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Beth McHugh
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 9:47 am

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Post by Beth McHugh »

I recently received an email from a person who had been browsing through these forums and also articles on my main website. I asked for her permission to paste the email as a forum posting because I thought her comments were worth sharing with others on a similar journey:

Beth at Youronlinecounselor

Yesterday I stumbled upon this topic of “parents estrangement with adult children”. Today I checked it out again and it led me to your site where I have read a couple of your articles on the subject. My eyes are filling up with tears now with how much this forum and your words have touched me. Now I don’t feel “its just me”. The proverbial question of.. ”what did I do wrong”, I have carried and tired to deal with it for over a decade..and it still hurts..deeply. “What did I do so wrong to deserve this absence and lack of caring by my adult children?” “Why can’t they put themselves in my shoes and show understanding and empathy at how their absence breaks my heart.” “What did I do wrong in raising them to make them so selfish and thoughtless”? Both my (ex) husband and I showed good examples in caring about, and for, our parents. Maybe that is what they fear? They don’t want that responsibility. They both have children of their own now and I don’t understand how they cannot turn the tables and consider how they would feel if their son or daughter wouldn’t talk to them?

I have come a long way with this problem /issue but certain things touch it deep inside and it comes to the surface again. I have done my best ( with the aid of a counsellor) to learn to accept “it is what it is”..however “what it is” is never fully “okay”. It’s like a grief that is always there. It never goes way and certain things cause it to suddenly come to the surface and bubble over. At other times you just get on with your life and try not to pay attention to that closed door because you can’t open it from your side, and /or you’re too tired to try anymore and banging on it doesn’t seem to help. “it just is what it is”. (at least for now)

I had no idea there was something like this on the Net; that there was an organized topic forum on this problem. So finding this and other related articles really does help me see that it really isn’t “just me”. I have received the blame for so many things for so many years that it becomes a real challenge to put that in the framework of a healthy perspective and keep it there. Sometimes the demons of “its Mom’s fault” raise their ugly head and they become hard to quiet and ignore. And like you is in the not understanding of why we are being treated this way, or have been relegated to the place we have in our adult children’s lives, that drives us the most crazy. Also as you said, so often there isn’t even an understanding of what has caused this outcome with little willingness to discuss things to try to make a change. It feels sometimes like you’ve been tarred and feathered without any representation or opportunity to state your case.

Reading from other parents the exact same thoughts and feelings that I have had goes a long way to counteract the thoughts of total self blame and responsibility. Others have said “You’re not the only one with this problem” but it really didn’t help much, often because they were relating about a similar situation with someone they knew, but had not personally experienced. But I reading these articles and realizing how far spread this problem is and hearing the sentiments come from the parents themselves have gone a long way to have it really sink that I am not alone with this problem of invisible children and feeling cast aside, not valued or wanted in hire lives etc.. And in reading Beth’s words of summary about this problem she expressed it so well that I could see she really gets it. The words jumped of the page “That’s me she talking about”! The comfort comes in knowing that someone really knows and understands my sense of loss and grief and confusion and frustration...and it is being said without any sense of condemnation or unspoken vibe or agreement that something really is wrong with me as a parent to cause this.

And what is it about mothers?! Why do we carry the brunt of this type of behaviour from our adult children? So often we have given the most, loved the most, cared the most. Why are we the prime target? What can be some of the psychological reasons why the “children” choose us to lash out at and make us their target, either overtly or passively?

I am so grateful to have come across this site just to know I really am not alone in this. Thank You!!! So very much! It has done my heart good. I will continue to carry this with me as I journey on.

ImageBeth McHugh
B.Sc (Hons). B.Psych. Dip.Sc.
Principal, Your Online Counselor
Alma's daughter
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Re: Reader Comments

Post by Alma's daughter »

It seems that this is a place for broken hearted mothers to come and share our pain with out being beaten up on. God knows we beat ourselves up enough and our adult children beat us up enough as it is.

I feel exactly the same as this mother who shared her appreciation for the articles shared in this site about parents estranged from their adult children. The only answer I can give the reader is....

We gave birth to them. The pain of pushing them from our bodies and the pain of raising them, giving them every thing we had to give....

Those kinds of pains were nothing compared to the pain they give us back when they grow up, reach inside our chests, tear our hearts out, squash them in their hands in front of our faces then give us their middle finger.

They even torture us. Even animals have more mercy for each other than some adult children have for their mothers.

My dearest mommy died when I was 12. I have missed her my entire life. But if she had lived and I had grown up and became the same monster my daughters have become toward me then thank you God for taking her before I could do that to her. I was never mean to my mommy. I at least have that to be thankful for. I never broke my mommy's heart. No one can say I ever did that at least.
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