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Coping with a long term estrangement

(24 Posts)
Still Mon 08-May-23 18:38:04

I have been estranged from my eldest son for the last 7 years. 3 years ago he restarted contact with my husband and I was hopeful that this might help with my own relationship with my son.
Today my son and 2.5 year old grandson phoned my husband to tell him about a trip out I sat quietly by but knew I couldn't say hello or that sounds exciting, it was heartbreaking to know my son was just there but out of reach.
I often try to rationalise these experiences by saying 'i have a 42 yr old son with a mental health condition, he has 2 sons who adore him, a house and a job'. but today it just didn't work.

Primrose53 Mon 08-May-23 19:18:59

That is so sad but sadly not uncommon. A former neighbour had two sons. One of them left home in his early 20s and she hardly heard from him. Then contact was completely lost as he moved house. She tried to find him for years and finally involved the Salvation Army.

They found him but he asked that his family were not told of his whereabouts and he did not want any contact. His only message was that he was well. She is now in her 80s and resigned to the fact that she will now never see him again.

It is a mystery to her as there was no falling outs or rows beforehand.

At least you still hear news via your husband but it must be very hard for you. Can your husband not try to reunite you both?

Soozikinzi Mon 08-May-23 20:36:36

I know how hard it is . Not sending any advice or wisdom. Just a hand hold. It must be a comfort to hear your grandson on the phone . It is very difficult but be assured you are not alone xx

Smileless2012 Mon 08-May-23 20:44:02

I'm so sorry Still. If you find it understandably upsetting to be in the same room as your H when your son 'phones, it might be better to make yourself scarce.

We've been estranged from our youngest son and only GC for more than 10 years, and I can only imagine how hard it must be for you to listen to your H talking to your son and GS when you're unable tooflowers.

Hithere Mon 08-May-23 20:47:57

Dup thread

crazyH Mon 08-May-23 21:10:37

Still - there are 2 threads on the same subject. You could perhaps contact HQ to delete one

Still Mon 08-May-23 21:10:44

Sorry for the dup thread - I am stil trying to work out how to take down the duplicate?

Allsorts Mon 08-May-23 21:12:31

I wish there could be higher priority on the media about the devastation of estrangement, everything from gambling to alcoholism to over eating, but nothing on estrangement, wish older children were made aware of it in school as it’s so common now.

Namsnanny Mon 08-May-23 22:04:25

I agree with your post Allsorts but I'm at a loss as to what type of education would help.

Allsorts Mon 08-May-23 22:57:06

Nansgranny, Thank you. I think that teenagers can discuss the complex relationships within families.
Primrose, chilling indeed. How could that son hate his mother so much? He was a cruel coward, the least he could have done was to give an explanation. If I was a child I would question. I can't understand how Harry became so bitter, his family love him so much.

Stillkicken Wed 06-Sep-23 12:21:25

I agree.

Stillkicken Wed 06-Sep-23 12:24:21

Its like a sick fad thats gone on too long and its damaging to families and society as well

Fethiye53 Sun 29-Oct-23 08:12:53

My son has estranged himself from me for over 15 years. Never invited me to his wedding or told me he was getting married. I have a DIL I dont know. I was devastated at first but now I think well at some point in your life you will regret what you did. Ive offered the olive branch on more than one occasion. I have been blocked on social media. My daughter &SIL are in the middle. I have had no explanation of any kind just silence. Its called abuse with isolation and ostracisation. However, there is nothing I can do about it. I push on with my own life. Tbh I wouldnt know what to do or say to him if he did show up. So Id rather he didn't now at this point. His wife is a consultant in palliative care. What a laugh at whats being done to me who has died inside many times. Even she cant be arsed contacting me. So I guess he's got the family he always wanted and not the family he's been born into. I was just a shipping crate into this world.

When he was 13 he went to live with his father who did a verbal hatchet job on me. He very nearly succeeded with my daughter. My son is nearly 44. His father died 3 years ago with pancreatic cancer.

He would have his father over for christmas dinner and I would be excluded. I would have my christmas dinner with my daughter so I wouldnt be on my own. I have no idea if I have other grandchildren and I dont ask.

Smileless2012 Sun 29-Oct-23 13:39:28

Tbh I wouldn't know what to do or say to him if he did show up. So I'd rather he didn't now at this point. I feel that way too Fethiye as we fast approach our 11th anniversary of estrangement flowers.

sparkly1000 Sun 29-Oct-23 17:17:58

Over 10 years ago my son, 28, estranged himself from myself and his two older sisters whom he had been always very close to, he lived free of charge with one for his final two years at Uni.
No reason was ever given.
10 years later his father, my ex died suddenly.
J. Travelled back 200 miles to our city.

He rang me and said he would be popping in to see me which he did the following day.

Next day the door opened “Hi mum, just popping the kettle on for a cuppa”. As if the silence of the last 10 years had never happened!

We still don’t communicate sadly but the silence was broken.

Smileless2012 Sun 29-Oct-23 17:21:38

Goodness sparkly, not sure how or if I'd have coped in that situation.

Oasthouse Tue 31-Oct-23 22:23:33

Thank you for this thread, I found the comments from Fethiye58 very profound.
In brief I had my 61st birthday on Saturday which is another date in the yearly calendar for reflection.
When I was married to my first husband I had two children, he was bordering on being misogynistic and 4 weeks after having given birth I returned to work after each baby. As I did not have ANY family support my only option was to return to work full time on night shifts which left me working all night on a busy surgical trauma ward then looking after the children, home and everything else during the day.
This went on for 16 years when stress and serious sleep deprivation led me to have a massive mental breakdown which went untreated.
The long and the short of it was that my marriage broke down and an estrangement resulted with my son and daughter now aged 31 and 33. I have not seen them in many years and any small bits of information I have about them has come via social media. Indeed my daughter emigrated about 7 years ago without a word to me.
I have a great capacity for love, compassion and kindness and how things ever came to this I just don't know. Like all the people that find themselves here I have gone through the greatest amount of pain and anguish.
That said, I have become more detached and resilient, I am not now looking for any kind of reconciliation and I value myself more than to be walked over and passed over again by them.
I wish everyone who finds themselves here as much peace in their hearts as they can possibly find.

Christian Tue 31-Oct-23 22:33:14

I sympathise with you. It's a dilemma but you have your reasons.

Allsorts Tue 31-Oct-23 22:45:22

Sparkly, didn't you ask him why? I think my reaction would be to break the habit of a lifetime and box his ears, selfish little .....
Fethiye, I wouldn't want him back.

Whiff Wed 01-Nov-23 06:54:25

Sparkly I couldn't have done what you did. If my son turned up for a cuppa . He would have been let in the door locked and key in my pocket and not allowed to leave until he explained the 3.5 years of hell he has put me through.

I had a kind loving son . Had a wonderful time with him on my birthday in 2020. Covid rules in place so didn't touch and sat apart he even talked about putting paving in my garden to make it safer for me . 4 days later he sent me a text to say he had sent me and his sister an email and not to contact him.

My kind and caring son has shown himself to be cruel and a coward as he dumped me as his mom via email said he loved me but didn't like me. My tale is on the support thread.

He would have to explain everything he said in his email and follow up letter few months later. Then put straight on all his assumptions and lies. Plus he would need to address all the things my daughter in law said about me on Reddit and trolling me on another thread on GN.

But my first question would what's my grandsons name and date of birth. I knew his 2 eldest as when I moved here I saw them every week for 7 months before Covid hit.

But in the years since only contacted him via text 3 times. First time I needed his bank details as I sold my late husband's car reg and he left it for the children in his will. He gave me them and put thank you . Why thank you never understand. Second time when I had my diagnosis of what I was born with and I was sending a copy of my neurologists letter and how to get tested if he wanted to. Heard nothing . And the third time few months ago. Had abuse back so I am done.

I will not allow him to hurt me anymore. He is still my son but I love the son I know not who he is now and love and miss my grandson's. But I will never forgive ,forget or trust my son ever again. He killed it . The love I felt for my daughter in law died with one sentence on her Reddit post. FIL died to get away from MIL. She never knew my husband. And I thought how can anyone be so wicked about a man she never knew and love my son. My husband died in agony unable to breath on full oxygen aged 47 in 2004.

I put up with a lot of crap from the pair of them for years. But don't hate them don't want or need that in my life.

Luckily I have a wonderful daughter,son in law and 2 grandson's who I see weekly.

Our children think they are perfect parents they are in for a shock. There is no such thing.

Sparkly if you can life your life without knowing why your son estranged you then I wish you well. But do you really want to live like that ?

Smileless2012 Wed 01-Nov-23 08:52:03

I have become more detached and resilient, I am not now looking for any kind of reconciliation and I value myself more than to be walked over or passed over again by them. You have described exactly how I feel Oasthouse.

When we become estranged, it's not something we ever thought possible and especially at the beginning, getting to a point where for some of us we would no longer look for or desire any kind of reconciliation, is the other thing we would never have thought possible.

Yoginimeisje Wed 01-Nov-23 09:35:26

So many sad stories flowers for all on here.

Oasthouse Wed 01-Nov-23 10:35:35

Re-reading sparkly1000's post I would literally need to be carted away in a straight jacket if my son did that to me now. He only lives about 20 miles away (I think) and I have to say every time the dog barks or the door bell rings I heart leaves my chest for a moment in hope and equally in horror.
I absolutely know as well that within months we would be back to how it was and I cannot face going back to that point and rebuilding myself again.

Smileless2012 Wed 01-Nov-23 10:53:29

That was why we moved Oasthouse. We lived about 15 doors down the road from our ES and for 4 years when I heard the garden gate opened, my heart would start pounding and there was that moment of hope and horror in equal measure.

Even though we actually moved only about 30 miles away, we could be on the other side of the world such is the peace of mind moving has given us.