading some of the estrangement threads, and I have a similar problem but it's with my dad.

I love him very much, but our relationship is so limited.

I have only spoken with him twice in the last 5 years. He never calls me.

The recent estrangement is because I went to go take care of him at his house in New York (I live in Mexico now) when he had open heart surgery, and then I brought him here home with me.

He also has Lewie Bodies Disease (which is like dementia and parkinsonian symptoms).

Before we came here he made several sexual advances towards me (I was 39) and I asked his neurologist if he thought my dad knew what he was doing. My dad's neurologist said yes. Then I asked a dear uncle, and he suggested that I now bring my dad home with me, he said that my dad probably didn't see me as a daughter because our relationship was limited to phone calls and visits when economically possible for many years.

But I brought him home anyways, I just couldn't leave him on his own, and I felt guilty about abandoning him.

Then here at my house he was the same, trying to get me to kiss him on the mouth, or intentionally licking my cheek if I tried to kiss him good night (mormal).

I tried to tell myself that it was the medicines and stuff, but he was always so on top of things related to his finances, and his house and his girlfriend. And my brother who still lives with him.

So one day I was talking about it (within my dad's hearing distance) and he started to insist that he wanted to go home. As if though he were ashamed.

So I let him.

But I always ask myself - could he have known, and slyly tried to get away with hit, until he felt called out by my phone call?

Could he have really not known?

My dear uncle in New York told me that no matter what, a normal father would feel something instinctively that would make him not be able to behave that way towards a daughter.

I am so confused and have been for so long. The problem, yes hurts my kids. And the worst part is that when it happened, I told them to be careful with Grandpa because he was acting strange. I regret them knowing now, but at that time I was so freaked out.

I haven't been home since, and my son doesn't even call grandpa.

It's a disaster and I hate it the way things are. The times I called I tried to be upbeat and see how he was doing, and bring him up to date about the kids.

Then I make these promises to myself that i will take more pictures of the kids and write and send them, but I never do.

It's like I want to avoid the confusion and revulsion that I feel about the act, but my dad gets cut out too.

And I want to hate the sin and not the sinner.

Does that make sense?

This is something I want to work out.


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RE: Documentary!

sarahsmom, Have you thought about doing a survey and adding the results to your documentary. That might help you see patterns, trends, and other details that could be pulled together to show commonality. I don't think it is hard to set up a survey on line where people can answer on line as well. You could also send them out to people who contact you via an email address that you post on sites like this one. I would love to answer questions, anything really that might bring hope to others like us that are suffering, and to let them know that there is a light at the end of this tunnel even if it is not being reunited with our loved ones.

Just a thought.


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The problem sarah really is this. There are so many things a parent can feel guilty about for raising children. There was the time when I left my child with her grandmother and she felt I had abandoned her. There was the time etc. etc. And, there are many, many of those memories that come back to haunt you. Or at least enough of them to keep you aching at 3am, the bewitching hour, on a sleepless night when you only wish with no reprieve, that you could escape into the world of dreams.

When I am in anger mode I feel like that was a really shatty investment. All that time, all that money and for what? Nothing!! But yet, all throughout their lives we taught our children that they have choices and that love was not something you could buy but something you earned. An estranged child is only telling you you haven't earned their love. Yet, truth be known, there isn't a single child on this planet that left childhood unscathed of sorrow and not feeling adequate measured up against an adult, parent.

Sometimes it makes me so angry I want to sue someone, but who? And for what purpose?

I have been an orphan since age five, no mother, no father, so of course for me it would be great to even have had a parent, let alone one I could tell to fick off. I have no experience in regular parent/child relations.

My experience is therefore irrelevant.

But, I wish you all the best. We always wish there is that "one" answer, the answer to the riddle of sphinx, the finding of God, the "truth", but there never is.


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Colleen..

I think that's just the point.. (most) parents have nothing to feel guilty about..as Mark Sichel said when I interviewed him and I quote:
1) usually what theyve (parents) done, what they are guilty of is not a crime that merits wholesale rejection
2) I dont think parents do anything wrong generally, or more wrong than their children are going to do wrong when their parents. Theres no such thing as a perfect parent, and I deal with this all day with parents of children who are problematic.. which covers most of us, and theyre really not doing anything wrong, theyre doing the best they can.

I am not looking for an "answer" because I don't know that there is just one.. I only hope to put the problem on the table so that it can be discussed without the shame and pain that is currently associated with it. Think of rape.. it used to be that if a woman were raped, people would look at her and think .."what did she do?" now people know that a woman didn't necessarily DO anything...

At the very least...I think parents warrant the same..


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medusa,

My father-in-law died recently of Lewy Body Dementia. It is a horrible illness, what it does to someone's mind. When he was first diagnosed, he acted very bizarrely. There was one day when my mil hid in the garage in her bathrobe all day from him because she was afraid of him. He had been chasing her through the house. He did not recognize her.

Those with LBD can have hallucinations and not recognize people that they usually know. Then they can also have periods of lucidity. After the diagnosis, the medications did help a lot but not all the time. Sometimes he would say insulting things to his wife, things that I never even would have thought he would THINK, never mind say. In the weeks before he died he spit at his son and slapped him, scratched the hands of nurses, and tried to kick doctors and others.

If your father had never tried to do anything untoward to you or anyone else earlier in his life, then it may be that the LBD is what is causing him to act inappropriately. It could be that he is being affected in a way that makes it unsafe for him to be around your children and around you. LBD can make someone do some very strange things.

My fil was a smart man who had had a profession that demanded a high degree of intelligence and of reliability. When he first became ill, he would stand in the upper floor of their house at night overlooking the stairway down and he would twirl his sheets dangling over the railing for hours and hours.

It was very sad to see what the disease did to him. Perhaps it is the disease that is making your father do things that he never would have done if he hadn't become ill.

The disease progresses more rapidly than Alzheimer's. Even though there are times when they can seem normal for short periods of time.

I am sorry to hear that your father has this illness. I am also sorry that he behaved that way regardless of the cause. It is disconcerting and alarming and hard to know how much in touch with reality that they are.

People who have had strokes can behave this way too.


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RE: Documentary!

Good evening all-so much going on here today. First I would like to welcome Medusa and thank her for sharing. Very sorry to hear about your problems with illness and your dad. Keep coming back as we do care for each other and want to give you the support. I also agree a survey would be in order to start with before actually interviewing anyone. It gives a base for questions and answers. As I said before this is very new to me and an interview would be impossible for me to get through without breaking down but i could go through a survey and give honest answers. I would like to see you go ahead with this documentary so maybe the children that are pulling away can see just what they are doing and how they are affecting us. They are human too and their feelings are important as well. They are not bad people but possibley a bit misdirected to say the least. I am having a better day and get a lot of comfort by coming here every night. I too cry in the wee hours of the night when I think of never seeing my son again-very much like a death. Take care all and god bless.


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Thank you imaginny for telling me about your father in law. How terrible for your mother in law and husband.

It's so confusing. There is so much of him that is so normal. Other than his not being able to remember to take his pills (his short term memory is the one most affected) and some hallucinations (side effects from his medicines) he seemed so fine.

But I don't know about now. That part scares the hell out of me. Suppose I call and he doesn't remember me? Suppose it's too late? I'll hate myself.

Tomorrow when my little one goes to school, I'm going to try to call. If I work up my courage, I'll post. Because that is another thing about calling him, I have an emotional hangover for days afterwards.

Thank you motherlode for the welcome.

I look forward to our being able to all be friends even though we may all be experiencing it from differant angles. I know I could use the frienships and good mojo, that's for sure.


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medusa,

Your father's halllucinations could be from the illness rather than from the medication.

Also, there are some medications that are given to Alzheimer's patients that should not be given to patients with Lewy Body Dementia as they can have dire effects on those who have LBD. I recall that Haldol is one of the bad medications for those with LBD. But to be sure, you should check with someone who has a better memory than mine and who is a professional.

There is (or was) a good online support group for caregivers of people with LBD. Unfortunately when I tried to provide the link to it with this post, a window came up that wouldn't let me include the link. Hmmmmmmmm. If you would like that link, it is okay to email me at imajgin at aol dot com.

If he doesn't remember you when you call or if he doesn't recognize you, it might help to remember it is the illness that is doing that and not him. Those things are all symptoms and they come with the territory unfortunately.

There is a Lewy Body Association that has a website with Discussion Forums also. I will include the link for that below:

Here is a link that might be useful: Lewy Body Dementia Association


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dear sarahsmom - regarding your documentary: would it be helpful if more people were to e-mail directly to the producers of these shows like oprah/dr.phil. and is it proper for you to post their e-mail address on this forum or is this something we would have to find out on our own independently.


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beginnerseye..

I am not sure what to do about those shows.. I was actually going to take my proposal and hand mail.. old fashioned snail mail it to both.. however, I don't think this topic is for a one hr show.. I was really looking for one of them to champion the cause if you know what I mean... seems like it would need to be sensationalized somewhat for a dr phil show..


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The Dr Phil show is just a semi-toned down Jerry Springer show. And, in fact I think you would get more honesty from Jerry than from Phil. And, both of them champion themselves.

Not sure why you want to take it to TV like that?


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Colleen ..please re read what I wrote.. I ABSOLUTELY think it would be wrong for the show, but I would love to have someone "champion" the cause.

I have been in contact with a couple of people who might be perfect for this.. I will keep you all posted..
as I said.. this is NOT a topic for a one hr sensational tv show...


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My estranged 30 yr old SD has cut ff all communication threatening to get a resraining order or file harrasement charges against me and her father if we ever contact them in any way...via email, voice or text. They cut us off a year ago after I crossed boundries I shouldn't have, said things I should't have, and take full responsibility. I have sent letters of apology. In the last year we respected their wishes, my husband would simply text her "Merry Christmas" etc. r I would leave a voice message telling her I missed her. I was plagued and consumed with guilt. Today I realized that I am not a bad person. I assisted in raising her, raised our 3 sons (her brothers. I listed all the things I appreciate about myself...and I like the chick! I even love ME! My stepdaughter is tortured in self-destructive negativity that comes with feeling like a victim. When you list all that you appreciate about yourself, you step out of the feeling.
She is in Dallas. We're in Houston. So empowering.


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>>I am most interested in parents or adult children who have broken relationships due to situations other than drugs, alcohol or real physical/emotional abuse.<<

Sarah, are you finding that most of the time the estrangements are the result of one side or the other claiming emotional abuse and the other side saying they don't understand or agree? What are the most common reasons for the estrangements. Are you interviewing both the parent and the child of the same family? Or just the estranged parents, or some estranged parents and some estranged children but not from the same family? Are you interviewing parents who cut off their children as well as children who cut off parents and are their reasons much different?

It's very interesting? How is the documentary coming? Have you come to any conclusions yet?


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Hey bucyn..

Thanks so much for your questions.. your interest..
it's going really well.. there seems to be a huge interest from the professional community in this project.

Honestly, my piece is really turning out to be about the "big picture".. in the interviews that I have done, I am not interested in "he said, she said".. it just gets too ugly, and I have no way to qualify what is real and what isn't. The real issue is what is happening in family culture that allows people.. particularly adult children to say "I am done with you". Whether anyone likes it or not, (I am saying this as a general statement, I know there are exceptions)... our parents have made sacrifices for us, loved us as best they can, and in my opinion they are deserving of at the very least a phone call here and there. As Mark Sichel says in his interview with me:

" its a matter of not having rules. Its a matter of not breaking rules of common human decency, in my opinion. Some people feel that they can just break rules, that formerly were not acceptable overall in society. People were too tied to, were not too tied, they were tied to religion, and didnt give themselves the choice of saying Im never seeing you or speaking to you again."
He also says: "I would hope that our culture can get past, especially given the current crisis, which came out of greed and selfishness and lack of concern for rules..um if I want Im going to take it, and Im going to bend the rules and I am going to break the rules because I want the money, and now its all tumbling down. Hopefully you if we get a cultural ethos that believes that people have certain rules and theres right and theres wrong, and you want to be on the side of the right. In other words, hopefully more people will feel that they want to do the right thing."

There is some research out there that shows that family history does repeat itself, so research shows there's a very good chance that these adult children that are cutting themselves and their children completely off are going to experience some things they might not have expected with their own children.
The problem is .. the reasons are real, but often the punishment doesn't fit the "crime." As a society, we need to try to figure this stuff out.. whether it's parents abusing their children's boundaries.. or parents not realizing they are being self-centered or vice versa, for the sake of the next generation.. we need to find a way for peace until someone determines that family really isn't that important.. that children can just grow up in a tent and don't need any nurture.. because if the "rules" are such that adult children can just say.. "thanks, don't need you anymore" then you have to ask yourself .. why have children? because if you were someone who estranged yourself from your parents.. you will show your children that that is ok.. I know that for sure..I did.

So to answer your question.. there are no answers..
I never expected any.. my goal is to raise public awareness about a terribly painful issue that has far reaching consequences.


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I would love to be a part of the documentary!!!! I would also like to be a part of the survey!!!! I think what you are doing is very important and needs to be recognized as abuse. I await your reply!!!
sanjean


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Hi Sanjean...
Please contact me!
I will be posting the survey in the next few days at www.estrangedstories.ning.com
I would love to talk to you!

Thank you so much for your interest...

Sarahsmom


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Survey

sarahsmom, I was unable to get to the survey page. Help!!!


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