Mother’s Day has come and gone and I survived!!! I actually wasn’t dreading it like a ton of other moms that have been alienated and estranged, I just didn’t look forward to the sadness I knew I would feel on and off during the day. That sadness never really made an appearance and for that I am so very grateful. How does any mom that bore children and then gets thrown away by them ever find peace of mind over a situation in which they have no control? Or choice? It takes determination, grit, support and strength, that’s for sure. It also takes patience and that’s the one thing in my life I have never had enough of. Especially with myself. Self-patience has always eluded me and I’ve struggled throughout this past year trying to find it.
I am a firm believer that any relationship needs certain items to begin to build a strong foundation. After the foundation is laid, the real building begins. First and foremost for me to be able to build or rebuild any relationship is trust. Trusting in myself comes first and then a layer of trusting someone else is added on. Over time, as people begin to grow together, the trust strengthens and confidence gets added to the mix. Confidence that the trust you’ve placed in someone else isn’t and won’t be violated, abused or broken. What happens when a foundation built on trust is demolished by someone you loved? Someone you had confidence in? Can you rebuild? Do you want to? Those are questions I can only answer for myself and the answer is usually yes. I want to rebuild, though in the case of estrangement, I fear I will never be able to nor have the chance to. The pain of accusations that have no merit overshadow everything else. I’ve told people that if I had something to apologize for, I would have by now. How do you apologize for loving someone? How do you apologize when no one listens? How do you apologize when the apology isn’t authentic? So many unanswered questions surround the subject of estrangement and alienation, and those unanswered questions are barriers to rebuilding the foundation of trust that needs to be present.
I know that there are thousands of families around the world being introduced to alienation and estrangement at the whims of their adult children. To those families I say I am sorry. So very sorry that you are now part of a group of people that never wanted to be a part of a in the first place. You’ve been blindsided by someone you trusted, and now you’re in a violent tailspin from which you are sure there is no escape. Let me assure you that there is an escape route, but you have to give yourself time to find it. Give yourself the patience it will take to face the next hour, never mind the next day, and remember if possible that you are not alone. You are never alone, even when you tell yourself this just can’t be happening. I agonized for days on end and thought for sure I would die, but I’m still standing. And standing stronger. You can, too, just remember to love yourself enough to give yourself grace for the feelings that will overwhelm you. Feelings will very much overwhelm you, you’ll question everything you ever knew and believed, and you’ll blame yourself. Don’t. Our children are adults, let them carry the burdens of blame and shame, those are vestments you never asked to wear.
I miss my daughter and her family, but I have had to learn how to live without them. And I have. You can too. The foundations of the relationship you shared with your adult child(ren) may be broken, but you don’t have to be. Believe in yourself first, dig down deep within and take that first baby step towards healing, it’s totally worth it. It’s been a year for me now, and the healing seems so small at times, but it is there. Don’t make the same mistakes I did and hold yourself responsible for someone else’s decisions, it’s not fair to you. I admit that I made mistakes as a mom, but who doesn’t? I don’t accept the reasons given for being thrown away, I never will, because I never tried to hurt my daughter the way she claims. I don’t lose sleep over the reasons given like I did when everything fell apart, I lose sleep over not being able to see our grandchildren. I try very hard to remember them the most, they don’t deserve to live a life void of loving grandparents…