"If My Estranged Child Only Knew How Upset I Am They'd Change

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tired out, Dec 24, 2018.

  1. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    This was in my email from
    Dr. Joshua Coleman

    "If My Estranged Child Only Knew How Upset I Am They'd Change"

    Unfortunately, no, they wouldn't.
    One of the most common mistakes that estranged parents make is trying to convince their adult children about how hurtful they're being by engaging in an estrangement. They, quite understandably believe that if I, or anyone else, were to show them how much pain the parent is in, then they would give up the path of estrangement and work toward reconciliation.
    This is a perfectly understandable belief on the part of the parent for the following reasons:
    1) Most parents today did a far better job raising their children than their parents did with them, and are less likely to have cut off their parents for far more serious complaints.

    2) Most parents today were also raised in era where obligations to family still had some moral weight.
    3) Parents are not wrong to believe that their child owes them some degree of love, respect, obligation or loyalty for all of the years of love and investment that the parent made, however flawed.
    And yet, this is not the world today's estranged adult children inhabit. Therefore, making them feel guilty or worried about you, actually does just the opposite.
    We'll talk about this and related ideas in the New Year.
    Meanwhile, be sure to do the following:
    1) Stop blaming yourself
    2) Do things that are nurturing for yourself
    3) Practice daily self-compassion exercises, such as those offered by psychologist Kristin Neff
    4) Make sure you're getting enough sleep and exercise.
    5) Develop a mindfulness meditation practice. Free exercises and instruction can be found here and here.
    And I'll reach out to you tomorrow on Christmas, since I know that will be a hard day for all of you who celebrate it.
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
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  2. overcome mom

    overcome mom Member

    I was just thinking this very thought. If he knew how upset his father and I are at this very moment he would do what he needed to, to get in touch with us and tell us what is going on. My son was suppose to be here to spend Christmas day with us. He was suppose to be here at 4 in the morning. It is now 9:35 am and no son, no call. It is just my husband and myself so we are going to wait until 10:30 and then open presents. I really just want to get out of here and not deal with him at all. I am very angry but just trying to act like it doesn't bother me to not make my husband feel worse. I have called -text numerous times. It rings four times and then the call is ended. I am really wondering if he is at some place using. He sounded so good yesterday. I spoke with him 4-5 times as he updated me as to what was going on. Of course at first he was suppose to be here yesterday but that changed. I told myself and my husband that you knew he wasn't going to make it Christmas eve. This has been made even harder by my health concerns-long story, but I have to have an MRI of my breast to rule out cancer Friday. We are suppose to leave for Costa Rica soon but I am having a hard time getting excited with the other hanging over my head. May have to cancel trip. On top of this we just lost a good friend suddenly with lung cancer, he only lasted a month after diagnosis. He was around our age. Doing A LOT of praying . My son sounded so concerned and supportive about everything on the phone these last few weeks and then today no show. So hard not to have hope.
  3. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    This is sadly very accurate.

    With the exception of a brief period of time as a teen, my mother’s feelings were often considered by me as a young person, young adult and adult.

    I respected her opinion and thoughts. And feelings. Not so much with my abusive father. That was iffy; I did not always care about his feelings as he absolutely did not care about mine as he was physically and psychologically abusuve.

    However, I don’t think that particularly holds true today with many if not most youth and it absolutely positively would not be the case with a Difficult Child. They could care less about your feelings. They probably do know. Know or could care less. In fact, if oppositional, they might do something purposely to cause you distress.
  4. overcome mom

    overcome mom Member

    Just heard from my son. He says he was in an accident and that they police held him while do check to see if he was under the influence. He said they took his phone so he couldn't call. Some of the story sounds believable some not. He is on his way to our house. He has no residence at the moment. I think it should be ok if my husband doesn't confront him and start blaming him, if he does then things could go bad quickly. I am so nervous and sick to my stomach right now. I just want to get through the next day or two and then I'll be OK. SOOO Stressed. Said the sheriff would not let him call, which is unbelievable especially on Christmas. Hoping I don't have to call the police on Christmas or the day after. At least no relatives here to be embarrassed.
  5. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    Overcome, how did it go?
  6. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    Wondering how things went as well. Thinking of you and hoping for good outcome with MRI. I wouldn't cancel your trip, go, getaway. I know the outcome of results will be hanging over your head but life is short and seize the moment to go to Costa Rica. As far as son, who knows if it's the truth, sadly this is the way of life with our troubled adult kids. Their lies are so believable at times and they sucks us into their drama. I have learned to have low expectations with my son. It helps. If he does this or that ok, if not, it's on him, not us.
  7. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Overcome, We are thinking about you. I hope your news is good.
  8. overcome mom

    overcome mom Member

    So sorry I didn't get back and let everyone know how it went, thanks so much for the concern. I did talk with my son before he got here and told him his Dad was in a really pissy mood and maybe he should not come until tomorrow. He started to cry said it was a horrible day and now this. I talked to my husband again and he agreed to not confront him today. Son did come finally at 4:00pm at that point my husband had mellowed. Rest of the night went fine. He spent the night and then ended up leaving about 4:00 the next day. He definitely is clinically depressed . We talked with him about getting on medication but didn't seem to interested. It is so hard to get him any medical treatment as he is constantly on the road for work and doesn't really have a permanent place to go when he is not. It is also harder to not enable after I see him, as I see the little boy I love and see how he is suffering. I know that the vast majority of his problems are of his own doing. Right before he left I realized he bought a TV he can use in his vehicle. He has so many bills he owes,he has no business buying a TV. I didn't go on and on about it but did say I was surprised that he could afford it. Told me it was a really good deal. LOL In a few weeks he will lose this job and ask for money. Guess now I can tell him to pawn the TV. Also got his father and I nothing for Christmas which I wasn't expecting until I saw the TV.
    I had my MRI Friday, not a fun experience. I am hoping that I'll hear the results tomorrow but I may have to wait until Wednesday. Still hoping I don't have to cancel the trip. I already have to have surgery on my nose a week after I get back so I am not looking forward to that. If I don't start feeling less anxious after my nose surgery I think I'll go on some medication.