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Trying to cope with a long term estrangement

(18 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.

Cheeseplantmad Mon 08-May-23 18:49:34

Is your husband your sons father ?

VioletSky Mon 08-May-23 18:53:00

Sorry to hear this

What mental health condition is your son diagnosed with?

Still Mon 08-May-23 19:09:17

Yes, my son is our eldest child. I have an older stepson and a younger son and daughter.

Still Mon 08-May-23 19:12:37

My son's mental health condition was diagnosed as manic depression years ago but was updated to BPD.

VioletSky Mon 08-May-23 20:37:10

Has he stated anything he needs to heal the relationship?

Still Mon 08-May-23 20:44:38

No contact as I am the person who is responsible for his mental illness.

Hithere Mon 08-May-23 20:47:25

Dup thread

Smileless2012 Mon 08-May-23 20:47:55

I'm so very sorry that you are in this situation Still.

If you understandably find it too difficult to be in the same room when your H's talking to your son and GS, it might be an idea to make yourself scarce.

We've been estranged from our youngest son and only GC for more than 10 years, and I can't begin to imagine how hard it must be to hear your H talking to them when you're unable to do so flowers.

Allsorts Mon 08-May-23 21:09:46

It must be unbearable Still, I am long termed estranged from my d, sometimes it’s hard to carry on. You could see the pain of estrangement in Charles face, because no matter how much you have others in your life, that grown up child is never far away in your mind. You have done nothing wrong, it’s his mental illness, sure it’s responsible for lots of estrangement.

VioletSky Tue 09-May-23 07:16:03


No contact as I am the person who is responsible for his mental illness.

That must be incredibly hard for you

Do you agree that there was something in his childhood that triggered his illness?

Would he agree to attend some sort of joint therapy with you?

Still Tue 09-May-23 12:31:13

All 3 of my children have different personalities and unfortunately my eldest son did'nt gain the best set of genes to develop resilience and cope with life. I also didn't listen enough to his needs - working, other kids, general busy life.

VioletSky Tue 09-May-23 18:39:28

I hope you get a chance to put that right with him one day

Allsorts Fri 26-May-23 13:44:13

You cannot spend the rest of whatever is left of your life trying to make up for past mistakes, what happens if you were not here? So many people get different problems one way and another, there just comes a time when you and you alone have to deal with it. You cannot make up or repair what’s gone, just apologise and carry on, you can’t wear a hair shirt forever.

Hetty58 Fri 26-May-23 13:57:09

No - you are not 'the person who is responsible for his mental illness'. That's just ridiculous. There may be an inborn tendency, traumatic events in childhood (or as an adult) and perhaps a lack of the right care at the right time. The most you could ever be is partly responsible, that's all.

If you have apologised and hope to move on, it's up to your son to seek the help necessary. Your job as a mother is over and he's an adult.

Smileless2012 Fri 26-May-23 19:36:36

A good post Hetty and where is his father in all of this Still? Why is it your fault and why does his father have no responsibility?

Still Sat 27-May-23 16:32:01

Thanks Hetty, yes when I am in a logical frame of mind I say a mantra which usually works but sometimes I have a slip up where it just gets to me.

SparklyGrandma Sat 27-May-23 18:31:47

So sorry Still that you are going through this. I have a son in his 40’s, married, who blames a wide swathe of people for his ‘awful’ life…
His father who had been allowed in small bouts to have contact with the family, finally lost his temper 2 years ago and told my son what he thought of his behaviour and that he never wants to see him again.
My exDH had even offered our son a large amount of money to resume contact with me to no avail.

I think some people just enjoy being cruel, some sadly get a kick out of it.