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Estrangement

Friendship,advice and support if estrangement has affected your life.

(1000 Posts)
Whiff Sat 29-Jan-22 04:32:33

This thread is for parents and grandparents who have been estranged by their children and / or grandchildren. Parents and grandparents that looks like they will be estranged by their children and / or grandchildren. Also parents and grandparents that have reconciled with their children and/or grandchildren.

But anyone who has any insight into estrangement that can offer friendship,advice, support and understanding are welcome.

PetitFromage Sat 29-Jan-22 05:46:40

Well done, Whiff, for starting this thread, which I know will bring a lot of comfort and support to many.

My DGS was born safely six days ago and his middle name is after my DH, who died nearly 15 months ago, which I am happy about. I have had FaceTime calls and messages with my DD (and DGS!), which have been normal and loving. However, SIL doesn't want me to visit or meet baby, which is disappointing. I am not pushing for a visit, as it will make my DD stressed, and escalate the situation. At least she and DGS are safe and well.

So that's my news. How is everyone else doing?

Whiff Sat 29-Jan-22 07:03:24

PetitFromage wonderful news about the safe arrival of your grandson. My eldest grandson has my husband's name as his middle name. At least you have seen him and your daughter. Hopefully you will have lots of facetime and messages . Glad to see you back.

Pantglas2 Sat 29-Jan-22 07:14:01

Hello Whiff and thank you for starting this thread which I hope will be as helpful to those in various stages of estrangement as similar threads previously.

Lovely to hear your news PetitFromage - a baby always brings smiles with it 😊 and I hope you get to meet the little chap who bears your late DHs name soon!

I’m one who has been through the mill and come out the other side with regards to estrangement in that DD and I have been happily reconciled for ten years, so things can change!

Kind thoughts to all who come to share their experiences here - you’re stronger than you think, wiser than you know and CAN be happier than you realise at the moment x

Whiff Sat 29-Jan-22 08:38:59

Plantglas2 that's lovely to hear you are reconciled with your daughter. It's good to have a balanced view. That's why the support thread is so important to me. Without the other one I don't know where I would have turned for help.

I didn't even know it was called estrangement. When my son decided he no longer wanted or needed his mom in his or his families life. I googled children who disown their parents and found out it was called that.

I had been a member of GN since 2019 and read the support thread. But didn't feel confident enough to post . So sent Smiles PMs it took me 3 to get my story out as I cried that much couldn't see the keys. She replied ever time and helped me. Eventually I plucked up the courage to post openly and so glad I did. The help, support, understanding and friendship I have received has helped me to cope with losing my son and 3 grandson's.

My son has cut all ties with all our family . His sister has washed her hands of him. My brother gets angry. Friends are either childless or have a happy relationship with their children. The support thread was the only place where I didn't feel alone.

My hope is the old hands will post again and welcome new posters like you. Want this to be a safe place for people to come and find they are not alone . And will feel they can share as much or as little of their stories .

Iam64 Sat 29-Jan-22 08:54:52

Good new headline and description of this thread Whiff. Hope it goes well

Whiff Sat 29-Jan-22 09:04:48

Iam64 💐

Smileless2012 Sat 29-Jan-22 09:25:47

Great thread title and OP Whiff; you're a starsmileflowers.

A thread for support, advice and friendship for anyone dealing with estrangement is so important and it will be great to see all of our friends chatting away again, sharing the good and the bad with one another.

Wonderful news about your new GS PF. You must be relieved that mum and baby are doing well, and I'm so pleased that you've had some loving and normal chats with your D and face time with your GD's.

Hopefully a visit will come in time and at least you have this contact in the mean time.

It's lovely to see your post Pantglas so that posters can be reminded that reconciliations can happen and succeed. For someone like me, who has no hope or desire, it's still good to hear from others like you and PF that some of these broken relationships can be and are repaired.

For now the strong winds have ceased here, but it was a very noisy and windy night last night which had me waking up several times. Our little poodle was very reluctant to get out of bed this morning, no doubt listening to the wind and not fancying going out for a walk; can't say I blame him.

DerbyshireLass Sat 29-Jan-22 11:01:57

Good morning everyone.

A very big thank you to Whiff for starting this new thread, sadly there is definitely a need for such a thread. The previous one was a lifeline for me in my hour of need. I hope to post occasionally so that I can offer the same support, encouragement and friendship that I received when my life was at its lowest ebb.

PF. Congratulations on the safe arrival of your grandson, I am so pleased that you have managed to have some face time with your DD and GS. 🤞 here's hoping that you get to see them soon.

Pantglas - so lovely to hear that you have "come out the other side" and are now reconciled with your DD. That is wonderful news. Smileless is right, your experience gives me hope.

Well I'm still in no man's land, sort of semi estranged, having to be content with a few crumbs now and then, interspersed with periods of sIlent treatment. It is what it is and I wont bore you all to death with all the unpleasant details.

Every new year I chose a word or phrase for inspiration, this year I have chosen "radical transformation". It is exactly what it says on the tin. My intention is to put all the grief, pain and loss behind me (I am a widow of 7 years standing) and my Master Plan is to build myself a new life, one that is radically different from the old one.

I have three main objectives this year. Move house, lose weight, get fit and healthy.

i have made a start.....had an Estate Agent round the other day. Have given my builder/handyman a list of jobs, a few final tweaks to get the house market ready, I have made a start on improving my diet, am getting more sleep and rest and have started exercising again.

I have a small mountain to climb but I will stick to the plan and I will get there. If my son and DIL want to join me on my journey then great, if not then I will just concentrate on the people who do want me and love me and want to be in my life.

I've no idea what the future holds but I will face it with an open mind and courage in my heart. I will take a few risks and a giant leap of faith.

Scary stuff but at least it gets the old adrenaline up and running again. 😁. No more drifting in the doldrums, time to hoist sail and head for new horizons,

I think that's enough sea faring metaphors for one morning, 😂🤣

Purplepixie Sat 29-Jan-22 11:09:11

Thank you Whiff for starting this thread.

Great news PetitFromage - I hope you get to meet soon. I would be chuffed with a zoom meeting but they didnt take up my offer.

I have also relied on this thread greatly over the past few months. Catch up soon. Crochet T shirt tops to make.

Chewbacca Sat 29-Jan-22 11:09:25

Excellent thread title Whiff!
Many congratulations to you on the birth of your new grandchild Petitfromage.

Bridie22 Sat 29-Jan-22 11:11:47

Thank you Whiff for starting a new thread...always needed in our situations for support and advice, good to see posters returning.💐

Purplepixie Sat 29-Jan-22 11:13:53

Wow! DerbyshireLass you sound so positive - I think I need some of that. I need to loss weight and get fit and healthy and the only person to do that is me. DH is busy with his car stuff and never puts on an ounce of weight. No word from my eldest son after the phone call from hell on 20th December. Not seen or spoken to my daughter for 7 plus years. But my youngest son is such a joy to have. I need to now concentrate on the people who love and want me around. You are so right. Have a lovely weekend. Back to the crochet hook………

Smileless2012 Sat 29-Jan-22 11:17:17

Hi DSL these threads have been a life line for so many, it's great to have it back again.

Well you've certainly got 2022 off to a flying startsmile.

I'll be glad to put this month behind me, it's been pretty crap one way and another and like you, I want to lose some weight and get back into my exercise regime again. Only done one session this monthblushand I'm sure that's why I'm feeling sluggish and still haven't managed to locate my 'get up and go'.

You have such a good attitude which has and no doubt will continue to serve you well. No man's land is not where anyone wants to be, but accepting that is where you are and there's nothing you can do about is the only way forward.

A picture came into my mind when I read your post, of us all tied together, helping and supporting one another as we climb our own mountains of various sizes and rugged terrain.

It's good to know that if when any of us slip or stumble we'll never fall, because we have one another for support.

Granniesunite Sat 29-Jan-22 11:44:17

Whiff So good to see this thread this morning thanks so much for starting it. 💐I’ve missed hearing how you are all doing and how strong you are in this living nightmare we are all caught up in, be good to catch up with old friends and I’m sure new ones will be around the corner.

A new baby a new beginningPF hope it works out but you are right not to push. When you have a very confrontational individual involved with family it’s hellish. I’m sure you take hope from Pantglasand her story. I know I do.

Smileless I’m a bit like your poodle it’s blowing a hoolie here and I’m hunkering down for the day and thinking I should take a leaf out of DL book and look to my diet and fitness. I’ll have a good long think about that.

A wee update re my own story. My daughter is estranged from her beautiful girl - caused by divorced- so by default our whole family are too. But my girl is strong and over the years has educated herself about her ex husbands personality and has taken advice about how best she can continue some form of contact with her child.
Slowly very slowly technology has played a beautiful part in helping her do this. My granddaughter is getting older now of course and recently a wee chink of light can be seen at the end of the tunnel.

If you pray folks will you say one and if not will you send good vibes out into the universe for them.

My daughters ex is a very confrontational character and has undermined my daughter constantly . The damage he has caused is very deep.

Grandmabatty Sat 29-Jan-22 11:48:36

Petitfromage congratulations on the birth of your dgs. If you have posted about your dd and sil on Mumsnet, I think I recognise your posts. You are a very kind, long suffering mum and gran. 💐

Whiff Sat 29-Jan-22 13:52:58

Lovely to see so many old friends. Smiles you made me laugh mind would have to be a mole hill at the moment. My left leg has cellulitis so on antibiotics since yesterday.

DerbyshireLass funny enough after I had no one dependent on me anymore. I had to decide what I wanted to do with my life . This was in 2017. Only 3 things. Move house,lose weight and get fit. Well I moved bungalow all finished. Still fighting to get rid of the last stone and half . And having fun at my exercise class . Mind you my left arm felt it the day after . We had to use 1kg weights for the arm exercises.

That's one thing about the past it's gone. Present and future is what you want it to be or be it a bumpy road to get there. Some bumps you can get over ,some go round , flatten some and unfortunately some will always be there. So you can choice to live with those bumps the best way you can. And be true to yourself.

We all have had to do some reflexing over our lives or is it just me. But I know who I am and what kind of a mom,grandmother and mother in law I am. And I can't be bad as my daughter and son in law trust me alone with my grandson's. And to keep them safe.

Something my son and daughter in law never did.

Purplepixie you are so right we need to concentrate on those who love and care for us and who we love and care for.

Granniesunite I am an atheist but sending all good wishes I can to your daughter and you . 💐

hugshelp Sat 29-Jan-22 13:59:13

Thank you for making this thread whiff. I can only echo your sentiments about how important the support here is. Apologies to everyone for not being around for a while. A combination of ill health, new projects, and giving myself a little space to gradually move from a place where I would give anything to hear from ES and understand the situation to acceptance.

Go you Derbyshirelass. You sound proper fired up and raring to go, and we're all cheering you on.

Huge congrats on your DGS Petitfromage. The naming is lovely. Sorry about the visits. I will keep hoping for you that things will get better and better with time.

Do keep your focus on those who give you love purplepixie they will get you through, along with the lovely people here. And crochet - I love it too. Just made a hat.

So good to be back smiles. I needed my time but I have kept thinking about you all, and I will never be able to thank everyone, and you in particular for shining a light through the darkest of days. Sorry your year has got off to a bad start. May it be ever onwards and upwards henceforth.

Blowie a hoolie here too granniesuite. I will indeed send blessings and healing thoughts out to the universe for you and your family.

So quick update. Having just got to the point where I'd decided that maybe ES and I would lead happier lived separately, and I would have to let go of never knowing why, the letter full of vitreol that many of you received earlier on in the process arrived. It did start with him trying to explain how unhappy he is and what he's trying to do to fix it, but it soon descended into a generalised 'you are the worst parent on the planet' and it's all your fault thing. He made vague accusations of things I don't believe to be true. I can't be sure as I do have some memory loss from a brain injury, but my family are convinced there's no truth. Course, if I deny it, I'll be that terrible parent who won't admit the truth. If I mention the fact that others remember things differently I'll be that terrible parent who turns the whole family against him. If I agree, not only will I have to lie to myself, but I'll be faking my apologies because we'll both know the truth deep down. My thoughts at the moment are to digest it but respond with questions. Can he remember anything specific? What does he want to happen?

The best thing is that I can say now that if he feels happier estranged that's fine by me. It doesn't sound as though that is the case from his letter, so I will help if I can, but only with honesty, though I will try to be gentle and let the work come from him. If it's a process he is better facing elsewhere then he knows where I am. I would never have got to this point of acceptance without you all and I am happy to say I'm sad about the letter but not devastated. We can all only do our best.

Smileless2012 Sat 29-Jan-22 17:27:05

"blowing a hoolie"; I've never heard hat expression before Granniesunite but I love itgrin.

That must be so hard for you and your Dsad, it's so unfair when children get caught up in these situations. She must be missing her, and she must miss her mum; thank goodness for technology.

Good to know I made you laugh Whiff but sorry that you're having problems with your leg. I hope the antibiotics soon get to work, but they can make you feel horrible can't they so hope you'll be OKflowers.

I will certainly pray for you all and light a candle in church tomorrowflowers.

It's lovely to see your post hugshelpsmile. We all have periods where we just need to take some time for ourselves and you being OK is all that matters.

I'm so sorry you've had 'the letter' that everyone dreads. I hope you can be comforted in the knowledge that you're not the only one to have been on the receiving end of vague accusations to justify your status of 'worse parent on the planet'.

For me, their vagueness says a lot.

The two questions you've mentioned are an excellent starting point and it will be interesting to know what his responses are. "I'm sad about the letter but not devastated". Of course I'm sorry you're sad but it's good to know you're not devastated.

You'll be wrong in his eyes regardless of how you respond and as you say if you apologise, you'll be lying to him and yourself and we need to be true to ourselves, even if our EAC can't be the sameflowers.

Allsorts Sat 29-Jan-22 17:52:27

Glad you have started yet his thread Whiff and sure it will be a help to many.
Good start to the year Derbyshire, very positive. Contratulations PF on the birth of your grandson.
Hughelp, I hope things improve between you and your son, he doesn’t sound happy and you must be on his mind.
So glad to see you back Smileless after a rocky start to the year, I think the weather by you is pretty foul at the moment, good luck.
So nice to hear from everyone, it’s good to see you all back.

hugshelp Sat 29-Jan-22 19:16:20

* you'll be lying to him and yourself and we need to be true to ourselves, even if our EAC can't be the same* Wise words as always smiles.
I actually think getting the letter makes me feel better about myself, though more concerned for him. Seeing the raging going on page after page with no details of what he's aggrieved about told me a lot. As you wisely say, their vagueness says a lot.
Thank you again for the understanding.

Hihi allsorts. Nice to see you again.

Granniesunite Sat 29-Jan-22 21:15:43

‘ Blowing a hoodie’ is a very Scottish word smilelesss it’s an understated word for strong winds or storm..we’ve had a little bit of that today….. 😀

Thanks whiff my wee daughter will need all the help she can get.

* Hugshelp*
Honesty. That’s all you have and with that, and your love, your son needs nothing else.With time I hope he come to realise that but you sound strong hope that helps you.

Whiff Sun 30-Jan-22 07:27:03

Hugshelp as parents were are dammed if we do and dammed if we don't. Having that letter is awful I know how I felt when my son sent the email and follow up letter. The email gave me some hope but the letter closed that hope. Zero contact he wants so zero contact he has. I don't think he thought I would go zero contact. But he has got his way. I won't give him the chance to hurt me again. If he contacts me then we can talk but the next move is he's. Not that I am expecting him to contact me. But I will not live my life on hold. I can't . So I put those who love and care for me first and who I love and care for.

Sadly I am hearing more of family break ups. I suppose because I don't hide what happened to me people feel able to admit what's happened to them.

Some I talk to seem ashamed . But I ask did they break away from family members and the answer is always no then the shame is theirs not yours. Some have been hiding what happened for years. It's so sad . That's why a support thread is so important.

Without all of you I wouldn't be as I am now. All your help has made it possible for me to cope on my own. I will always love and miss my son and grandson's and have plenty on wobbles along the way. But my husband dieing is far worse than anything my son and daughter in law have done.

That pain and lose gets worse every year. Got a hard week ahead . 2nd would have been his 65th birthday ,3rd anniversary of our first date in 1975 and the 6th 18 years since he died. But I will get through it as usual.

We only have one life and we have to live it to the full . It's hard but well worth doing. No more what if's.

Take care everyone and be careful if you are in storm Corrie's path. 💐

hugshelp Sun 30-Jan-22 11:11:45

Too true whiff - we can't do wrong for doing right. I will be as gently honest as I can but after that it's out of my hands. I'm sorry you were given no option but zero contact. I've had that for a long time and I won't be surprised if my ES goes back to that if I refuse to tell him the lies he seems to ask for. That's his choice.

I'm so sorry for all your pain, and the loss of your beloved husband. I know your strength and courage will get you through the next few days but we are all with you in spirit. x

Granniesunite Sun 30-Jan-22 11:19:36

Yes difficult days ahead for you Whiff hope it helps to know your virtual friends will be thinking about you and wishing you strength...

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