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Repairing estrangement

(236 Posts)
Allsorts Mon 07-Feb-22 06:36:32

Another sleepless night, I don’t see my daughter and family. I love them so much but they don’t feel the same, I was reading articles by Dr Coleman and others who are experts in estrangement and they say you should think about writing a letter apologising and taking responsibility for causing the estrangement. My daughter has blocked me, said she can’t stand me, I was accused of things I hadn’t done but obviously she sees it differently, said they are all happier without me. In the past I have reached out said I love her, sent a card saying I would love to make up and talk, that I’m sorry for how things are between us but never apologised for anything specific because I never knew what I had done, I must have done something, that I over worry and over think sometimes which must be so irritating.In my heart I know she never wants to see me as she never does with anyone that upsets her. She is the most generous and loving person if she cares for you, has lots of friends and a good full life, that’s the person I remember her being before she disliked me. So all this means more to me than her.
Does anyone know if it could help, a letter apologising for hurting her, or is it going to be taken as intruding on her space and guilt tripping her. If you love someone who doesn’t love you should you just let them be.

FannyCornforth Mon 07-Feb-22 06:41:25

Oh Allsorts how heartbreaking for you. I’m so sorry that you are going through this. I have no advice as such, but you are in my thoughts thanks

VioletSky Mon 07-Feb-22 08:01:33

Allsorts I don't think apologising would work if you don't understand or agree with what you are apologising for.

It might open a door but it would be a door to a conversation about her experiences and perceptions of events and unless you are able to meet her at least half way I don't think you would get anywhere.

As much as she could remember things more negatively than they were, you could be remembering them more positively than they were.

You would need to make yourself vulnerable and completely lower your defences and listen, she would need to do the same. The difference is, her defence is estrangement and she knows that. You need to find where your defences are to lower them and reach out from an honest place of understanding.

Have you tried counselling?

Allsorts Mon 07-Feb-22 09:32:07

Violet I found your reply very patronising and judgemental. Did you read what I had said. If I don’t know the problem, am I supposed to make something up? I am vulnerable already ir I woukdnt be reaching out. I am willing to take all the blame when I know what I’ve done. My pride is nothing compared to reuniting. Please do not respond to my posts. I feel bad enough. I won’t read them. I made a mistake posting.

Bridie22 Mon 07-Feb-22 09:43:18 did NOT make a mistake posting, my heart goes out to you, im in exactly the same situation as you and I really don't know what the answer is, but would welcome posts from those who have experienced this situation and if they managed to heal their estrangement.
Please feel free to PM me anytime ?

Sara1954 Mon 07-Feb-22 10:02:06

I can tell how upset you are feeling, but I don’t rhink

DerbyshireLass Mon 07-Feb-22 10:02:47

Allsorts. You were not wrong to post.

Clearly you are in great emotional pain and whilst I have no constructive advice I just wanted to send you my best wishes.

Not knowing where you have "*gone wrong" is a particular kind of torment. Maybe one day you will get answers, maybe you will never get to the bottom to the root cause of your estrangement, especially if your daughter refuses point blank to even discuss things with you.


Sara1954 Mon 07-Feb-22 10:15:44

Sorry, pressed button by accident!
I’ll be back later

Sara1954 Mon 07-Feb-22 10:39:13

I just wanted to say, I think you are being a bit harsh on Violet, I think she offers sound advice, a lot can be learned from looking at the other point of view.

Bibbity Mon 07-Feb-22 10:52:43

You say that you don't know what you have done. But also mentioned this

I was accused of things I hadn’t done but obviously she sees it differently

So she has tried to communicate some grievances.

I think also agree with Sara regarding your response to ViloetSky. What she said seemed very measured and fair.
There is no quick fix here that can be offered.

Dibbydod Mon 07-Feb-22 11:18:40

Allsorts. My daughter decided to stop speaking to me 18 months ago , not really knowing the reasons why , and I’ve broke my heart over it so many times , trying to understand the reasons why because all I know that I feel I’ve been a pretty good mum , I’m not perfect, but then no one is .
That said, after buying her a beautiful birthday present with no reply , then I’d decided in writing a lovely little note , but still no reply , then last Christmas I’d wrote a beautiful personal poem on the card I’d send her , also along with a two page heartfelt letter , saying that I love & miss her terribly, that I’m sorry if I’d upset her ( even though I don’t know what it’s all about ) asking if she could talk to me to sort things out the problems she has with me , I wrote that short letter from the bottom of my heart , I did think that as it were Christmas that she would ‘ soften ‘ — but I were very wrong ? .

So, this year I decided to let it all go ,to put it all behind me best that I can , as I’ve had enough hurt & heartache as also lost my long term partner , to last me a lifetime . I decided I can’t change the past , that I can’t change how my daughter feels about me , that nothing in the world can change things , so , need , for my own sanity , to let go and move on . The last few words in the note I’d sent my daughter was “ my door is always open “ , I can’t do anymore than that .

When this first happened to myself, I thought I were the only one this happened to, as in my family we were brought up to talk things through , and to be there for one another . But being on GN and reading posts about estrangement has helped me so very much knowing that I’m not alone in this heartbreaking situation. I love my daughter dearly , I have always tried to be the best mum that I can , we had always been good friends and been there for one another ,she is a good decent person in a good job , so why she has estranged herself from me I will never know , only she has the answer to that . But , as I’d said , I need to put it all behind me now and make a life for myself as all the hurt has brought me down for long enough .

Elless Mon 07-Feb-22 11:31:03

Allsorts I sent many letters to my ES to find out what 'I had done' but did not receive replies to any of them. My ES only lives up the lane from me and it's torture seeing him walking past. I've shouted out to him when I've seen him asking can we talk but he ignores me. I was out walking our dog last year and literally walked into him, we stood and talked for over an hour with me sobbing the whole time. I did find out that the problem was not me but my Husband and but my Son has continued to estrange me. I really don't think a letter will make any difference unfortunately, it will be age and maturity that will make her see sense.

Jane43 Mon 07-Feb-22 11:42:40

Think very carefully about writing a letter. I wrote my granddaughter a letter which she ridiculed on FaceBook and twisted the content to make me look bad. This may not happen to you and I hope it doesn’t but bear in mind the implications of writing a letter. Perhaps you could arrange a meeting with an intermediary present?

Jane43 Mon 07-Feb-22 11:46:24

Elless How terrible for you, it is bad enough to be estranged from two granddaughters but to be estranged from a child must be heartbreaking. I hope time will heal the rift between you and your son.

Dabi Mon 07-Feb-22 11:49:29

Allsorts Your last sentence had the answer. flowers

crazyH Mon 07-Feb-22 11:54:19

I think you should write her a letter. If she is determined to stay estranged, there’s not a lot you can do. But at least you have apologised for whatever you are supposed to have done.Tell her you love her unconditionally. Lots of us have been on the brink of ‘estrangement’. I know I have. The relationship between my middle son and myself is hanging by a thread. I really feel for you Allsorts flowers

Chewbacca Mon 07-Feb-22 12:04:10

You would need to make yourself vulnerable and completely lower your defences and listen, she would need to do the same.

It doesn't seem to me that Allsorts could possibly be any more vulnerable than she already is. She's already said that she's written to her daughter and asked for an opportunity to talk about what has caused the upset but, with no response, it will be somewhat difficult for her to completely lower her defences and listen; nothing is being said for her to listen to. Without some feedback or information from her daughter as to what transgressions she's made how can heartfelt apologies be made and reparation take place? An open conversation has to come from both sides and if one side is resolutely not engaging, it's nigh on impossible for Allsorts to resolve this on her own.

Is there anyone, a family member or friend perhaps, who knows you both and can shine any light on what triggered the estrangment Allsorts? At least that might help you to discover what it is that you need to be apologising for.

Soozikinzi Mon 07-Feb-22 12:15:46

Allsorts I do hope you're reading all these messages of support. All of us on here who have experienced this do understand how difficult it is. I agree with Chewbacca that if possible try to get a mediator of some sorts to establish how the future relationship is going to be . We did this with our ES. There's no point raking over things . All parents make mistakes none of us are perfect . Just set out future arrangements. If its just family occasions with others present then so be it . Just hoping you can find a way forward.

Elizabeth27 Mon 07-Feb-22 12:52:22

I am estranged from some of my family members, they are just people I do not like and have done nothing specific. Just because they are related does not mean I have to like them.

If one of them sent me a letter I would just ignore it as I have already made my decision that I want no contact. If they persisted it would make me angry.

This is just my case I am in no way commenting on your situation not knowing why they are estranged from you.

Elless Mon 07-Feb-22 13:06:44

Thank you Jane43
Allsorts When I wrote to my son I said to think about how much he loves his son and to remember that no matter what - that is how much I love him, if my Mum had said that to me I know it would have made me think.

Hithere Mon 07-Feb-22 13:11:01

All sorts

Your dd's experiences are her reality, despite how you view them.

A letter of apology must address the reason why the damage is done and promise not to have the same mistake again

Sending a blank apology letter now may make everything worse, as the elephant is still in the room, ignored

Your reaction to VS in this board - is this how you normally address things in real life?
That could make things worse, big time

Sara1954 Mon 07-Feb-22 13:15:16

Elizabeth 27
I feel exactly the same, I am estranged from my mother, my decision was made twenty years ago. and I have never regretted it.
Its extremely unlikely, but if she did attempt to contact me, I would ignore it.
I don’t really think any good can come from letter writing, or trying to contact in any way.

VioletSky Mon 07-Feb-22 13:25:24

Allsorts my comment was said in kindness and I was genuinely trying to help.

I'm sorry I upset you

Chewbacca Mon 07-Feb-22 13:55:39

Sending a blank apology letter now may make everything worse, as the elephant is still in the room, ignored

I repeat: how can Allsorts apologise, by letter or any other means, if she hasn't been told what she's done wrong? If there's an "elephant in the room" it must have an identity but until its identified, how on earth can it be addressed?

Your dd's experiences are her reality, despite how you view them.

But what are those experiences? They may well be dd's "reality" but until Allsorts is made aware of what they are she can't "view them" with any clarity. Hithere you seem to be assuming that Allsorts is actually aware of the root cause of the problem and is in some state of denial? You really can't make any assumptions of what triggered the situation unless you're privy to it.

Hithere Mon 07-Feb-22 14:01:11

Those experiences are key and could explain the reasons why

Allsorts denying they happened is adding wood to the fire

It is not rocket science, it is actually very simple.