A couple of weeks ago when I saw my internist for a wellness check up, we discussed the seeming epidemic of adult children who are estranged from their parent or parents.
The discussion began when she told me that she got married last year. I asked her if she wanted to have children. She said her husband has children, but that she had decided not to have any herself.
She jokingly said that some of her friends questioned who was going to take care of her in her old age. And she said she explained to them that the dynamic of “family” has changed drastically over the years.
She told me that in her medical practice, she sees adult children who are estranged from their parent/parents all the time.
I recall reading that passage, and being so surprised by it that I sat there and read it over and over again.
I’d never heard of this myself until the night before my first ankle surgery nearly five years ago. I guess I was surprised to learn that I wasn’t the only one this had happened to.
Somehow knowing that I was not alone helped me sort things out. I cried through much of the book, but it helped me get a grip on what had happened.
If you have an estranged adult child who wants no relationship with you, I wholeheartedly suggest you order this book, or one like it, to help you with your feelings. So that ultimately you can find some form of closure and enjoy life again.
It truly helped me look at the situation in a new light, one I thought was not possible. It helped that this had happened to the author herself. Her son is estranged from them. And she tells how she came to accept it.
I decided then and there to save myself the pain of continuing to reach out when it seemed to make no difference. After every rejection, I was a mess all over again.
Sometimes we can’t do anything about what is happening in our lives.
I grieved for a long time. But thankfully I’ve come a long way in the past months.
When I feel myself getting overwhelmed and the grief comes creeping back in, I remind myself what I learned from the book. The steps that helped me find a sense of peace.
The book taught me that I was not giving up on my adult child. I was simply giving in to her wishes.
If this has happened to you, whatever the reason behind their decision, and no matter how much it hurts, it is something you must come to accept.
Then go on with your life. Stop holding onto your hopes and dreams and the life you thought you’d have with them. And come to terms with the life you have without them.
At first it will seem impossible. But as with most everything, with time it gets easier.
I have received so many emails from parents who also ordered the book, and then found some degree of acceptance.
They say they wished they’d had the book to read years ago. That they might not have wasted so much time grieving.
Ultimately, whether your estranged adult child ever decides to have a relationship with you or not, you are hanging onto something that is simply out of your control.
To have quality of life, I learned that I have to accept what I cannot change. And find joy again.
I ordered the book from Amazon.com. You can find it here if you are interested in reading it.