Short but good article about estranged parent

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This part really spoke to me. It was a new concept that maybe the child just doesn't want to have an adult relationship with us...for whatever reason.

    This paragraph spoke to me the loudest.

    "It’s very hard to accept that there may be nothing you can do to repair the relationship between you and your adult child, but it sometimes happens that your child needs to reject you no matter what you say or do. Not every child wants an adult relationship with his or her parents. If that happens to you, make sure your life has meaning and purpose apart from your role as a parent."
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  2. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I believe that when our difficult child children get their lives in order, a piece of that is finally rebelling against us, hating us for a little while, even. It seems to me that these overwhelming emotions have as much to do with being disgusted with themselves as they do with anything we have or have not done.

    We go through this with both our children when they are doing well. difficult child daughter will be angry or shocked or saddened but appreciative overall. difficult child son lashes out, blames and labels and ends contact routinely. I think what it is, is that our kids are as confused and hurt about where their lives have gone as we are. It's a growth process and it's a learning process. That is part of the reason I never defended myself with difficult child son. I would only feel bad. But MWM post about abusive adult children got me thinking about what it means for a son, especially, to routinely disrespect his own mother.

    And that turned out to be a very good thing for me to know, too.

    Guess who doesn't have to be perfect, doesn't have to be the victim, does not have to be the long-suffering martyr, right?

    And so, I could come stumbling into real.

    Very nice, MWM. Thank you for posting for us.

  3. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Many parents of my mothers generation left home and moved great distances to begin their adult lives. They did not communicate on a daily, weekly or even a monthly basis. Sometimes their lives were going well and sometimes things were tanking. The difference was that everyone went along with the assumption that they were adults and needed to take care of it. No one could or would be standing by to rescue them. It was a time when most people were struggling to pay the bills.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks MWM.

    I know some adults who have no contact with their parents because from their perspective their parents were hurtful and/or toxic to them. With what I know about those stories, it was likely a good choice to keep away. In many cases the parents were the difficult child's.

    I also think with enabling the message is sent to the kids that they are not capable and some of their anger and distance comes from that. When I was in that codependency course, the therapists told us that repeatedly and that when we stopped the enabling, often the kids anger would subside and they would be able to develop their own self confidence. I saw that with my daughter too, she was angry at me for years. I had no clue why. In the last few years, as I changed and stopped my enabling of her, her anger completely dissipated and her appreciation for me grew. Only now that I am out of that loop can I see it from that perspective. No blame or right or wrong, just an unhealthy dynamic which creates negatives for all involved. Some of us do all the right things, are wonderful parents and the kids go off the rails anyway. Sometimes, like in my own case, because I did not know how to parent in a healthy way, I introduced an unhealthy dynamic which I had to then break in order to free us both to move ahead. Either way, in my opinion, stopping the enabling and detaching is the appropriate response.
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  5. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I had no relationship with my parents, who are both gone now. I have a horrible feeling that my difficult child, who is now 20, will move out one day and never call us again. I have not been abusive to him or any of my kids but difficult child is like me in that he is not sentimental and can "x" people out of his life like I do. I fear that his similarity to me in that way will allow him to do to me what I did to my parents (though they deserved it). My daughter said that she is afraid that difficult child will be the child lost to us as well. Even at college, he rarely calls and never wants to just hang out.

    It's scary to see my coping mechanism playing out in one of my children. I don't want to lose him...
  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This is the hurdle that keeps so many parents stuck. As a parent you want to "fix" everything that is wrong in your child's life and coming to realization that it is no longer possible is really hard to accept. I think many of us had grandiose ideas of how our children would grow up, you know, go to college, get a great job, get married, have children and live happily ever after and when that doesn't happen and our children instead reject us we are left with confusion and broken hearts.

    Someone once shared this quote with me: Expectation minus reality equals disappointment.
    This helped me so much as once I realized the expectations I had for my difficult child were not founded in reality was the beginning of my letting go.

    If I had never let go I would not have the life I have now which is very full and filled with so much joy.
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