Joy. Such a Small Word…

Hello again!

I’m really not very good at keeping this blog up on an every other day basis like I had planned, but I have to remind myself that I write for my healing first, and healing isn’t something that can’t be scheduled.

As I journey through a new life imposed upon me by the actions of someone else, I have come to learn just how important joy is. I’ve also learned how hard it is to find, and how looking for it is pointless if you don’t ask for help. I seek joy as often as I possibly can, and lately I’ve been lucky in finding it. I find it while watching my almost 2 year old grandson run towards his Poppa with the most awesome smile on his face. I see it when my 4 year old granddaughter colors me a picture and is so proud of herself. I feel joy when I look back on the events that have changed my life so much and have come out on the side of love. I refuse to lose myself in the chaos of confusion and intend to love, and live, joy filled.

Finding joy isn’t easy in a world that promotes hatred, division and hurt, but it is possible. Look for small things. Things like the birdsong of early morning, the feel of the sun on your face, the touch of a human hand. Reach out to a neighbor in need, smile at a harried mom in the grocery store, pay something forward. No one but you is responsible to fill your heart with joy, but others certainly can add to it. You decide what you’ll accept and not accept in life, even when someone else thinks they have all the control. It has taken a great deal of hard work after the loss of my daughter to be joy filled, but with each passing day, I’m learning to let her actions speak for her, not me.

I think joy is and will always be like the tides that wash up on the Carolina shore; an ebb and flow of time, energy and consistency. Joy is never far away from any of us, no matter how or why we hurt. Joy is like your invisible best friend from childhood, no one can see yours but you, until you decide to let it shine! Life is a messy, beautiful ride, and joy can be your chauffeur if you should decide to let it!!

I pray for anyone and everyone suffering with pain, shame, guilt and confusion to know joy. To know that joy is as close as their own fleash, and to know that people care more than you know. Remember always to be kind and know that even the most simple act of kindness brings unfounded joy to a broken heart.

G’night!

Stopping the noise…

Hey All,

I know it’s been a bit since I’ve written, but there have been some things going on inside of me that have required some very personal attention and time away from outside stimuli. I’ve backed off of social media groups I belong to, left my damn cell phone at home when going out and I’m seeking out ways to navigate the journey I’m currently on. I’ll explain as best as I can, so sit back, grab a drink and see if this journey is something you’d be willing to take if you were in my place.

I’ve focused this blog on the agony and pain that the estrangement and alienation forced on us by our oldest daughter. That pain is ever present in my every day life, that will remain ever so, but ya know what? I realized in the silence I sought that I was placing too much energy and focus on the pain and anguish, thus giving too much of my energy to someone that doesn’t even care any more. Screw that! I am walking through the pain every day with my head held high and learning to accept my powerlessness in the grand scheme of things. I am powerless when it comes to contact with my beloved grandchildren, but I am NOT powerless in my love for them. She can put up all kinds of roadblocks and send bullshit letters from some attorney that probably doesn’t even know her name is attached to said mailing, but she CANNOT make me unlove the children. She can make it impossible for me to be a part of their lives, for now, but she CANNOT make me forget them. It always seems to come down to a competitive type vernacular when I write how I feel about this mess, but it’s not a competition. And, if it is, I’ll concede to her “winning” this battle, but winning is hollow when your opponent doesn’t fight back, don’t you think? I’m focusing my fight within, and I am going to pick the battles ahead very carefully.

Eight months ago I reached out to a trusted person and sought guidance at what I now realize was the beginning of this current trek I am engaged in. Eight months… It took me 8 months to take the first step. It may not seem like all that long, but looking back it seems like an eternity in the context of things as they stand presently. I sat with this person for 90 minutes a week ago and poured my heart out. I let go of all the dirty, nasty secrets, I put a voice to the voices that my grandchildren are not allowed to have and I cried. A lot. Ugly crying. After waiting 8 months to take the first step into my journey I figured it was to my benefit to let go of it all and trust in whatever advice would be rendered. My heart was broken anew when I left this person’s office, but I gained so much more insight and clarity, the breaking was necessary. And is necessary. Nothing worth having comes easy, hence the labor that we mothers suffer when bringing a new life to this world. Labor. Just the word itself makes you think of hard work and exhausting effort. Women are not the only ones that know what labor means, not by a long shot, and I would dare any one to say otherwise. I have seen my own husband after a 10 hour night of freight handling, worn out, dirty and beyond exhausted, portraying the meaning of the word labor in front of my very eyes. In much the same way, this journey is going to be full of exhausting and heartbreaking labor. Labor I am fully willing to take on and learn from.

Stopping the noise has been a blessing to me and something I would fully recommend to anyone who has a mind that can’t seem to sort out what it all means. I had to take a bit of time away and re-examine why I started this blog. I had to find my own inner voice in the cacophony of all the noise and I had to choose to listen to me. To my heart. To the spirit that is moving within me. I have walked without any type of spiritual compass for many years now, and felt like I had been doing a good job of navigating the twists and turns of my life until the day I was thrown out with the garbage. On that day the compass I had been using was not only broken, but smashed and ground into the earth. There was absolutely nothing left of any type of compass during the early days of estrangement. It was nothing but a free fall into an endless and dark abyss. The days of free falling came to end 8 months ago when I started to hear the noise in the far off distance. The noise started with me asking for time to talk when I was ready. The abyss did have a bottom, and I’ve spent these past 8 months climbing up from that bottom. Clawing my way out with bloodied fingers from clinging to whatever fissure I could hold on to. Crawling my way out on bruised and bloodied knees from constantly falling backward and getting back up to try again. The further up the walls of the abyss I made it, the louder the noise. After the meeting I had a week ago, the noise had reached levels that I couldn’t stand anymore and I just had to shut it off.

We are all vulnerable to the noise that life in the 21st century brings and we are all more than capable of shutting it off. I still hear the noise to a degree, but it’s an invited noise, not at a decibel level that is unsafe or would drive even the most enthusiastic rock music fan crazy. I listen to softer music these days mostly because of my age, but also because I know that music has a direct affect on me. Loud and banging = clean the house. Soft and soothing = a peaceful mind. I always listen to Kenny Rogers on my Echo dot while writing, whether it’s my blog or book, and I always listen to the Backstreet Boys in the morning. It’s noise I choose when I want it, but the noise of the past 8 months was both an invited and uninvited guest. I have learned and continue to learn how to turn down the volume on the uninvited guest and have a whole new outlook on this estrangement and alienation. It goes without saying that I know I will have many more dark days in my future, days that I’ll be staring down into that abyss again, days that I would not wish even on the daughter that threw me away. I now know I can turn down the noise, or change the station and I can reset my playlist to my liking.

I’m going to end here for tonight and hope that anyone reading this will find some tiny nugget of help in these words I’ve typed tonight. I feel strong right now, and I feel empowered for the future. This journey is just beginning and I am quite curious to see where it takes me. I’m grateful that I am not writing this blog for money, I would have lost my job because of my self imposed silence! Until next time…

Let the journey begin…
Photo by Barb Enos
Hendersonville,NC

Remember the fallen, always…

Hello All,

On this most somber of holidays, I hope those of us experiencing the death of relationships with our estranged children can take a moment and reflect on something other than ourselves. We have so much to be thankful for as Americans because of the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives for our freedoms. Even when there are so many of us that feel those very freedoms threatened by the powers that be, we need to remember that nothing is more permanent than death. We have rights to protest, assemble, sit-in, strike and many other manners of freedom that many around the world just don’t have. For these freedoms and so much more, I am eternally thankful.

Both my husband and I come from military families and we are honored to have served as well. Serving is such a wonderful word, and something I believe in with all that I am. I hope we can all stop and think about what service to our country means and find it within ourselves to say thank you. Service is the reason I am able to live where I do, live as I please and live a life that I pray brings honor to the memory of those that have fallen. My husband’s uncle died at Iwo Jima and is buried in Hawaii. His dad served in the Army for 22 years. My dad was a Navy man. We both have brothers that have served. Please remember…

A life of military service is hard, but the rewards far outweigh the sacrifices. We have a lifetime of service behind us and are proud to have raised our children within the military community. We had a good life while we were in, though hard and quite painful at times too. I missed the military community very much when we moved from Charleston, SC to Asheville, NC, though I didn’t miss the actual service. Community is everything to a military family, that’s what keeps us going during months of deployment, random phone calls to get ready to leave everyone and everything you love behind within a day and community cares. Caring for the safety and well-being of our country isn’t easy, but it is worth it all.

Today I spent a lot of time thinking about how the freedoms granted us by those gone before us also play a part in what has become our life after losing our oldest daughter. We came home to Charleston 4½ months after we lost her and being closer to our military background has helped ease some of the pain of loss. We have resources that we didn’t have in western North Carolina. We have reconnected with our roots and we enjoy seeing the community support our young military members everywhere we go. It’s all part of the lifestyle of the military. Nothing hurts more than losing a child, and today made me think of how many children we have lost since the birth of this country. It makes my pain seem insignificant today. I still have a daughter that loves me, grandchildren to play with and my husband to love me. Many people have lost all of that and so much more… Remember them. Honor them and thank a veteran next time you see one.

I’ll be back on to write more about estrangement and alienation later on this week, but I wanted to share my heart before going to sleep. I tried to go to bed earlier, but thinking about all the fallen made it impossible to sleep without honoring them through my writing. Good night to you all and thank you to all who have paid the ultimate price. We honor you all this Memorial Day…

In remembrance of the fallen…
Shared image from Facebook

Shredded a little bit…

Hey All,

It’s funny to me that my heart feels like the bag of shredded mail and paper I have beside me right now. I shred all the mail with any address information that comes into our house and I recycle all the shredded paper, along with envelopes, magazines and junk. Junk… estrangement and alienation are just that. No one should be comfortable with shredding another person’s heart, and it says a lot about someone that cares so little for others. I’m not a piece of paper that someone can put in a household shredder and forget about. I am a person that loves deeply, hurts beyond belief and deserves answers. Answers to the questions I have stopped asking because I know those answers will never come. Hell, if they ever do, the answers will more than likely be lies, and I’m sick of the lies as well as the silence, so maybe it’s best if I just keep moving forward and stop looking for answers.

Earlier tonight I watered our lawn as we are gripped by excessive heat right now and the watering triggered the thought that if something is worth having, it’s worth taking care of. I hate spending the extra money on our water bill, but until the county declares a ban on watering because of drought, I will continue to water the lawn. I need to take care of it. Just like I needed to take care of the daughter that threw me and her dad away. We cared for her, we watered her and we watched her grow. We were so happy to be blessed with a little girl for our first child and we never imagined that we would be accused of terrible and heinous things when she grew tired of us. We nurtured her like we try and nurture our lawn, but it was all a waste of time. Just like I believe the grass will not survive the next five days of extreme temperatures, we didn’t survive the extremes of parenthood, though we sure did try. We miss our daughter, but we have to stop watering that which refuses to continue to grow.

As parents who have been alienated, we have had to learn a whole new way of caring for not only ourselves, but for the grandchildren caught in the crossfire. Here is where the idea of caring for something worth having takes its’ toll. We are like millions of other grandparents around the world. We love our grandchildren more than we ever thought we could love anyone, and when that love is denied, it’s just so mean to the kids. The children have no voice in any of this mess and it’s beyond impossible to figure out how someone who is supposed to love them thinks that it’s okay to deny them love. What has happened to the family structure here in America and around the world? Why is it so acceptable to claim your parents were abusive and neglectful just so you can walk away without looking back? Where is the forgiveness? Where is the proof of such actions? Where is the caring about someone other than yourself? Taking care of something and someone isn’t easy, but if they or it are worth having don’t you find a way? Don’t you find a way to water that grass through the dry periods in hopes that it will survive? I know for me that I will never give up on nurturing the love for my grandchildren, it’s just not like me to turn off that hose.

As the summer bears down on us here in the southeast, we have to be aware of how fragile we become once we are exposed to the damaging effects of the sun. It’s the same once you become a victim of alienation and estrangement. You get burned. It’s that simple. Once you’ve been burned, you either take protective measures against further damage, or you don’t. When I’m out in the sun, I stay as hydrated as possible. I wear sunscreen. I seek shade. Now that I’ve been burned by estrangement, I guard my heart from further abuse. I write this blog as a way to process the pain and anguish that I live with every day. I stand fast in the knowledge that I know I wasn’t a perfect mom, but I sure as hell tried to be the best mom I could be. When you’re told by your adult child that you were never good enough, whether by word or actions, or both, you die inside. It’s like the sun destroying my lawn, it happens a little more every day. Though I still feel like I die a little every day, I also feel stronger and more positive for the future. That damn sun won’t win every summer, not even every week, though while the heat is so intense it seems hopeless to think anything could grow.

I can honestly tell you that my husband and I have grown through this estrangement and we are like the roots of the thirsty trees seeking water at this current moment. We have learned to be patient and wait on the rain, but in the interim we take care of ourselves as best we can. We love each other, we love our children and grandchildren and we love our family and friends. Love is the nutrient needed to keep us going, even without that love being received or returned by the child that tossed us aside. Without love life is not worth the effort, so like those tree roots seeking water, our hearts will seek love. Love can burn your heart as the sun burns our grass, but I’ll suffer heart burn any day knowing that it does eventually ease.

Growth is hard. Being shredded is hard. Being thrown away is not necessary. Remember, if something is worth having, take care of it. Take care of yourself through the droughts your heart will experience because of estrangement and alienation. If you are anything like me, you didn’t ask to be shredded, burned or forgotten, so remember that you matter. I matter. The people we love deserve the best of us, and even if the best you have to give is a little water to those who love you, a little water can go a long way. Stay cool, be calm and look ahead, the heatwave will end and things will be greener again.

Happiness matters!!
Photo by Barb Enos

What’s in a dream?

Hi,

I’m a mature woman who has always believed that the power of a dream is something to pay attention to, though right now I wish I were not that person. I had a dream on Sunday night that rocked me to my core and 48 hours later, I hate the thought of closing my eyes to sleep. Silly, right? How I wish I believed that myself. I woke up from this dream about 2:30 in the morning, and have had difficulty sleeping since. When I woke up my first thought was “Who the hell is screaming?” only to realize that I woke myself up screaming and was sitting straight up. The details of the dream are so clear in my mind, but I’m not going to go into too much detail as to the content of the dream. It’s very personal, and almost too real. I’m afraid if I put a voice to it, I am giving this dream more credit than it deserves. Why should I let the dream have so much power over me? I’m trying hard not to, but find it almost impossible to not see it when I close my eyes.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you dreamed of someone you loved that was missing from your life and that they were in danger? Have you dreamed of a long lost love and found yourself back in their arms in your dream? I LOVE to dream of my Daddy, he died in April of 2000. I’ve only had a few dreams of him in the past 19 years, but I love that I get to “see” him again! I love dreaming of the beach on a hot summer day and then getting to go on a day just like I dreamed about is so special. I love to dream of seeing my beloved grandchildren again someday, and giving them such warm and loving hugs. In my dreams of them they are grown, and I often wonder if this means I won’t see them for at least 5 more years. I sincerely hope this isn’t the case, but the estrangement shows no signs of being resolved, so I am led to believe that I am to be denied the freedom to love them any time soon.

This dream has me so frazzled and confused. It leaves me feeling much as the estrangement does. I’m bewildered by the lengths my estranged daughter has gone to in order to erase both myself and my husband from her life. Does she think erasing people like they never existed is okay? Does she ever see us in her dreams? I have only had one dream about her since she threw us away last year, and that’s enough. I woke up from that dream in a terrible mood and I don’t think she should have that kind of power over me. She made a choice I never would have made, and now my choice is to maintain and foster happiness in spite of all the pain. She isn’t any more welcome in my head than I am in her life, but she still (and always will) occupy space there. When I sleep I have no control over what I see or who I dream about, but while I’m awake she can and will continue to be pushed to the back of my mind as often as necessary.

Dreams can be so many things to so many people and I hope that as I close my eyes tonight, Sunday’s dream begins to fade from my memory. I can remember dreams from my teenage years, though not very many, so I hope this one doesn’t linger as those have. I know what I need to do to get my dream state back into a somewhat normal cycle, but knowing that and actually doing it are two very different things. I want to sleep peacefully again, and am not so sure that will happen anytime soon. The demons of the night creep up on us, just like estrangement and alienation do, and somehow all the lines and boundaries become blurred.

I’m going to bed soon and with a positive outlook as to the night ahead. I am hoping to see no one in my dreams, and should I, I am hoping to not remember who I saw. I want to close my eyes in peace and wake up the same way. I don’t want to suffer for reasons I can’t control, the estrangement and alienation bring enough suffering in a day to last a lifetime. I feel like my sleep is my own and no one else is welcome there unless they bring a smile and leave me feeling loved. I feel like love is in short supply these days as it is, so to lose it in my sleep to forces beyond my control is just not cool.

May your dreams be peaceful and sweet and may you come to know that you do not suffer the minefield that is alienation and estrangement alone. You only have to look to the left and right to know that there is something missing in each and every familial situation all around the world. Dreams should bring joy, not pain or terror, we suffer enough during the waking hours of our lives.

My dreams are made of this…
Sand, sun and surf.
Fort Zachary Taylor, Key West, FL
Photo by Barb Enos

I’m not just a mom…

Hey Everyone,

It’s a hot and humid day here in the low country of South Carolina and I am inside enjoying the AC. Sitting inside has me thinking about estrangement and how we as parents end up experiencing what we perceive to be a lack of control over the situation and all the baggage that comes with it. I fully admit to feeling like I was going insane when it all started last May, but in the year and few days since the beginning of the nightmare cast upon us I’ve come to know that what we experience is not insanity, it’s grief. Plain and simple grief, but beyond comprehension and so very complicated all at the same time.

I thought in the very beginning that I would never find my way through the instantaneous craziness and turmoil heaped on us by our adult child’s decision to throw us away. The longer the estrangement lasts, the stronger I become in the knowledge that I’m more than just a mom. I’m not only a mom, I’m a MiMi, a sister, a wife, a friend, a worker and a woman. A human being. What I am not is a piece of trash, though I have been treated as such. Once I started to fight my way out the fog of disbelief and anger, I began to claw my way back to what is rightfully my life. My life may not seem like much to those looking in from the outside, but it’s a beautiful life and I wouldn’t trade it for any reason. It’s been a tough life, but the rewards far outweigh even the darkest of times. Being thrown away by my adult daughter has caused me to look over my shoulder quite often to see how close the demons of the past are to catching up with me, and every time I look behind me they’re farther and farther away. I’ve been able to reach down deep and dig into lessons from my past to get me through these present times and I’m proud of that. I’m proud that I have learned that I have value to myself, and don’t really care if those outside of my small and intimate circle think of me as valuable. I don’t care that there are people out there that will assume I had to be a terrible mother to my child to be thrown away after 35 years of being her mom. I know I loved her and cared for her and I also know I made mistakes as a mom, but that’s what all people do. We all make mistakes. I know that self forgiveness is a lesson I learned in the past that has given me strength to navigate this estrangement. I wish with all my heart that our daughter could know that I am sorry that she feels we didn’t do things right, that we weren’t and aren’t good enough, but we know that we did the best we could and that does count for something. I see the mistakes I made as a mom and wish I could correct them, but it’s far too late for that. And I’m not going to wish my life away and focus on that which I know will never happen.

I think that today’s expectations for parents are so far fetched and unattainable that as the children grow and become more aware of the outside world, the parents become less than to their children. I think it takes decades for the children to realize that their parents loved them and tried really hard to be everything for them, but we all know not one single person can be EVERYTHING. I’ve spent the past year examining closely the relationship and lack thereof that I had with my own mother and know that I was wrong in so many ways in regards to the way I treated her as I got older. By the time I was 15 the relationship I had with my own mother was broken and I distanced myself from her as much as I could, though I never treated her like she didn’t exist. After I graduated from high school and moved out, I never looked back to my childhood until I was 37, when my father died. In all the years between 1979 and 2000 I was busy like we all are. I got married, we had our oldest, we joined the Navy, we moved a lot and we added a second child. We lost my husband’s Nana in the 1990’s, we kept on moving and we kept on serving. Somewhere along the line, my mother came to live with us as she started failing. It’s one of my biggest regrets now, but at the time, it seemed the right thing to do. After she came to live us, she became quite abusive to our younger daughter and as you can imagine, things between she and I failed. Miserably. We ended up placing her in an assisted living facility yet I still never cut her out completely. She hurt my child both physically and mentally and I could have easily walked away from her, but I didn’t. I look back on that time with her now as a learning experience. I learned from her how not to be and I have always appreciated that. When people ask me if I miss my own mom I tell them “I miss what could have been.” That is now how I feel about my oldest child. I miss what could have been. And what could be. Whatever she thinks I did to deserve being thrown away isn’t factual, but she has to figure that out for herself. The cycle is still going on, and for that I am very sorry.

I miss my grandchildren beyond description and this is where the grief really takes it toll on me. I fear that our daughter is denying them so much love and how can anyone not be resentful of that? I know they know we love them, but after more than a year of not seeing them, not being able to even talk to them, what do they think? These are the kind of thoughts that make this alienation feel like insanity and I have to constantly remind myself that I am not going insane. I want to feel the pain in some ways, because the pain means that they still have places in my heart that are theirs alone and that all of this is real. As a person that comes from a broken background (who doesn’t?) being able to give love is as important if not more important than receiving it. The bonds of the love I have for my grandchildren have not been broken, they have become stronger. I’ve had to learn that no matter how much we want to love them, we just can’t do that in person. I’ve kept their Christmas gifts, I’ve started memory books and boxes for them and I think of them every day. Every second of every minute of every hour of every day. They are never not with me or my husband in spirit and we look to the future while living in the present that someday we will be reunited with them. We also hope that our son-in-love will be a part of that someday, in whatever capacity works for him. When I let myself think of how his life must be at times, I cry for him. We’ve all lost so much because of the actions of our adult child, but we are still standing, living life and loving our family. We are not and will not be defined by this, though there are days I have to tell myself this all day long.

I am more than just a mom, and I hope that any alienated and estranged parent/grandparent comes to know that they are more than just a title. Or a victim. Victim mentality will only get you so far in a situation such as this, you have to find your inner strength and press on. For yourself, your other grand/children if you have them, for your spouse, your friends and your community. You deserve to be whole and happy, and I promise you that you can be, you just have to walk your specific path through the darkness that may seem to have no end… There is an end to that darkness and when you look behind yourself, I hope you catch glimpses of light that will eventually find its’ way out in front of you. Sooner or later the light will be leading you again.

Just as the sky will always meet the horizon, my heart will love freely.
Nevada desert, Nov. 2018
Photo by Barb Enos

Living an impossible life…

Hey all,

It’s been a couple of days since I sat down to write, and I feel every single hour when I sit here trying to figure out how to say all I’m feeling. The life of an estranged and alienated parent/grandparent is so layered with hurt, loneliness, anger, grief, questions, rage and so on, that sometimes I feel like I am caught in the acts of insanity that got me here in the first place. I know I’ve said this before, but this is not a choice I would have ever made for my family and I feel like screaming because our daughter has no right to keep us trapped by her choices.

Things have been okay lately, though not all is rosy. We have learned to not be hopeful when it comes to anything estrangement related. I feel like living without hope makes things impossible, but living with hope brings a crushing sense of disappointment, so it’s all like a damned if you do, damned if you don’t way of living. It gets tiring. It gets exhausting and it gets me feeling like defeat is waiting for me around every corner. Defeat in a game that I don’t want to play! I so dislike the way the human mind thinks everything is a competition. Estrangement and alienation are not competitions, they are acts of abuse and cruelty. Those are definitely things I have no wish to “win” at. Not ever. Over the course of this estrangement I have absolutely come to abhor the word win. Win? Win what? Does it bring the abuser pleasure in knowing that they have ruined relationships? Shattered trust? Denied love? If that’s winning, then I want no part in it. None at all.

We have survived and moved forward this first year of living without our oldest child and her family, though it has been an uphill struggle most of the way. Every time we get to a point where we feel like progress has been made, something happens that tries to knock us backwards. We’ve become more skilled over the past 12+ months at recognizing threats to our well being and fending them off. That also means we have learned to trust fewer people and become more insular in who we invite into our circle. I think it’s a coping mechanism that no one wants to develop, but has to in order to survive such a painful and hateful act against themselves. Trust is not assumed any longer and I doubt I will ever put my heart out there again when meeting someone new. Another thing taken from me without my permission…

Do you ever think about the long term when it comes to estrangement and alienation? I do. I so do. What will happen when there is a family emergency? What if someone passes away? What do we as the ones thrown away do when there is a need to reach out and breach the silence? Do we just assume that the adult child cares so little for any of the family they’ve thrown away that they don’t want to know if something happens? Do we invite their wrath by trying to break through the silence? Do we open ourselves up to more abuse? More hatred? My husband and I have discussed this many times and we feel like we have plans in place that we can live with should we ever need to. We aren’t getting any younger and to know that our daughter cares so little for us is hard, but it’s not unmanageable. We will get through whatever comes together and face whatever backlash may come from our decisions together. Having plans in place for your financial future is smart and everyone knows this, but do you have plans for your emotional future? It’s sad that we even have to consider such things, but it is reality for us now and we can’t not be ready.

Living an impossible life isn’t impossible, it’s just hard. And sad. And so not necessary. As human beings, we’re supposed to be able to reason things out, but you can’t reason with the unreasonable, and therein lies the impossibility of it all. Estrangement and alienation are unreasonable actions taken by people who are so intent on hurting others that they probably could never admit how much they’ve hurt themselves. Pride gets in the way. Or at least it seems like pride to me. I know that my pride was in my own way when I left my husband back in October of 2017, and had I not come to that realization, we would be divorced by now. I have thrown my prideful self away for good and am never ashamed to seek help and guidance when I need it. I need both help and guidance and so much more to get through each day now that we have been cast aside by our own child. We support one another, we love each other and we know we will never let anything or anyone get in the way of our marriage again. An impossible life is possible, it just takes grit, stamina and removing the rose colored glasses we all wear when it comes to really seeing those we love.

If you’re dealing with the vast range of extreme emotions that accompany estrangement and alienation, please know that you are never alone. There are thousands upon thousands of families around the world going through the same hell you are and it’s vital that you not hide and feel shame. Reach out for support, seek guidance and hold tight to whatever small joys you experience in a day. Time is one of the best healing tools we have, and I know that seems like a lame piece of advice, but it’s true. One year and one day ago we were thrown away, ripped from our grandchildren and son-in-love and totally crushed and defeated. One year and one day later we are more solid in our marriage than we have ever been, we are thriving instead of just surviving and we are living this impossible life with joy!

Finding joy in the every day.
A tranquil walk
Arnold Arboretum, Boston, MA
Photo by Barb Enos