Introductory Post for Estrangements, the Blog.

Estrangements, the blog, began on the website, Estrangements.com, in 2001. The purpose of that website is to collect a wide range of information about family estrangements.

The blog became too lengthy to keep adding to on the website so I began a blog here on Typepad in 2005. Posts from 2001 to 2005 are on the pages of Estrangements.com. Posts from 2005 onward are here on this Typepad blog. The archives here go back to 2005.

For more information about the blog and the website, see the linked post titled: "Introduction to Estrangements" in the sidebar (or click the "Intro" link in the menu at the top if you are viewing this on a phone). Or just click here: Intro.


"Done with the Crying" Author Sheri McGregor Estrangements Article

October 27, 2017 article: "Estrangement Doesn't Just Happen to "Bad" Moms — It Happened to Me Too" on Goodhousekeeping.com by Sheri McGregor, author of Done with the Crying.

Sheri has a website on the subject of family estrangement: RejectedParents.net and a Facebook Page on estrangement.

The description of her Facebook Page, "Help and Healing for Parents of Estranged Adult Children":

"Support and information resource. Parents of estranged adult children may feel isolated and embarrassed, yet there are many of us. Let's help each other."


On Mother’s Day(s) & Estrangement

Not having addressed the emotions surrounding Mother’s day and estrangement for years here on this blog, I found myself thinking about the subject and about what to say. Or whether to write a post at all or just let the day go by post-free as I’d been doing.

I am sitting myself down here to think while I type to see what occurs to me on this day, one of the more painful days to have to get through for mothers who have been estranged. A day which also can be painful for many who are estranged from a mother with whom they had had a loving affectionate relationship prior to estrangement. What to say?

My estrangement is now 23 years long. I don’t expect it to end. While I did suffer deep grief in the first 6 to 10 years as well as other strong feelings about the loss of a relationship with a person whom I had adored, eventually I developed a thicker skin and detachment set in. Consequently, I am sure that I am in a different place emotionally than most of the visitors to my website and blog. Most who come here are likely in that place of pain and devastation over losing someone they love to estrangement and would like to find some solution that would take their relationship back to the loving relationship they once had. Or thought that they had.

I wish I could offer that solution. I wish that I had found it myself. What I’ve found is that there are many reasons for estrangement. Sometimes the reasons have more to do with the person who has decided to estrange themselves and very little to do with the person who they estranged. I concluded that it can be futile for the person who has been estranged to resolve the estrangement. That the only person who can resolve it is the person who decided to do the estranging. The person who has been estranged has a few options: One is to keep banging their head on the door of estrangement by making attempts to end it. Another is not to do that but to bury their feelings and risk becoming clinically depressed. Another is to accept the estranger’s decision and to go on with their life, living it as well as they possibly can.

Recently a friend mentioned a book that she had read and loved. I haven’t read the book but the title caught my attention: “The Knife of Never Letting Go”. The title says so much. If you never let go of an issue or a person or a thing and the situation is unresolvable, then you are at risk of being damaged by the determination to hold on.

Neverlettinggo

The friend who mentioned this book has experienced a loss that was one of the most drastic that can be imagined. She has had a very hard time emotionally in the years since that loss occurred. I don’t think she will ever “get over it”. But she seems to be doing a bit better as time goes on. She obsesses about it less. She is capable of feeling happy and of going on with her life. The knife of never letting go seems to be cutting her less.

From what I can see online about the book with that title, I don’t think that the title has anything to do with family estrangements but I don’t really know. It is a fiction book that is written for the age range of teens. I didn’t mention the book so that anyone would go out and buy it. It sounds quite good. I love the title. It would be a good title for a book on estrangement or other losses but the title has been taken!

Getting back to the subject of today, Mother’s Day, and what might I offer as a suggestion for getting through the day and other days of similar significance (birthdays, other family oriented holidays). Speaking for myself and acknowledging that I am at a different place in terms of emotions than most visitors to my site, on days like this I choose doing something that I REALLY want to do. See a movie I’ve been meaning to see. Eat some food that I like a lot that I haven’t had for a while. Wear comfortable clothing. Or wear something that just makes me happy regardless of comfort. Take a nap if needed. Read a book I’ve been meaning to read. In a choice between whether to do work or not, choose not to work at least some of the day if not all. (I tend to choose work too often.) Be good to myself. Be good to others as well as yourself. Meaning be polite, kind, civil, honest and genuine. If possible, let go of that knife for the day. If not possible, grip it less tightly and not by the blade’s edge.

Wishing you a most peaceful and Happy Day!


Old Articles on Estrangement in a New Place: "Articles"

Articles

This collection of articles was originally included on a page of Estrangements.com which is being updated. As I add articles to this blog rather than to the Estrangements website, it makes sense to me to create a new Category here and call it "Articles" so that all articles will appear in the same place. As time goes on, links to articles that I post here may need updating or may disappear. But at least they will be organized in one place , "Articles", accessible from the word cloud in the side bar. The articles below are ones that I found years ago. I have checked other older posts on the blog to find more posts to tag for this category but did not tag posts made before 2008 as there would be too many dead links. The older the posts, the more dead links.

  1. Cults, Estrangements, and Gaming. Jan. 8, 2002. An article, Cults by Bryan Jonker, and below the article are some links about cults. There is some interesting discussion on cults and how they work. I am not clear on how this relates to gaming (and realize that gaming is not the interest of most who are interested in these links) but thought the discussion sounded good enough to include the link here.
  2. Truth and Reconciliation by Julia Gracen. May 22, 2002. Article about Laura Davis's book, I Thought We'd Never Speak Again which is referenced on the Books page.
  3. Mark Sichel's Psybersquares site. Articles on family estrangements
  4. Before the Sun goes Down, A Christian Biblical perspective: "Estrangements between friends should not be permitted to continue over night. It is a scriptural counsel that we should not let the sun go down upon our wrath."
  5. I want vengeance on my narcissistic mother: She didn't pull the trigger, but I blame her for my brother's suicide. On Salon.com. A question posted on an advice column, October 6, 2005, by Cary Tennis on Salon.com. You may need to watch a brief advertisement to read the article unless you are registered already on Salon.com.
  6. The Power of Forgiveness by Naomi Drew M.A.
  7. Forgiveness: The Mandela Principle by Rev. Victor H. Carpenter.
  8. Learning to Forgive For Good. The website of Fred Luskin.
  9. Letting Go of Our Adult Children by Arlene F. Harder, M.A., M.F.T.
  10. It’s Never Too Late To Have A Good Relationship With Your Grown Children (Your Parents or Your Ex-Spouse, Too) by Suzanne E. Harrill
  11. A Gift for My Daughter by Harry Browne
  12. Borderline Rage, an article by Anthony Walker, M.D.
  13. Grandparents' Rights Article An article on guidelines for grandparents who want visitation rights.

Recently Published Books on Family Estrangement

 Estranged Stories, ebook version. by Elizabeth Vagnoni, Mary Cay Reed. Available for Amazon Kindle Fire®, Apple iPad®, Android devices, and Mac or PC computers. Currently (as of Dec. 17, 2017) priced at $15.99.

Estranged Stories Understanding. Support. Peace. Hope” by Elizabeth Vagnoni, Mary Cay Reed. Blurb 2017. ISBN-10: 0615937683, ISBN-13: 978-0615937687. This is the print version which currently is priced at $44.74 on Amazon.

From the online listings of the book on Amazon and on Blurb:
"In Estranged Stories, Elizabeth Boykin Vagnoni and Mary Cay Reed have woven together a compassionate description of the succession of emotions many parents experience when they become estranged from their adult children. Using a variety of stories from EstrangedStories.com, parents talk about the common thoughts and feelings they experience when faced with estrangement. They talk about suggestions for confronting feelings, how to respond to others, finding hope, and coping with the inability to have a relationship with Grandchildren. While these stories come from a few, they represent the feelings of more than 5,000 who have joined estrangedstories and responses from over 3,000 who have completed our survey. Sometimes just understanding that you are not alone and many others share the same "stories", is helpful when trying to understand this emotionally crippling situation."

Family Estrangement: A Matter of Perspective by Kylie Agllias. ISBN-13: 978-1472458612 ISBN-10: 1472458613

We Don't Talk Anymore: Healing after Parents and Their Adult Children Become Estranged by Kathy McCoy. October 2017. ISBN-10: 1492651133 ISBN-13: 978-1492651130.

Estrangement of Parents by Their Adult Children by Sharon Waters. April 2017. ISBN-10: 0692882154 ISBN-13: 978-0692882153.


Long Division by m.nicole.r.wilhood: Book of Poems of Sibling / Family Estrangement

Long Division is a book of poetry written by m.nicole.r.wilhood. It is about family estrangement and specifically about sibling estrangement. She has experienced an estrangement from her younger sister. Her manuscript has been accepted by Finishing Line Press. The link is the pre-sale link for the book.

The author writes:

Long Division is a short collection of poetry that I had been too afraid to write for years. I was too afraid to admit the brokenness of my family, too afraid to admit that I still hoped for the kind of relationships I saw my friends having with their siblings, too afraid to spend time with the pain of having a sister but not having the "built-in best friend" my mother was excited I would have when she found out she was having another girl. This collection relays stories my parents have told me and recounts my own memories as I finally come to terms with the deepening estrangement between my younger sister and me.
—m.nicole.r.wildhood


Links to Facebook Pages on Family Estrangement

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.

 


University of Cambridge Study on Family Estrangement in Adulthood

Hidden Voices, University of Cambridge Study on Family Estrangement in Adulthood

by Lucy Blake in collaboration with Becca Bland, Chief Executive of Stand Alone and Professor Susan Golombok, Director of the Center for Family Research at the University of Cambridge.


For estrangers who have cut off from "toxic" mothers

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:

A Toast to All the Brave Kids Who Broke Up With Their Toxic Mothers by Natasha Vargas-Cooper, posted May 8, 2015 on Jezebel.