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

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.


On the Today Show, July 6, 2010: Joshua Coleman and Debby

Joshua Coleman and Debby were on this morning's Today Show on NBC. Joshua Coleman is the author of When Parents Hurt. Debby is a mother who has been estranged by her daughter for seven years. I am providing a link to the interview. I don't know how long the link will be good as the Today Show might not provide these links for permanent access. So if the link doesn't work at some point and I realize that, then I will remove it. It should remain good for a while.

What happens when children cut off their parents. Interview with Joshua Coleman and Debby.
July 6, 2010

BTW the url for the discussion group, Estranged Stories, has been changed to

The old url will still take you to the site but there is a new permanent url.


Why don’t I write regularly here any more?

You might wonder why, if I went to the trouble of setting up a website and a blog, I haven’t been writing about estrangement for a long time now. I’ve been thinking of how to explain that. I have been asked that question by a few visitors and I have responded to them. If you are among those who visit and wonder about the lack of fresh new posts, this post is my answer to that question.

Continue reading "Why don’t I write regularly here any more?" »

Altruism as an antidote to what ails us: Cami Walker's solution

Outside of what I wrote in my Guidelines for how to cope with being estranged I don't have any great answers on what to do about estrangements. But sometimes I see something written that rings a bell for me about things that have helped me. I saw an article like that the other day in the New York Times online.

Something that has helped me is to get involved in helping other people. In fact I do that a lot. Sometimes I do it so much that I don't have time to get other things done. So be warned! But it is a great way to get your brain going in a different direction and removing all the worries and preoccupations about things you can do nothing about. Also, you will make new friends and develop a whole new set of things to do that you never thought of doing before!

The article that I found was along the lines of curing what ails you by taking your viewpoint off of yourself and directing it outward towards the world. The article is about what one woman did and learned after she was told that she had multiple sclerosis. I think that the words "multiple sclerosis" would be mighty scary words to hear!

This is what Cami Walker did: In Month of Giving, a Healthy Reward by Tara Parker-Pope, Nov. 30, 2009.

That link is my gift to you today. Use it well!

Wishing everyone a peaceful holiday season,


A Survey on Family Estrangement

My friend who is working on a documentary about Family Estrangements has prepared two surveys on the topic. She asks both parents estranged from their children and children estranged from their parents to respond to the survey. Here is what she says:

"Finally.. surveys are ready.
There is a survey for Parents that are Estranged from their Adult Children and there is a a survey for Adult Children. I urge all of you to take the time to answer honestly! If there are ever going to be answers or help for this issue, we need everyone's participation! Thank you in advance for your time!"

She also says, "Please know that this is totally confidential!!!!!
I am hopeful that everyone will take the time to answer these questions. The results will be used to continue to try to get the attention of therapists and the psychology community that this is a real problem that really exists.
The only way this will make a difference is to have your participation .... adult children as well as parents."

Click here to take the Parents Estranged from Adult Children survey now.

Click here to take the Adult Children Estranged from Parents survey now.

A small piece of the past revisited

It's been a long time since I wrote a post that talked about estrangement. It is almost a year since the dialogue begun on May 12, 2008 that I had with my estranged daughter in the comment section of a post on here. One point of contention for her was whether I would mention certain things or not in my blog. I would not agree to what she wanted from me but I knew it was a sensitive point so in my own heart and mind I had decided not to write about those issues unless I had a good reason to do so. Since May of 2008 I have not mentioned those issues here.

Continue reading "A small piece of the past revisited" »


I found an announcement online regarding a new support group. The announcement reads as follows:

A NEW JERSEY no-fee “PARENTS of ESTRANGED CHILDREN” community Support Group will begin meeting at the STARTING POINT in Westmont, New Jersey (Camden County).

Continue reading "New Jersey Support Group: PARENTS of ESTRANGED CHILDREN" »

Support Groups: Part III: Creating your own online group.

If you can't find a support group that meets your needs and in which you feel safe, you can create an online discussion group. You can create such a group with the tools provided online by a number of companies that provide online services. Companies such as Yahoo!, Typepad, Google (Blogger), Wordpress and others.

Continue reading "Support Groups: Part III: Creating your own online group." »

Support Groups: Part II (Online Support Groups)

Some online discussion groups have been offered on sites set up by the authors of books on the subject. Some online groups are public and anyone can read and write on the site. Others require people to become members using an email address or user name and a password but letting almost anyone join. Occasionally such groups may block a person who violates the moderator's rules of conduct but it is easy for someone to make up another user name, get another email address, and join again.

Continue reading "Support Groups: Part II (Online Support Groups)" »

Support Groups for those coping with a family estrangement. Part I

A mother in pain over not having had any contact with her recently estranged son joined an online support group. She talked about her feelings and how grateful she was to find the group and how rare it is for a grown child to estrange themselves from their parents. I tried to say that I thought that the situation wasn't rare but she would have none of that. She insisted that it was rare. As I thought about it more, I realized that she is right. Relatively speaking, it is rare. Not unheard of certainly but if you ask one hundred parents with grown kids if this has happened to them, you will find few, if any, who will say yes. Not that I have tried this. I haven't.

Continue reading "Support Groups for those coping with a family estrangement. Part I" »

Reconciliation: An opportunity to be surprised and impressed.

In recent months several friends and acquaintances have been reporting either reconciliations or communications from relatives that may lead to a full reconciliation. I have been delighted for them. Some have reconciled even though they had been assaulted physically by the relative who estranged them. Some had experienced verbal abuse. In each case they were delighted to hear from their returning relatives.

Continue reading "

Reconciliation: An opportunity to be surprised and impressed.

" »

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, . . .

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: "It might have been!"
                                                    from the poem "Maud Miller" by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

My father died in October of 1988. He died the day before my mother's birthday. They had been divorced for twenty years. They had been married for twenty-five years prior to the divorce.

Continue reading "

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, . . .

" »

Texas organization: Healing Estranged Relationships (H.E.R.)

This link is to an organization in Texas that offers support groups to those who are estranged. It sounds as though the groups meet in Texas only so far but that their long term goals may be to branch out to other locations.
H.E.R. Group

Their email address on their site which wasn't working earlier has been fixed and is now working.

When Parents Hurt by Joshua Coleman & related links

I heard of this book for the first time yesterday and visited the sites at the links above. This sounds like a compassionate book that would be of interest to many parents who have lost their relationships with their children.

A reader mentioned "When Parents Hurt" to me yesterday and sent me a link. I thank her very much for letting me know about it. I hadn't heard of it before. It was published in July 2007.


Estrangers & Estrangees: Two sides of the Fence Called Estrangement

The Problem with Discussing Estrangement Online.

People who have a family estrangement tend to have experienced one of two kinds of situations: they have decided to become estranged from someone or they have become estranged due to someone else's decision. The first group I call Estrangers. The second Estrangees.

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Estrangers & Estrangees: Two sides of the Fence Called Estrangement

" »

Fragmented Families by Ellen B. Sucov

Due to a damaged hard drive that needs to be sent out for data recovery, I'm not currently updating the website. I expect to be able to do updates again in a couple of weeks. (I can do them now but it would be easier if I had some files back on my computer.) In the meantime, I will put the items that I would have put on here on the Estrangements blog.

Continue reading "

Fragmented Families by Ellen B. Sucov

" »

July 18, 2006: keyword search: "how to let go"

These links were selected from the results of a Google search using the keyword phrase "how to let go":

  1. From How to let go of guilt and learn to forgive
  2. From Letting Go (Note: This article pertains to all kinds of letting go.)
  3. How to Let Go of Your Mad Baggage, a book by Lynne Namka, Ed.D.
  4. On How to Let Go. (Note: This page has additional links as you scroll down to the bottom of the posts that also relate to letting go. I didn't go and read them all but there looks to be a lot of good input on the topic of learning to let go.)
  5. On Delegating Effectively: How to Let Go and Why by Jodi Mills (Note: The "letting go" being discussed in this article is not the same kind of letting go as in a relationship. But the issues of perfectionism and letting go of control of others and things are important ones that can be extrapolated to cover more than one kind of situation.)
  6. On Chet Day's Health & Beyond: How to Let Go of the Need to Be Right by Debbie Mandel
  7. From How to let go the hard way. (A post on a blog about leadership and management issues.)

The Dialectizer & Harry Browne "Gift for My Daughter"

For a change of mood go here: Dialectizer's Redneck version of the online article, Gift for my Daughter by Harry Browne, and press the Dialectize button. Try the Cockney version and the Jive version and the Elmer Fudd version .... And then whatever other url or text you'd like to try the Dialectizer on.

Link to original Harry Browne article without being dialectized: Gift for my Daughter,

"The Art of Grieving", a Workshop, Sept. 9, 2006

"The Art of Grieving Workshop" is being offered on Saturday, September 9, 2006, at the Caron Recovery Center, 244 E. 58th St., NY, NY from 9:30 AM to 4 PM. The cost is $80 per person. For more information, call: 1-800-678-2332 Ext. 6288

I received information in the mail about a number of workshops offered by the Caron organization. In 1988 I took an Adult Children of Alcoholics Workshop given by Caron. I thought it was very worthwhile. I have read of Grief Workshops given by other organizations. This is the first one I had read of that is being offered by Caron.

More Links For Parents

  1.  A Gift for my Daughter By Harry Browne, a Libertarian Party candidate in years past.
  2. Daughter Therapy Interesting online article on unexpected results of therapy.  
  3. When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us: Letting Go of Their Problems, ... Book by Jane Adams
  4. Articles on Recovery from Grief Written by co-authors of The Grief Recovery Handbook