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Estrangement

*SUPPORT* for all who are living with estrangement

(317 Posts)
Namsnanny Mon 30-Sep-19 23:11:33

Hope I'm not posting out of turn, but I noticed the other thread had reached 1000!

Namsnanny Tue 01-Oct-19 00:02:08

Summerlove, agnurse, Cherries, Dolcelatte, Hugshelp Smileless Pantglas, starlady loveOc Peonyrose and all of us here

Do you think it is possible we could all come to a consensus that the Support thread be left out of any discussions about the does and dont's or the rights and wrongs of estrangement please?

Keep it as a SAFE place where people can RELY on support for the feelings and emotions they are going through, and sharing with us on line?

Start any number of threads to accommodate views and discussions of course!

Any one else like to put forward their views?

Smileless2012 Tue 01-Oct-19 09:46:05

Hi Namsnanny, well done for starting a new support threadsmile.

When I first joined GN the estrangement thread was in the AIBU forum and used to attract some really negative and at times unpleasant comments. On at least one occasion, an entire thread was deleted due to the unpleasantness.

GNHQ then moved it to the Relationships forum which made sense and although there were still negative comments, there didn't seem to be as many.

GNHQ's decision to create an estrangement forum was IMO an excellent idea. Separate threads have been started to discuss and share different aspects of estrangement, some by EP's/GP's and some by EAC and I think this is working really well.

I like the way you have put support in upper case, emphasising the role of this thread. So many are affected by estrangement;P's, GP's, EAC, siblings, GGP's, aunts, uncles, cousins and long standing family friends, anyone of them maybe looking for some support and understanding.

It would be great for the support thread to be known as a safe place, where anyone can post in the knowledge that they can rely on finding support here, regardless of their experience of estrangement.

Now estrangement has its own forum, with other informative and interesting threads to take part in, it may well be possible to preserve this one and enable those who post here to give and receive support, and feel safe.

I sincerely hope so.

crazyH Tue 01-Oct-19 10:09:46

Thanks Namsnanny for extending this "support" thread. I had such comfort and support from here, when I faced enormous difficulties with one son, a couple of years ago. Although not estranged as such, he continues to cause so much aggro in the family, especially with me and his sister. But for the sake of his 2 adorable little girls, I keep the peace.
Thinking of all of you who are estranged or living in fear of it. Much love xx

Smileless2012 Tue 01-Oct-19 10:38:19

crazysmile.

It was more than a year ago that we last drove into the village where we used to live and drove past ES's house love0c. I felt physically sick and had a panic attack so it's unlikely I'll be doing that again.

An idea worth thinking about for others, but sadly not for me.

love0c Tue 01-Oct-19 12:19:24

Smileless - Utterley dreadful isn't it? I too have suffered with panic attacks. Fortunateley I have found a way to' breathe' out of it. A friend of mine said a panic attack is the true sure sign of caring.

MacCavity2 Tue 01-Oct-19 16:24:34

Having given up on past threads due to nasty comments I hope this will be a support for people in this dreadful situation. I have said in the past “why cut us when we are already bleeding.” I will watch this with interest and live in hope of this actually being supportive.

Madgran77 Tue 01-Oct-19 18:27:25

I have noticed that since HQ created an "Estrangement" section, more threads have been started on different aspects of estrangement. I think this is really good and hopefully means that this thread can keep its key purpose of providing support. Fingers crossed

Dolcelatte Wed 02-Oct-19 07:03:33

Thanks for the new thread Namsnanny. I totally agree that this should be a safe place for everybody to give and gain support where needed.

I had a long conversation with DD yesterday, interestingly when she was away from the house (SIL). She was very open and chatting about her life and the baby and baby to be and actually sounded quite vulnerable. She is scared she might need another Caesarean. She was talking to me as she used to and we ended with 'Love you'. She has made a friend at the toddler group which she and DGD1 have just joined, which she was pleased about as she said she and SIL haven't made any friends since she moved. I am relieved that she has someone whom she can hopefully spend time with and talk to, so she will be less isolated.

We didn't speak about the cutting off and I managed to just make the right noises about wanting to be supportive and expressing my admiration for DGD1. Actually, they weren't noises, they were genuine. And you know, as we spoke, all the hurt and anger just melted and floated away on a big black cloud. My only feelings now are of love and wanting to be there for her and the DGC. She asked if she could call again in a couple of days.

This is a positive post in that I now regard the estrangement as ended, but not the journey. I have no doubt that there will be some choppy waters ahead, especially with SIL and the meeting of GDDs and other DGPs. So I hope that you will not mind if I stay on this thread, even though I may post less often. You have all been an invaluable support to me over these last turbulent weeks and I hope that I may be able to help others in some small way, as you have helped me.

Pantglas2 Wed 02-Oct-19 07:14:24

Oh Dolcelatte how lovely!

What a pleasure to hear that you’re slowly finding your way back to some sort of ‘normal’ - I can remember those early days and how much joy it brings just to have little chats like that!

Even though I’m further along the road I still find it therapeutic to dip into these threads - to help me see that I’m not alone and share my experience to others who are still struggling. If we can give some hope to them that has to be a good thing doesn’t it?

CassieJ Wed 02-Oct-19 09:41:48

It will be a year next month since I last saw my son and his family. It is very hard living / dealing with this. I am not sure how it can ever be resolved.
It is good to have this support thread. Thank you, at least I know I am not alone.

Starblaze Wed 02-Oct-19 11:08:25

Hope everyone is having a lovely day. I've achieved so much since the end of the awful relationship with my NM. Yet I have such an awful negative inner voice from my childhood. Its amazing how you can still hear someone you haven't seen for years. It's a daily battle to be able to accept a compliment or just be proud of myself. Isn't it odd that I could only be the daughter she said she wanted without actually being around her.

Starlady Wed 02-Oct-19 13:32:15

Thanks for starting the new thread, Nams! I agree that it should just be for support, period - the comforting kind. There are plenty of other threads for discussing the whys and wherefores of estrangement.

Starlady Wed 02-Oct-19 13:40:36

Dolce, how wonderful! I think you're wise, though, to realize there may still be some "choppy waters" ahead. Hope you and DD manage to navigate them all.

I don't see why anyone would mind your staying on this thread. If I can be here, even though I'm not estranged at the moment, then certainly you can. And, as you say, you may be able to help others w/ the benefit of your experience.

Cassie, my heart aches for you. I don't think I know your story, but I know estrangement is often painful, regardless. I'm glad you find comfort in the support here.

Starblaze, I feel for you, too. How can a mother do this to her child? I'm so sorry to hear about that "negative inner voice." I hope it helps to reach out here. Perhaps counseling would help, as well? Have you tried it?

Starlady Wed 02-Oct-19 13:51:18

BTW, Dolce, I just went back and read your latest posts in the other thread, and I think it is beautiful the way you can articulate your very deep feelings. Thank you for being so open w/ us. Also, I think it might help, eventually, someone else who isn't so talented at expressing what they are going through.

Smileless2012 Wed 02-Oct-19 16:38:58

I'd miss you if you stopped popping on to post Dolcelatte. Your honesty is inspirational as is the journey that you and your D are now on.

All relationships face choppy waters from time to time and because of all that you've been through, you and she can draw on your experiences and the strength that it's taken you both to come this far.

Cassieflowersthe first anniversary of estrangement is the hardest, as is the first birthday (yours, his and your GC's) and the first Christmas. So many painful hurdles to overcome. A year seems such a long time and yet, there will be days when it feels like only yesterday that your son and his family were a part of your life.

It will be 7 years for us next month and I can hardly believe it's been so long; it was another life.

Starblaze having come so far is something to be proud of so try and remember that when you are given the compliments that you are so deserving of.

Try and drown out that inner negative voice with an inner positive voice of your own and see yourself as those who love you, want you and need you in their lives see you.

Think of them as mirrors, who reflect the real you, the person you are and not the person your mother made you believe you were.

You are the daughter your mother said she wanted, she just wouldn't allow you to be that daughter. She's thrown away so much. I hope you don't mind my saying so but there's a part of me that feels sorry for her, as there's a part of me that feels sorry for our ES, because he too has thrown away so muchsad.

As you show over and over again Starlady you don't have to be estranged to support those who need it on this thread.

Starblaze Wed 02-Oct-19 17:44:50

Thankyou ladies, I didn't expect to get such a lovely welcome here. I have been to counselling, it's just having something to celebrate or being liked and welcomed by people just overwhelms me because I can't see myself as being likeable or valuable sometimes. I am working on it, it seems to be the final hurdle. People are determined to prove it to me and I don't want to express these feelings to them when they are being so kind. So I needed to let it out somewhere safe.

I am sorry for everyone who is touched by estrangement. I am sorry my NM is missing out and I can't share my achievements with her. It's awful when families come apart but we can all create our own family, it doesn't have to be blood. It's just somewhere we are loved and wanted x

love0c Wed 02-Oct-19 19:57:03

Yes Starblaze - to be' loved and wanted' .That is all any of us want.

Smileless2012 Wed 02-Oct-19 23:53:50

Amen to that love0csmile

Dolcelatte Thu 03-Oct-19 07:28:54

Thank you for all of your kind comments, which are very much appreciated.

Welcome, Starblaze. I am so pleased to see posts from the opposite perspective and I think it will be really helpful to posters on here, the majority who are parents estranged from their adult children. Hopefully, we can also show you that you are a lovely and valuable person, and restore your faith a little, both in yourself and in general. Could you regard us as a bunch of trusted aunts whom you can rely upon to be a collective shoulder to cry on or maybe to let you have our advice (if you subscribe to the view 'older and wiser' grin). Anyway, as you have already discovered, we are for the most part a kindly bunch, all dealing with our individual situations and, as the saying goes, 'A problem shared is a problem halved' - or something along those lines. flowers

hugshelp Sat 05-Oct-19 12:22:01

thank you for the new thread *Namsnanny - I too hope we can keep it for support.
love0c and smileless - I had never known panic attacks until our son become estranged, now I live with them far too often.
CassieJ - the anniversary's are so hard. Almost on our 4th one now and I just can't believe it. Our ES wanted to take a break from us for 'a few weeks'. I don't think he even remembers the things he said then and the promises he made about getting in touch, 'when I'm ready, probably by the New year at latest'
Started making a few plans for Christmas and I can't believe another one will go by when we don't see him and aren't allowed to send even a card.
Your news sounds wonderful Dolcelatte, I am so happy for you.
It's just somewhere we are loved and wanted - a very moving post starblaze

Smileless2012 Sat 05-Oct-19 12:45:24

I had a moment of panic yesterday.

Mr. S. was visiting his mum at her nursing home and on his way out he literally walked into our ES's m.i.l.shock.

They said hello, she asked if he was visiting his mum and said she was visiting a friend. She asked him if he was well and if we were still living where we'd moved too and then, asked him for a hug!!!

He's such a sweet heart that he hugged her briefly and she reciprocated.

For some time Mr. S. used to vent about our ES's wife's parents, so hard for us knowing that they were seeing the GC we weren't allowed to see, but I told him over and over again that it wasn't their fault, that I doubted they'd believe we deserved to be treated this way, and that at least we were free from her and her cruel games.

They've been cut out on several occasions and no doubt that was a fear they lived with constantly. They would be walking on egg shells and trying to maintain their relationship with her and ours and their GC; a relationship with the GC that was already established so for that reason, had more to lose than we'd ever lost.

But still, a hug!!

I suppose is proves what I've always believed that she at least, never believed the lies or agreed with the way we've been treated.

When he told me what had happened, I panicked. Not because of him seeing my former friend (we were friends before our ES and her D met), but because all of a sudden and out of the blue there was a link, all be it a tenuous one, a link to our ES.

My thoughts momentarily went out of control; will she tell them of just him? What if he decides to get in touch? Fear gripped my heart, fear that he might get in touch.

I love him and from time to time I miss him but not very often. After almost 7 years there is no dream, no romantic vision that we could reconcile, just a fear that it might happen and he'd do it again succeeding second time around what he failed to do the first time; destroy me.

Common sense prevailed and I saw my irrational thoughts for what they were. It's hardly conceivable after so long that he would get in touch, and if he did we can say firmly and without malice that we should leave things as they are; him living his life without us and we living our lives without him.

Starblaze Sat 05-Oct-19 16:26:16

Situations like that are bound to be stressful Smileless2012. I ran into my NM once, she pretended not to see me and walked back the way she came.

Dolcelatte Thankyou, I'm not sure it is the opposite perspective, just that some are right and just to cut off an abusive family member. I am sure there are parents forced to cut off a child too. I don't feel like it was a choice for me, I really was forced for my own sanity and to have the ability to live as I need for my children and my loved ones. I was in so much of a mess because of it all I had a breakdown. It was a moment I was forced to sink or swim. I really appreciate everything you said and I am so glad your heart is mending. I am also glad yours is Smileless2012 and I understand the need to try and rationalise it to yourself to convince yourself it is allowed to move on with life. You are though. We only get one chance at this, you have to find every bit of happiness you can and share it with those around you.

Minty Sat 05-Oct-19 16:46:13

www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1186632/grandparents-day-esther-ranzten-family-estrangement-news?fbclid=IwAR0KJGSL2VLCyLgCQmqBBd_gfcnba1Q1HQrVUBHeWpkszj8xz6Pg75AYguI

Smileless2012 Sat 05-Oct-19 16:53:14

Thanks for the link Mintysmile.