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.