Internet Finds Feed

13 Things No Estranged Child Needs To Hear On Father’s Day – Mommyish

On Mommyish.com (click the link below the quote to bring up the page and read the rest):
Even though I really love my father, I’m beginning to hate Father’s Day. The only silver lining is that I now I have a husband and kids, and I see the potential for Father’s Day to be a loving family celebration.

via www.mommyish.com


Estranged Parents Blog. I Am One of the Estranged Parents. - annebulger.com

In my story, I had to learn that my children’s alienation from me could never be commensurate with any mistake I ever made with them. I had to learn about the retrospective guilt that every parent can feel when evaluating our history of parenting our children. I had to learn that who I am is not defined by my children’s alienation.

It has been nine years. I don’t know where my children live. I no longer try to call or send a text or write an email to which I never get a reply. The absolute silence that has existed, after my divorce from a marriage of 25 years, has been deafening.

via annebulger.com


Article: "Brittle, Broken, Bent: Coping With Family Estrangement."

Annie Wright: “I want to talk about family estrangement.

Specifically, why and how family estrangements happen, how surprisingly common estrangements are (but how we don’t necessarily hear about this!), how to cope with estrangement in your own family, and the rarely-discussed aspect of being estranged from your family that we *need* to acknowledge.

via www.anniewright.com


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.

 


Huffington Post Articles on Estrangement

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)

Why Did This Happen? Estranging Myself From My Mother by Katie Naum, writer, blogger, memoirist. June 30, 2014 on Huffington Post.

The following link is a search link that brings up posts on Huffington Post, including those linked above, on the subject of Estrangement:
Search of Huffington Post for posts on the subject of Estrangement

 


May 9, 2015 Keyword search: “Mother’s Day” & “Estrangement”

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?

 


Is your Estranged one a professional diagnostician in their own mind?

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:

How to deal with exaggerated claims by EC (thread begun on March 20, 2015)

 


Online memoir by a daughter of a mother "erased" by PAS

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.

Mother Erased: a memoir written by an alienated daughter.

 


A blog written by a grandmother denied access to her grandchildren

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 took a look and like her writing so much that I am happy to provide a link to her blog here: Family Estrangements: When grandparents are denied access to their grandchildren and have added it to the Links Page on my Estrangements.com site too.

 


Slate staff writer Katy Waldman's article on Narcissism: Link

Are you a Narcissist? by Slate staff writer Katy Waldman, August 2014

If you’re new to being estranged and to online discussions of the condition, you might not have experienced the word Narcissistic (with a capital N in the context of Narcissistic Personality Disorder) occurring frequently in discussions of family estrangement. If you are a longtime survivor of family estrangements, it would be hard to imagine that you have not encountered those two conditions, Narcissism and Estrangement, being mentioned as related to each other. Parents are labeled as having (or being) NPD. Kids are labeled as having (or being) NPD. It seems some days that just about anyone who gets up in the morning and thinks or says anything positive or negative about themselves must have NPD according to someone who has estranged them or is estranged by them.

Parents and adult kids in online discussion groups report being accused of pathological narcissism. Parents and adult kids regularly diagnose their respective adult kids and parents as having NPD. There are groups set up just to discuss the narcissism of parents. Oddly, since it seems that the condition of pathological narcissism would not be restricted only to those who see themselves as offspring but could be suffered by anyone, parent or adult child, there are no groups set up by and for parents specifically to discuss their experience of having offspring who are pathologically narcissistic. The reasons for that are open to speculation.

Anyway, what brings me to my blog this morning is an article that I read online about NPD by Slate staff writer Katy Waldman that I thought was worth adding a link here. She mentions a number of points that have occurred to me over the years of reading about the personality disorder of NPD and she includes links to other references on the subject too. Considering this subject is one that comes up so very frequently in relation to the condition of family estrangement, I thought it was a very appropriate and worthwhile link to share here.

Are you a Narcissist? by Slate staff writer Katy Waldman, August 2014


Mother's Day 2012: Eleven Selected Links

  1. March 9, 2012 Estranged from my mum on Mother's Day
  2. May 11, 2012 Kelly Pickler, article, song & video: "Mother's Day" Is Gift of Closure
  3. My Mother
  4. Mother's Day: To Estranged Mother Greeting Card
  5. Father's Day Cards to Estranged Father Greeting Card
    Interestingly, there are several choices of cards for estranged fathers but only one for estranged mothers.
  6. May 11, 2012 by Theresa Froehlich, Transition Coach Mothers Who Can't Celebrate Mother's Day
  7. Nov. 20, 2010 Estranged Adult Children
  8. May 8, 2011 Mother's Day's Dirty Little Secret: Estrangement
  9. May 12, 2012 Mother's Day Guest Columnist Deborah Kennedy: What I never got to tell my mother
  10. April 28, 2012 Broken Bonds Healing Hearts: Advice on Surviving Mother's Day
  11. May 10, 2012 The Last Mother's Day by Timothy Egan

Happy Mother's Day!

(Or as one dear friend calls it: Stupid F'ing Mother's Day! -- SFMD! for short)

Ginny


On New Year's resolutions & happiness: posts on the E-stranged blog

As the new year begins, some of us make resolutions. I visited Fiona McColl's E-stranged blog this week and found two superb posts that she wrote that resonate with me and that I am linking below along with the thoughts that those posts inspire. The first linked post is on her New Year's resolution. The second is on the pursuit of happiness.

Care Less, a post written by Fiona McColl on her blog E-stranged. January 3, 2012

Emotions being what they are (in other words difficult creatures to control) the goal of caring less may seem daunting. It might make it easier if you can give yourself permission to care less. Many of us feel as though caring less would be a terrible thing to do but when you are in the habit of caring more than is good for you, caring less can be freeing. It is okay to care less. Unless you are the sort of person who never cared at all and then, if you are, the concept of caring less is not something you are going to be making any New Year's resolutions about and you are probably wondering why someone would even write such a post!

The Pursuit of Happiness, a post written by Fiona McColl on E-stranged, January 5, 2012

This post resonated with me as I found myself in a situation as a volunteer where I had misplaced my priorities and was putting an organization's needs as a higher priority than my own personal, family and business needs. I knew this but was having a hard time figuring out what to do about it. And then someone who is inextricably involved in that organization treated me badly. She chose a day that was particularly awful to do that to me as it was a day that I and others had worked really hard to make successful.

The last thing that I or anyone involved needed on that day was to be treated badly. After that, I had the choice of continuing to keep that organization at the top of my priority list or let them find someone else to take over my volunteer work. If I stayed, I would be forced to interact with the person who had treated me horribly. If I stayed, I would be continuing to put the organization's needs higher than my own. If I stayed, I would be in a situation that was getting worse despite the input and warnings from myself and others. Or I could let it go, choose to be happier doing more of the things I needed to do for myself and my husband, and let them find another volunteer. I am choosing happiness. I resigned. That was a bit of a shock to them but my friends are still my friends and it may all work out for the best in the long run anyway. It wasn't reasonable to expect someone to do as much work as I was doing as a volunteer. Organizations will take whatever you offer, even if it is more than you can afford to give.

I am giving them some opportunity to find someone else before I am completely out of there. So I am still doing work for them but not giving it my all any more. I am looking forward to being out.

I am a little bit worried that I won't have the strength to get myself completely out. It will be one more learning experience for me to extricate myself. I guess the worst that can happen as far as I am concerned is that I might continue to do some things for them that I particularly enjoy doing. And do those things at a pace and time frame that doesn't conflict with other things that are more important.

Going back to Fiona's "Care Less" post, I wish that I could care a lot less when I put myself in this kind of situation. For the future, I know myself better now and I intend to be far more cautious when offering my services as a volunteer. It is not happiness when I have no time for my own things but only time for others. Volunteering is a good thing which I like to do but, like so many things, it can take up 100% of my time if I let it.

I feel sure that my life experiences had a lot to do with how I ended up doing too much of a good thing for a good cause to the point that it was not good for me. I am aware of that. I know it is up to me to make decisions that are healthier so that I don't find myself in that same kind of situation again. Now I see "red flags" in certain situations that I might have jumped into too quickly. I see other people putting themselves into tough situations. I don't try to talk them out of what they are doing because it isn't any of my business and they would not appreciate my butting in but seeing them do the same kinds of things that I have done makes me realize that it isn't just me who does these things. A lot of us do them and then eventually we figure out where we've gotten out of balance with what we're doing and how to get back on track. And then allow ourselves to make decisions that let us live happier lives.

Happy New Year everyone!

Ginny


Christopher Hitchens Article on Estrangement, Vanity Fair, 2005

The writer Christopher Hitchens has died. I've spent much of my day so far reading obituaries about him and watching videos of him on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Among the many words written by and about him, I found an article by Hitchens on the estrangements that occur between siblings. It is titled: "Oh Brother, Why Art Thou" and was written in 2005. He had been estranged from his brother, Peter Hitchens. They eventually reconciled.

Here is the link to the article:

"Oh Brother, Why Art Thou?" by Christopher Hitchens in Vanity Fair, May 16, 2005

and here is a link to today's post by Peter Hitchens on the death of his brother:

By Peter Hitchens, December 16, 2011: In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011

and a link to an earlier post by Peter Hitchens on the relationship with his brother and their eventual reconciliation:

"How I found God and peace with my atheist brother" by Peter Hitchens, March 11, 2010


For Mother's Day: Mother's Day & Estrangement Links

Happy Mother's Day from Your Estranged Daughter, May 7, 2011

Estranged from my mother no more: A Mother's Day Remembrance, May 8, 2011

Not So Happy Mother's Day, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day is over, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Special: PTSD and estrangement of family 'cause I gotta pay the money back, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Without a Mother, May 7, 2011


Family Estrangement: When being able to be wrong is a strength.

This week I found a post that was about something that can make or break a relationship: the need to be right. The post is at: The Wrong Stuff: Those Three Little Words: ("Honey, You're right!"): Harville Hendrix on Being Wrong. On Slate, August 9, 2010.

Harville Hendrix, author of Getting the Love You Want, is interviewed by writer & blogger Kathryn Schulz on her blog, The Wrong Stuff. Hendrix talks about couples in romantic relationships but his ideas can be extrapolated to cover many other kinds of relationships.

Being able to admit when we're wrong can be a strength for anyone in a relationship but especially in our relationships with the people for whom we feel affection and love. Relationships between parents and children, between siblings, between friends. So often relationships break apart when one or both people feel that they are right and that backing down or seeing things from a different perspective feels like giving in or being put in a bad position.

Blogger Kathryn Schulz is the author of Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. (I am going to order this book!) On her blog, The Wrong Stuff, she features Q&As in which notable people discuss their relationship with being wrong.

As I wrote this post, I remembered with great pleasure a segment of the TV series, Mad About You, where the characters played by Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser got to wear virtual reality headpieces and to see the virtual reality of their choosing. Helen Hunt's character chose a virtual reality where her husband tells her over and over again, "You are right!" "You are right!" "You are right!" "You are right!" I laughed until I cried!

Ginny


Personal stories of loss through estrangement and death

The link below goes to a story by a son on the death of his father from whom he was estranged. They were estranged because of the father's deterioration due to Alzheimer's. It is a poignant story that is accompanied below on that page by links to the stories of others who were estranged from their fathers.

Dealing with the death of an estranged father by S. C. Kleinhans

 


On the Internet: Advice for the holidays when estranged from family.

Fiona McColl has been writing excellent posts on family estrangement and the holidays on her blog E-stranged. I am linking the posts below by dates and subject titles so that these posts can be found easily in the future since what she writes will remain true for future holidays as well as the current one.

December 17, 2010 Theme of the Week: Christmas

December 18, 2010 - Holiday State of Mind . . .

December 19, 2010 The Etiquette of Christmas Estrangement

December 20, 2010 Estranged at Christmas? Love the One You're With.

 

 


For Parents: Discussion Forum on Estrangement

Dr. Joshua Coleman's discussion forum is a place that is particularly helpful for parents who are trying to come to grips with estrangements by their children.

At this time of year I know that many people are looking for support to get them through the holidays. I do recommend this discussion forum. It has been around for a few years but has gone through major improvements. It is much easier to use than it was a few years ago when it was one long window of over 1,000 posts.

Forum: When Parents Hurt: Dealing with Parental Alienation

 


Australian blogger on family estrangement: E-stranged

I found a blog by an Australian poet, social worker, writer, and photographer, Fiona McColl. She is doing research on and writes on family estrangement. In a quick perusal of her entries, I found that I have some experiences in common with her and also agreement with her assessment of at least one other writer on estrangement on the internet. There are quite a number of excellent posts that make worthwhile reading.

The blog is called E-stranged

In her "About Me" on her blog Fiona says:

My name is Fiona McColl and I am a clinical therapist, social worker, poet, photographer, researcher and activist for social change. I am also a women who is estranged from my family. I am currently undertaking research for a book about family estrangement. I am most interested in the experiences of people who are living with the complex realities of estrangement. If you would like to learn more or be involved with the E-stranged project through completing the pilot survey or sharing your story, please email me, Fiona McColl at: e-stranged@live.com