Author of "Daughter of the Drunk at the Bar" writes about Father's Day (Note: click on the tiny link below the quote to go to the page to read her whole article):
My father isn’t dead but our relationship seems to be. Thanks, Facebook. The last time I heard from him, he told me to go forward as if he were dead. A reverse “You’re dead to me.” That’s where we left it.
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.
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.
But it is common. Research by Stand Alone, a UK charity that supports people who are estranged from relatives, suggests that estrangement affects at least one in five British families. One US study of more than 2,000 mother-child pairs found that 10% of mothers were currently estranged from at least one adult child. And one US study found that more than 40% of participants had experienced family estrangement at some point – suggesting that in certain groups, such as US college students, estrangement may be almost as common as divorce.
Family Estrangement: Why Families Cut Ties and How to Mend Them
From the article: "There hasn't been much research about family estrangement, in part because it’s a difficult thing to study—many people don’t want to talk about their parents or children cutting them off. But in recent years, researchers have been paying more attention, especially to estrangements between parents and adult children. Here are some things they've learned: . . . "
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.”
“Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be.” ~Unknown
Offers pretty good advice for coping with estrangement.
This is a boundary question: What people express and share with other people is a boundary. I feel like every day of work I’m helping people fight against some societal norm that has them really fighting against their own inner core and their own beliefs. When it comes to estrangement in my practice, clients tell me sometimes the shame is worse than the loss of the person.
It is sometimes tempting to see family members as one more burden in an already demanding life. It can be hard to see their awkward attempts to care for us, the confounding nature of their struggles, and the history they carry stumbling into the present. It can be difficult to apologize to those we’ve hurt and hard to forgive those who have hurt us. But sometimes the benefits outweigh the costs. Tara Westover wrote in her memoir, Educated, “I know only this: that when my mother told me she had not been the mother to me that she wished she’d been, she became that mother for the first time.”
We are all flawed. We should have that at the forefront of our minds when deciding who to keep in or out of our lives—and how to respond to those who no longer want us in theirs."
If you've lost contact with family, it can feel incredibly isolating - but estrangement is more common than you might think. Research by Gransnet revealed that one in seven grandparents are estranged from their grandchildren, with many more also estranged from their adult children. If you are affected, you may be wondering how to cope and where to turn for help, so we've compiled advice from gransnetters on how they dealt with the loss and asked the experts at Relate to answer your questions on estrangement.
Hi! It's been a while! Just wanted to give visitors a heads up that I have been working on updating and tidying up pages on Estrangements.com. A while back, years back, when Google gave notice that they were going to lower sites in search results if they were not designed to be seen on mobile devices as well as desk top computers, I bought software (Blocs) to redesign my sites. I have three sites that I manage. So I used the new software. Everything could be seen on all devices. All was well. Until it sort of wasn't.
The app maker sent out upgrades as they do. In my initial work with their app on Estrangements.com, I used what is called a "code widget" to save time when migrating the original design to the new app. I have a lot of links on the site and a lot of text. So that speeded things up. A lot! But after one of the upgrades, the code widgets were royally messed up. At least in my opinion the pages with the code widgets after that "upgrade" looked pretty horrible (and a couple of them still do). But fixing them and removing the code widget was going to take time. So I did not get around to working on them till just recently.
Several pages are now tidied up, updated and looking presentable. Those would be the pages for Books and Movies, the page for the list of those who are estranged, and the page about support groups and blogs. I still have the page on Mental Illness and the page of Poems to do.
I apologize for leaving it such a mess for so long. It has weighed on my mind. Working on it is not the most fun I've ever had. It is tedious. But I feel good about it when it's done.
Take care all.
Over the course of a lifetime what we do on Christmas inevitably changes. This article addresses the changes that occurred in the author's family.
By Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune.
I found a recent article by Joshua Coleman that summarizes many of the causes of family estrangements, recent research on the subject, and reasons for the difficulty in finding resolution. I have read Coleman's writings before. I don't recall reading some of the points he raises in this article in his past writings. But then I don't follow all that is going on with him regularly. I think this is an excellent article well worth reading. I recommend it.
I read about a new book on the subject of family estrangements today:
Fault Lines: Fractured Families and How to Mend Them by Karl Pellemer, Ph.D.
Haven't read it yet myself.
Karl Pillemer is a family sociologist and Professor of human development at Cornell University and also a Professor of Gerontology in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He is an author of 6 books and over 150 scientific publications. He has been a speaker throughout the world on aging related issues.
Fault Lines shares for the first time findings from Dr. Pillemer's five-year, ground-breaking Cornell Reconciliation Project.
Today I received an email regarding a new television program put on by Kinetic Content in early August 2019. They are seeking fathers and adult sons to be on the program who have had a rift in their relationship. The information about the program and whom they are looking for is as follows:
"Kinetic Content is producing a new television program centered on healing broken relationships between fathers and their adult sons.
The show is a bit of an experimental program, and seeks to help close the rifts between fathers and sons by embracing a multilayered approach to communication.
Both participants will make eye contact for five full minutes before either is allowed to speak. This will be a safe environment where both participants are treated with complete respect.
No participant is forced to speak and they can leave at any point afterwards. It is our hope that this chance to connect, without words at first, fosters an environment where true discussion and connection can be fostered.
There will be no surprises or "gotcha" moments. Both father and son must agree for either to participate.
Participants will be paid, and while we are looking specifically at people in the LA area, all are welcome to apply.
Out of town candidates will have their travel and expenses covered.
We are filming in early August in Los Angeles!
We are filming in early August in Los Angeles!
If you are interested or know someone who may be, please share/fill out our application through this link:
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."
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.
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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mark Sichel's Psybersquares site. Articles on family estrangements
- 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."
- 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.
- The Power of Forgiveness by Naomi Drew M.A.
- Forgiveness: The Mandela Principle by Rev. Victor H. Carpenter.
- Learning to Forgive For Good. The website of Fred Luskin.
- Letting Go of Our Adult Children by Arlene F. Harder, M.A., M.F.T.
- 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
- A Gift for My Daughter by Harry Browne
- Borderline Rage, an article by Anthony Walker, M.D.
- Grandparents' Rights Article An article on guidelines for grandparents who want visitation rights.
New research challenges the deeply held notion
that family relationships can’t be dissolved and
suggests that estrangement is not all that uncommon.
Article by Catherine St. Louis, Dec. 20, 2017
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 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.
Closed group on Facebook: "For all who have suffered the loss of a child to the pain of estrangement."
Click on either of the images below to go to this support group on Facebook. Anyone can ask to join or be added or invited by a member.
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.
- Reflections on Life
- Support Page for Parents of Estranged Adult Children
- Estranged from Adult Children for Parents
- Deserted Parents
- Parents Abandoned by Their Adult Children
- Alienated Grandparents
- Grandparent Alienation is Not Natural
- Coping with Estrangement from Adult Children
- Reconciliation or Estrangement
- Help & Healing for Parents of Estranged Adult Children
- Estranged Adult Children
- Estranged Family Coaching & Counseling
- Alienated & Estranged Parents (a closed group)
- Parents of Estranged or Alienated Children Group (a closed group)
- Healing the Pain of Estrangement for Parents & Grandparents (a closed group)
- Estrangement (Community Group)
- Lita Ford's Parental Alienation Awareness
- Parental Alienation Worldwide Support Group
- Parent Alienation (Save the Kids!) (a closed group)
- Alienation: Beating the Drum for Change (a closed group)
- Parental Alienation Global Support (Community Group)
- Parental Alienation is Child Abuse
- Parental Alienation Warriors Unite