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51 thoughts on “Coping With the Rejection Of a Child

  • September 19, 2018 at 7:56 am
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    Thank you for such a helpful, insightful article. I found it to be extremely helpful. I am the scapegoat daughter of a malignant narc. My only siblings is her top flying monkey. My daughter has fallen for all of it and joins them in demonizing me. Now it has digressed so that my sister is attending all the events of my daughters children such as Grandparents Night and sports games etc… with our mother and acting like she is the grandmother now that they have alienated me. (She aborted her only child decades earlier). The situation is unbearably dysfunctional and a cause of great suffering for me. It is hard to watch. Thank God my son’s are still supportive and I see their three children who adore their Meme. Psychologist and Psychiatrist have changed my life but day to day coping is rough. Your article is an absolute jewel. Thank you so much!

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  • September 19, 2018 at 10:49 am
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    It would be helpful for Dr. Stines to include a short discussion of the effects of an outside influence other that a parent, i.e. a partner, significant other, or leader with NPD, exerting influence and control over an adult child. Specifically this would help mental health professionals in dealing with both the affected and shunned parent and the adult child. A first question should be “what or who is new in your child’s life?” especially if this is an abrupt change. Education on the tools of manipulation and influence demystifies the observed behaviors, and can be beneficial in providing opportunities for resolution.

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    • January 29, 2019 at 2:31 pm
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      I would agree with you on that topic, ours got bad influence at school, and legally could leave home at 16, so opted for this, even though it is not natural and never good the child in the long term, all the social agencies never tried to help the parent/child relationship, just help her get funding to leave home (all at tax payers expense of course) I did realise from this article, that the daughter has a personality disorder, as we (her parents and her sibling) are still a strong family unit, and no abuse in the home (other than from her trying to sabotage her family home)

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      • February 2, 2019 at 12:39 am
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        Brenda,your writing my story 😢

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      • February 2, 2019 at 1:04 am
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        sadly we share the same story, which is two to many

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      • February 10, 2019 at 3:11 am
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        Brenda, unfortunately you can add 1 more to that – and that makes 3 of us now. When my child turned 17, he was already close to fully alienated from me by his father. BUT…. we were working on it together (though help is hard to find, as probably EVERY alienated parent is well aware of – but we did manage to find some good help along the way, but that got cut off quick!) and progressing. But the family of a ‘friend’ of his swooped in, after we had come SO far in our relationship – the friend’s mother is BPD (obviously because of HER childhood experience. HER mother had left her father when she was quite young, and I don’t think she ever saw her father again – she was ALIENATED from her father by her mother, but she doesn’t know or understand that. That’s classic BPD childhood history – abandonment issues), and seeing our situation (but not knowing the details, and not caring to find out), it triggered her. And she and her husband/son basically ‘bought’ my son (gifts. Lots of expensive gifts. Telling him they didn’t like me – when they didn’t even know me! Predator behaviour. He was only 13 or so when that started). But in return, they needed him to hate me, so that the BPD mother could ‘rescue’ him (again classic BPD). So just before he turned 17, they took him in to their home (how that came to be is too long and painful a story, but they created a problem that didn’t exist, and then ‘solved’ it) and taught him how to get government money (which he paid to them for his ‘expenses’ – like food).

        There was NOTHING I could do – his father lives in a different country, and didn’t care – as long as he wasn’t with ME, he was all good with it. He is NPD, so he can’t really care the way normal human beings can, about his child. As long as *I* was hurting, he was all good, in his mind I ‘deserved it’ (and still do deserve it) for what I ‘did to him’ (which was to leave him because he was abusive!!).

        I had assumed that he had at least SPOKEN to the family who had taken our son, but I found out later they hadn’t even done that – just one email communication (I’d love to know what the email said, especially what his dad said!! He didn’t even know them, had dropped our child off there a few times in the past and that was it). So, my child lasted there for a few months… but then one day, he just took off. The ‘friend’ phoned me up and asked if I knew where he was! I don’t have the words to describe how I felt when I got that call!! Up until that point, I could do NOTHING – because they had already shown me what they could to my kids’ head, if I tried to get him back….

        So of course, that set us right back. Things are not looking good for my child – his head has been so messed around by so many people now (his dad, his dad’s parents (the grandmother appears to be a psychopath, and his father has psychological issues too, I won’t go into all that) , the friend and his family, social services when I tried to stop all this, the pastor who ran a church youth group that he liked to go to, his school, who couldn’t be bothered, and so on). The sad thing is, that I’m the only person in the world who loves him fully and unconditionally. But he couldn’t have me in his life because of the alienation from his father, and then the alienation from the friend’s family, and then from the grandparents, and others along the way…. but WITHOUT me, he couldn’t get the love that he desperately needed and craved, he was a ‘hugger’ his whole life – and he was brought up to hate, and that just killed him inside. He’s headed down a dark path now, he’s with his dad now, dad is an alcoholic and druggie although he hides it well, has a responsible job, and uses him for his OWN emotional needs (my son is ‘the parent’ now, to his father who is ‘the child’). Yep – alienation comes from ‘outside’ as well as ‘inside’ – and from my experience, there are folks out there with personality disorders who are just waiting and ready to swoop in wherever there’s a vacuum, to fill it – because they’re trying to fill their OWN vacuum…. it’s akin to molestation: these people are using him for gratification of THEIR needs. 🙁

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      • February 24, 2019 at 1:59 pm
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        so sad for you as well 🙁 i do understand you are the only one who will love him thru all of it, and the other interlopers are there for their own gain or self importance. A mothers love will stand the test of time and trials, the rest of society do not seem to understand or value that.

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      • August 5, 2019 at 7:22 pm
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        I m going through the exact same thing with my adult children although my daughter and I , our relationship has rgrown but the sociopathic predator girlfriend of my ex has her manipulative talons in my kids backs, Her father molested her all her childhood life and went to prison , i dont know where her mom was , she lived with her grandparents who died and left her a house . She is sick and their dad alcoholic abuser drug addict and it is not about loving my children they both emotionally wrecked my childrens thoughts of me , it is so hard years lost and never to return . and I give give give but seems no matter what I do its not respected at the end of day . I say the slightest wrong thing and they try to punish me by shinning me intil U can say right thingd . I do not put ip with that treatment and I never will , they are my children whom I love dearly but I will teach you respect even in your twenties….!

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    • July 31, 2019 at 3:17 pm
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      There is a definite segment of adult child estrangement caused by third-party influencers. It’s happened to me. Just look at Shari MacGregor’s situation in her book, Done with the Crying. It’s mentioned in Joshua Coleman’s book, When Parents Hurt. Estrangement through third-party influencer is bad news. This is a tough road to go down. This is the segment that very well may not come back. I’ve found there’s not much a parent can do, even if they’re doing all the “right” things, ie. not laying blame on the child, not speaking ill about the third-party influencer, keeping positive and welcoming and supportive. These are people who seem to need a scapegoat, someone to blame and fix their problems and hositilities on. Unfortunately, my daughter married one, and she’s pretty much lost to her sister, her father, and me. Yes, it’s a terrible loss, so much so that I’m getting treatment for depression. It’s a matter of learning to accept that there will always be a void there. I do believe life is good, some days better than others.

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    • August 1, 2019 at 11:54 pm
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      My daughter and I were incredibly close. Amazing relationship. She failed college while in an abusive relationship. Before ending the relationship she began a new one and moved in with him. He has attacked me verbally 4 times and she will not talk to me. These events transpired within a month. I am being accused of falsely spreading rumors. I am denied what they are or who is involved.

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  • September 19, 2018 at 9:22 pm
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    Our now-adult son with childhood-onset schizophrenia has completely rejected us and it’s because he became paranoid about us due to his illness\inability to accurately perceive reality. I suggest you include schizophrenia and other mental illnesses that cause paranoia and psychosis on the list of etiologies. Maybe that’s to be assumed, but parents of seriously mentally ill offspring need all the reassurance they can get that they didn’t do anything wrong.

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  • October 13, 2018 at 10:08 am
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    Children are not always loyal to an abusive parent. That is a harmful and false idea that confuses love and respect with fearful obedience, submissiveness and trauma bonding and forces children to have a relationship with their abuser.

    If your father just raped you, you probably don’t want to be in the same room with him ever again if you can help it.

    I’m disappointed that a psychologist would endorse a false notion that leads to child endangerment.

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    • October 14, 2018 at 4:36 pm
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      Surprisingly, I know clients who have been raped by their fathers and still continue on with relationships with them…

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      • February 1, 2019 at 1:05 am
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        I have to agree with this. They are more committed to the father because they are protecting themselves by protecting him.

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  • January 28, 2019 at 12:57 pm
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    I rejected my mother when i ws 58 1/2 years old after realizing she (Dot Hoffman Escondido California) has a long history of alienating her grandchildren from her children, and she tried doing it with my daughter (5). Wife sided with bitch mom, and prefers daughter to be with known and documented abusers.

    But not one fucking therapist or lawyer in San Diego will help me. Nobody gives a shit, so I am just ready to fucking die.

    It has bene five months since I saw my little girl, who was taken by my wife on my mother’s birthday.

    These women are psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists. They are dangerous. I have evidence to put them both in jail, but nobody will fucking hear me and my evidence.

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  • January 29, 2019 at 2:22 am
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    I am the unloved, scapegoated daughter of a narcissistic, emotionally neglectful mother. In fact, she was so emotionally neglectful of me that I disdain to use the word, “mother,” as a descriptive in her case. I have a younger sister, who is and as always been her ‘golden child.’ I went no contact with her, and her precious little golden child, nearly a year ago. I have been in weekly psychotherapy ever since. Cognitive behavior therapy has helped me see that the neglect and emotional abuse that my ‘mom’ subjected me to since infancy has had a profound impact on my ability to have healthy relationships with others. In my experience, your statement that children of abusive/neglectful parents find it nearly impossible to reject said parent is recklessly inaccurate.

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    • January 29, 2019 at 12:05 pm
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      I realize that there are terrible parents that are and should be rejected by children. This article does not speak to that situation. It takes a lot of courage to walk away from an abusive parent as you well know.

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    • February 3, 2019 at 4:28 am
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      I too have suffered exactly the same scenario as you.
      The damage takes years to acknowledge even to oneself. Because it was our norm.
      I worry that in finally ( in my 40’s) rejecting my so called mother, I have taught my daughters ( who have rejected me as adults, due to a divorce, ( sided with their father who encouraged them to do so) that it is acceptable to reject me.

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      • February 12, 2019 at 11:49 pm
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        Julie, you said:

        “I worry that in finally ( in my 40’s) rejecting my so called mother, I have taught my daughters ( who have rejected me as adults, due to a divorce, ( sided with their father who encouraged them to do so) that it is acceptable to reject me.”

        That is a very interesting point, about the possibility that by rejecting ones own parent, this might backfire in that it shows or teaches ones children that “it is acceptable to reject THEIR parent (i.e. YOU)”. It’s definitely a point to ponder on. Life can be soooo complicated, but it can be ESPECIALLY so when Cluster B personality disordered people come in to our lives – Narcissists and Borderlines especially – and then children come in to the picture.

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      • April 3, 2019 at 7:06 am
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        This happened to me.

        I removed my own parents from ‘our’ lives when I’d had enough of them hurting my son by making him feel his own fathers’ rejection was his own fault (my son was ALWAYS a nightmare to raise).

        He held so much hatred towards them all for their rejection of him. Nothing I said got through to him. He refused to ever acknowledge that he could contact anyone he wanted to at any time. He just wanted to hate.

        I was his obsession. His verbal and mental punching bag, a couple of times physical too.

        He then removed me from his life, and from my grandchildren’s lives, completing the circle in full. He’s done to me, and to his babies, exactly what he hated his whole life.

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  • January 29, 2019 at 3:28 pm
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    I have two daughters who have estranged me when they were in their 40’s. I am not narcissistic however one of my daughters is. They both lived in a loving home. I feel there is more to the issue of estrangement then the tree issue you outlined.

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    • February 3, 2019 at 10:00 pm
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      I too had a narcissistic husband who upon leaving him because of years of abuse, mental, physical and emotionally, turned my son and daughter against me. I should clarify that he turned my son against me, my daughter who is very close to my son and is the daughter of my 1st husband, has turned against me because she fears loosing her brother’s friendship. They have been estranged from me for 14 years now. I can say this with the upmost honesty, I am an above average mother. I was the best mother that I could be. The kids suffered from broken marriages and the conditions of remarriage and the baggage that comes with them. I too am devastated at times, however my work keeps me going, I am a private contracting travel nurse. Just the act of caring for my clients and getting involved with them and making them feel better gives me what I need to move forward. All I can advice is to keep busy and find something rewarding to do. My blessings are that the adult kids are good people, they love each other and they are good hard working people. Anyone would enjoy being around the two of them. It is sad that such evil such as my former second husband walk in this world. He is a beast! And so are his 2 children who completely role modeled themselves after him and here again I state I was an above average step-mother.
      I have forgiven, found a sense of peace and have moved forward with the help of my God. Thank you and I hope you can do as well.

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  • January 30, 2019 at 12:56 pm
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    I know a story of these 2 beautiful children. Once happy, physically active, healthy and loving. Their mental health keeps deteriorating at a very fast speed while their father and his family is forced to sit and watch. The children have an addicted mother (alcohol, gambling and drugs). They are physically and physiologically abused, they are neglected (left on the streets in minus 30 to fend for themselves while their mother drinks at the bar). The children are coached by the mother to hate their father and his family (the father has been trying to save them for a long time). The children lie, steal, bully, are violent, are threatening suicide and running away, are defiant, can’t follow rules, fail school (but the school still passes them to the next grade 🙁 . The cops have been called, Child and family services has been called, 2 (useless, scamming, thieves) lawyers and more than $100 K can’t save the children. Their lives are screwed up. They have become narcissists with multiple personality disorders. The authorities are all working on their own little corner (instead of having a centralized system that allows them to see the big picture) and the information they receive is just partial and sometimes biased based on the stories the mother tells of her being abused.

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  • January 30, 2019 at 3:14 pm
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    We have 4 children (blended family) and had a good relationship with all into adult hood.The oldest married a woman whose mother alienated friends and relatives so our son and grandchildren are alienated from us.Did the dil follow in her mother’s foot steps? We do not know what caused the estrangement. Despite numerous efforts to engage with them we have had no success.He does not communicate with his sister and step siblings nor any of our relatives.We continue to have a healthy relationship with our other children,their partners and grand children.
    This alienation has been very painful and we wonder what impact this has had on their children…..so many hurt by this behaviour.

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  • February 1, 2019 at 1:16 am
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    Your article was very straight forward, insightful and offered real solutions and outlooks for those suffering from this infliction. Thank you very much for your insight, I have shared it with my group, a Survivor’s Right. Many of us there are and/or have experienced this utmost form of abuse that could ever occur to us by our abuser, alienation from our children.

    One question though, why do judges side with the abuser so often when it is apparent that an abnormal personality is present wrt the abuser? In particular when such conditions are questioned by psychiatrists and psychologists repeatedly?

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    • February 1, 2019 at 2:51 am
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      Most people don’t understand narcissism until they’ve experienced it personally.

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  • February 2, 2019 at 10:45 pm
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    I do believe that the 3 causes are spot on but not all inclusive . Family dysfunction is not always apparent or admitted to.

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  • February 23, 2019 at 6:32 pm
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    My daughter no longer speaks to me. I’ve stopped texting and asking for answers. I’m grieving this loss now. It heart hurts. I had been married to a narcissist but this loss is devastating and unexplainable. I have no idea of how to comprehend this so I will just numb out.

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  • February 24, 2019 at 11:52 pm
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    My problem began when my estranged daughter (ED) believed a lie that her husband at the time told her. He said that I had said that she was a bad wife. I never said that, much less to her husband. I then was blamed for breaking up her marriage, never mind that they fought every single weekend for the year they were married! I then put the final nail in my coffin when I attended Christmas dinner with her soon to be ex husbands family (she did not attend). All this occurred in the span of 2-3 months in 2017. For the first 5 months of 2018, I would receive passive agreesive messages regarding toxic people/relationships from her. Then I started getting texts (no phone calls or visits) that I needed to explain myself to her for my misdeeds! After seeing a therapist regarding this problem, I suggested to my ED that it would be helpful for the both of us to see a family therapist together and try to resolve this. I would pay for the sessions. She was too busy at the time and couldn’t do it. We met for Thanksgiving and Christmas at a coffee shop. It was all about her, never once did she ask how I was doing. Fast forward to today, I still need to explain myself and if I don’t, our relationship will just be superficial from here on out. I again suggested joint therapy, but she won’t until I explain myself. And I can’t do that (explain myself) because I know whatever I say, will be held against me and forever thrown back at me at a later date. My ED is operating at a very immature state of mind, not at the level of a 35 year old. Thank you for the article and the many replies. It helps to know that I’m not alone in this terrible phenomenon of Parental rejection by an adult child.

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  • March 5, 2019 at 6:08 pm
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    Thank you Shari for this wonderful article specially about grieving and respecting ourselves. I always believed that respect comes before love. Thank you.

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  • March 22, 2019 at 3:29 pm
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    Shari, you have a wealth of information for us. We are the National Alliance for Targeted Parents. Thank you for your expertise and compassion.

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  • April 2, 2019 at 10:06 pm
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    This article, whilst well written, leaves out where a child can have a personality disorder where it hasn’t come from either parent having ‘mental health issues’, but a medical one. That bit stuck in my gut as a little unfair.

    I had Graves Disease in my pregnancy which went misdiagnosed and untreated until my son was 12 months old.

    He was born riddled with toxic hormones, and in today’s world would be Dx with Reactive Attachment Disorder. His official Dx as a child were ASD, ODD and ADHD. But he’s a sociopath as an adult.

    As a baby I would have to strap him to my body as he thrashed and screamed for up to 4 hours at a time before he’d fall asleep.

    He has always chosen to inflict pain, to cause suffering, to have revenge on perceived slights.

    I have not seen him now for 2 years, 2 months and 24 days.

    He left my life with the biggest possible ‘fuck you’. And 6 months later I took the power back. I can’t have my son in my life and his abuse was all I ever knew. I lived it, breathed it, I was consumed by it. I parented extremely well, with a good balance of unconditional love and tough love and boundaries. There was always a huge abundance of love and play options.

    The void is massive. But I am finally healing. It’s going to take a long time. I will never stop loving him. But I can’t have him in my life.

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    • April 8, 2019 at 12:00 am
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      Sorry about the victim blaming. Not intentional.

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  • April 30, 2019 at 10:19 pm
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    I too am experiencing being alienated by my narcissistic ex-husband. I only see my kids every two weeks, maybe. Sometimes longer. We have shared custody but over the past two years they have spent more and more time with their father. My 11 year old son said he doesn’t like being “forced” to come visit me. I’m devastated. I don’t know how to process this kind of hurt. I don’t know what I should do. Do I keep “forcing” them to spend time with me or do I just let them go? Even typing those words are so painful and foreign. I gave birth to these kids! My heart is breaking. What should I do?

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  • May 31, 2019 at 2:49 am
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    Is there a support group so be apart of for parents of estranged kids? My ex husband is a narcissist. I could’ve ‘handle’ him anymore after he was gone for a year partying in Miami. I was also sponsoring him in the country so when those 3 years of a temporary green card were up and i said I wasn’t signing the paper for him to have his permanent green card he flew back to be a dad again and sabotage my life so I’d give up and give him what he wanted. After seeing my sons emotional state and leaning towards his father. Hitting me in the face at target cause i said no to something he wanted and his father asking him, ‘what did your mom do wrong’? After calling him and telling him what happened so got some parental back up from him…well the rest is history. I was a surrogate mom at best in his eyes. I was not perfect but i was a great mom. I was having a nervous break down at work and had to leave. I called him and asked why he wasn’t leaving me alone. (Even got a temporary restraining order) he said, “I want you out of the picture and have full custody of him and you to never see him again. I was a great mom. Not only did i get no credit for caring for him by myself with no family support really i got a slap in the face. I saw my future bleed and felt utterly hopeless to see a good future for my son with me in it because of his dads attitude. Our son turned 4. 2 months later I disappaeared in to a deep depression and mourning my son all day in bed on the regular.

    I am still broken and devastated. My only way of coping was to remarry and have more kids and the family i always wanted but never had and certainly never got to be the mom i wanted to for my son. He was with my everyday the 1st 4 years. Never left his side cause i loved him. It’s been 9 long yet fast years. He is 13 now and i want nothing more than to take his dad to court and at least get custody for school breaks. He has a 8 year old sister and 5 year old brother and 2 year old sister. I have no idea what his dad has said to him about me. This is unchartered territory. I feel stronger now at 35 than I did back then when I was 24. I feel aweful my son doesn’t know me when I’m a great mom and love him to pieces. I also don’t need negative influences with my kids now. They are good and stable and no one is able to interfere with that currently. I am focusing on building my career and just graduated college. So not financially stable without my husband currently but gonna get there..while I have these desires running through my veins to know my son and for him to know me.

    Oh ya and he got his green card in the end cause he had full custody of our son. Legally that’s not an automatic green card but most judges will consider that. Also he was supposed to leave the country and reenter after 10 years and apply again for his green card. He must have made up some story that I am a loser and not in the picture nad want nothing to do with our son. If i do end up reconciling I can not wait. I am glad our son seems healthy and happy and doens’t seem to have drama. I was damned if I stayed in his life and damned if i didn’t. End of story. Well, actually hopefully it’s not the end of the story. Looking back there were so many opportunities to protect myself so nothing like this could ever happen but I had no idea he would ever even think for a second he wouldn’t want me to be our sons mom. Never. Was i wrong or what?

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  • June 8, 2019 at 9:47 am
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    This forum is very helpful. There is comfort in hearing other parents describe similar experiences with children who reject them. There may be many reasons but the pain is the same. Your advice to grieve is very wise because that’s when I began to heal and find peace. Thank for offering your knowledge and insight.

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  • June 8, 2019 at 11:36 am
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    Never saw this coming. If anyone had said tome this was a possibility I would have emphatically denied and dismissed the concept. What my daughter and son shit me out! never. Today June 8, 2019 after a night of turmoil I got up at 5 am and decided I have to get a grip on this. I don’t have to or need to understand why this has happened just need to get a handle on the pain and heartbreak I’m suffering with. It’s controlling my emotional state of well-being. I’m consumed by grief and embarrassment. I put my children on a pedestal gave them everything I had to give. I loved and valued them even more than I did myself. As youngsters they were free independent thinkers no pressures I defended and protected them from school bullies I went against the grain for them, and I still would. Paid for 4 yrs of college for both I didn’t show favoritisms both had cars their own space at home and in college. My then husband their father and I cleaned the private schools on Sundays to help make private school affordable.
    I cooked cleaned worked for GMotors so they could have. They lived in nice homes and safe neighborhoods.
    I felt I owed them this is what a mother does! She goes beyond and further for her kids! My mom did and I never stopped speaking to her. They saw the relationship I had with her. I took care of her until she died!
    It was overkill on my part and now I see they weren’t worth it. The are just mere mortals. You do all you can and they grow up and spit in your face! Ungrateful unkind and selfish. If I ever treated them the way they’re treating me I would be considered cruel. My children are in there late and middle 30s no grandchildren..the nonverbal deal started in Oct. 2018 they live 2000 miles away I’ve visited them a couple times but haven’t laid eyes on them since the both graduated from USC both doctors! my son graduated magna cum laude. 2012 and we were chatting via text. This year nothing no Happy thanksgiving no happy bd no happy mother’s day nothing. I’ve reached out via text just 2 days ago..I did beg a little. I said I was worried what’s wrong is everything okay and was this intentional? I said I believe you know how much I love you.. if I’ve wronged you in anyway I’m sorry I miss you I love you and I’m hurt and confused. Please keep in touch.
    That’s my second plea. I’m done. I still sent bd cards signed love mom and I’ll keep doing that. I’ll keep all the doors open. They weren’t physically or verbally abused. They got away with a lot! I stressed education I thought they were too good for factory life. Not sure what they’re upset about? Maybe their dad whom they love and respect said something? I just saw him at a graduation and inquired if he knew why they weren’t speaking to me and he said he didn’t know. But he’s not trying to help! he has enough influence he could say to them why aren’t you speaking to your mother? He could help mull it over! But he won’t he’s probably in jubilation over it because he knows how much I doted over them.
    Pain is mandatory when dealing with this type of situation the suffering is optional. I’m must work on the latter.

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  • June 8, 2019 at 11:40 am
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    Must be a personality malfunction? I can’t put my finger on anything else. I agree it’s unnatural and unkind. It’s control and abuse!

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  • June 21, 2019 at 10:58 am
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    I was a great mom and then out of nowhere I left. I left my kids. I’ve worked hard to make us a good strong family for the last 30 years. I get passive aggressive from the kids from time to time. Most recently my oldest disconnected altogether. Just like that! No explanation. I’m blocked from his phone,etc.Its been heartbreaking but I’m getting better. He is someone who is very self centered. But I love him anyway. I’m older now and really don’t want to spend anymore time being the bad guy. I want to focus on having a good and happy life.Thanks for this article.It helps!!!

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    • June 21, 2019 at 11:14 am
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      Sometimes we have to come to the conclusion that we need to value ourselves to the point that we realize that we don’t deserve to be disrespected or abused by anyone – particularly our own children – those we loved and sacrificed for. I am constantly reminding people that our relationships with our children need not be enshrined to an idealistic level. All relationships have meaning, not just the ones with our children. If the people in our family choose to reject us, then we can find connections from others – deep, meaningful connections.

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  • July 8, 2019 at 5:04 am
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    Lost my daughter yrs ago after a divorce now I get no tex..only when she wants to and have to beg for pictures of my grand baby.she told me I was a bad mother..

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  • July 30, 2019 at 7:25 am
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    My son did not reject me for the first 29 years of his life, until he met an Australian woman ( that I liked very much) who introduced him to her extensive farming family and settled him into a lovely bungalow on the farm. Lucky guy, I thought. I was truly pleased for him. A ready made family.Think of the Waltons, no divorces, family meals around grandpa’s table, chickens in the yard. My son had been brought up by a single divorced parent who had to work nights to be able to care for him during the day. Life was not roses around the door, but he was very much loved by me and his doting grandparents, and being the only grandchild, much spoiled by them. He never wanted for anything, certainly not affection or care. Then he said, ( during my visit to Australia) that his childhood was ‘abusive’ and ‘ everyone he speaks to about it, agrees with him’. He then told me I had invited myself, and later, out of the blue, his girlfriend asked me how long I had breast fed my son for? As he is 6ft 3″ tall with perfect teeth, I do wonder what she was driving at. We are all bewildered as to what he has been recounting, abuse is a strong, emotive word and cuts me to the bone. I was a nurse, a social worker and looked after disturbed children, I know what real ‘abuse’ is all about. His life was certainly chaotic at times, until I met his stepfather, who loved him and gave him a car and a job and much support. A lot of these helplines and websites say that the parent should not defend themselves, or counter what their child is accusing them of…. sorry, life is not like that. I strongly remonstrated with my son, knowing, perhaps more than his new family does, how much trouble he got into in his youth, and how much it cost me to get him out of it. (socially, mentally and financially) He has reinvented himself, he has made harsh comparisons, and as he stands by his accusation, I have lost my son.

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    • July 30, 2019 at 11:29 am
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      I have seen that happen in other cases as well. I agree with you, I think we should point out the truth to our children who are disrespecting us and being brain-washed by others. Sorry for your situation.

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    • July 31, 2019 at 3:25 pm
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      A perfect example of third-party influencers, and a need to blame as a way to foist off anger and anxiety on a common “enemy.” Very powerful. Heartbreaking. It’s tough to trod that middle line of keeping an open heart and hope, and letting go. It’s a combo of the two that I’m learning to do. Positive messages of love every now and then, and then letting go. It’s the worst thing that has ever happened to me, but I’m learning to deal with it. Hang in there! You’re not alone.

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  • August 8, 2019 at 12:24 am
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    Thank you for the article, if was very insightful. I’m trying to put this down as sense in some order. I was blessed to have 3 beautiful children. All of my children are still single and childless. My daughter oldest, lives in an apartment in town son middle( live with us – mental health issues) and son baby( lived in same apartment complex as sister is now deceased. Every family story some good some bad and I’m not going to bore you with the details. My daughter and my youngest son were close and she didn’t get along very well with the middle brother who turned out to be the typical middle..(also10 years ago at 21 was diagnosed bipolar)
    . In April 2019 year my youngest son (30 ) passed away. My husband was supposed to break the news to our daughter (who is very sensitive) regarding our sons bipolar disorder and the medications he’s on but he kicked the can down the road and didn’t.
    Before my son passed away he briefly told his sister a little bit about her brother’s illness.
    My daughter is 34. A few months ago, after my son died – a friend of mine
    ( who is childless by design and an alcoholic decided to rake up some bad memories and remind my daughter of my husband’s and my short comings as a parents and mentioned her brother’s illness.
    That was the end of May.
    I felt my daughter( who was just starting a new job, as well) was getting more distant to us. I figured she was just grieving like we all were.
    I texted her once a day until in July she said
    “Mom I just want to say I love you. Thank you for reaching out and the sweet card. However I mentioned before that I need my space. You don’t have to check up on me all the time. Please try to respect that and let me reach out when I’m ready. Thank you for understanding, I love you. Have a good night. ”
    I have respected her wishes but it’s silently killing me as I want to text her everyday.
    I have to wait until she’s ready. What it she doesn’t want me in her life? Her middle brother is wondering where she is..She’s responsive to her dad and may meet him for lunch soon. And that also hurts me.
    I am grieving the loss of a deceased son and now a distant daughter. 2 loses for me
    The pain is real.
    Thank you for listening.

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  • August 11, 2019 at 9:57 pm
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    Dr Stines, Thank you for your advice.. It’s been 3 months my son refused to talk to us (including not let us see our grandson) after an unfortunate argument. Sadly and hurtfully he said to tell s ” You treat me badly”. I said, ” Didnt we raise you up?” ” Didn’t we pay you to go to Yale univ?” ” Didn’t we buy you a condominium to live while you in graduate school at NYU?” He responded to us by saying ” My son is doing very well but he hates us. My husband and I are heart broken because he was a great son to us and we were so proud of him. Now we decided to live our life and pray that he’ll be happy with his family. We are grateful to have the happy memory of 18 years with him. Our relationship with him became tense since he went to college. Nevertheless, he is an independent, adukt, has a good job, and a happy family. We’ve done our job!

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  • August 12, 2019 at 1:00 am
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    Hi, I’ve been reading all of the comments/stories from y’all and it saddens me even more to see that there’s more adult children out there causing pain and suffering to other good parents…. My horrific story with my daughter started around 2 years ago when she just started being very rude and disrespectful towards me only when I would try and make her see that she was doing something wrong .. all hell broke lose and it’s been a roller coaster ride ever since between us …. the most recent episode just happened 1 week ago and this time she told me to stay away including for me not to call asking for my 2 year old grandson… that is killing me … I had an awful awful relationship with her father , after 27 years I decided to finally leave him …. she was supportive at first since she lived thru it all and knows everything that he put me threw , but now she’s a totally different person and has turned very hateful and resentful towards me , she lashes out on me telling me very mean and hurtful things that I’m done hearing from her , and all I ask is for her to not disrespect me , but it’s like beating a dead horse … I feel as if she’s maybe jealous of my new life where I can come and go as I please , and I feel as if she’s picking up where her dad left off in making my life living hell … I just don’t know what else to think … I’m slowly dying not knowing if her keeping my grandson from me is something that will soon pass or if it’s something that’s here for a very long time … And I’m breaking my head in going back in time and see where I went wrong , what I did wrong as a parent ….I’m just so hurt and confused right now …

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  • August 26, 2019 at 7:58 am
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    Unfortunately my daughter and I have been estranged for years after being so close through her childhood. I found out she had lied on me for years during high school to other parents while I broke my back to give her the good life: new car at 16, cheerleading for 7 years, gymnastics, and her first cruise with friends at 15. She got pregnant at senior prom and cut me off because I wasn’t singing her praises and was shocked other parents were! Then she wanted to show out on social media so I shut her off and disowned her. We tried to reconnect after 4 years. But there is something really wrong with her perception of how she can treat me as her mother and I don’t tolerate it. She actually has a psychology degree (laughable at best) but still chooses to try to manipulate me with grandkids I don’t even know, so I shut her down again because 1) she wasn’t abused 2)I refuse to be disrespected as THE parent 3) I do not care if she doesn’t like what I have to say, I’m the mom period 4) Psychobabble excuses do not fly here, nor will I ever feel guilty about anything after giving her all that we did 5) I ain’t never had to beg any one to love me since I can love myself just fine 6) It is unacceptable for anyone to dishonor the mother and the father because they are real people, who had real trauma, who have their own problems too and anyone who teaches them to do so is going against God’s law. 7) Life doesn’t need to revolve around them all of their lives 8) If they cannot handle their responsibility role as your son/daughter, it is NOT your fault as these psychoanalysts will have you believe 9) After raising a violent autistic adult child for 25 years, I am here to tell you that “experts” do not know what they are talking about most of the time and if they are always blaming you as the parent, and you are always blaming your own parents, grow up and use a deeper logic to connect with those important people that can help you get through life instead of alienating them because your feelings are hurt. I know it hurts when your kid rejects you, but remember, EVERYONE has told them that they are a victim and have been violated by something, so it’s okay to mistreat your parents if you want to, even if it’s something made up in your head. I find the adult child doesn’t know their place or have the mental capacity or maturity to be “parented” once they are “told” that they are grown, with an immature brain until at least 25-40. They don’t want to be told anything, so ignore their manipulative behavior disorder; ignore the Psychobabble that you were a bad parent, and move on. Life doesn’t stop just because your kid wants to act disrespectfully. I will let my daughter explain to her kids why grandma has a relationship with their cousins, (my youngest son’s kids) and not them. Those kids will go to private school, have vacations and memories with family while her kids have no one since she doesn’t get along with her own husband’s mother either. She has stolen from them to have as many people love them as possible instead of being able to separate her own problems from their relationships with others. I’ve gotten real tired of everything being “Mom’s/Dad’s fault”. Maybe the adult child is just selfish and mad that the world doesn’t move over for just them because we told them how special they were all of their lives and the truth is that they aren’t that special in the scheme of things. They really need to learn to get over divorces and quit being handed excuses to use against people who didn’t want to be together. There is too much whining, crying, playing victim and causing a real society of emotional immaturity and unrealistic ideologies that they feel rigidly entitled to. So, if you are estranged from a child, do not keep beating yourself up; move on and let them grow up. They are no longer worth the trouble if you did your best. You are human, you aren’t perfect, and shouldn’t be expected to be. But never tolerate disrespect from them or beg a child to love you if THEY can’t handle a relationship with YOU. Some of us were real parents in this Glenda the Good Witch faux society. After 5 kids, we actually like 3 who are Navy, oil and gas engineer, and autistic. Each one is different in positive receptivity so again, these adult children need to be put back in their place and reminded of their adult responsibility to their families, whether they like whoever or not, instead of being catered to with dripping sympathy and pity me parties due to “hurt feelings” for a lifetime. Everyone has had to trial by fire, so save it for the therapist and go hug your “abusive” parents and do your job as a son/daughter! You do not have the right to estrange yourself just because you don’t like what they have to say. Just because you feel they were a bad parent doesn’t give you the right to be a bad son/daughter too. Miss me with these psyche evals; they are promoting the wrong things. I’ve seen hundreds by now treating our autistic son and they have no real clue or answers, but we do. We live it.

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  • September 11, 2019 at 3:22 pm
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    Shari,
    My girlfriend appears to be going through this. Her children live with her ex-husband. Her 17 year old refuses to have any communication with her, and her 13 year old told her that he feels anxious around her. She deeply fears that history will repeat itself with the 13 year old. She has ADHD and fears that this condition is the source of his anxiety. She is blaming herself and is crushed by their rejection. I suspect that the ex husband has created this narrative that “mom is crazy” and he constantly sends demeaning texts suggesting that she has not properly cared for the kids when it is “her night.” I assume that the narcissistic behavior you described occurs when they are at his house. The court ordered family counseling but he has dragged his feet since it is his insurance that will cover it. He has failed to schedule appointments for over 9 months despite repeated calls from the counsel and my gf. I am worried about her and certainly want to see things improve with her children. How can I locate a support group that she can attend. She is already in therapy, but this doesn’t seem to give her any practical advice.

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    • September 14, 2019 at 12:30 am
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      She can call me and I will talk to her about options.

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