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We have estranged children, estranged parents and estranged grandparents all in one place

(32 Posts)
LostChild Sat 07-Sep-19 22:12:47

What can we learn from each other?

Oasthouse Sun 08-Sep-19 01:50:26

I am estranged from my Mother, Brother and Sister now my adult children have estranged themselves from me. I have gone through a huge amount of emotional pain, guilt and frustration....I now refuse too be a victim anymore and have accepted it is what it is and have moved on.

Starlady Sun 08-Sep-19 02:12:35

Good question, LostChild!

Oasthouse, my heart goes out to you! I think the message of moving on is an important one. Now, I'm wondering if you have any idea of why these COs (cut offs) have happened? Did one person influence the next, etc? Do you feel you've become the family scapegoat? Is it just a matter of personality clashes? Your reply may hold the key to some other posters' situations.

rosecarmel Sun 08-Sep-19 02:32:51

If you have been designated "the family scapegoat", you're not alone- smile

Oasthouse Sun 08-Sep-19 02:59:21

Goodness too long a story to tell. I'm not accountable for the estrangement from my Mother, she left when I was a baby around 6 months old and I went into the care system from 1962. When I tried to be in touch she had moved on and really wasn't interested as she had had other children. As to why BOTH my adult children have estranged themselves is a mystery, it's like a tread that runs through my life. I'm 57 now and just want too live and enjoy life....I have truly given up worrying.

LostChild Sun 08-Sep-19 10:25:28

Message deleted by Gransnet. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Sara65 Sun 08-Sep-19 12:04:54

I’m not sure we can be certain that all our memories are accurate. Lostchild, I empathise with what you’re saying, but I think sometimes we remember things differently to our parents. I’m not making excuses for my mother, just giving her the occasional benefit of the doubt.

LostChild Sun 08-Sep-19 13:46:01

Oh no Sara, I know, I didn't expect her to be perfect and I know we all get things wrong from time to time. Everything I came up with was denied and it wasn't really meant to be a list of accusations at first, more me trying to explain that I was struggling with our relationship.

To be fair, a lot of what she said and did were planned and deliberate attacks. It wasn't until I started questioning I could see that. People say hurtful things by mistake, but she would dash into my home or ounce on me when I walked into hers with it before either of us even had a chance to say hello.

Our situation is probably on the extreme on the spectrum

LostChild Sun 08-Sep-19 16:14:28

I go through these phases when I think there must be a clue out there to how I fix this, how I understand her and make everything OK. How maybe it's all my fault somehow. It's not healthy.

Sara65 Sun 08-Sep-19 16:22:05

Oh Lostchild, don’t take the blame for things that happened when you were a child, I think I may have been a difficult child, but I think I may have been very different if I was treated in a different way. I don’t like to blame my mother too much, I think she had her own demons, but nevertheless, I don’t like her, you can make up after a row, you can try and sort out problems, but if you don’t like someone, there’s nothing to be done.

rosecarmel Sun 08-Sep-19 16:33:47

My mother survived the hard parts of life via denial- When I realized that, I also realized that there wouldn't be any fixing, at least according my idea of fixing at the time- There would just be her as a person- A hurt person- A person that I no longer felt inclined to carry out ways to change her despite my desires to- The more I realized about her, the more I healed-

Sara65 Sun 08-Sep-19 16:44:13

We all have a tendency to blame ourselves Lostchild, I spent nearly forty years trying to atone for things she accused me of, at some point I had a sort of realisation that not every bad thing in her life could be down to me, and I withdrew a bit, ten years later, she pushed me too far, and with enormous relief, I decided to have nothing else to do with her ever!

LostChild Sun 08-Sep-19 18:03:56

It's hard as I have very little family left and they are long distance so I don't really get any of the "good job, I'm proud of you, I love you" that my kids get. I also don't have any of the mechanisms in place to give any of that to myself.

LostChild Sun 08-Sep-19 18:21:01

One of my daughters is autistic, she behaves exactly the way my mother described me. My dad is/was similar. I wonder if I was a hard child to bond with. Not that that excuses emotional abuse.

Smileless2012 Sun 08-Sep-19 21:39:15

"What can we learn from each other?" That not all cases of estrangement are the same.

That there are sadly AC whose only choice has been to estrange themselves for their own safety and well being.

That some P's and GP's have been estranged because of their own unacceptable behaviour.

That some P's and GP's have been estranged because of their AC's unacceptable behaviour.

Those are IMO the things we can learn, and how do we learn them? By being open minded to those that share their stories of pain and suffering. By not judging and assuming that if we are an EP and EGP all estranging AC are wrong, and if we are an estranging AC that all parents and GP's who are estranged deserve to be.

If we really want to understand estrangement and give our support for those whose lives are tarnished by it, we must stop judging those whose experience differs to ours. We need to listen.

paddyann Sun 08-Sep-19 22:10:17

Thats a very hard question ,sometimes I think if more people were willing to compromise instead of always wanting their way it wouldn't happen so much.I have a very happy ,close family but when I met my OH his father was an obnoxious man .He would leave a room when I entered it ,didn't talk to me and eventually took me aside and told me if I wanted to "take his sons name I should take his religion" The great West of Scotland bigotry at its best.My parents were a "mixed marriage so I knew a bit about outside opinions .I spoke to them and they said they couldn't care less what church we got married in as long as it was by a man of god .So we married in the Church of Scotland and I had to sign a promise to raise my children in that faith.I did .FIL was appeased.We got along although we weren't close for a very long time .Just before her died he told me he was glad his son had married me and that he couldn't have hoped for abetter wife for him.I was very touched and it made all teh walking on eggshells worthwhile .I'm not for a minute suggesting everyones issues are as easily solved as mine was ..actually it was a bit harder than it seems..but compromising on the religion I did attend was a big thing for me and it made all or lives more pleasant .Sometimes just putting your own wants /needs aside is what it takes .

Smileless2012 Sun 08-Sep-19 22:20:23

That's lovely paddyannsmile.

GG65 Sun 08-Sep-19 22:27:27

That is a really good answer Smileless.

I think that it is all too easy to project our own situations into our posts, which is understandable really.

Summerlove Sun 08-Sep-19 23:28:39

Lostchild, I’m so sorry your parents have decided that your experiences were just fantasy.

I’m sure that happens Often. Your memories are valid, and you are important

Starlady Sun 08-Sep-19 23:37:22

Oasthouse, thanks for answering me. So sorry about your mum and your childhood experience. Chances are, later, she not only "had other children" but didn't tell them she had abandoned a child. As for your AC, hope they reconcile w/ you eventually. But glad you're focusing on enjoying your life.

Excellent post, Smileless!

You know, ladies, my DD was a difficult child in some ways. Now the same is true of one of hers and she sometimes says to me, "I was difficult, too, wasn't I?" I'm honest w/ her and say, "Yes." But then, almost instinctively, I remind her of all the great things about her, and assure her that her "difficult" one has/will have great qualities, also. Maybe that's just me. But I think a truly loving mother usually wants to soothe, encourage, etc. her child - even her adult child - no matter how difficult they were when they were little. I'm not saying your mums doesn't love you, LC, just that I don't think her reaction was normal. Obviously, her other problems got in the way of being a mum and probably always did.

Sara65 Mon 09-Sep-19 06:57:25

Starlady has a good point, a lot of children are difficult in their own way, but most parents respond with love and encouragement, and as she says, reminds them of all their good qualities.
I have a granddaughter, who is, and always has been challenging, but her parents have always tried to be flexible with her, and we all show her lots of love.
We may not have been perfect children Lostchild, but the point is, we were children, and it wasn’t our responsibility to make things right.

LostChild Mon 09-Sep-19 10:36:03

It's a challenge, but I absolutely adore her, she was different from birth so I always knew she needed different parenting. I don't always get it right though. I wouldn't change her for the world, she may be ASD and face problems, but she is really smart, sweet and funny and I know she will be OK in the long term

Sara65 Mon 09-Sep-19 11:16:05

You sound like a great mum Lostchild.

Madgran77 Mon 09-Sep-19 11:55:55

Smileless If we really want to understand estrangement and give our support for those whose lives are tarnished by it, we must stop judging those whose experience differs to ours. We need to listen.

Absolutely, I agree Smileless

LostChild Mon 09-Sep-19 13:35:35

Thank you Sara. I'm trying my best, I really am. I obviously have a lot of baggage I don't want them to carry