Hard statistics are hard to come by, but many of those working with families say that they've seen an uptick: More young adults than ever are cutting ties with their parents. For grandparents, that often means a loss of contact with their grandchildren as well. The good news is that many adult children say that they would like to have their parents back in their lives.
The word estrangement was never in my vocabulary before it happened to me seven years ago. But once I started researching, I realized I'm not alone just search the word "estranged" on Facebook and dozens of support groups pop up, including mine. We both like hiking and photography, so we would spend time together doing those activities.
If you are estranged from your adult child, if your child has cut you out of his or her life—whether for a long or short time—it is a gut-wrenching experience. When your child cuts you out of her life it provokes deep feelings of shame, guilt, bewilderment, and hurt, all of which can easily turn to anger. Sometimes, of course, there are circumstances in which cutting off from a parent is the only viable option for an adult child age 18 and olderfor instance, in the case of past or present physical, emotional or sexual abuse from a parent.
In my studies of the lives of older Americans, I learned that almost nothing is as painful to them as estrangement from an adult child. When I wrote a blog post on this topicit led to an extraordinary outpouring of interest that both surprised and moved me. When we reach the later years, our dream is to be surrounded by loving children and grandchildren.
I lived in an unhealthy family for more than 40 years, but I didn't make the choice to "break up" with my parents overnight. For most people, it's unimaginable for a grown man or woman to choose to stop all contact with their parents. The people who provided food, clothes, and shelter, attended dance recitals, volunteered at school, or cheered from the bleachers during every Friday night's football game don't deserve to be abandoned in their old age just because they made some parenting mistakes, right?
You know, e v e r y holiday and birthday is like a dagger in my back. Sometimes I just lie on my bed and cry my eyes out. Her mom died of a drug overdose.
Dear Mom. Whenever I see or talk to you, I just end up feeling depressed, angry, and upset for weeks afterwards. Fiona sat on my couch in her first visit without looking at me or saying anything.
One of the hardest things to experience is the betrayal wound that occurs when your own child grows up to hate you. I have seen this numerous times in my life, to the point that I am compelled to write about it. Parents who have been rejected by one or more of their children experience a type of pain that is not matched by any other — even the betrayal of a spouse or parent.
Here's how to inoculate ourselves against negative ones. Verified by Psychology Today. A Matter of Personality.
Nothing can create more feelings of shame than to be rejected by your own child. When an adult child cuts you off, it can evoke powerful feelings of guilt, regret, confusion, anxiety, helplessness, and rage. But more than anything, the shame associated with being rejected by an adult child causes many parents to suffer in silence and isolation, believing I must be a terrible person if my own child would reject me.