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Anxiety and Depression Support
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Anyone else estranged from their adult child

I'm extremely depressed about being estranged from my adult child. I've tried everything and each response is more mean-spirited and unkind. My daughter refused to go to counseling and I have nothing else to try. She told me not to contact her along with several unkind words.

It's very difficult to fall asleep at night because I ruminate about it and make myself anxious and depressed.

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That’s a really tough situation. I’m sorry for pain and sadness. I have a close friend in a similar situation and as an outsider, I know it is because of the dysfunction in their lives when the children were younger. Husband was abusive and alcoholic. My friend did all she could to hold the family together, but also took all the abuse, physical and emotional. Now with the children as adults, i see that my friend is now being emotionally damaged by these children. They need support to deal with their history, but all i can do is try and support my friend to know that it was NOT her doing. I hate seeing her become the verbal punching bag for these ‘kids’. I try and tactfully point things out, but the bottom line is that she needs to be in therapy in effort to be able to move forward with her life. I don’t know if any of this resonates with you. I hope you can get the help you need to move YOUR life forward.

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Thanks so much for replying. Your words did help and at least I know I'm not the only one in this situation. And I do feel like a verbal punching bag. I hope you have a great evening!

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Hi I am very sorry about this and it must make you feel dreadful.

A couple of thoughts - does she have children yet? If not then she might understand better when she does.

The 2nd thing there is no point in keep contacting her as it is making you too upset and you have to think of your own well being. If you leave her alone she might realise in time that she needs her mother after all. Give her space and wait for her to contact you. x

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Thanks for replying with helpful advice. My daughter does not have children yet, however, I fear she won't invite me to her wedding or let me see her grandchildren. She's living with her boyfriend now. Her last extremely unkind texts left me saying "enough is enough."

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When she has children she will understand you a lot better I am sure. x

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Thanks Hypercat!

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It's good that you're saying "enough". That is a good sign. I agree with HyperCat about giving it time. That's not always easy and can hurt. Please keep talking to this group. I find that sometimes when I am at a low point without clear direction on how to move forward, reading and responding to others can be a very effective tool for my own anxiety (and maybe support someone else along the way).

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Thank so much for replying! I agree it helps to support others on this site.

I hope you have a happy day today!

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Because I also have adult daughters, I do a lot of reading about how to navigate the challenges of these relationships. You are definitely NOT the only one at a loss for what to say or do to help the situation. I wanted to share this thought from an article that was helpful for me:

"Remember, nobody is perfect. Every parent makes mistakes. You may have committed all kinds of errors and blunders, but that's not what makes your daughter who she is. She's defined by her own choices, not by your shortcomings. This is particularly true in the case of a married daughter whose attitudes and actions are shaped in part by the influence of a spouse. You have to remind yourself that there's nothing you can do to change that side of the equation. So don't blame yourself for the decisions of other autonomous adults." bit.ly/2MNzyI4

Hope this will help you let go of some of the ruminating!

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Thanks so much for sharing the quote from the book - it is very helpful!

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I to am in a similiar situation. All my children are over the age of 18 and they all moved out of my home almost 2 years ago after I had a mental break down and had to take a disability retirement from my job of 19yrs. I have struggled with Bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders for several years which unfortunately my children seen my struggle. I always found the strength to bounce back because they gave me the strength, they gave me the drive and the power. When my twins girls turned 18 I had a hard time, and my then 22 yr old daughter, well she was still home in school but she was getting ready to move out. Once I retired it's almost as if they looked at me differently and in a bad way. Even though I was fighting my way out of depression or trying to, to them it seemed I just gave up on life. They all left when I could no longer financially take care of them and they all feel I'm doing nothing with my life. They seem to forget all the years I worked thru my illness and was a single mom providing them with everything they needed. Or maybe they havent forgotten, maybe that's all I was to them. I know they are busy but I never see them and they hardly speak to me. Their father is put on a pedestal, we have not been together for years but he has always tried to be the best dad he could. He always did have a hard time keeping a job and never helped us financially but all I really wanted was him in their lives. Well he seems to be the best parent ever to them, my twins live with him and my 25 yr old visits him. They never visit me. I miss them so much and this is literally the worst pain ever. I dont know how to make this better. I cant make my illness go away and I had to retire. I was a business woman and I hate that I'm not working too. I never though I would lose my kids like this, we were always very close but I did work a lot because I thought I had to for them. Sorry so long. I know our situations arent exactly the same but what is the same is that we both love our kids so much and we miss them. We are desperately looking for ways to mend the relationships. If we can help one another then we should do it. I dont know how to contact you so we can keep communication between us, do you know how? I would love to talk over ways to try and fix this awful situation for the both of us.

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Jennysue, thanks so much for sharing your story. I'm so sorry you are also experiencing estrangement from your children. My daughter also thinks her Father is perfect. I found this website: Parents of Estranged Adult Children: Help and Healing (link below). They have an online support group. I submitted my application days ago and the moderator hasn't responded yet. The website is run by a woman who wrote a book about being estranged from her daughter and it has a lot of good helpful articles. I hope you find it helpful: rejectedparents.net/registe...

Feel free to private message me if you want to chat.

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