Saturday, October 25, 2014

Post Estrangement: When the Shame Ends and Self Worth Returns... start to find the joy in life
and live again

When I was first estranged by my daughter I was ashamed, I felt it was me, that I was to blame, that I was a failure and that I was not good enough.  I felt burdened not only by the grief of the estrangement but also that I was somehow to blame for everything that went wrong. During this time I was very secretive about my grief.  I hid it from everyone except my very closest most trusted friends.  I removed myself from the lives of anyone tainted or influenced by my daughters' point of view, anyone who did not even respect me enough to ask for my side of the story.

Instead I started keeping a journal as a place to write my thoughts, often working in secret, facing the confusing and bewildering emotions that assailed me.  I thought I was alone in being this terrible person, so terrible in fact that my daughter wanted nothing to do with me. 

I did not want any of my secret recriminating thoughts to be seen by her as I flayed myself for every possible mistake I might ever have inadvertently made.  At one point in time I even blamed myself for making her into the self-centered, narcissistic person that she is.  After all if she can do this horrible thing to me then it must be my fault for having raised her to be capable of such behaviour.

Then gradually over time, I learned more and more about estrangement and the people who choose to estrange. I joined support groups and came to realize there were thousands of others going through the same emotionally scaring trauma. 

The more I learnt about personality and character traits and behaviours, the more I came to understand that it wasn't was my estranged daughter who has the problem.   I am who I have always been a loving, caring, kind, generous, giving, honest person, someone who routinely put others ahead of myself, I never changed.  That fact is that she changed.   She "allowed" others to influence her to change her relationship with me.  She was the one who created reasons and created a story to justify her actions.   She was the one who decided to not have me in her life. She was the one that started issuing ultimatums designed to manipulate and control.  She became a bully when she started using bullying tactics.  All of that is on her not on me.

Now time has passed, over 5 years in fact, and I have learned and changed.  I now post about estrangement, about how it affects families and individuals about how it is epidemic and anything else I wish to post to bring this topic out into the open, to help others realize the stigma is not in being estranged....but rather the stigma is on those that feel that estrangement is the solution to a communication problem.

Those who estrange do so because it is too hard from them to face the hard work of effective communication and relationship building.  They run away from conflict rather than looking at ways of resolving conflict.   They are the problem and they have the problem and they choose to estrange rather than deal with the problem and move forward.  They chose live in the past and to hold onto a grudge from the past because it is the easy way out.  They lay blame because it is easier than facing their own inner demons and their own faults and short comings.  It is easiest to lay the blame on someone else than look too closely and with introspection at their own inadequacies and their own poor choices. 

And I have no problem now with being the voice in the dark that calls it like it is.   If I or any other parent has done the best they could and then offered apologies for any miss understandings or omissions that may have come about in the process and then still not been forgiven, then the problem lies not with us but rather with those that hold onto the grudge even past reason, just for the sake of holding on to the grudge.

They continue to hold on to the past and their grievances beyond all reason.  They do so just so they can continue to deny to themselves the fact that they have chosen to run away from a difference of opinion rather than facing and negotiating a forward looking solution.  Where there is no communication there is no give and take, where there is no give and take there is no compromise.  It takes maturity to realize that compromise is necessary for effective relationships. It takes maturity to give up a grudge. 

I am finally at that place of learning and understanding where I realize that I can apologize for all my errors in judgment but I can't force my daughter to accept my apology. Reconciliation requires both parties to participate; it is not a one way street.

And oddly enough, I now find that all the counseling and therapy and support group work have led me to a place where I now value myself enough to realize that I too am owed an apology for the way that I have been treated.  I did not do anything to warrant this kind of punishment.  Time outs are not meant to last for days, let alone months and years.  

  • No one deserves to be given the silent treatment.  
  • No one deserves to be bullied or manipulated using the withdrawal of love as the punishment.  
  • No one deserves to be subjected to the abuse of neglect and estrangement because of a difference of opinion.
That is not how loving relationships are sustained.

So where does all of this knowledge and awareness lead me?  

  • It leads me to that place where I realize that I have every right to my feelings on the topic of estrangement.  
  • It leads me to a place of personal freedom and acceptance that what I experience as a result of the estrangement is mine. 
  • It also leads me to that place where if they (the estrangers) take offence for me expressing my point of view and my feelings then that too is their problem.   
I am just as entitled to my opinions and my feelings in response to their actions as they are entitled to the option that they have chosen...which was their use of, “the silent treatment” as a form of punishment for my parenting skills being found inadequate. 

Their attempt to manipulate me into capitulating to their demands through the "silent treatment" no longer is going to work because I have come to the conclusion that I am just as deserving of respect as they think they are.  And since their actions show clearly that they do not respect me, then it is not my obligation to respect them.   And if I do not respect their choice of actions then I also have no obligation to respect their demands.

I think that with the passage of time I have developed a hard outer shell to protect my heart and my spirit which are still so very vulnerable.   I however, have also toughened up to the point where I will no longer tolerate being treated abusively just to "save" a relationship that I did not break. 

I now feel very powerfully from my inner core, they did the is now up to them to do the mending.   I have apologized and been ignored.  I will not beg or plead.  My apology needs to be accepted and they also need to be accountable and apologize in return.

I also will not be silenced.  My estrangers can troll my posts all they want ....what can they do to me that they have not already done?   I am already pushed out of their lives....they can't put me out any more.  I am already living the silent treatment....there is nothing they can do to increase the degree of silence.  

  • They have already accused me of all my parenting crimes and called me all the names they could think of.   
  • They have already told lies about me to those that would listen.  
  • They have already influenced all the people that they could to their way of thinking and those who are loyal to me can't be swayed by their lies.   

There is nothing that they can do now that they haven't already done.  There is power in knowing that the worst has already happened.   The family that is already torn asunder by estrangement is already broken,  you can't destroy a thing that has already been destroyed.

So whether they like or dislike that I voice my opinion changes nothing.   And maybe just possibly some estranger will read my messages and realize that you can't solve anything with the silent treatment and the abuse of neglect; and they will make an effort to reconnect with affirmative action and communication!  

What a benefit that would be!  Maybe, just possibly some family somewhere, will be reconnected because I have nothing left to lose.

Renate Dundys Marrello

2014 - 10 - 25

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  1. Thank you so much for this letter, I will cherish it, you have said it so perfectly, thank you again.

  2. What support groups have you attended on this topic? I appreciate your writing on this as I am in similar circumstances.

    1. there are many choices find the right fit for you

      I have had great help from a PTSD support group

    2. Many thanks for writing this, it is very powerful, especially as we are going through the same situation, much love and peace to you.

  3. Powerful essay! Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Thank you for your honest, sincere and heartfelt post. I know just how you feel. When I finally stood up for myself and said "No more. If you can't treat me with respect then we cannot continue to have a relationship like this. I love you and want you in my life and I want a relationship with you, but I don't allow anyone to speak to me the way you do. And I cannot and will not allow you to talk to me this way anymore, either. Please decide if you want a positive relationship with me and I hope you do. But it is your choice and your decision. I love you, Mom."

    His decision was to cut me off nine years ago and that was that. To this day I still can't believe it. He bad mouths me to everyone that will listen, just as you described. It is still a knife in my heart every single day, but I pray to God that one day his heart will be touched and that hard heart will be softened and he will want the love I have for him and will want to share the good times and good feelings we could have in a positive relationship.

    His refusal to communicate is hurting himself as much as it is still hurting me, but there is nothing I can do about it. I am tired of blaming myself and I have to simply accept this "divorce" and the killing of our mother-son relationship. And I am tired of people blaming the mother for everything.

    Thank God people are starting to speak out about what this is like for we, the parents and mothers who have sacrificed and loved our children so much. I don't know what has changed with this generation, but it's very different from the "love and respect your parents" that I was raised with. I promised myself that I would raise my son with nothing but love and praise, and I don't know what I did wrong, but everything went terribly wrong.

    I still blame myself but one day I hope I can let that go too, and just learn to GRIEVE and let the past be the past. Even when it contains my only living son.

    I will love him to the day I die but I will not accept poor treatment or constant conflict, accusations and blame for things that never even happened. I want a loving, productive and mutually respectful relationship and I pray that this will come true one day. I love my son but I am learning to love myself. I too deserve good treatment; at least the same treatment that I have given him. I hope he comes to see that one day. There is nothing more I would love than for my son to "come home" and for us to be in each other's loving arms.

    A mother's bond with her child is difficult if not impossible to break for most of us. And that is how children survive... by the love of their mother for their children and a loving mother will sacrifice for her child to her dying day. I just hope and pray that one day this will be reciprocated, and I will not have to grieve a broken relationship "for no reason." If there is anything I have done wrong, I am sorry for that and would do whatever I could to make amends. But it's a two way street. I can't do it alone. And unfortunately, some people simply don't want "reconciliation." I don't know why, but there it is, and until that day comes and that mind-set changes, all we can do is "love them from a distance." And that is what I still do. Nine long years later. I pray one day this will change.

    Dear God please show us The Way. Gracias, Amen. And thank you for this excellent post. Would there be hope for us all, in the loving arms of the Divine.

    1. Dear Catherine,

      I can so relate to all that you wrote though it's been just 5 months since my son made the decision to estrange. It is so hard for me to read your and others' stories of estrangement that has lasted years and to realize this could be a very real scenario for me.

      Wishing peace to you and all of us...

  5. Please notify me of follow up comments and posts. Thank you again and again!

    1. Thank you for your sharing words!

      I do not know the path to renewed relationships with our estranging children. What I do know is how I found joy again in living in the present.

      One of my next blogs will be titled "sharing the way I found peace and inner healing"

      I believe there is healing within us when we connect with that which is greater than us. Call that power God, or the universe, or the Divine - the name does not matter it is the connection and the listening and allowing learning to happen that allows us to heal.

      When we no longer ask "why me" and instead begin to as "what now" that is the beginning to accepting and moving one.

      There is a choice we each need to make in our journey. To stay where we are in unending grief, or to move forward and embrace the changed life circumstances we have been given.

      to accept that there is no going back to what was but that there are unending possibilities of what might yet be.

      yes I will ponder all these thoughts and more.... "as in who are we when we are not being a mom?"

      Join me as I continue my healing journey. I am a kind, caring and loving person that has been estranged....and now what.....Every day I challenge myself to discover more of who I am and more importantly who I can become. I believe the Divine has a mission for me beyond being a is up to me to work and discover who that might be. To grow to my potential and I can’t be looking back, instead I must embrace the present and look toward the future.

      May you too find your purpose that lies before you starting today.

      Renate Dundys Marrello

      to get future posts follow me on google
      connect with me on facebook (renate dundys marrello)
      or on my FB refletions page:

    2. I am so happy to have found you today, Renate. Thank you.

  6. thank you. no words really- and i always have words. someone else finally said it for me. time to find my own words now.

  7. Dora, I share the same sentiments for sure. Love what you said also: "no words really- and i always have words. someone else finally said it for me. time to find my own words now."

    Are you thanking Renate?

    I know all these feelings... I have been shocked and stunned into silence or moved to broken tears and have not been able to find a way out. It's a deep dark well I have fallen into and a living death with no comprehension. No answers, no reasons, no control to "fix it" or "change it" or "apologize for it" since I was given no reasons or answers at all. Just cut off at the knees, then the ribs, then the heart and lungs and sight and mind. Might as well of cut my head off while he was at it. Cut my heart out living beating pumping with blood spilling from between my hands. All I can do is stand there holding it, and still asking myself "Why?" And no answers come.

    Renata, the blog author, has "said it for me" too. I hope and pray we all find peace, regardless of the situations and earthquake in our lives, including peace for our estranged children. It's a divorce and a death all at once. But to learn how to "live in the present..." What a gift that would be!

    Renate put it so well: "I do not know the path to renewed relationships with our estranging children. What I do know is how I found joy again in living in the present." ... "May you too find your purpose that lies before you starting today."

    Purpose "starting today."

    Amen! Now, if I can just learn to do this!

    "The winds of grace blow all the time; all we need do is set our sails."

    Dear God please show us The Way.

  8. Found this bit of discussion on your Facebook page, and it is really powerful.

    Love what this says about "avoid forcing 'positive thinking.'" That just always makes me feel WORSE. I need to be able to grieve, fully and with acceptance and love. That is the challenge, the goal and the ultimate benefit of estrangement... possibly the only one. But accepting another person and their feelings and still "loving them" even from a distance... this may be that elusive "love without conditions" - "unconditional love" that we keep hearing about. I hope so. Nothing will ever change the love I feel for my son and NOTHING can ever take that away. Gracias, amen.

  9. From Brian McGill (on your FB page):

    ""You are being called to heal yourself, not to agonize over your mistakes. Quit overthinking; this is what surrendering really means. Don't focus on your problems and don't obsess about "fixing" things. Avoid forcing "positive thinking." These thoughts can be psychological irritants. Just leave yourself alone! When you pick at things they never heal. Simply relax and give yourself some time."
    — Bryant McGill

    The book:
    The Show:
    Call-in or Text: (310) 486-9494



  10. What "PTSD support group" could you recommend? I need this now (and always have). Thank you for your wonderful blog. There might be hope for us all after all!

  11. Thanks so much for your posts. It has been over 7 years for me.

  12. It's going on 10 years for me, and I still ask myself "Why? What did I do? What can I do? And I still come up with 'NOTHING.'

    I know I "must have done something" but I tried EVERYTHING his whole life, and NOTHING EVER HELPED. He was NEVER happy with me, NEVER happy with his life, and NEVER seemed to give me credit for anything I did.

    So it goes. I can't change the past or the present or the future when it comes to "relationships with others." All I can do is try to change the relationship I have with myself. And I'm still broken and cut cleanly in two.

    When will I ever be whole again? Was I ever whole?

    I doubt everything in my life now. If I was blindsided by this estrangement, coming out of nowhere when I thought that "finally, he will see how much I love him... he won't be able to deny it now. This time I am proving to him how much I love him..." and I believed I was a good mother but apparently I wasn't.

    What I never understood, and still don't, is that it wasn't a question of "me loving him," or me proving that I loved him, it was the fact that HE DID NOT LOVE ME. Never did, never will.

    It's really just that simple. I couldn't face it, I couldn't believe it, and I still can't.

    But since I can't change it I have to live with it, and the shame and hurt and anger and depression and the blacksheeping and blame I have had heaped upon me from other family members because I have been estranged.

    Rejection hurts, especially when you can't see why it is happening. All I was told was "You know what you did, and until you admit to it, I have nothing more to say to you."

    And that was going on ten years ago. And I STILL don't know "what I did."

    All I can see is what I "did" that was positive and helpful, whenever he asked or needed something. But no matter what I did or how much I did, he would wham! me in the stomach verbally "as soon as the check was cashed." It was unbelievable. But I kept taking the bait and he kept verbally slugging me and it was that way all his life, and he's almost 44 years old.

    When am I going to learn that some things and some people don't change? They must want to stay angry, as it must satisfy something in them... but I knew I couldn't be a verbal punching bag and a target for blame, no matter what I did.

    When I finally stood up for myself, I never thought I'd be cut off completely. But that's what happened and it's "all she wrote."

    Dear God help me understand and help me value myself, even if I am not valued by my own family or child. Surely I haven't done anything "that wrong" that I deserve to be punished like this. It never ends.

    I love my son and I always will, regardless of his feelings towards me. That is the one glimmer of hope, and of light, in this eternal tunnel of darkness. Love can lead the way.

    Dear God please show me The Way. Make the bleeding stop, and let me be whole and healed. Bring peace to our relationship and peace to all of mankind.

    Gracias, Amen.

  13. I love this look so happy!

  14. I am sobbing. Thank you for writing all that "I" feel. It helps so much. I have felt so ashamed, without understanding that it was and is not me. I am working on me though. Yes I did need some work and I am better for that. I know one thing for sure, that despite all, I am going to be OK.

  15. We parents grew up in the Freud and Spock era where EVERYTHING was "the mother's fault."

    No matter how hard this was drilled into me, no matter how much I might still "believe" it's true, I KNOW it's NOT. So I keep trying, one foot ahead of the other, begging God to help me and remove this mantle of "blame and shame" from above me, and let me live free again.

    Bring peace to my estranged son, bring resolution to our relationship, and let him be safe and sound with or without me. Gracias, Amen.

    Dear God please show me The Way.

    And thank you for this blog and for all those that share here!

  16. Kathy O, were you talking about Renata's post as far as "all that 'I' feel?" Such a good way to put it!

    I also loved what you wrote, as it echoes my own "feel:"

    " I am working on me though. Yes I did need some work and I am better for that. I know one thing for sure, that despite all, I am going to be OK."

    "I am going to be OK."

    OK. I will remember that: "I am going to be OK." I was here before my adult child was, and I a here after he was. I am here whether he is or not. "I am going to be OK."

    I must grow out of my codependent ways. I must work on myself. Dear God please show me The Way.

    "I am going to be OK."

    Kathy, what a wonderful reminder, that I needed the most right now! It's so hard not to blame ourselves, especially when everyone and all of society and all the world it seems is busy blaming us. Long gone are the days when one hears "respect your mother and father; you must be a good son, or a good daughter..." No, no one hears that anymore. Ever. Everything is about "nurturing the child" and you "must have abused your child or why else would they not speak to you?" even when "abusing" might have been as simple and necessary as cutting them off, finally, when you discover that the money is being spent on drugs or alcohol, or being wasted in some kind of way, or they are long past the age when they should be supporting themselves, or for any other myriad of reasons. It could be as simple as finally saying "no" to children who rarely, if ever, heard "no" in their life, since I was a Spock mother who was determined to be Perfect for my child and never ever let them feel pain, frustration, anger or fear. Never! And now I'm paying the price... How dare I say "I expect this" or I "won't accept verbal abuse" or "I expect to be treated with the same common courtesly you would give a stranger on the street." Or God only knows what.

    And it "takes two to tango" and if one doesn't want to speak to the other, there is no way to make them. If they want a "divorce" you can't make them change their mind. It takes two to find resolution together, and only one to quit and walk away, even permanently sometimes. And there is nothing in this world we can to make things different, or make the problem "go away." But we can pray. That's the one thing I am learning to do, and to truly "put it in God's Hands" and as you said, "keep working on myself." We can only change ourselves, and I ask for patience and pardon every single day. Patience is Prayer and that's good enough for me.

    The Three P's:

    Patience, Pardon and Prayer. And I add a 4th: Practice!

    Gracias, amiga... I hope you write more here again!

    1. The 3 C's Didn't Cause it, Can't Cure it, Can't Control it.

  17. Renate wrote:

    • "They have already accused me of all my parenting crimes and called me all the names they could think of.
    They have already told lies about me to those that would listen.
    They have already influenced all the people that they could to their way of thinking and those who are loyal to me can't be swayed by their lies.

    There is nothing that they can do now that they haven't already done."

    Ain't it the truth? I have to remember this... yes, what more can "they" do to me, especially to "those that will listen." And it's so good to be reminded that not everyone "listens."

    I never thought of that before. Wow. Thank you, Renate!

  18. the sentence that struck me was "anyone who didn't respect me enough to ask for my side of the story..." (or something like that); I finally kicked my whole family-I-grew-up-with to the curb. NONE of them ever contacted me to say "your son and/or our mom has said this about you and your it true?" Perhaps they felt it was none of their business to ask me, but they made it their business to spread the gossip and lies created by my ex-wife and son. Shame on them, all of them, all cowards who didn't have the moral integrity to confront me....I don't think I'm that scary or intimidating... I've already examined that personal character trait, and realize I'm not perfect, but have always been willing to sit down and discuss any topic; my wife and I have not gone out of our way to make anyone else's life miserable. Sigh. We move on, and are literally packing and moving out of state. We only want to be with people who like us, and want to be with us.

  19. After re-reading my comment..the gossip that pushed me over the top, was the lie from my birth mother, who had heard from my ex-wife, that my wife and I routinely performed sex acts in front of ALL the kids. I still shake my head in astonishment. Oh,and I am personally responsible -- as per my son --- for introducing him to pornography, via the cable channels, back in 1977 when he was 3. Ummm...cable wasn't invented then, and I didn't watch porn, rent porn, or allow in my, his lies and accusation have become the evidence....(?) I'm done, this is too painful. Thanks for reading / listening, I don't feel better, but I feel vindicated by your taking the time to read this.

  20. Thank you for writing this, I needed to read it, to hear it, to know that others are where I am and are still living life.

  21. It has been 8 years for me. Each year i think it will get easier but sadly that has not been the case. I have 3 children and am completely estranged from 2 of them. After reading the post and all the comments I admit to feeling very confused and frustrated. I would understand all this if I ever beat them or neglected them. I did not have a good childhood and all I knew to do was try to give my children what I didn't have. What also made this so much harder is that my harder is that my husband at the time was also very abusive towards me. I was the mom that assisted in the classrooms, made costumes, took them to all their sports and competitions even during chemo. Am I perfect no but i tried. They claim I am negative. maybe I am I really don't know. I know I feel I have limited time and no communication is tearing me up. I am beating myself up daily looking and wondering when I said or did the terrible thing or things that caused this. I wish I could say I abused them or abandoned them or gave them drugs or did drugs, but I can't. I didn't smoke, drink, or use any drugs. I simply got tired of being abused by my ex and left. Even with that I moved 4 miles away refused all support and did not set up visitation. I just let the kids come and go when they wanted to. I put myself thru school and started a business and muddled thru. I am filled with so much pain, fear, agony, and shame I just don't know what to do.

    My son says to give them gifts and keep sending emails or letters and to expect it to remain a one way conversation for years. I don't have years, but that aside, why is it all on me? Do I want the communication .. of course, but at what cost? Any advise or help would be appreciated

    1. life is about choices
      one choice is to face back toward the past and relive over and over again all that did not work out as expected.
      the other choice is to accept what can't be changed and solidly face the future.

      I have chosen the later. I accept that I have been estranged...but I have more to give and more to get out of life than what is past.

      Healing in my opinion is choosing to face forward.

      The mistake we make is in expecting that we will suddenly and miraculously "feel wonderful".

      This is not the case, rather I bring a new perspective to each day, I choose to embrace what is and make it wonderful. The ache is there if I choose to open the door to that room in my past. Most days the door remains firmly shut. Other days I am suddenly reminded of what is missing and for a moment I feel the sadness, and then I put it away again.

      I especially have given up on trying to figure out what was insufficient. That is a question with no answers and that only drove me to distraction. I am now able to say "she has her own demons to face and tame".


  22. Thank you so very much for putting words to these feeling I've been keeping bottled up in my heart.... not only am I estranged from my daughter but she has used my precious grandson as a pawn since the day he was born keeping me from him at times knowing it destroyed me... I havented seen him in three months now and she says I never will.... she has my phone number blocked as well now my heart is broken....

  23. This is my story. Thank you so much for this! I really would like to print this out and reread it over and over for my personal use only. Is there a way I could do this? I've already sent your link to another like us.

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  26. I have a group page on FB -- Parents Estranged from Adult Children. Would you mind if I posted your blog in my group? Stop by & check it out, I don't get a lot of responses, it's a young group and in the process of healing, I am not online every day. I am in college and have set personal goals. I appreciate you sharing with me. I'm estranged from 2 adult daughters and 3 precious GC. I love the support of all the women I've met through different support groups though and I've had the EMDR treatment as well. Every day isn't easy, but my faith in God & people sharing their stories with me as well, has been a tremendous healing factor. Thank you again.

    1. yes Jenna please feel free to share. My joy comes from knowing that I am helping in some way to light the path for others in this dark period of their lives.

      I would please me if you connected with me on FB
      my page is renate dundys marrello

  27. I formed a group called Alienated and Estranged Parents and Grandparents. This has been one of the or if not the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. It was grieving my Daughter and Grandson with no closure. We did reconnect and saw a therapist only for her to estrange me again. I have moved on and am reclaiming my life and happiness. Your blog is wonderful and you show so much strength. Thank you, Pam

  28. Thank you for this post. It resonated with me to my core. Thankfully I no longer feel like the guilty one!

  29. Exactly! We are NOT alone!!feel that is a key to recovery.

  30. Renate: I loved your blog. You have discussed the power of identifying your limits in a difficult family situation. I am one year estranged from one of my daughters, and the experience motivated me to research and explore the topic by adding a chapter to my recently released book for Grandparents. Here is the link on amazon, , should you care to examine what other parents/grandparents have had to say as we make this journey together. Claire Barnes

  31. Excellent letter and many things you said resonated with me and my daughter. Someone replied that their son NEVER loved them and I think this is the case with my daughter. I am still hopefull there will be some kind of resolution because this has come about so recently (not even a month)but my daughter's verbal abuse of me has been going on for years and years, including making up and telling stories to others. I also believe she wants to stay angry as I have apologied many times throughout the years - and, as stated, it's never enough. My younger daughter has already pointed out it takes two to want to make it work. I'm so glad I found this website as I navigate through this horrible new world.

  32. We can thank Dr. Spock and Freud for the difference in today's generation that seems to have little gratitude for anything done for them, and little to no respect for their parents, no matter what. So different from the way I was raised, and then I put my own child on a pedestal and blamed myself for every single thing that went wrong. Far into his adulthood.

    I was the codependent idiot who bought his blaming me for everything and did everything I could to "show him I loved him" since he kept saying I didn't... when the truth was HE DID NOT LOVE ME.

    And he was the ONLY one in the relationship who didn't.

    It takes two to tango, whether it's to fight or to dance.

    Until he reaches out to makes amends, I have put him, and our relationship, into my beautiful little "God Box" and I put him in God's Hands. There is nothing more I can do about it. Nor should I try. The ball's in his court now, and after ten years of near-silence, I should "get the message," don't you think?

    When I lived in Guatemala for many years, the children there were obligated to "respect their parents" if nothing else, and are raised to be GRATEFUL for what they have and what is given to them. Men take a vow "not to drink" for two years at a time, and if a son is an alcoholic, or abuses his mother in any way... including disrespect and verbal abuse (of which I received plenty of) it was the SON that was the "guilty party" and needed to make amends.

    Not the other way around.

    I have apologized for years for whatever I did that I still don't know what, and then being blamed for " not knowing what" - it's an alcoholic's dream to be able to put the blame on someone for "You know what you did, and until you admit to it, I have nothing further to say to you."

    This is about the stupidest reason I have ever heard of for an excuse for an estrangement, and this was on the heels of almost $20,000.00 in cash helping him get a job & apartment and moving expenses, when he was fired for the last one!

    And there is NEVER any mention of anything GOOD I ever did. So I am sick and tired of this, and read a great article about alcoholics who blame everything on someone else, and I am sure that is exactly what is going on here. Plus lying about his drinking and then me sending money for all kinds of reasons, that he "never (directly) asked me for, so he DOESN'T OWE ME A THING" as he kept pointing out. And I, stupid as can be, kept sending money after being talked to this way! How dumb could I have been? Really! What a master manipulator.

    So I'm done with it.


  33. con't: I have shed my last tear (I hope!) and one day I still hope and pray that we can reconcile and share the love I will always feel for him... but I am finally allowing myself to feel a bit angry at him too, for putting me through so much hell all these years that I felt so GUILTY about!

    He was such a disobedient, angry and argumentative child... and of course our culture blamed it all on the mother, so I spent my entire life "trying to make up," when really my son needed to "straighten up and fly right." Apparently this still hasn't happened, although he is systematically trying to destroy my relationships with anyone I ever introduced him to, or connected him with due to my involvement. No thanks for any of that, either.

    He is a selfish, self-centered angry person, and GUESS WHAT? IT'S NOT MY FAULT!

    So now I have something new to think about and absorb. I can hardly believe it, that I have lost 45 years blaming myself when it was HIM all along.

    If he ever decides to make amends, I will open him with welcome arms. But until then, I will focus myself on my Self, and learn to treat myself first, and let cruel, selfish and hurtful people GO, no matter who they are.

    We would divorce a cruel spouse, so why not divorce a cruel adult child? Once they reach adulthood or beyond, surely *some* responsibility falls on THEM.

    How did everything get so far out of whack?

  34. Whether our estranged adult children are alcoholics or have other personality disorders, I think this article has been very, very helpful to me and to many others.

    * * * * *

    7 Steps To Do When An Alcoholic Blames You - True North Recovery

    Aug 18, 2016 - When you have an alcoholic friend or family member blaming you, it can be very difficult to know what to do. Learn the steps to take.

  35. Thank you so much for writing your life story. I felt you were writing my life story except my son estranged me first then about 8 yrs later my daughter followed. I felt every heartfelt word you wrote. My life has changed for me. I am learning that life goes on. I won't beg to be loved by two children that I gave birth to and did everything I possibly could as a good mom. I went without just like you to make sure they had everything they needed. I will save your letter to read on occasion to make me stronger. Thank you for your letter!!