It’s hard to open ears and listen when one is actively and primarily seeking validation of “their side” of the story. That puts an immediate roadblock in the way because seeing things from the other perspective is automatically deprioritised. I find this to be be the case too often. As we all can admit, estrangement doesn’t just happen out of nowhere, even if the end of the relationship felt abrupt. How can we simultaneously admit that estrangement is not something that comes out of thin air, but deny awareness of any offense we may have caused? How can it be both? I cannot reconcile these two stances. Estrangement is no light action to take. For such a heavy response to a familial relationship breakdown, how can total ignorance of the offending behavior truly exist? It just doesn’t seem likely.
I am in total agreement with all comments that point out that there are specific nuances and differences in each case. I find this subject to be one of those where it is a very slippery slope when learning from the experiences of others. It can be very insightful and help you work through feelings surrounding your own situation. However, as it has been pointed out, each situation and relationship is its own. The circumstances surrounding an individual estrangement are their own. The personalities and relationship dynamics are their own, even in those instances where there appears to be similarities. But there is always the danger of tribalism that can lead to being a barrier to reconciliation. It happens all the time. You read about someone else’s situation, which is totally different to your own, but is related to estrangement so you feel a shared sense feeling wronged. Instead of examining your individual circumstances, you lean into the tribe and the labels. We speak so specifically about the offenses of the other parties, and either gloss over or flat out never mention our own. The Us vs Them aspect then becomes the rallying call, and the individual relationships remain broken and likely to shatter for good. And I’m sure it provides a temporary comfort, but it’s a false comfort because our losses still are what they are. So while I do agree that there is absolutely some benefit to listening to how others have worked through broken relationships, in the end it all comes back to the people directly in the relationships. One or both have to be willing to accept that the way you have treated someone or behaved toward them was unacceptable to that person, even if you disagree on how your behavior should have been perceived.
Unrelated to my comments above, I also caution dismissing one offspring’s (or parent’s) concerns just because others did not agree with the estranger’s recollections. It’s positively absurd to ignore the fact that one person’s experiences with parents (or their child) can and often are quite different even in the same household.