When Your Adult Child Doesn’t Want You

in Uncategorized
July 13th, 2012

“Alison won’t see me.  She tells me that she hates me.” says Sally, a 67 year old divorced woman. Sally says that Alison has always been high-strung and emotional, but Sally is still sad that Alison chooses not to have a relationship with her as she gets older.

Alison always felt that Sally favored her sister Mary, who is two years younger.   Sally’s marriage to her husband was strained for many years and she coped by attending school and nurturing her two girls.  She believes that she was an excellent mother to them.  When she met “the love of my life”, she left her husband and moved in with Ralph, telling herself that the girls were in college and launched into adulthood, that she was leaving her husband, not her daughters.   However, both girls were furious with her, accusing her of abandoning the three of them, a belief the husband perpetuated.   Sally and Ralph moved out of state while the girls comforted and cared for their father.

Twenty years later, both girls are in their forties.   Mary and Sally have long since reconciled.  In fact, Sally and Ralph visit Mary and her family regularly, enjoying the grandchildren and helping with childcare.  She has made many attempts to repair her relationship with Alison.  In the early years of her divorce, she wrote letters, sent gifts and called.   When she came back to Massachusetts, she would invite Alison to dinner, loan her money and try to listen as Alison catalogued Sally’s many faults as a mother and wife.  Sally visits Facebook and follows Alison’s social life in pictures, which she finds hurtful and humiliating as she is never mentioned.

Sally’s painful situation is no longer uncommon.  Several recent articles suggest there are more parent-adult child estrangements today than in the past.  Why should be the case?

First, there has been an increase in self-focused behaviors and thinking in our culture.  Young people often feel that their individual needs are more important than the needs of others.    People prioritize personal happiness in a relationship rather than duty or tradition.  When a parent-child or husband-wife relationship experiences an ebb in passion, people say “I’m not happy” and simply move on.

Second, in today’s world, parents outsource many of their functions to paid helpers, reducing the amount of time they spend with each other and the resulting interdependence.  Child care, meal preparation, housework and entertainment are provided by others,  allowing the parents to work.

In addition, technology and media reduce face time and may amplify misunderstandings.  Television shows like Friends and movies such as The Squid and the Whale and Mrs. Doubtfire, Revolutionary Road, Little Children portray divorce accompanied by the reliance on friends rather than family for support and companionship.

Many adult children have personal experience of living through the divorces of their parents, exposing them to a fractured family.  Their emotional, physical, social and financial needs may have been trumped by parental needs.  They therefore came to feel that they were a low priority in their divorcing family.

Estrangements often occur when the parent is critical or disapproving of their adult child, the child’s spouse or children.   Well-intentioned parents can be perceived as controlling or intrusive if they are not respectful of their adult child’s autonomy and choices.

Meredith Maran wrote an article in AARP The Magazine reviewing recent findings of a survey of alienated children, finding that 50% felt they bore no responsibility for the estrangement, but 61% would like to resume a relationship.  Joshua Coleman, PhD has written a book, When Parents Hurt to help parents who are struggling with an angry or alienated adult child.   He argues for self-compassion “the ability to believe that, no matter how terrible your mistakes, love and forgiveness are part of your birthright and humanity.”

What can you do to heal the break?

An alienated adult child has a story about you that they sincerely believe.  Listen to the story, see if there is an element of truth in his or her complaint, and acknowledge that you were at fault.  Don’t get defensive and argue about who’s right.  Accept that he or she sees a different story.   Avoid criticism and advice.  Accept your child’s choices of partners, lifestyle and sexual orientation.   Don’t tell your children how to take care of theirs.  Don’t talk about yourself and how you may have parented.  Keep trying.  It may take some time to reach the estranged adult.

In some cases, reconciliation may not work when the child is resistant, troubled by mental illness, substance abuse, immaturity or a difficult primary relationship.  You may need to stop trying if you have reached out repeatedly and been rejected, abused or shamed.   Acknowledge reality and focus on taking care of yourself.  Compartmentalize by visualizing a box in which you can store painful memories.   Some children may believe your efforts at reconciliation offer them an opportunity to retaliate for your failing them with anger, criticism and humiliation rather than trying to negotiate a mature, respectful adult relationship.   If you stop trying, your adult child may have a chance to reflect on their behavior or see what life is like without you.  If your adult child has made it clear that they are closed to reconciliation, it may not be in your best interest to continue trying.  Your child may experience your efforts as further evidence of your disrespect for them.

Many parents misread their child’s signs and don’t see the evidence of hopefulness or ways that they could successfully begin to build a reconciliation when they are clearly there.  They may also not recognize the very subtle ways that they perpetuate the estrangement with the ways that they reach out.  However, deciding whether to give up is one of the most important decisions you have to make regarding your estrangement.

Today Sally is sad, but accepts that Alison is not in her life.   However, she finds joy and satisfaction in her relationship with her husband, daughter Mary and Mary’s family.

 

By Bonnie Teitleman, LICSW

 

 

298 Comments on When Your Adult Child Doesn’t Want You

  • It seems I have combined Mary D and Karen into one. I am sorry for that but reading a long thread is hard. Actually this may be a good thing because it allows you to see the similarities and some differences in your situations. We are more alike than different in our adult children’s betrayal of us. God Bless both of you.

  • Mary Jane,

    I realize I have not been clear about the family tree. I have two daughters, each of whom has a daughter. The younger daughter is the one who has excised me from her life and the life of her daughter (granddaughter #2.)

    Spot on when you say this is grief: Grief that I have raised a daughter who disregards and discards her mother, grief that I am not allowed to see my grandchild, grief that this has affected my relationships with our mutual friends and relatives.

    But I’m not ready to give up hope. Not yet. And I am no longer disabled by the grief.

    In the meantime, I am keeping a journal for my granddaughter, so after all is said and done she will know I love(d) her. I stay in touch as much as is possible with our mutual friends and relatives, and I continue to live a fulfilling life in the midst of those who do love and care for me.

  • Having a relationship with your grandchildren could help provide some common ground on which to build a friendship with your daughter. Sure it could go the other way. But think positive and be mindful of boundaries.

  • Susan, I would welcome any suggestions as to how to go about having a relationship with the granddaughter who is being held from me by her mother.

    As I see it, her mother is using her as a tool to hurt me. Moreover, I think the main problem between Daughter and me is that Daughter doesn’t believe I love her, so if I push for a relationship with granddaughter, I fear that will support Daughter’s belief.

  • I am an adult child and I choose to be estranged from my mother not because I wanted things to be that way but because my mother was unwilling to listen and accept she was part of the problem and is very critical and controlling. Most children do not want to disregard their parents. I really believe it is the parents fault in most cases. They do not respect their children as their own people and think it is their right to interfere and judge their children’s life.

    My mother was very cruel when I was a child, but refused to acknowledge her part. It took years of counseling to get over the damage to my self esteem. So, I think it follows since she still engages in her abusive behaviors I have every right to avoid her not because I did not want a good and caring relationship with my mother but because of her behavior. I set a boundary if she want to be part of my life she has to conform to not saying rude or critical things in my presence, it was her choice not to compromise.

    So, if you are a parent my advice would be to accept and love your child for what they are not who you think they should be because remember it is their life to make the choices. There is nothing that will drive a way someone if they do not feel accepted or comfortable around someone or feel they have to explain themselves or constantly be criticized.

  • I am dealing with the same issue as everyone here.

    There seems to be a pattern.

    The child forms a new relationship with someone else. This is the case with me where my son started to live with his girlfriend.

    We seem to have been exceptional parents who sacrificed much for our children. This is the case with me.

    What I have noticed is that, among my friends, kids who did not get the same devoted attention from their parents seem to have better relationships with them. This is likely because there has always been, and will always be, a significant emotional distance which we also have to learn to adjust to. Let’s face it. We will never be all that close to our kids again. It is only by some miracle that actually happens, and that miracle will not happen to us.

    My son prefers his girlfriend’s family. It is really painful for me because I am not only a single mother, but I am also an orphan with no real family. I am learning to make my own way. I understand that much of the rest of my life will be lonely, but it also started out that way. Maybe my son will come back some day, but I am not betting the bank on it.

    Thankfully, these days there is the Internet for comfort, and there is the great outdoors for exercise and health.

    I also plan to get real tough about his disrespect of me; I refuse to be abused by him. I will continue to help a little as he finishes his master’s degree with editing his writing, but beyond that, I will not take his crap any more.

    There, if I can do this… all alone in the world, then so can the rest of you.

  • Hi.. I appreciate this article. Myself and my husband have been estranged by our adult children. We have attempted to reach out, offered our apologies, offered to go to a counselor of their choice for them to feel safe to share their feelings… all have been met with rejection. As I sat praying recently I said to God.. I am so upset by the rejection, and I feel so ashamed, clearly somewhere I must be doing something wrong that I can’t see. Then I heard something that gave me comfort…. If you believe in God, then the belief also understands that “God is perfect”. In that still quiet moment, when my heart was breaking and I was preparing myself to hear where I have failed, (having told myself that enough times), the God of all comfort whispered in my ear at that moment… “Have you seen my kids”? …. Enough said… although I do not believe that I am perfect in anyway and believe that my kids experienced me in a way that I didn’t intend … I found comfort… I hope you all do too! Hugs…

  • These situations are heartbreaking, but there comes a time to let go and see what happens — you have to enjoy your life and move forward despite an adult child’s rejection. I’m learning this, and through my website (http://www.rejectedparents.com), am helping other parents. There’s a newsletter, and a recently started online group – – I would love to talk with some of you.

    This situation was so embarrassing in the beginning — mainly because people automatically judge the parent. But keeping quiet can make us feel alone and responsible. My adult son is responsible for his own choices. And in speaking out, parents can take back some control. With support, the pain diminishes.

    I’m still sad at times, and hoping in time all will be well – – but am stepping forward. Hugs to all here. May you find much happiness and peace in your unique situation.

  • so very true,sad but true!

  • I am a Mom, with 3 adult children, (29 yo daughter, 27 yo daughter and 25 yo son). I was unhappily married for 20 years, and have now been amicably divorced for 10 yrs. My oldest daughter has had the most difficulty, in every aspect of her life, since the divorce. She was my “over achiever’ throughout her first 13 years of school. Always got exceptional grades, was very self disciplined, organized and an abundance of logical, critical and emotional sense. Since the divorce, she has seemingly floundered in school, personal relationships and has been on an emotional roller coaster. She completed only 2 yrs of college, (with only average success), quit school, got pregnant, got married, got divorced, begrudgingly moved back home with me, (with my granddaughter), had a subsequent failed relationship, which broke her heart-for the first time. She became very bitter, unhappy and colossally disappointed in herself for her lack of achievements. (During her first 11 years of school, she never had anything below an “A” on her report cards. She would occasionally ask me, “Mom, what will you do if I ever get a “B” on my report card?” I would routinely tell her, “Honey, if you can look me in the yes and tell me that you tried your very best, then I don’t care what grade you get. That is all I ask of you, is that you always try your best. So, my question to you, is, What will YOU do, if you ever get a “B”?” She had no answer.)
    Her disappointment in herself came from a variety of places. She admitted that she did everything backwards, by not finishing school, then getting pregnant, then getting married. She saw most of her friends graduating from college, not only with their bachelor’s degrees, but then many with their Master’s, as well. She was disappointed that she had a child, got married and then divorced all within 18 months.
    During these last 3+ years, she has been extremely difficult to live with. She spontaneously lashes out with unwarranted anger. She has been estranged from her Father for the better part of 7 yrs, (especially in the last 3). She spent a good amount of time “socializing” and drinking during this time, many times, neglecting her daughter. She suddenly told me that “she couldn’t talk to me”. She has said extremely hurtful, critical things to me and taken significant advantage of me, in many ways. She has not paid rent to me over half of the time, expected me to be available to provide childcare for her daughter, so she could go party. Anytime I have protested, in anyway, she has berated me as if I was a child. She is brutally hurtful, controlling and taken my good-naturedness for granted. She has used her daughter as her “ace in the hole”, to get what she wants, since she knows that I would never allow my granddaughter to suffer. She has routinely told me how much she hates living in my home. I have, on numerous occasions, told her she needed to move out, if she was that unhappy. I’ve told her I don’t want her to be unhappy. When I have requested that she move out, her consistent behavior is to goes silent for several days, then slowly cozy up to me, softening her attitude. I have felt used, disrespected, verbally abused, I have cried many many many tears over this, on too many occasions to count. She picks and chooses what to share with me, about what is going on in her life. She expects me to avail myself, (on a moments notice), for babysitting, since she is very lacking in communicating with me what her work schedules are. Since she has shared custody with her ex-husband, the “swap” can be very inconsistent and inconvenient, and she assumes that I will be available at everyone’s beckon call. If I make social plans to do something, thereby not being available for childcare, she is punishing in her comments and actions.
    Last April, she met a very impressive young man, who with whom she has fallen in love. It has brought me joy to see her heart heal, from her previous failed relationships. She has recently gone back to school in order to achieve her bachelor’s degree, which I am over the moon about, since I KNOW how much that will do to help heal her disappointment in herself.
    Unfortunately, even though some of the negativity and disappointment in her life has begun to resolve, she still is unreasonable and hateful towards me. I have made every attempt to be supportive of her, emotionally, financially, and physically. I want nothing but the best for her and, of course, her daughter. I want her to achieve her goals and realize her dreams. But whatever I do, isn’t enough. She still treats me with disdain, disrespect and judges me very harshly. I don’t want to be abused any longer. I don’t deserve that. I want to have a mutually loving relationship with her. I don’t want to cry anymore.
    On February 24th, (two days ago), she informed me that she was moving out. Not only is SHE moving out, but she has convinced my son to move with her, and “oh, by the way, we’re moving TOMORROW!” That’s it! No reasonable advance notice. I have always wanted all of my children to create a beautiful life for themselves. I have wanted them to be independent, successful and have joy in their lives. As a Mother, I have worked towards nothing less. But, I struggle significantly with the displays of disrespect and narcissistic behaviors that they display, especially to me, their Mother. I applaud them for wanting to
    re-start their lives and becoming independent of Mom. I just don’t know why they choose to ignore or, maybe they don’t even consider, how their decisions might effect someone else.
    I know I didn’t raise them in this manner, and am not sure how to get past the consistent disrespect. I feel like I have failed.
    Please offer your thoughts on how I should proceed in these relationships with my children. I know I have only described the difficulties I experience with my oldest daughter, but each of my children have been disrespectful and taken me for granted, albeit not to the degree that my oldest daughter has. My ex-husband tells me that I should “not be so available” to them. He says, that they have “burned a bridge” after all that I have done for them.
    I would like to not feel so hurt by, the people that profess to love me. I would love to know how I can and should move forward.

    Thank you, in advance, for your input.

  • Dear Kathy L,
    I am afraid I don’t have any answers, but I felt compelled to write anyway to offer some support for what you’re going through. I wrote here about a month ago describing my daughter’s miserable treatment of me and her dad at Christmas. We haven’t spoken to her since.
    I’ve come to realize that while she will always be my daughter, she is no longer a child. Unconditional love does not mean that she is allowed to break my heart every couple of weeks through her constant reprimands and harsh judgments. She is very intolerant of things I say and do and takes offense easily. Therefore, since I would never put up with this from another adult, I have decided that I’m through putting up with it from her. In the past, I’ve let things go only to have another incident crop up weeks down the road.
    I continue to love her from a safe distance. When she is ready to apologize and treat me the way I deserve to be treated, I will welcome her with open arms. Otherwise, I wish her well. I do not say all this lightly. Believe me, I miss her terribly and cry often. But I can no longer let this adult behave like a spoiled two year old.
    It sounds like you have similar issues with your own daughter. I wish you peace in all of this and hope that it resolves for you.
    Lorraine

  • My son (19) and his girlfriend (17) now have twin babies. They live with her family and are catered to, pay no bills, not even for the diapers or milk. My son works for his dad who he lived with since 11. His dad took me to court for custody as I was not agreeing to everything he wanted my son to do. My husband worked away and my son having all symptoms of ADHD needed a lot of attention and I had a 4 and 1 year old at that point. So the judge thought it would be best for my son to live with his dad and new wife, two parents at home.
    About 4 years later the wife kicked my son and his dad out as she said he never disciplined or had rules for him and he was out of control. They lived in an apartment for a year and he had little supervision and dabbled in drugs. She allowed them to come back, but my son continued to spiral out of control and was skipping school and smoking dope. He left home as he didn’t want rules and started sleeping at one so called friends house to another. He continued on this path for 2 years. Then after meeting this girl to which he has the babies with he became clean. He is happy at her house. He works in his dad’s restaurant and visits him on occasion, but doesn’t visit me. The babies are almost 7 months and he has been here twice! On my birthday he went to his fathers(which is around the corner) and sent me a text with birthday wishes. I am very good to them. Have bought a lot of necessities or cute thing for the twins, but get no thanks.
    Christmas and valentines have gone by and they bought gifts for her mom, but not me. I am so emotional over this all. I don’t know what to do! They are both very spoiled. The babies are well loved and looked after. What am I to do?

  • I was a single mother and raised two daughters. I worked numerous jobs to provide for them in a manner that a two parent family would afford. This was a mistake. I never had much family time and when I was home my patience was short and my temper would flare. I have apologized for the past 10 to 15 years but they truly do not forgive. They say they know I did the best I could with what I knew, but then they exclude me from their lives and dwell on new found family and friends instead. Everytime I try to participate, my youngest daughter tells me she has other people in her life and I must let her know that I “wanted to help in the planning of her wedding” or I “should have told her I wanted to be with her at the birth of her first child.” My eldest is not as bad, but she too closes the door to conversation and activites whenever she feels like it. I wasn’t a shrew and they always had shelter, food, clothes, traveled, and went to college. I have always been the person they could count on to pay for their needs. I am trying hard to let it all go. I attend college myself and meet many wonderful young women who I enjoy time with. Still… I pray and hope that someday my own children will let me in as I so want to me Mom and Grandma. Their wounds are obviously deep and I keep that in mind when they turn away from me or leave me out. I should have earned less money and never dated after their fathers left. This is a word to the wise. Children need to know that they are first and foremost when one parent leaves. I selfishly chased my career and male relationships instead of being home to build the love they needed. I am not sure they will ever truly forgive me and I accept that. I try not to be hurt because I know they are just two little girls in those moments of alienation. I did do the best I could with what I knew and had. Sadly, I realize now my knowledge wasn’t enough when it comes to nurturing… and why should it have been… my parents did the same to me. Break the chain! Remember that when they alienate you old pain is bubbling up. Let it go and move on trying to be a good citizen, woman, neighbor, friend, etc. Someone will appreciate your efforts.

  • One woman on here giving advice to people really shouldn’t be giving advice. Her grown children don’t talk to her not because she was abusive to her children both emotionally and verbally as children, but every time they let her back in she repeats the cycle of abuse. Grandchildren don’t talk to her? I wonder why because they too have seen the abuse. She has two sets of grandkids and the older set decided on their own to stop talking to their grandmother because of her irrational and abusive behavior. The second grandchildren were lucky enough not to be tainted by her abusive behavior. She makes comments about them as if she knows anything about her second set of grandchildren–I guess in her mind if she believes that her second set of grandchildren are these negative characterizations she has created in her mind that some how it absolves her of her poor mothering. Dear Mom: Your adult children don’t talk to you because it is too painful, it is not because we are entitled at all, it is because you are abusive, you always have and you always will. You think about you all the time. It is always about you. You talk about your wonderful husband, but he is so wonderful that when he was in the hospital you tried to shack back up with my dad because you are so in love with your husband I suppose. While all these people on this board might feel sorry for you, the fact is you reap what you sow and this is what you’ve created.

  • I can not believe that there are so many heartbroken parent out there.i m so blessed that I have my mum and dad still with me,although as they are now both in there 80s now and I realise that I will not have them for too much longer.i could never imagine treating them as mine.and many of your children have treated us.as parents we make mistakes a ‘HOW TO BE A PERFECT PARENT MANUAL’ did not come with our babies.we can only do our best with what we have.my parents have a wonderful marriage of 65years .my sister and I have both had 2 marriages even after seeing our parents be loyal and loving to each other .how can we blame them for our broken marriages.? we cant.any more than our children can blame us for everything bad that has happene in their life. my children are obiviously perfect.well good for them…I no longer live with guilt as I have learned to accept that if they can live with depriving their children of grandparents and greatgrandparents so too must I .we can bleed but do we have to die to earn their love.NO.may you all find the peace that comes with acceptance and forgiving.

  • I so need some advice. I raised my daughter for 16 years after I divorced her dad when she was only a baby. I remarried a guy she actually pushed me into going out with when she was 16. When she was 19 she was dating Steve…he was not good for her and I had no idea just how bad it would get…but I was not a fan of him. But knew she had to live her own life. They married and moved very close to us…their decision…they had a baby and we had the baby more than they did…fast forward he was an alcoholic and taking prescription drugs and my daughter started taking them too. They let us have our grandson every weekend and sometimes during the week….we never saw them messed up and we knew that they knew we were thrilled to have him so often. Then came the day that it all blew up and she met this guy who was her savior and helped her get off the pills and by that time we had found out and our grandson was living with us full time for 6 months by the time she and her new Mr. wonderful got married and took our grandson and moved 3000 miles away. We begged them not to do it my daughter told mr. wonderful that it would kill us and she didn’t want too but he persuaded her telling her that this place only help bad memories for her and she needed a new start. They promised us several times that they would come back 3-4 times a year to visit..he makes good money…and that they would get a big house and we could come visit. I told my daughter that it would never happen….they told us that we could have our grandson every Christmas as mr wonderful doesn’t believe in God so Christmas wasn’t a big deal. She didn’t want anymore children..she was adamant and was going to get her tubes cut….but low and behold before she could get it done….she was expecting. They got their nice house and we didn’t get our grandson for Christmas nor did they come to visit as promised. So we made plans to go out and visit…we were told that we would have to stay in a hotel because they only had one bathroom. They actually have 1 and 1/2 bathrooms. Anyway staying at the hotel was great and they allowed us to have our grandson there with us almost everynight. Mr wonderful took off for our whole visit we had no alone time with our daughter and granddaughter. We offered to babysit one night so they could have a date night my daughter loved the idea…but then decided against it after talking to Mr. wonderful about it. So….we were told 3 weeks ago we could have our grandson for a few weeks this summer. We were thrilled but still wanted to see our daughter and granddaughter..but with my husbands new job he would not get vacation so it would only be me to fly out and get my grandson and fly back and I was going to spend a week there to visit but was told I would have to get a hotel room again!! His mom gets to stay there when she has her big 3 hour drive to come see them. My daughter tried to tell me that he decided that she is not allowed to stay there anymore either as she made him late for work when she stayed there one time. They live way out of town and my daughter doesn’t work as mr. wonderful wants her to stay home with the baby…which is fine but she had NO friends or family there NONE!! 2 weeks ago I was talking to her about taking our grandson and we were having a pleasant conversation and she had already told me we couldn’t take him to Disneyland…a day or two earlier. We talked almost every day. Then that day we were talking about the dates we could take him and she said NOW MOM you do know why we don’t want you to take him to Disneyland and all I said was YEEESS Amanda….and she said okay that’s it …it’s over all you do is try to act like his parents not his grandparents and I am his mom you are not and I appreciate everything you did for me and taking care of him when I was not able too but this is it. I can’t talk to you anymore I only answer the phone out of obligation and we don’t have anything in common. Im sorry but I have been wanting to tell you this for a long time …of course I am saying Amanda what is wrong what are you talking about? You don’t want me for a mom?? She said she would email me and that she was sorry she made me upset before I went to work. I emailed her about my sister who is terminally ill and I said in my email …call me or text me when you can I have news about

  • Nicole – I think you should speak for yourself. My family has been through a lot and the relationship I have with my son (who is no longer speaking to me) is an individual one, like all the other parent’s here. When my son has shared with me, I have either reflected back to him what I heard or validated the feelings he’s had. I believe he’s not speaking to me for a lot of reasons, including his father’s suicide, his own mental health issues, and owing me money. This is one of the most hurtful things a parent can experience and by oversimplifying it by saying, “it is the parent’s fault in most cases” is cruel and mean spirited. It is also not taking any responsibility for your part in the relationship (or lack of it).

  • I’m sure there are some parents through no fault of their own, have kids who don’t contact them. They may be selfish and clueless about life in general.
    Most of the children do not contact their parents, not because of one big fight or an event, but a life long pattern lived by the parent that is destructive to the child. I’m sure some parents don’t see themselves as being destructive, or unkind. Let’s face it we have all been unkind. Every single living parent has done things wrong. It’s the ones who have genuine love for the child or grown child, and hence the child for the parent. These are the ones that last.
    Some people don’t understand love because they have never experienced it. They might have an idea of love but that isn’t the same as the true feeling of love.
    I feel bad for both sides. I no longer speak with my mom after a life time of not being good enough for her. She would only call of she needed something and couldn’t be bothered with what I might need, although I must say I learned very early that I could not have needs.
    So, you can see that it was a one direction relationship where she got some of her needs met by me but it wasn’t reciprocal.
    I tried for 54 years . That’s a lot of effort to try and make my mom appreciate me for being me.
    I do feel bad for my mom because she never grew up and also because she misunderstood life. We reap what we sow. In her case she was sowing seeds of fear and hatred.

  • Its very sad to heard that adult child doesn’t want to stay with their parents.and its feel very sad.

  • I agree that you consider the now this is a new generation child and there is a common thing that child doesn’t want stay with their parents.

  • I think grown children today are just basicaly self centered, and selfish. They were spoiled as they were growing up by having every wish fulfilled. And when they are grown their self gratifcation goes on. The parent that raisrd and sacrificed for them, does not get respect, love, or basic help if needed from grown spoiled brats. If the parent falls on hard times and grows poorer as they age, their child does not want to be bothered with them. Sad but true.

  • I agree with Beverly, grown children today only care about themselves and what people can do for them…. mine is a similar but different story. My stepdaughter is not speaking to us. For years she basically told her dad what to do. She is 24 years old and a couple of years ago while she was at college she told him she would not come home for the summer unless he left his now ex wife (her mother and father divorced when she was in diapers). He divorced his ex and in the beginning she was so nice to me and we would take her out with us sometimes and have a good time. She would do things with me and come to me when she had a problem. She would call and text me with guy issues, sometimes in the middle of the night. I always got up for her. But when we did not take her and we would go some place by ourselves she would give us the 3rd degree about where we were and why we did not come home when she expected. She was not used to her father doing anything with anyone other than her or her little brother. We do not have to answer to any of our children. When we stopped reporting to her and not running everything by her she started to have an attitude. Then she made up with her stepmother, the one she demanded her father leave before she would come home for the summer. Then we saw less and less of her. Yet we were paying for her cell phone and car insurance. When she stepped out of line one day and her father yelled at her she would not speak to him for a week. And when she decided to speak to him, she told him what time, where, who was allowed and not allowed to be present and she stated that he could not have a beer after work even before speaking to her. Things continued to get worse, and at one point at the age of 23, she decided she did not need us anymore and that she was going to get her own car insurance and phone. Because it was just something she had to do…But then later called to ask if she could stay on our insurance but just pay us. Ha… We said ok. Then her grandmother wanted to give her a god chunk of money for a car. She needed us to help with that project so she was all nice. Even sent us a thank you note after she got her car. Then back to the same stuff, no calls, no visits. No communication unless we called. And she barely spoke. This went on for about 2 years. When we spoke to her about her little brother she would tell her dad, “don’t make him” do this or that. Like she was in charge. Then in September 2013 (she is now 24) we decided it was time for her to pay her portion of the cell phone bill. We told her to start paying it in November – gave her 2 months to plan. She did not say much. Just ok. The next day she sent us a text stating that we could remove her line, that she was on another plan. And she did not give us her new telephone #. We have not spoken to her since. Nothing on Thanksgiving, nothing on Christmas. Not even a call to say thank you for the Christmas presents we sent. We have been there for her for the past 3 years whenever she asked for something. She wanted some spending money for a conference she was going to to try to position herself in a goof place to get a job after college, so we save $200.00 to giver to her. The next month she miss her car payment, which I am the cosigner to… when asked about it, she said it was no big deal, she had the money, just forgot. She paid double and it was fine. Basically when she realized she could not longer tell her dad what to do and that we would not report to her, she wanted nothing to do with us, unless she wanted something. Then to throw a tantrum at the age of 24 because we asked her to pay her own cell phone bill? She should have been paying that bill after the age of 18! But we never received a thank you for paying as long as we did. We have not spoken to her in 6 months. She still has not given her # to us. I do not feel it is our responsibility to chase down her number. She she told us she she was on a new plan, we told her to call us and she never did. In my opinion, the ball is in her court. We should not have to chase after a daughter who does not want to be part of our lives. She only likes people she can control. We never told her how to live her life, even when she dated people we did not approve of…. why should she tell us what to do?

  • I’ve been trying to reconcile with my 32 year old son fir 13 years.
    I divorced his dad. I started dating right away and was accused of having an affair. (they broke into my emails)
    My son has a very prestigious job, is married with one baby boy and another baby due soon. I have sent cards and gifts. No thank you’s or acknowledment. I am remarried and we have adopted two children, and money is very tight. My grown daughter can’t mention me to her brother, and she can’t tell me much about her brother’s life. Fearing he will be mad at her. Just not sure after 13 years, how much longer do i try?

  • Maybe this will help some parents out there who are hurting. The stories here are stabbing at my heart like a dagger. People are in so much pain and it is awful to know. My short story is unlike any others I’ve read here, so maybe I can offer new perspective, if nothing else. I am the only child of parents whom are still married after 48 years. My husband and I (40 and 38) have been married for 13 years and we have no children. I have felt estranged from my parents since I left home at 20 years old. I won’t go into every little moment of my childhood in a post like this, but the JIST of it is that my father was not a nice man. He was controlling, verbally, and sometimes physically abusive, I feared him every day. He threatened us often. My mother lied, she covered things up, she lived every day not knowing…..trying to be perfect. She supported my father financially and sometimes stood up for herself ( she left him twice when I was a child). She always went back and smiled and laughed and made excuses for the abuse. I love my mom. She is a good person, she loves me very much. She taught me some stuff. Here’s where it gets complicated and confusing. I have lived most of my life hating myself. I’m successful, I have a home and a life, I have friends. But the estrangement that has built between my parents and I is crushing me. It gets worse for me the longer I don’t DEAL with it. It gets worse for me when I can’t bare to even speak to my father for two minutes…..and now I’m feeling that way about my Mom. Spending time with them together HURTS me….and I am ashamed about it. Trust me, not all of us “children” out there want to leave our parents. But I can’t help the way that I feel. I do not go out of my way to hurt my parents….but I am so hurt by the past….that I struggle with the present. I don’t feel CONNECTED to my parents. I feel like they don’t know me at all. I feel trapped by all of it. I can’t bear to tell them about my true pain because it will only cause them so much more. A couple of years ago I tried speaking to my mom about how I just couldn’t speak with or visit Dad because of his abusive behaviour and she apologized and was concerned in the moment, but a couple of months later she was calling me and asking me to call him on his birthday. I’ve been thru therapy. I’ve tried to visit more…it doesnt really go very well when I do…and I truly hate myself sometimes for not knowing why. I know my mom misses me. She’s been calling every day now…which is good and bad. Our conversations are hard. I’m sure she can tell I am a bit anxious to get off the phone. Or maybe she notices Im bored. I cry over my indifference. How could I possibly be that hateful?? I have compassion for so many things in life. What the hell is wrong wih me? Why can’t I have a real relationship with my parents? Why can’t I let it go? Why can’t my parents speak to me like I’m an adult human being? I wish I knew. The only thing I know for sure is that as a child and young adult, although they absolutely did their best, my parents raised me in a scary home, full of fear and hatred and isolation. Their was little love and respect in our home. That’s all that was missing. And I deserved a lot more.

  • I am a 37 year old man from a single mom. I’ve been estranged for her for at least 22 years. I know she loves me. As do I love her. I know our situation. Its alot more my fault then hers. I thought by not acknowledging her existence it would hurt her. It worked. For years she tried to make things right. I would shut her down in the most cruel way I could think of. Now I have become a reasonably successful citizen like she always wanted. And I crave a relationship with her. But their is still a lot of anger in me towards her. I don’t know why. I think I’ve ruined whatever could have been salvaged. When we see each other at Granny’s on holidays she knows not to speak to me for fear of me lashing out at her. I’ve tried to embarrass & humiliate so many times. Now I’m the one who misses their mom and just wants her to try one more time. Yes I got just what I wanted. A mother that I’ve trained to be scared to say hello to her first born and only son. I want to make things right but I don’t know how to make it better. I think we both know it would never be the same. Sometimes to little to late IS to little to late. I think we hurt our parents because we think they owe us. I enjoyed doing everything I did at the time. The exact opposite is true now. Now I wish I would have kept my mouth shut and just hugged her. Sometimes we do reap what we sow. I just wanted to put my thought out their. I hope it helps one of you rejected parents. I don’t know how to tell you to fix it. It has taken 20 plus years for me to realize I need my mother. I think its taken that long for her to realize she don’t need me. Now we truly are nothing. Because without family you feel like nothing. And this is the way I wanted her to feel in the first place.

  • What I have learned about parenthood is this: when you give your children too much when you raise them, and when you continue to give and give into their adulthood, they develop absolutely no respect for you as a parent and also when a mother and father argue in front of their children and the children develop no respect for one of the parents, that lack of respect carries over into their adulthood. The more you give to your children, the less they love and respect you! I have three children that hate me, absolutely want no relationship with me and I have been there for them through thick and thin. So now I have decided to take care of me and to walk away from the verbal abuse, the blame, and the pain.

  • Brian, I hope you will reach out to your mother and let her know how you feel. As a mother, I can promise you that she carries you in her heart every day. She would probably be overwhelmed with happiness if she knew you wanted to have her back in her life. I say “probably” because of course we don’t know that for sure. You need to take the chance. What’s the worse that could happen?

  • Brian, if you truly feel that way, then you need to apologise and let your mother know how you feel. Even if she is not receptive to you at first, maybe this time it’s your turn to keep trying. As thrilled as she may be to have you back in her life, she will likely be very guarded and not trust that you will not hurt her as you have in the past. However, if you are still angry with her, maybe you should deal with those issues before any attempt at reconciliation. It would hurt her deeply, if she chooses to trust you once again and the anger manifests itself in more rejection towards her; that may affect the possibility of her ever wanting to reconcile. Speaking as a mother who has made several attempts to have a relationship with my son after he rejected me and continued to reject me at each occasion, there is nothing more that I would love than to erase all the hurt he has caused me and go back to “the way it was” but I don’t trust him anymore. I can’t speak for your mother or for your situation, but in my case, I feel that he broke it and if he truly wants the relationship, he needs to fix it. It would require a lot of work on his part for him to earn my trust once again and even at that I sincerely doubt that I could regain the same level of trust I once had but I do believe we could have a decent relationship. I truly wish you and your mom the best and hope that reconciliation is in your future.

  • I hear these heartbreaking stories of parents whose children do not want to have contact them. I am one of those children.

    I tried for many years to find a way that I could be safely be with my mother, at least emotionally and psychologically but after being treated like a convenience, a means to an end, a narcissistic extension that affected my well being I called it quits . Her granddaughter, my daughter still has contact and visits her. I don’t. She thinks I have the problem and cannot see what she contributes to the downfall of our relationship. I don’t hate and do love and care for her but I have no desire to be treated like I am not human, as thought I don’t have my own thoughts and feelings. We have vastly differently values and belief systems.I don’t care to reduce myself to nothing just so we can touch ground on her terms.

    She tells me I live in the past however her behavior or rather tantrums are so damaging I never get a chance to heal from the past the traumas I have experienced all my life.

    I am not expecting her to change or do things any differently however I need to do everything I can to take care of myself particularly since my health is threatened.

    Adult children who do not want contact with their parent/s are frowned upon and do not get support in this society. It is very difficult.

  • Over the past 3 years I have been gradually loosing contact with 2 of my daughters and granddaughter. I moved to a senior citizen center 30 min away. I maintain my independence and do as much as I can by using a borough bus for shopping and a medical bus for all medical appointments. I never get a call asking how are you or how about I pick you up and we’ll go to lunch or anything. This winter was so bitter cold and not once did they call to ask if I needed anything at the store. I have not seen or talked to them since Christmas Day. When ever there is a medical situation I am called to help because I’m a nurse. I never ask for money. My granddaughter died 7 1/2 years ago from a drug overdose. I asked several times to go to the cemetery and no one will take me, yet they go several times a year. It has been 5 years since I went there. I hurt inside. I don’t know how to change that feeling. I was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer last month and they do not know about this. The last thing I want is for them to show concern now when there was no concern before. How do you change the pain and hurt to accepting I am no longer wanted in their lives?

  • I have 3 sons, the eldest, 27 and married with a son, has been estranged from me for 3 years. I was invited to the wedding ceremony and not the reception, which I felt wasn’t very nice so I didn’t go (it was very hard as my other 2 sons were his best men). I haven’t seen my grandson who is now 8 months old. I have for 3 years and still go through the grief that goes with estrangement. I have cried buckets, been sad, down and felt hopeless. I have tried to make things right many times. The last time I tried was 6 months ago and was ignored. His opinion of me as a parent is less than human. Like most parents I did my best, I put him through university and he has a good well paid career. I know I made mistakes for which I have apologised from the heart for. I used to get on really well with his wife until they didn’t need financial support any more and things went really bad.
    A couple of months back I realised I will never see him again. I am sick of feeling sad, sick of feeling I was a bad mother and mostly sick of being the victim. For the most part I am doing well and after 3 years of grief have rented out my house and moved with my husband and 2 other sons an hour away from where he lives. ( we were 4 streets away).
    Sometimes it hits me and I get busy doing something and get my mind off him. I hope that one day complete acceptance of the situation will come as I think for the most part the longer I play the victim the only person getting hurt and the only life being wasted is mine.

  • Thank you Brian for sharing, this is what I needed to hear. I just found out my 26 year old only son got engaged. And I have to accept I will not be a part of this joyous time in his life. Thanks, knowing one day he might see the light at least gives me some semblance of peace while I learn to accept I may never see grandchildren or know them in my lifetime.

  • Wow Brian that brought tears to my eyes. Please tell her this and Im sure everything will change. Good luck and let us know

  • Hi there, I read some comments but whoa there’s a lot of reading and a lot of ungrateful adult kids out there, try walking a mile in my shoes I have endured much more abuse than these people and still forgive my (dysfunctional) parents. The problem here is ruminating, anger just turns into anger, it has been proven. Stop feeling angry. Count your blessings, things could be much worse.

    I suffered from a a debilitating neurological disease that was unknown by most, it affected my memory, concentration, it made me angry, I suffered from distorted thinking and many other things including depression. My parents did not recognize it as I was in another city, they did not bother to visit, they did not ask questions, when I told them how I was suffering time and time again they dismissed it, and told all their friends I was happy, productive and they told everyone how I was abandoning them. I could not move because of all the pressure they put me through, I had too much confusion, I was not capable of much, they helped me financially just a little but never took care of my problems.

    Just a note, if you don’t listen to your adult children, you miss cues and clues on what is actually wrong, like you did when they were babies you miss them in your lives.

    Perhaps you aren’t listening? One ear and out the other. You may gossip like my parents did I hope not. Is anyone listening to me now? My dad died and he never once listened to my problems. He just continued feeling sorry for himself instead of helping me. Oh yeah, because I was so vulnerable, I was raped constantly. I was mentally disabled and it was pretty awful. I was an easy target to rapists. I hope that shines some light on your issues. They could have come to help me but they assumed my life was great.

    How can i forgive them? Can someone tell me?

  • Wow…I shamefully hid this secret from friends/acquaintances because I believed I was a horrible person…and I was one of very few who were experiencing this. I grieve everyday for my children, grandchildren and great grandchild…all who will have nothing to do with me. When I was the inexhaustible bank, they all came around and took full advantage. But once I closed the bank, all of the sudden they found a multitude of reasons to rank me as an unfit person who they did not want to be around. I have begun to accept the idea that I will go to my grave alone and watch from Heaven as they fight over what they believe they are due to.

  • I quit speaking to my mother when I was 40 years old and when I told her not to call me again, she acted hurt and did not understand WHY. Up until that time, she had done horrible things to me. For instance, she wanted me to move away from home when I turned 18 which I did after a lifetime of seeing her fist in my face. Then when I got my own place, I got mixed up with someone bad but I did not know how bad he really was because of being naive. Well, my parents showed up at a party of a bunch of us but nothing was going on except we had drank some beers which was legal. Anyway, someone said, “Judy, your parents are here and they have a GUN!” Anyway, some of us ran into the bedroom and my mother gave the gun to my father so she could go get the police. Well, my father was a kind person so when I asked him to put the gun down, he did so and we all got into my car, drove away and hid. Anyway, my mother told everyone in our small town that she busted up a drug party and when she got there I was in the bedroom with five or six guys. So, anyway, she continued this type of behavior which got me abused severely over and over until I was 40 years old and I said enough is enough and I moved away. So, now my daughter is treating me the same way. NOT because I do things like that to her. I have been there every time she has needed a place to stay or have done whatever I could for her. I think she is treating me bad because she saw me abused so much and now does not think much of me. So sad because I have two grandchildren she will not let me see…at least for this period of estrangement. So, I am at my wit’s end with all this but realize there is nothing I can do to change things until my daughter wants to speak to me again…oh, the reason she is mad this time is because she told me she had been depressed for 16 years…when I said I thought she needed to be on some type of medication, she got angry again….not sure what else I could have said…but I have found that I can survive this and realize the blessing of having good friends in my life!

  • I was a single mother with one daughter.Her birth was the happiest day of my life.I grew up in a very dysfunctional family and I know I am a self contained person because of my necessary coping mechanisms.I tried to give her a more stable home,took employment that would make sure I would be home after school and so I could take her to lessons etc.Not only does she not want to have anything to do with me but is actively trying to hurt me.She recently begged me for $500 loan which she said she needed for school and that she would pay me the following week.I don’ t have much money and I told her I also had bills to pay but now she won’ t even answer email,phone or text.She totally manipulated me,lied,and I really have no idea who she is anymore.I actually considered taking her to small claims court to recover the money ( she has a good job) but I should probably just let it go and walk away.It is just so hard.We used to be close…at least I thought we were and it has all made me confused.I have also suggested counselling so we can talk about her issues with me in a safe place but she is not interested.I have apologized for anything I got wrong,as parents do,but that isn’ t enough either.

  • I thought I was alone. Brian, go to your mom. If she is anything like most moms, she misses you and wants to be a part of her life. If seeing her in person is too scary, send her flowers with a note that says I’m sorry, can I be your son again. It will help so much. Good luck. You have given me hope.

  • First off I want to say Wow and some relief, I am alittle confused and or numb right now, but it is such a relief to know that after reading more then a few of these comments I am not alone!! I am at the stage where I have to save myself because it is killing me and I mean by this my health as incredible decreased for the bad through the disrespect, the mental and physical abuse, the guilt the munipulation the lies etc etc to the point where I have totally went against every moral I stand for, to protect and defend my adult child,and yet he is my worst enemy!!! just typing that and looking at it makes me sick to my stomach!! but it is the truth!!and it hurts so bad!! My life has not been easy!! been alone 95 percent of it and so when I became pregnant after being raped in a foster home with my first son at 15 I began my survival mode as i can best describe it now, so I wasnt what they call a respected person in the community lol,but at 15 with a child and still in states custody I was getting a check monthly,but all that would come to an end due to my inexperience, at now the age of 16,but I refused through it all to lose my son with just my signature, so I called the only people that I knew would shelter him and believe they were good at that they were my adopted parents who had taken my brother and I in at age 4 and 5 who sheltered to the point that if you where bad the one and only Jehovah will strike you so I knew my son would be sheltered, anyway long story short I returned and lived a life of gang afilation drive bys distribution of drugs you name ive done it, not proud so after getting pregnant with my 2nd son I vowed to never ever allow my child to have to survive as I did, to never know what its like to go without to wear a shell so know one could see you cry or your heart bleed for love! but what I didnt realize is I create the monster I had been fighting against all these yrs the ones that take you for granted the ones that say they love you to get what they want,the ones who you allow to see a small piece of you and they would almost suck the life out of you, beat me raped me and watch you squirm away, but through it all I still saw the good in them,so how could i not be blinded by an unconditional Love for my own, a part of me???and a need to save him at he’s age of 27 now! I guess honestly I have known that my youngest son, i cant say he doesnt want me because he does he wants me to do for him!! to be hes pawn,hes excuse for why he is the way he is, why he has no emotion, why he makes the choices he does, why he has 5 plus babies mama’s but he also wants me to
    praise him for not turning to the lifestyle I had!!! So its not that he dont want me He does not Love or Respect me!! my final clue was when one of many many verbal arguements was happening he said to me ‘your going to die alone no one will be there for you”!!! once
    again I will squirm away before I have been sucked dry!! I just never wanted to believe that for once in my life I dont see good in someone!! and the pain that I feel just makes me realizing even more that I am a survivor and survivor mode has just kicked in!!!
    With that said I really dont know what the next step is but I know I have to match it as he takes hes step into my front door tomorrow!!! Thank you Thank you ALL!! for the site and for the courage you all have and the courage you gave me to release a weight that has been so heavy!!! any input would be so GREATLY appreciatated HONESTLY!!!

  • my daughter has estranged her self from me and i still to this day do not know why…. she now has not spoken to me for approximately 3 years and the grandchildren is the only weapon that she has to use and hurt me dreadfully.

  • Hi, everyone. im going thru same situation with all my 4 adult kids. I have pdsd from my son being kidnapped from me when I was 16. 1984. back then their was no laws on dad kidnapping its own child. his sisters and family held me down and moved my 3 week old baby to newyork. his family knew the judge and small town. I had no support from my family. no drugs. good kid ect. so long story shorter. I fought a corrupt family and court and lost. I tried to commit suicide. but I lived. and I had a daughter. so I gave my life to her. and continued to try and not let mean people, pull me down. my daughter is 27 and my everything. I raised 2 kids on my own my other son and mild m -r child. worked hard never excepted anything from government. point is. my 2 kids from dad whom didn’t care, help ect. my second son is in prison, cause of trying to find love on the streets. I raised him right, Christian thebest I could even turned him in. im from Nashville,tn and 3 things in order are GOD RESPECT YOUR MAMMA AND THEN friends. ect. so I gave all my kids love, discipline, and the greatest life I could possible. I am part Cherokee indian and Italian. my mom was almost all indian. and her behaviors to society seemed what science call physco. but really its her blood line like being strong and a survivor. I in a lot of ways didn’t feel my mom deserved a lot of things. but I never let her no that in front of her face. so 6 years ago she went to her final resting place. and I was the only daughter outta 5 that took care of her. and you no what? the last days I spent with her I seen a strenghth in her I never seen before. and then when she passed I found the most beautiful, inspirational writtings she was saving all along. my point here is this. thank GOD instead of looking thru my own selfish eyes. I finally looked thru hers. and the only thing I can say here. is don’t put a question mark where GOD puts a period. he did it for a reason, Thy sha,ll honor thy mother and father. I can say wow. its never to late. if I could do anything all over again. I wouldn’t of done anything different. but I would of kissed her twice. and im glad she always knew that. love me

  • I have learned to back away from this no matter how much it hurt
    It takes its toll on your health in a BAD WAY .
    I want to say I was raised in the day that you respected your parents..
    No matter what. I never treated my parents the way kids do today!
    If I did , …I wouldn’t be here writing this today if you get my drift !!!!

  • I miss my son, he asked me not to text or ring anymore
    i have not seen him since jan 2012 at my grans.I have two sons from
    my ex husband and a son from my partner im with now.my eldest i am talking about . he were married to his partner and i were asked
    not to come to there wedding my ex husband and son attended from my sons side and his wifes family and friends attended.
    i were originally invited then uninvited.i were heartbroken i never thought i would not see my son get married.
    I had a letter from my furture daugher in laws grandmother asking me and my partner not to attend and if i love him to respect there discion and a letter from my son telling me im just a blood relative.and how angry i make him feel.

    I didnt go and they sent me photos and dvd of there day.

    my son has so much anger and upset towards me over splitting up with his dad and apparently not liking his wife to be and trying to cause them to split up, which i would never do. and i buy love just because i helped them with debt. so what ever i do will always be wrong .

    i asked if we could sort things out he does not want anythink to do with me sadly. just wanted to say it hurts so much to lose a son that you have loved since the first day he were born.

  • I am also one of the many parents who raised a daughter who has nothing to do with me. Her father was in prison the first 8 years of her life when he got out, he found another woman had a kid with her and ignored his daughter. When she was 16 I sent her to live with him , she was doing drugs and acting very badly. What a mistake, she now calls herself daddy’s little girl at age 32 and resents me. Even though I was the one who raised her and gave up what most single mothers give up. Career opportunities, boyfriends, traveling, when I look back I feel so sad. But what can you do, I just wait for The Universe to give her back what she puts out. I do believe in what goes around comes around. If resentment is what she wants to feel towards me, that’s her stuff not mine and I refuse to admit any more than I already have. I admited to being cruel to her at times. I admitted to neglect and being harsh but when you are in charge of the bills and working and cooking cleaning without any support it’s hard. I was not prepared to be a single parent but thrown into it blindly. I did nurture her the first 7 years and loved her so much. But life got so difficult and their was no one to help. I had my own issues to deal with as well. Being a single mother is the most difficult job on earth but when they grow up into resentful people, that’s their stuff not mine. I take care of myself, sure I would wish things were different but every time I tried to move forward she would do the most awful hurtful things and leave me so hurt. Enough is enough, I am not a door mat for someone to walk all over. I think she suffers from some form of mental illness she blamed me for her eating disorder well she blames me for everything . But I can’t blame anyone from my family ? Oh how screwed up society is I’m glad I’m on the other side of 55 I won’t be here much longer so in the mean time. I live like it’s my last day. Screw them if they can’t move forward, I’ve accepted all I can but I won’t accept her doing things to me and blame me for doing them. It’s time to grow up and act like adults.

  • I truly enjoyed reading these stories. I hope someone can give me perspective as I am at a crossroads. I accept that what I write is my story, one side. My daughter was always my sunshine, my happy, sensitive little girl. We were so close, we could read each others minds. LOL In her, I saw, sometimes myself, as a child. Much of her values, were like mine, at that age. When she was a freshman in high school, she became a bit hard to understand. She became, snotty, rude, harsh and I no longer trusted her. One time, we were at Walmarts shopping for groceries. she went off to look at make up etc. When we went to check out, I said I was going to get the truck and bring it to the door. She asked me to carry her purse to the truck and she would wait inside with her dad at the check out. Once I left the store, security stopped me. They told me my daughter had filled her purse with merchandise and had given it to me, to get it out of the store. This was the beginning of her 2nd persona, one I didnt know. We were high income $110,000 and we enjoyed a very comfortable life. yes, my daughter had everything but still not happy. Looking back now, I think she was using drugs in high school. I was not educated about what to look for, but the razor blade, burn marks in her cars, the bathroom, etc, her impatient, angry, short fuses, etc. She began, picking her head, leaving scabs under her hair. I just did not recognize the signs. As our relationship became strained, I learned she would confide in people that we mistreated her,e tc, anything to get the sympathy from others and to use them. I learned that she would use me as a scapegoat for all of her bad behavior. As our relationship strained, I told her in high school, that if she chose to through away her education and bypass college that she would be expected to get a job at graduation and move into her own place. The tension in the house was killing my marriage. I told her to keep her grades high and keep her car insurance paid. She did so and did a great job. When she graduated from High School she graduated with many honors and also earned a full ride to her chosen college. Enough to graduate with no student loans. However, once away to college, we were only needed for money. We did not realize that she was lying why she needed money. When we would drive to visit her at school, 4 hours, she sometimes wouldnt let us come into her apartment because of stupid reasons. She would treat us like an inconvenience, even though she knew we came to visit. So eventually we stopped going up to see her. She finally graduated and we looked at her transcripts. Her grades had been dropping and she had to stay over summer semester to retake a class in order to graduate. She moved home and things began to spiral out of control. She met a kid 3 years younger than her. The two of them thought that selling dope, creating internet scams and running with a crowd known as a white thug gang was the way to live. By this time she was 27 years old. The two of them began bilking us for money, stealing prescription meds, and generally playing with our hearts in order to profit. I became uncomfortable around her boyfriend because i would catch him staring at me, like a psychopath. He taught my daughter so many ways to use us and play with our trust in her. I did not approve of him , yet I was ready to let her live her own life because she just was no longer the child I knew. The two of them owed us over $1500 for their phone bills, $500 we loaned them to repair her car, their insurance bills. We had given our daughter her car, but we had instructed her to put it in her names only. Her boyfriend told her that as long as it was in our name, we would have to keep paying the insurance and registration. After about a year, we went to their apartment with cops and seized the car because the boyfriend was using it to sell drugs in. The very next morning, they went to the BMV put the car in her name, and then they went to the police and filed Grand Theft Auto against us and platered it all over Facebook. It was at this time, she threatened every family member that if we were hiding the car from her, she would have them arrested. To be short, this is the short story. I grew up in a physicall and mentally abusive home, we were neglected and grew up not able to make good relationships with people. So when I had my daughter, my goal was for her to never question whether she was loved or not. I am inclined to now believe much of what happens in families is more nature and less nurture. :( My question is. I havent seen, spoke nothing, my daughter since the deal with her car. That was 3 years ago. I no longer feel I can ever trust her enough to forgive. Thoughts please?

  • :( It’s mother’s day and I am so sad. All I have left is memories and tears.

  • We should not allow our adult children to manipulate us. It does not mean it does not hurt. It hurts….but we will survive. I do not need their permission to lead my life and be happy. My son is ungrateful and disrespectful. I still love him but I refuse to be held emotionally hostage.

  • I too have been estranged from my adult son. His girlfriend(wife now), has caused so much drama with not only me, but his other siblings. What makes this so hard, I’ve met two of my five granddaughters, with the 3rd suffering with a brain tumor. When she was first diagnosed, I reached out and he spoke with me several times. Once I reached out to his wife, via text all contact stopped. My text read “so very sorry to hear of her tumor, let me know if I can help in any way”. This angered her, why I don’t know. Had I not reached out, I would have been accused of abandoning her, etc. never been able to do anything right in her eyes. I’ve financially done many things for all the babies, with no thank yous or acknowledgement. The common thread I’ve read here is pain. Yes it hurts, terribly. Especially if my gd doesn’t survive. What I know is, I have been a very good mother, certainly not a perfect mother. There isn’t a manual….but I will no longer let this hurt me. Once I swallowed the pill that it’s not me(I’ve reached out until I’m blue in the face), it’s their problem…I’ll be okay. So those of you hurting (and I really know the pain), with time it does get better. I’ve done the grief work required to let this go. It is a loss, but I have faith one day I’ll be contacted. It won’t be in my time, but his and I’m ok with that. I’ve done all I can, so now it’s time to live my life without them. If I could, I’d hug you all. Reach out to your friends and family. As embarrassed as you feel (you shouldn’t) and worried people will think, “you must have done something wrong”, go forward and accept it will take time. Faith……