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Hi new leaf, thank you for your response. This is my thread that I started just over 2 year ago. I am just revisiting to try and catch up, and to see who may be going through similar issues that I have identified with in the last 2 years. The mist is starting to lift now on what what was happening. I am now starting to identify with what others have gone through, and find the thread on shunning particularly interesting and relevant at the moment
I hope I am in the right place, my heart is breaking over the pain I'm feeling. I have two adult daughters, both now in their 40s. They are 4.5 years apart. They have never been close (felt by the younger one actually). They had, what I see as "normal" sibling squabbles as children, but the younger has never let go of anything. My oldest has always had many friends, but my youngest made poor friendship choices when younger, and unlike her sister who has close friends from elementary school, high school, college, and from every job she has had. My older always included her sister in parties given by her friends, had her with her on vacations, etc. I must admit, though painful, 20 years or so ago, I had a drinking problem. I went to AA and that is now in the past. When it was going on, my youngest wrote painful letters to me, there was no compassion whatsoever. My oldest was upset at time, of course, but did not speak to me in same manner; she just wanted me to get help. Youngest was married, divorced and now has wonderful husband. Oldest was maid of honor each time. Younger unable to have children and oldest never married. Youngest stopped speaking to her sister for six months years ago, and sister surprised her at a birthday dinner my husband and I gave her, apologized, and time passed and they got along. Youngest now has not spoken to her sister in seven months, and says she never will. She has told me her sister is toxic and she needs to have her out of her life. My oldest was crushed, but after all these months, she has accepted the situation. My youngest, said when she broke the relationship, she would be cordial at family holiday gatherings. We have had Christmas and she was. She never speaks her sister's name or asks about her. Oldest asks what her sister is doing. I invited my oldest daughter's friend to Easter dinner, along with her friend's sister and her husband. I invited my nephew and his wife and my sister in law also. When I invited my youngest and her husband, she said they were going to a restaurant for Easter dinner (I'm thinking she either got upset that my daughter's friends were invited also). I'm so upset. I'm not sure if I have expressed myself clearly. I cannot get this off of my mind. My BiPolar (BP) shot up to 220-113 two days ago. I'm calm now and back to normal BiPolar (BP). I don't know what to do. Blood pressure - not bi polar
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one day at a time
Hi Dufster 45, welcome to the forum. I moved your post to your own thread so more people can see it and respond.

First, I'm so sorry about your daughters' estrangement, and your pain. I can only imagine how painful that is.

I had a taste of it, just a small taste, when my older son refused to have my younger son in his wedding this past August. It felt like a knife was repeatedly being thrust into me, over and over, during the conversations I had with my older son about it.

I have two adult daughters, both now in their 40s. They are 4.5 years apart. They have never been close (felt by the younger one actually).

My sons are 3.5 years apart. Maybe there is something to this, the number of years apart? Who knows.

In your post, it sounds like your younger daughter is a "take no prisoners" type of person. Once she's mad, she's mad forever. Is that the case?

There are black and white thinkers in the world, and they see the world through that lens. Things are right or they are wrong. No gray areas.

You and I, we have learned, the hard way, about the gray areas. Life is full of so many grays, so many struggles, so much imperfection, and we all need to have grace and mercy and compassion, first for ourselves and then for each other.

But many people can't, or won't, have that view. I think being black and white often is more comfortable and easier because you can just decide...and that's it. You don't have to live in the land of uncertainty, which consumes a lot of time and energy.

I want to say that is wonderful that you have been sober for 20 years---what a gift I'm sure that has been for your life. I'm sorry your younger daughter didn't celebrate that journey with you, and I know it's a daily journey.

What can you do about this estrangement? I think nothing. As you grieve it---and you must grieve it---can you work to let go of it, to stand back from it all, and let it be? We can't fix other people. We can't make other people do things, like talk to us, talk to each other, get along, see things they don't see, act the way we wish they would.

As adults, they have a right and a choice. And as adults, we have to accept that choice, eventually.

Right now, my younger brother, who is 51, is increasingly a very isolated human being who communicates almost not at all with me, or anyone else really, except with my parents, who he lives with. He is an alcoholic (my term, not his) and his drinking has increased exponentially. I know he is very sick, and I love him very much, but I can't make him communicate with me, make friends, get help or anything else. He works, and he goes home, and he helps my parents, and he drinks. That is his life, and it is painful for me, to see how real life, wonderful life is passing him by, but...that's his choice. Our relationship has a very active third party in it---and that is his alcoholism. That trumps me, and other people, every single time.
It's sad, and it's a waste, but it is. It is reality.

My two sons---one a easy child and one a Difficult Child (and the reason I came here)---have an okay relationship. My older son, the easy child, said he didn't want his brother in his wedding because they aren't close. It was very hard for me to hear that, and I believe my older son sometimes "takes a stand" and that's it, sometimes is a black and white thinker, and it hurts me, but in the end I had to accept it, put a smile on my face, go to the wedding and just be grateful for the small blessings. I can't fix their relationship or make them closer than they are. I wish I could.

Having said all of that, it hurts. The pain is real. Feel your feelings and cry and grieve this. You have a right to do that. And then, as you do, work to let go. Let them have their relationship, or lack thereof. You can have a good relationship with both of them, invite them to family events...and it's...their choice...whether or not they come. We know they are losing out when they don't, but again, their choice, their loss.

We're here for you as you traverse this path. We know how hard this type of thing is. Please keep posting. We care. Warm hugs today.


Well-Known Member
Hi Dufster,

So glad you found us.

Have you Googled Mindful Meditations, Guided Meditations, etc.? If you need help with that BiPolar (BP), you might try that. I had a scare a few weeks ago (adult kid-related) and it helped tremendously. Please take care of yourself. First.

I am sorry about this sibling thing. It stinks. My three kids grew up having a close relationship, until.....Now, the two youngest have nothing to do with the oldest. It is not what husband and I wanted in a million years, but we understand why.

Keep us posted, but again, you focus on being healthy first. The rest can come later.....IF there is any parts of any of it you can change. Take care of YOU.

Stay with us,


Well-Known Member
This kind of thing really tugs at a mother's heart. It can get painful. But, I see some things as an outsider looking in.

First of all, your children certainly aren't children anymore. They are adults. And this stress is bothering your health....causing your blood pressure to rise. I think you have to ask yourself if it is worth it?

You can analyze to death what is going on here, but likely will only be taking guesses as to why this happened. It sounds like they are two very different people.

The silver lining, in my mind, is the younger daughter is willing to be civil at family gatherings/holidays. I would be grateful for this and encourage it (unless she is the type that does the opposite of what you say, then I wouldn't say anything).

I suppose, you could maintain a nice relationship with both of them separately and enjoy the holidays as best as possible and avoid speaking negatively about the other sibling in the presence of each one.

I totally agree about focusing on your good health and happiness. Do what you love doing...nourish friendships, etc. Blessings.

New Leaf

Well-Known Member

Let go and let God. When we hold on so tightly to an outcome we have no control over, it can send us into despair.

When we hit this bottomless pit, there is no way out but UP.

Then we can look for examples in human history, mentors who left an indelible notch in history's timeline of overcoming impossible sufferings. This is not to lessen what you are feeling Dufster, for it is every mothers hope that our children will live peaceably, maintaining familial bonds. The end of the story has not been written as yet. The origin of despair, the meaning translates to without hope.

There is always hope.
People throughout time have risen over incredible suffering. Their examples can help us, they become our mentors.......

I have found such a mentor in Viktor Frankl

"Viktor Frankl experienced some of the worst pain and suffering ever inflicted by one group of human beings on another. For three years, Frankl was a prisoner in Auschwitz and several other Nazi concentration camps. Everything he possessed was taken from him. His beloved wife and most of the rest of his family died in the camps. Even the manuscript for his first book on psychotherapy was lost. He had nothing left but his body and his mind.

During those years he experienced imprisonment, starvation, bitter cold, forced labor from dawn till dusk, sickness, disease, and the constant presence of death for one prisoner after another.

In such an atmosphere, the most natural thing to do was to succumb to hopelessness, despair, and death.

And yet, Frankl found meaning in the midst of that suffering. He came to realize that as horrible as their situation was, something greater than all that pain and suffering was present in those camps.

It was the greatness of the human spirit, which can make the decision to rise above pain and suffering, and live for greater goals even when death seems inevitable.

In fact, Frankl came out of the camps believing even more strongly than when he went in that one of the distinguishing characteristics of human beings is that rather than being determined by our environment as are the lower animals, we humans can act from higher qualities of love, rationality, understanding, and compassion even when we see little or none of it around us.

And that is what saved Frankl himself.

Rather than succumbing to hopelessness and despair as so many of his fellow prisoners did, Frankl devoted his efforts to helping his fellow prisoners find some meaning and purpose in their lives . . . some reason to continue forward, and to live. And though many of them died anyway, their lives up to their deaths became a testament of the human spirit’s ability to live for higher purposes even in the midst of the worst pain and suffering imaginable.

That is the great message and the profound beauty of Frankl’s best-known book, Man’s Search for Meaning.”

taken from

I pray for your peace of mind and heart.

One day, one step at a time.

You are not alone.