Why Do Adult Children Estrange?: The Children's Explanations
What are the real reasons adult children estrange from their parents? Here are some of them, in their own words:
As someone who estranged herself from my own mother I can tell you why I did it. Every time she opened her mouth it was to criticize, if not me then her daughter-in-laws or her neighbors or her friends. Even a stranger in the street couldn't escape from her criticism. She'd always qualify it with, "What? I was just talking," or "If I can't tell you who can I tell," then she'd dump her opinions on me. She couldn't compliment a haircut or a new outfit without accompanying it with a put-down. I couldn't take her negativity so I pulled away. I hurt for the mother she wasn't. I wished longingly for that positive, supportive mom I never had. I never missed her because there was nothing to miss.
I have a mother who would love to see me alone, broke, homeless, etc ; she's alone and miserable & wants this for me too. However, I'm not....I have a wonderful husband, home, career, friend and a full life. After years of listening to her endless complaints, non-stop criticism, being hung up on, and told to "f" off, I'm done. For years I made sure she and my Dad (who passed 4 years ago) were taken care of and remembered at holidays, etc. I think she expected I would just stop having any sort of life after he died and would just coddle her and I didn't.
My relationship is estranged with my own Mother..but she has never acknowledge any part in the great harm that was done to me..I would need her to acknowledge this and at least ask forgiveness..say "I'm sorry"...I am desperate to hear this from her.
Had an argument yesterday with my Mom, it's not the end of the world, but considering my overall life these days, it feels like it.
Anyway, yesterday I was nervous on the phone, I knew I was irritable and didn't want to have a long conversation . Out of the goodness of her heart, she kept offering ideas about a problem that I had already thought about . She's very good at assuming, and I said it's impossible to assume ANYTHING. She started crying and said " I noticed that for quite some time, I can't have a discussion with you . You're very negative ! "
I immediately gave her reason, said things were hard, I was sleep-deprived, and said goodnight .
I know she's old, but she was already like that 20 years ago . She's a good woman, but can be self-centered and a critic . She regularly comments on my hair, my weight, gives me intimate details about her private life with my Dad ( dead and buried ) which is inappropriate . She would NEVER talk to my siblings this way .
She hates it when I travel, so I'm postponing a trip to Asia. She's in denial about my health. She wants me to be top-shape all the time.
But I can't and I"m getting fed up.
I can't give what I don't have, so will put a bit of space between us .
I did tell my mother the reason for my estrangement. She failed to protect me, and when I tried to save myself, she told everyone my asthma medication made me make up stories. She belittled my fear and pain. I was a very truthful child and I remember the outrage of being accused of lying like it was branded into my forehead.
I saw my mother clearly, for the first time, when I was 35. After years of trying so hard to gain her love, I had to face the fact that she had no love to give me. I turned away from those lost years, put her out of my mind and focused all my strength on being a good mother to my own children.
When my son was very young, my father came back into my life... an alcoholic who was not drinking then. It took a year to see my father was still the abusive man of my childhood, that I remembered in therapy almost simultaneous with my young son and father back in my life. I started seeing bad traits rise in my father that were potentially harmful to my young son and asked him constantly to change his ways. He did not so I asked him OUT of my life.......... I estranged my father........... it was the hardest thing I'd ever done to that date, but it was out of the safety of my child and the emotional wellbeing of myself. I regret the situation but I do not regret taking care of myself or my sons. I did the right thing no matter how hard it was.
My mother was and is a self-absorbed narcissist who physically abused me after I went to live with her.
She had pretty much estranged herself from her entire family before my birth - they are all good, hard-working people who would gladly help anyone who is truly in need. Mother's reasoning was that they never treated her right. The instances of when she perceives she was mistreated make no sense.
EXAMPLE: As an 11-year-old she burned down the chicken coop because her brothers made her mad by teasing her and she was the one who got punished. (Gee, really ? Ya think? DUH!!) But according to her it was her brothers who should have been punished for grabbing her dolls and running off because the whole thing was their fault. She ADMITS that she set the fire and to this very day she still honestly and truly believes that it was not her fault! And there are many, many more stories just as ridiculous.
The only times I hear from her is when she wants money from me - like the time she bought a ticket to a concert 2000 miles away and then called me DEMANDING that I buy her the plane ticket to get there. HUH ?
I am sure that she suffers a severe case of NPD ( just google Narcissistic Personality Disorder and you will be amazed).
I estranged myself from her for simple self-preservation. My darling husband figured I was just dealing with 'typical mother-daughter issues' until he met the woman and now is more than happy to avoid seeing or talking to her. If we happen to travel through the area where she lives we do not stop. My husband says he daily thanks God for the fact that I spent my early formative years being raised by other relatives.
My Mother and I were estranged to one another because of her abuse and the abuse of the men she had in our lives . She told me when I was 11 yrs old I was a mistake, and she had tried to abort me herself with a coat hanger ....I took off after I was married and didn't look back, its a very sad long drawn out story but when I become of no use to her financially she told everyone I didn't exist . Even new husbands .
7 years before her death I came back to Texas to be with my sister and brother . She was dying . not once in 54 years did she tell me she loved me, only that I had been an accident, and then a burden . The last 6 months of her life, was the only time she wanted to know me, and most of that was wanting me to run down my sister and brother to come to the nursing home she in, with no luck at times . I was with her the last 3 days, I was there when she died ... I never failed one day in that 7 yrs to tell her I loved her ... and that I forgave her ... her response was ... where is your sister, where is your brother, tell them to come here now ...
I buried her, they didn't, I arranged everything, paid for everything ... and then I went away to grieve for the Mother I would never have, never had, and will forever wonder what I did to cause her to hate me .
I am estranged from my mother. My mother should never had kids. I raised my sister while she partied. She forgot we needed food while she had plenty, she bought "nice" clothes while we did not have jackets for winter. Ninety percent of my clothes came from Goodwill, I got my first toothbrush when I started cleaning apartments at 12. As an adult I supported her financially and took care of whatever she needed. She lived with me for 12 years while I was raising my family. No, she did not babysit, she wouldn't and I couldn't trust her. I stopped talking to her 8 years ago when I realized she would never be anything but mean to me.
I recently estranged myself from my mother and everyone in the family is upset at me for "being mean" to her. The specific thing that I felt justified this action is that she has treated me as the "stepchild" all my life. I was always not invited or disinvited to family events and family members later shared constant negative comments she says about me. This past summer she invited everyone in the family, kids, nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, friends, neighbors, etc., except for me and my children. That was the last straw for me.
I've been estranged from my mother for 21 years.
I don't think I went through stages - I never had bonding with my mother as she treated us like a burden and an afterthought. We were neglected and abused.
I do, sometimes have some weird lingering guilt, but I think its more like longing for a mother I never had. I don't suffer her, however.
I do wish, I had been taken away as a child, for a chance at a family.
All of the quotes came from members of estranged parents' forums.
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