Author Topic: Article I found on estranged adult children  (Read 1834 times)

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Marilyn

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Article I found on estranged adult children
« on: November 13, 2010, 07:27:48 PM »
   


For clinicians to be helpful, they need to familiarize themselves with the trauma suffered by the parents.





The following is derived from 120 interactions with parents of estranged adult children, either phone conversations or internet chats or forums. Regardless of the differences in specific circumstances, the stages of the trauma and the issues parents struggled with appear to be common and are outlined below.





Stages parents go through:


-complete bewilderment: he/she can’t mean it! We have a nice family.


-sadness: my heart is shattered; rejection is worse than death.


- guilt: I should not have said…, I should not have done…; I should have said…,  should have done


-  the fix-it search: let’s call;  email; meet; see a therapist; read books; look on-line; apologize for whatever.


-  anger: how can he/she do this to us? Not allow us to see our grandchildren!


-  acceptance: it’s not us, it’s them; we did not do anything; we tried everything to fix this. There is nothing more we can do.


-  reconciliation: rather it is a semi-reconciliation since the adult child does not explain nor apologize; we do not know what we did wrong, maybe it will happen again; walking on eggshells.





Recurring issues parents deal with:


-  birthdays: to send a card? A gift? Will it make things worse?


-  holidays: how to get through them knowing the family is incomplete.


-  whom to tell? People who talk about their children and grandchildren? Friends? Co-workers? How to respond to people who think the parents have not tried hard enough?


-  other family members who continue to see the child: why can’t they side with the parents?


-  grandchildren: how to let them know they are still loved? How sad when a new grandchild is born and the grandparents hear about the newborn indirectly.


-  will: to leave it as it was before the estrangement or to take the child out? Does that make it impossible for the siblings to ever reconcile?


-  the web: is it better to look at the child’s Facebook / MySpace page and find info? Or will it hurt more to find out about major events in that child’s life because they were not shared directly? 





 Being the parent of an estranged adult child is like  being on a traumatic journey with valleys of despair and hills of hopes.

barelythere

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Re: Article I found on estranged adult children
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2010, 07:38:32 PM »
   


For clinicians to be helpful, they need to familiarize themselves with the trauma suffered by the parents.





The following is derived from 120 interactions with parents of estranged adult children, either phone conversations or internet chats or forums. Regardless of the differences in specific circumstances, the stages of the trauma and the issues parents struggled with appear to be common and are outlined below.





Stages parents go through:


-complete bewilderment: he/she can’t mean it! We have a nice family.


-sadness: my heart is shattered; rejection is worse than death.


- guilt: I should not have said…, I should not have done…; I should have said…,  should have done


-  the fix-it search: let’s call;  email; meet; see a therapist; read books; look on-line; apologize for whatever.


-  anger: how can he/she do this to us? Not allow us to see our grandchildren!


-  acceptance: it’s not us, it’s them; we did not do anything; we tried everything to fix this. There is nothing more we can do.


-  reconciliation: rather it is a semi-reconciliation since the adult child does not explain nor apologize; we do not know what we did wrong, maybe it will happen again; walking on eggshells.





Recurring issues parents deal with:


-  birthdays: to send a card? A gift? Will it make things worse?


-  holidays: how to get through them knowing the family is incomplete.


-  whom to tell? People who talk about their children and grandchildren? Friends? Co-workers? How to respond to people who think the parents have not tried hard enough?


-  other family members who continue to see the child: why can’t they side with the parents?


-  grandchildren: how to let them know they are still loved? How sad when a new grandchild is born and the grandparents hear about the newborn indirectly.


-  will: to leave it as it was before the estrangement or to take the child out? Does that make it impossible for the siblings to ever reconcile?


-  the web: is it better to look at the child’s Facebook / MySpace page and find info? Or will it hurt more to find out about major events in that child’s life because they were not shared directly? 





 Being the parent of an estranged adult child is like  being on a traumatic journey with valleys of despair and hills of hopes.

This is so right on.  It is trauma that you never dreamed would happen.

barelythere

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Re: Article I found on estranged adult children
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2010, 07:49:30 PM »
It shouldn't make it better to know that this is becoming more and more common (for estranged adult children to reject their parents) but it is.

There are groups forming is this one particular oganization called: H.E.R.
Healing Estranged Relationships. 

1Glitterati

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Re: Article I found on estranged adult children
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2010, 07:59:52 PM »
It shouldn't make it better to know that this is becoming more and more common (for estranged adult children to reject their parents) but it is.

There are groups forming is this one particular oganization called: H.E.R.
Healing Estranged Relationships.

I do think there are people who get rejected and there really seems to be no clue as to why.  And...I don't mean just to the people rejected...I mean when everything is laid out on the table that most people just wouldn't be able to figure out why.

I think the reason that a great many of these estrangements are happening is because people/newer generations/however you'd like to couch it are deciding that if a person causes more pain than joy, makes them miserable, treats them badly, etc. then you don't have to have that person in your life.  It seems more now to ESPECIALLY apply to family members, with the thought being "if I wouldn't accept this behavior from a stranger, then why would I accept it from family?"

Then there are people who think their childhood/upbringing was abusive and just decide they're not going to subject their kids to the type of abuse they experienced.  Or else they're so mad about the abuse that they aren't going to give their parents any shot at a do-over with grandchildren.

I think there are a lot of reasons...some valid and some not.

barelythere

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Re: Article I found on estranged adult children
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2010, 08:09:38 PM »
It shouldn't make it better to know that this is becoming more and more common (for estranged adult children to reject their parents) but it is.

There are groups forming is this one particular oganization called: H.E.R.
Healing Estranged Relationships.

I do think there are people who get rejected and there really seems to be no clue as to why.  And...I don't mean just to the people rejected...I mean when everything is laid out on the table that most people just wouldn't be able to figure out why.

I think the reason that a great many of these estrangements are happening is because people/newer generations/however you'd like to couch it are deciding that if a person causes more pain than joy, makes them miserable, treats them badly, etc. then you don't have to have that person in your life.  It seems more now to ESPECIALLY apply to family members, with the thought being "if I wouldn't accept this behavior from a stranger, then why would I accept it from family?"

Then there are people who think their childhood/upbringing was abusive and just decide they're not going to subject their kids to the type of abuse they experienced.  Or else they're so mad about the abuse that they aren't going to give their parents any shot at a do-over with grandchildren.

I think there are a lot of reasons...some valid and some not.

One of the Mothers said the estrangement was like an amputation.  When you speak of someone causing pain I agree, they sure have caused pain but we would never push them away for causing it.

1Glitterati

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Re: Article I found on estranged adult children
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2010, 07:07:16 AM »
It shouldn't make it better to know that this is becoming more and more common (for estranged adult children to reject their parents) but it is.

There are groups forming is this one particular oganization called: H.E.R.
Healing Estranged Relationships.

I do think there are people who get rejected and there really seems to be no clue as to why.  And...I don't mean just to the people rejected...I mean when everything is laid out on the table that most people just wouldn't be able to figure out why.

I think the reason that a great many of these estrangements are happening is because people/newer generations/however you'd like to couch it are deciding that if a person causes more pain than joy, makes them miserable, treats them badly, etc. then you don't have to have that person in your life.  It seems more now to ESPECIALLY apply to family members, with the thought being "if I wouldn't accept this behavior from a stranger, then why would I accept it from family?"

Then there are people who think their childhood/upbringing was abusive and just decide they're not going to subject their kids to the type of abuse they experienced.  Or else they're so mad about the abuse that they aren't going to give their parents any shot at a do-over with grandchildren.

I think there are a lot of reasons...some valid and some not.

One of the Mothers said the estrangement was like an amputation.  When you speak of someone causing pain I agree, they sure have caused pain but we would never push them away for causing it.

Maybe that is the difference?  People experience enough pain that they decide it is not worth it and remove that person from their life?

Marilyn

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Re: Article I found on estranged adult children
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2010, 01:20:36 PM »
I posted this Article because i thought it would be helpful..............I have gone thru all these stages.


From all the post i have read,we as parents just want a healthy relationship with our children.

Glitterati,if i read your post right,you think a great many of the estrangements are happening because we caused them so much pain.I know i probably caused some disappointment,hurt feelings along the way.But the pain i have felt and heart break never.I dont see that with any of the posters here either.

1Glitterati

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Re: Article I found on estranged adult children
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2010, 02:35:13 PM »
I posted this Article because i thought it would be helpful..............I have gone thru all these stages.


From all the post i have read,we as parents just want a healthy relationship with our children.

Glitterati,if i read your post right,you think a great many of the estrangements are happening because we caused them so much pain.I know i probably caused some disappointment,hurt feelings along the way.But the pain i have felt and heart break never.I dont see that with any of the posters here either.

No, I don't think a great many of the estrangements here are because the mil/mom is horrible, awful, evil, etc.  Most of the people here seem to be here because they want some insight because they want things to change and get better.  Most of the people here, given the chance,  are willing to compromise to make things better.  I think that makes them unique.  It certainly makes this place unique.

Generally speaking and not referring to anyone on the board, I think SOME people break away because of pain.   I also think that there are some parents who refuse to see why their children have run for the hills.  They refuse to admit they have ever done anything wrong, or hurtful, or that in fact they were crappy parents or even abusive parents or may simply be the type of people who just want to run their kids lives into adulthood.  In the past I think many kids didn't cut their parents off in those cases because they were taught that family is forever, you must forgive family no matter what, family deserves more chances, blah, blah, blah.  Now I think many people just call bs on that and remove the things from their lives that hurt them or that they can't control to the degree they want to.  For some people...yes, it's them being selfish.  For others, it's self preservation.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2010, 03:01:13 PM by 1Glitterati »

Louey0727

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Re: Article I found on estranged adult children
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2010, 10:42:49 AM »
Sorry, but I personally feel that there is no one on this forum who were lousy parents and consequently their children reject them.
The ladies on this forum, put out their hearts about family issues and all seem legitimate in their love for their family.
I have yet to see, any harsh knocking of our children - - only the hard cold facts, of what their children are doing them.
This is why we have this forum, when we are in pain, we write and receive kind understanding and in turn acknowledgment that we are not alone.
Without this site, my days would be a complete confusion, the posters relay their hurt and I can relate and this makes my day more productive.
I come away knowing that I am not alone and it could not just be me, there are unique similar stories and this is the bond that I need.  I for one never read that "my children are lousy" but I have read, mothers etc., relating how their children etc., will tell them how lousy they were as parents.  Figure that one out.

Marilyn

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Re: Article I found on estranged adult children
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2010, 11:45:11 AM »
I agree 100% with your post Helen.

If your a lousy parent,you dont care enough to hurt and be in so much pain.

The problem is the new Generation............of self entitlement.

Faithlooksup

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Re: Article I found on estranged adult children
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2010, 06:08:43 AM »
WOW!!! I feel that if we were "lousy parents" we would not have found this site, to reach out to one another, to comfort and help, to share insights and if we were "lousy parents" we would not be hurting, nor our Hearts breaking... for we simply would not care... I am certain we have all messed up along the way, and simply did the best we could.  My x and I split up when my Boys were all of 4 yrs and 13 months old.  I was Mom and Dad, I was the heavy, I had to say all the No's to this and that which was not easy at all, I had to do all the repremanding and scolding along with broken dreams and promises and that hurts too.  But we shared lots of Love and laughter thru good times and bad, we went thru them together and grew stronger and wiser.  My Boys never went without--I did...
The X was far to busy gambling away in Las Vegas with his new lady friend instead of spending time with his Sons and I could see and feel the hurt in their hearts with this.  I can remember so many times when he was going to pick them up for a weekend and never showed up--not even a phone call, and I dried their tears and lifted up their spirits.
Yet, I am the bad guy here and they do not contact me--they do him--but not me.....
So, who knows anymore, I dont think anyone has the right answer for us, only them--they have the answer and its a shame that they cannot share that with us.  Afterall we are their Moms. :(