Adult Children of Alcoholics Welcome to ACA. Adult Children of Alcoholics is an anonymous Twelve Step program of women and men who grew up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional homes. We meet with each other in a mutually respectful, safe environment and acknowledge our common experiences. We discover how childhood affected us in the past and influences us in the present. We take positive action.
Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents A discussion group on Yahoo. The group is restricted and self moderated. It is "intended to be a nurturing place for learning, validation, and thoughtful discussion."
Estranged From My Parents Dr. Joshua Coleman's forum for adult children estranged from their parents. Coleman is a speaker, psychologist and author of When Parents Hurt and other books.
Parents Who Walk Away A group for parents of estranged adult children who are tired of waiting for them to grow up/get real. Comprised of strong, wise survivors, this group is made up of parents who either have walked away or are considering walking away from the disrespectful actions of their abusive adult children. Straight talk, tough stances and the free exchange of ideas/opinions can be found here. Everyone is Welcome! (Note: This is the new link to PWWA which formerly was hosted on Daily Strength.)
H. E. R. Groups HEALING ESTRANGED RELATIONSHIPS, INC. (H.E.R. Group) was created for women who are experiencing an estranged relationship from an adult child. Our purpose is to provide each woman with a safe environment in which to share what is in her heart; and to be a place where hope, encouragement, support and resources will enable healing in her life.
Estranged Stories A place principally for parents experiencing family estrangement to find support, hopefully peace, and some understanding. Currently has over 5,000 members.
Christian Parents of Estranged Adult Children Estrangement makes it difficult to talk about with family, friends, neighbors and church members. Christians are NOT immune to broken families. Talk about your experiences with those who know how you feel and get positive support through your Christian faith. (Note: This group is the same one that had been hosted on the Daily Strength site. When DS made its recent changes, this group and others moved off of DS. This link will take you to the current location of the group.)
Support Groups for All
Al anon A Twelve Step group that offers strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers. There is likely a meeting near you. Learning the Twelve Steps and following them can make a great deal of difference in your life, no matter whether the issue is with someone who has a drinking problem or some other serious problem that affects them and everyone around them.
BPD Central BPD Central Randi Kreger, author, advocate, and owner of BPDCentral.com, established Welcome to Oz in 1996 to enable family members with a borderline or narcissistic loved one to support each other and share tips and techniques.
Co-Dependents Anonymous Welcome to Co-Dependents Anonymous, a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships. The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and loving relationships. CODA is based on the Twelve Step program. It is much more broad based than Al anon.
Out of the Fog Forum Out of the FOG was launched on November 1 2007 to provide information and support to the family members and loved-ones of individuals who suffer from a personality disorder. FOG stands for Fear, Obligation and Guilt.
The following are links to Facebook pages where family estrangement is a topic of discussion, advice or information. The pages that were found are specifically about estrangements of parents from their children. These are all of the Facebook Pages that I found on the subject.
I don't usually post links to articles that are of a certain hostile and angry spirit. Today I am making an exception for the link posted below. I was surprised to find this article. In the comments in response, I can see that there are a lot of people who related to it. Me not so much but then I don't tend to "go for the throat" at people at whom I feel angry.
I had many years of issues with my mother who was mentally ill. Being in a relationship with her was challenging. I did feel anger, even rage, towards her many times. There were times that we were estranged. I have said the Serenity Prayer a whole lot of times in regard to my reaction to things she's done. So I can relate to how some others feel about their mothers who were not there for their them, who abused them, who never did love them, who were manipulative, irrational and self destructive. Or who did love their kids but were too flawed in serious ways to be good enough at being a mother.
So I post the following link specifically for those who had mothers who failed them with a disclaimer that regardless of my mother's behavior, I did not think of her as badly as these women think of their mothers and I have not ever referred to her as toxic. Mentally ill and irrational, yes. I considered her a tragic figure rather than someone whom I would call toxic.
For those of you who consider your mother toxic (and with apologies to mothers who have been undeservingly called toxic and who are grieving the loss of relationships with their kids), I post the following link:
After writing the previous post I went back and read Katie Naum's post on Mother's Day Cards again. Noticing the subject tags listed with the post, I clicked one of them, the "Estrangement" one. That brought up a list of posts on the subject, including two written in 2014 by Katie Naum that gave some background to her estrangement from her mother. Which explains a lot about her post on Mother's Day Cards.
I understand more now. In fact, under the circumstances that she describes, perhaps she was too kind. I don't know. But I still would want to suggest thinking of her Card suggestions as if they were written by a mother rather than a daughter. Because I look for opportunities to think of situations in different ways. That was what I tried to do previously in talking about the baggage that we all carry and how wrong we can be sometimes.
Here are the links to Katie Naum's posts written in 2014 about her decision to estrange her mother:
Motherless by Choice by Katie Naum, writer, blogger, memoirist. June 2, 2014 (plus a video below the text of the article)
The following four links are the result of an internet search using keywords: "Mother's Day" and "Estrangement". The links are to articles recently posted and to articles that didn't have those annoying popups that appear all too often these days.
Note: To get a different perspective on Katie Naum's “Cards”, try the following changes and then read them again while imagining that they were written by a mother. I have numbered Naum’s “Cards” from 1 to 11. In #1 change the wording to: “Thank You For Living In My Womb and Being Born. (inside) That Part Went Pretty Well From My Perspective.” Read #s 2 through 9 unchanged but as if written by a mother. In #10 substitute the word “Mother” in the place of “Daughter”. In #11 substitute the word “Daughter” in the place of “Mother”.
My request to look at the “Cards” as though written by a mother instead of a daughter is to bring a different perspective to what was written. I am not making a judgement. I am asking the question: If a mother had written those “Cards”, what would that say about the Mother? If the answer is different from what it says to you about the daughter who wrote them, why would that be so?
A common experience that is talked about in a lot of groups where family estrangement is discussed is the one of being labeled with a pathological condition by the person from whom you are estranged. With their only qualifications being that they are related to you and that they knew you once upon a time, they diagnose you as being something that is generally thought to be pretty horrible. While there are people who do deserve those labels, there are a whole lot of people who do not.
I am not going to argue with anyone about the fact that there are people who are not objective about their relatives and who don't know what they are talking about when they malign them. It happens far too often. When the person maligned does not deserve what is being said about them, this behavior is abusive.
I found a very good discussion on this experience that I am linking to here:
It is rare to see an account of the experience of Parental Alienation Syndrome given from the perspective of the child. This link is to an online memoir by the child, now grown up, and writing about her experience. Her descriptions of events as she remembers them are riveting.
A mother and grandmother who posts on her own blog about family estrangement and the loss of relationships with her son and grandchildren wrote to me this week. She sent me a link to her blog for inclusion here.
I found a website, rejectedparents.net, that was created in 2013 to offer support and information to parents who have been rejected by their adult children. It includes a discussion group for estranged parents.