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How many of you who are cut off actually want to be reconciled?

(116 Posts)
Purpletinofpaint Fri 05-Jul-19 08:43:21

I'm aware from reading other threads that sometimes the estrangement has gone on too long & that some left-behind mothers have now adapted & don't want their estranged child to make contact, for the upheaval it would cause. I just thought I 'd put this question out there and ask. If you've been cut off for a long time, do you still want to be reconciled with your adult child? Also I'd be interested to learn how long you've been estranged for? I'm estranged over 10yrs.

CassieJ Fri 05-Jul-19 09:19:55

I am relatively new to estrangement, roughly two years, though we did have a short contact which failed last year as my son was still very much trying to control me.

I don't know how to resolve this, I would hate to think that I will never have contact with my eldest son and grandchildren again. I miss them hugely. I would love to be reconciled, but I can't see it happening anytime soon.

Smileless2012 Fri 05-Jul-19 09:32:52

We've been estranged for 6.5 years Purpletinofpaint and for me no, I would not want our ES to make contact.

Not "for the upheaval it would cause" but for me, the risk to our mental and physical well being would be too great. Trust has been destroyed and our ES, having done something we'd never have thought possible simply isn't the young man we once thought him to be.

Trying to rebuild our relationship with the inevitable fear that we could be cut out again, is something I would be unable and unwilling to do.

It's taken more than 4 years for us to get where we are, to find peace and happiness in our lives. It took every ounce of our strength to get through it and I don't believe either of us would have the strength to do so again.

Having been treated so badly by him, I'd ask myself why, after having told us we were no longer a part of his and his children's lives, he'd want to make contact.

Having read your initial thread, if my mother had subjected me to the treatment you went through, if she did agree to contact, I'd ask myself why.

I honestly don't believe, even if we were to have some contact with our GC, that our lives would be better if he were to come back, especially with his wife in the picture.

6.5 years is a long time; 10 years even longer. Do be careful and maybe ask yourself if you potentially have more to lose than you can ever gainflowers.

Bopeep14 Fri 05-Jul-19 11:31:19

I would like nothing more than my son to get in contact i think about him and his family everyday. Its been nearly a year since i saw him.
I honestly don't think it will happen though.
My other son who went NC 6 months ago after visiting his brother , i think eventually will come round, we were at a family party last month and he was there with his wife and our grandchild, they didn't speak but it was lovely to see our grandchild.
He is still in contact with his siblings and his grandparent were as the other one has cut off his whole family other than one sibling.

HildaW Fri 05-Jul-19 11:52:04

One of the problems these threads need to be aware of is that the term 'Estrangement' is a catch all phrase for so many problems and scenarios and gathering them all together under one label might lead to expectations that might be unreasonable. Also what might be perceived as estrangement by one party (probably the one who is taking time out) could in fact be a very conscious decision to put some distance between themselves and the other party for perfectly valid reasons.
Sometimes a child has problems in their lives that cause them to distance themselves from their parent perhaps through a sense of shame or a lack of understanding as to how their parent will accept their life choices. Some children do not fully understand how accepting and forgiving a parent can be and the reconciliations are never achieved simply from lack of communication.
The very same scenario could be met with intolerance and a lack of understanding on the parents part. Then again a child could chosen a path that few would forgive or accept.
Its very dangerous to lump all these problems together....they should each be treated as unhappy stories that need complex solutions and perhaps disinterested 3rd parties who could act as mediators. Most parents are half decent human beings and will do their best for their children and vice versa however life has taught me that there are some, and perhaps more than we would care to accept, where people have done some pretty horrid things to each other and then it could be better to build a future without that family member in your life.
Of course what is wicked and unforgivable to some is accepted by others and vice versa only those involved will truly know the facts and the strength of the issues.
That being said 'cutting' a damaging or damaged person out of your life after much honest reflection and perhaps support and counselling should not be seen as out of bounds. Sometimes walking away from a truly toxic relationship is the only way to go.

paddyann Fri 05-Jul-19 12:06:20

My sister "abdicated" from our family after my dad died.There was no reason my other sister or our mother could think why other than she didn't want o look after mum who suffered from a variety of illnesses.Over the following 12 years we tried to contact her when mum was seriously ill or in hospital and we were ignored.She even changed her phone mumber so we couldn't contact her .My mother was devastated by it all especially when nurses in the hospital would talk about my sister and tell mum how she always spoke about what a wonderful childhood she had.My mother never saw her again.She did turn up at mums funeral flanked by her in laws ...weepy and "being brave" and quite frankly I would have rather she hadn't bothered ..too little too late .Sadly whatever nonsense she spouted to her own children means we dont see them either ,though her daughter does msg my daughter now and then as they were very close .

Smileless2012 Fri 05-Jul-19 13:45:48

That's very sad paddyannsadyour poor mum. That's not the first time I've heard of an EAC turning up at their parents' funeral; far too little much too late.

I agree that putting some distance between yourself and another isn't estrangement Hilda and those of us unfortunate enough to be estranged don't claim that it is.

Estrangement is where there is no contact. All attempts are ignored; emails, texts, birthday cards and Christmas cards.

Estrangement is when your AC tells you you are no longer a part of their life and/or that they never want to see you or have anything to do with again. It is also when the AC goes quiet; blocks you from their FB, blocks your telephone number and even moves without telling you and giving you their new address.

Estrangement goes on for years. 10 for the OP, 6.5 for us and other GN's for 10 years and more. It's a life sentance for many, as paddyann has just shown.

Do we have to keep stating the obvious, that it's understandable and justifiable to walk away from a toxic relationship?

The majority of posters on the estrangement threads are mourning the loss of an AC who they once had a close and loving relationship with. In many cases that changes with the introduction of a third party.

We'd never heard of esrange

Smileless2012 Fri 05-Jul-19 13:53:06

Sorry about that, my key board locked.

We'd never heard of estrangement until it happened to us, and when it did we were ashamed and embarrassed because we thought it was just us. Which is why the estrangement threads are so important, you need to know you're not alone, that there are sadly countless others who truly understand because they're going through it too.

Yes, there are many sad stories and what lumps them together is being cut out of your AC's life, for years and for many, for ever.

Pantglas1 Fri 05-Jul-19 14:36:18

We were estranged from middle daughter for five years and I did everything in my power to resolve the situation to no avail. They contacted us by email to say that we could email the grandchildren (they were living abroad) and eventually we rebuilt. That was ten years ago and things are very good now but if it ever happened again I would accept their decision and get on with my life, a good one.

Starlady Fri 05-Jul-19 14:36:49

"She did turn up at mums funeral flanked by her in laws ...weepy and "being brave" and quite frankly I would have rather she hadn't bothered ..too little too late "

" That's not the first time I've heard of an EAC turning up at their parents' funeral; far too little much too late."

This kind of thing happened w/ some relatives of mine. DM said she had "no use" for people who turned up at someone's funeral after having ignored them while they were alive.

Starlady Fri 05-Jul-19 14:39:46

Pantglas1 - glad that you were able to renew contact w/ the GC and that this led to rebuilding the relationship w/ MDD. My guess is the GC missed you and so their mum relented. Perhaps that will happen, eventually, in some other cases.

Starlady Fri 05-Jul-19 14:45:00

Purple, are you wondering how your mum would feel about reconciliation? As you've noted, yourself, different parents have different attitudes towards this. And as I've said before, I think your mum would be fine w/ a light and breezy reconciliation and a surface relationship. I don't think she'd want anything deeper, IMO, she isn't capable of it, unfortunately. Also, since the last time you reconnected, you tried to move things to a deeper level, if you tried to reconcile again, she might be hesitant, fearing that the same thing would occur. In fact, I think you should avoid trying to reunite if you need something from her that's more than she can give.

MacCavity2 Fri 05-Jul-19 15:13:33

To answer the question, no, I don’t think the relationship can ever be the same again for me. We are nearly 2 years into estrangement and I’ve had time to think about what I can cope with. I expect this will sound very selfish but I am very aware of what stress and feeling “not quite good enough” also treading on eggshells can do to people my age.

Selfishly I am happy that my husband and myself have reasonable good health, live in a beautiful area, have good friends and family. Having gone through the embarrassment and shame of my sons rejection I’m getting it in perspective. He is just one person. All my family and friends who have known me all my life are still in my life and think he is just a spoiled brat. As for dil it’s a happy day to have her rudeness out of my life. Of course I miss my Grandchild but I’ve got the most wonderful memories up until she was 6.

Most grandparents would walk over broken glass to see their only grandchild but she belongs to my son and dil. Unfortunately I have two good friends who are also in this position, perhaps this helps me. Their sons are also highly educated spoiled brats.

My money or what will be left of it will go to my grandchild and goddaughters children. Sorry if I sound harsh but it’s self preservation.

M0nica Fri 05-Jul-19 15:41:15

Purpletinofpainy, you ahve posted a whole series of estrangement based threads over the last week and this leads me to wonder what you are wanting us to tell you.

You clearly have something in your mind in relation to your situation that you want to be told in order to justify or support your desire for a full reconciliation with your mother and I suspect that a lot of your self validation is based on making this happen.

From everything I remember of your first thread and others have referred to here and I think that what you want and want to convince yourself is possible, are not going to happen.

The question then comes back to you, why are you straining so hard for a relationship that surely you, in your heart of hearts, knows will never happen.

You are looking for a happy ending that is not going be. It will be much better to seek counselling and therapy to help you come to terms with the fact that myth of the perfect mother and daughter relationship that you seek will never be.

In fact I think most of us, however much we love/loved our mothers will, if we are honest, admit to their being some dissonances in the relationship, things that we didn't tell our mother, some we pretended didn't matter when they did, little things our mothers never understood.

Be brave and face reality, it is always better in the end.

HildaW Fri 05-Jul-19 16:15:05

I think what I was trying to say in my clumsy way is that no two scenarios are the same.....just lumping them all together and calling them 'Estrangement' does not always help. From what I am beginning to understand there are multiple threads at the moment all posted by the same person who seems to want to solve a problem or seek advise by asking general opinions on Estrangement. It would be far better to honestly acknowledge the situation they find themselves in and seek advise and help on those specific terms. Just randomly asking general advise will not really help. Estrangement is a result of factors, a result of a set of situations and personalities. I have experienced it from both sides. One scenario resolved itself (although when in the middle you feel its pretty final) whilst in the other there was an eventual complete breakdown in the relationship that required counselling and support to cope with. Only the OP knows the full story and even then they might be viewing matters through a cloud of emotion. It is for them to decide what the true problems are, seek personalised advice (I do recommend counselling) and then decide how to proceed. There are no hard and fast rules about family relationships. Often accepting what we are dealt with is a more effectual solution to the pain than trying to get someone else to change. Sometimes we can make a difference but more often we just have to learn to live with what evolves. It is a cliché that the only person we can really change is ourselves, but its true. Unfortunately we are shown in the media and popular culture stories of happy ever afters and tearful reconciliations. Life does not always follow a nice neat script and sometime we have to write our own and set ourselves free from a situation that will never change.

Nonnie Fri 05-Jul-19 16:20:27

I think when people have a big change in their life they sometimes re-evaluate situations and may have regrets which make them try to reconcile. I don't have any experience of this but think it could be so.

I also think that some of those who have cut off their parents/in-laws when the children are young could see things differently when the children grow up and decide that cutting off parents is a normal thing to do. Karma.

Another scenario is realising your parents/in-laws are getting older and may have made a will meaning you will get nothing from their estate and the idea of money going to someone else may not be very welcome.

rosecarmel Fri 05-Jul-19 16:58:05

HildaW, I respect your opinion but do not attribute it to truth other than the fact that it is true that you believe what you do-

Lumping doesn't work for you, which is perfectly acceptable- Therefore, sorting through the threads for stories that meet your criteria is up to you-

Lumping works for me- By definition, and personal experience, I see estrangement has infinite degrees- Each story unique, despite similarities-

It's a broad area of experiences and as a result proves to be inclusive, not exclusive, not pigeonholed- (Globally!) Therefore, anyone combing through the threads will glean insight from one story or another-

One might hope to find hope of some type and find it in this thread or another like it-

Perhaps you can take the time to comb through the estrangement threads and tease out the stories that more closely represent your idea of estrangement, create a thread of your own using those stories to convince readers of what you perceive to be a clear, cut difference-

Who knows, you may gain followers, if that is your agenda!

Smileless2012 Fri 05-Jul-19 18:52:30

"Life does not always follow a nice neat script and sometimes we have to write our own and set ourselves free from a situation that will never change". That's so true Hilda.

We marry, have children and when they marry and have children of their own we assume that we'll remain a part of their's and their children's lives, the way our parents remained a part of ours.

You don't sound harsh at all MacCavitysmile. As loving and caring parents we feel we are being harsh when we have to put our own welfare first because of the treatment we've received from our estranging children.

It goes against everything that being a parent is supposed to be. None of us I'm sure would ever have believed that our own children could ever do anything that would make us not to be in contact with them.

I think you're right Nonnie, I know of a couple of estranged parents whose AC made contact when their marriage was over. Not sure how I'd feel about that though TBH.

HildaW Fri 05-Jul-19 19:39:33

Strewth rosecarmel.....why on earth would you think I wanted followers. Was simply throwing in my two pennyworth. Basically saying that family problems are individual - and that its always a good idea to look at every case individually. When I decided to have no more to do with my parent I did not do I deal with the 'Estrangement'....I thought far more along the lines of how do I cope with a spiteful and self absorbed parent who is ruining my life. Labels are fine but sometimes they stop us seeing the wood for the trees.
To be quite frank rosecarmel I found the tone of your response quite unpleasant and I have no wish to enter into a conversation with you. I was merely posting an opinion on an open forum in the interests of balance from personal and very unhappy experience.

Sara65 Fri 05-Jul-19 19:52:21

I know what you mean Hilda, I stopped speaking to my mother because I’d just had enough. I know some people judge me harshly, but I don’t care, I feel that a huge burden has been lifted.

I’m sure I’m not completely blameless, I wasn’t what she wanted me to be, but I’m not prepared to try anymore

Every case is different

coleen21 Fri 05-Jul-19 19:58:59

we have been estranged from our daughter for 12 years now (she is 43y old) i've come to realize all i really need to know is she's ok. i don't. we have no contact whatsoever. we've been blocked from all social media sites.

do we want reconciliation? i've often wondered that. what would i do if she showed up at our front door? I would cry and let her in. can't be as it was before she abruptly kicked us out of her life (and the rest of her family) we will not be bullied and taken advantage of again. but, yes, we would try our hardest....she is our daughter, after all. we still love her deeply.

here in the us there's a website.... that's dedicated to estranged families.

rosecarmel Fri 05-Jul-19 22:50:17

Hilda, I didn't like your tone either but instead made the effort to focus on the content of your post-

Estrangement results in a shorter supply of people in one's life- I don't see the benefit of paring down the definition of it to suit only certain circumstances, creating an even further sense of distance for individuals already suffering with being shut out-

Nonnie Sat 06-Jul-19 12:16:04

How do you 'follow' someone on GN? I don't want to, just curious.

Starlady Sat 06-Jul-19 13:53:06

Here's a definition from

[ ih-streynj ]

verb (used with object), es·tranged, es·trang·ing.

to turn away in feeling or affection; make unfriendly or hostile; alienate the affections of: Their quarrel estranged the two friends.

to remove to or keep at a distance: The necessity for traveling on business has estranged him from his family.

So yes, it seems to be that "estranged" or "estrangement," etc. could refer to a number of scenarios. Often, we use it here to refer to when someone goes totally NC. But it could also refer to a relationship that is very distant and strained. However, Hilda, unfortunately, many GPs are finding themselves pushed away or totally CO (cut off) from their AC, CIL, and GC. So I understand having some threads that talk about estrangement in general. We can tell what a poster's individual situation is via their reply if they give us enough details.

As for the OP, she did post one thread describing her specific situation, asking if she should try to reconcile w/ her estranged mum. And most posters told her that her mum doesn't seem capable of the kind of mother/daughter relationship she would like. So IDKY the general threads, unless she's just trying to measure her situation against others. If that's the case, I hope she realizes that what you're saying is true, that every case is different, and there's no guarantee that her mum's reaction would reflect those indicated here.

However, Purple, I'm sorry, but I think the "I'd rather not" posts come the closest, especially if you're hoping for a close relationship. And I agree w/MOnica that it would be best to seek counseling to help you come to terms. Please let us know what you decide.

Starlady Sat 06-Jul-19 14:09:25

Hilda and Sara, I don't "judge (you) harshly." I know full well that often if Person X cuts of Person Y, Person X is suffering as much or more than Person Y. And that Person X may have tried over and over to fix the relationship only to get brushed off or hurt, once again, by Person Y.

So yes, I can see where there are two opposite scenarios (and probably many in between) - one where Person X cuts off Person Y b/c Person X is self-absorbed and/or cruel and the other where Person X does this b/c Person Y is self-absorbed and/or cruel, so that Person X needs to protect themselves from Person Y. Clearly, you two were in that second scenario. So was the OP from what she told us in another thread.

Regardless, Person Y might feel as if they are the "victim," whether they truly are or whether Person X was until they distanced themselves. Either way, Y may be eager to have X back in their lives (especially if X is an AC) or they may prefer to remain CO. IMO, how they feel about the CO and possible reconciliation doesn't necessarily reflect the original cause.