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Trying to cope with a long term estrangement

(32 Posts)
Still Mon 08-May-23 18:41:57

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.

Smileless2012 Fri 02-Jun-23 11:58:25

Yes it would be strange Still. It's been almost 10.5 years for us and although I used to wonder what it would be like to come face to face, I just hope it never happens and am as certain as I can be that it wont.

VioletSky Fri 02-Jun-23 12:07:24

I think it's a combination of nature and nurture

We know through research into ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) that a person's childhood has an impact on their chances of triggering natural types of mental illness or addiction.

For me, the most important factor in parenting is that we all make mistakes, every single one of us and many parents out there suffer their own ACEs or their own mental health issues

But blame is different and family disputes or estrangements aren't always due to blame

I think it is only true or right to blame someone in walking away from them if they are the type of person who refuses to be accountable, apologise or make changes to their behaviour for the sake of the relationship.

Some family breakdowns happen without blame, because the other family member is ill or addicted and it was needed to walk away to protect someone's mental or physical health so that they can take care of the people dependant on them.

Which means accountability is different to blame

So many relationships can be saved

I'm a big believer in therapy and counselling for families but it's also possible for those who are able to take that accountability and really talk to actually heal together as a unit and come out stronger in the end

Pjcpjc77 Fri 02-Jun-23 19:46:40

So sorry to hear about your estrangement.
I know first hand how heartbraking this is.
When I left my 37 year marriage twelve years ago my drug addicted son said he never wanted to see me again and wished me dead. To be honest it was mainly him and his verbal and threatening abuse I was running from. Up until this year I always feared he would find me and harm me. Now I feel much stronger and would have no qualms about calling the police if he contacted me in any way at all.
To add to this last year for the first time in my life I stood up to my daughter about the awful way she treats her children. My only regret is sending it in a txt message and not to her face. She's a narcissistic bully and my heart breaks for my grand children which of course I am strictly forbidden from seeing anymore.
In truth my daughter is just as bad a person as my son.
My ex husband and I were what I consider to be good parents, we didn't drink alcohol, we didn't go out of a night. We both worked extremely hard to give our children the best childhood we could.
I know who turned my son to drug's and ruined his life and our family.
My daughter I can only presume when she left home at 18 was clearly affected by our son's constant aggressive drug fuelled aggression and her father did what he always did best...buried his head in the sand and say and do nothing, whilst I spent days and nights looking for advice and help and searching the streets for our son.
One day my grandchildren will be able to visit me without having to ask my daughter's permission I just hope and pray God let's me live long enough to see that day.

Wyllow3 Fri 02-Jun-23 19:55:19

It would feel strange - they get older and being a Dad changes people - but I just so hope you ge the chance. dont give up: let the contact with DH continue - and him not to say anything about the situation is my advice except to give DS any bits of news in a low key way not making a big thing of it.

As I've said upthread, my Ex had a PD and pushing a situation ends up in the opposite direction than wanted. Obvs as a wife I couldn't tolerate the shouting and blaming and other abusive elements nor having to behave in certain ways to keep the peace, (which was crushing) but he's your son and it's a very different situation. The very fact he keeps a marriage together and is in contact with your DH gives some reason for hope.

Smileless2012 Fri 02-Jun-23 21:33:54

Pjcpjc so much pain and heartbreak in your post and most of all courage flowers.

Pjcpjc77 Fri 02-Jun-23 22:30:24

Thank you for your kind words.