Estranged Adult Children: The Dirty Little Secret

AUDIO BLOG:  Transcript below.


Estranged Adult Children often think that by ousting their parents from their lives with improper blame, their troubles are over and their lives will be better.  Unfortunately, your troubles are far from over. 

I’m sure that I’m not alone in having travelled the net in search of something that helps me get through my nights and days, only to find that there’s more out there written by estranged adult children, whining, crying and complaining about their estrangement from their self-diagnosed “narcissistic” parent(s).

There’s a volcano that tends to erupt internally as I see the words these adult children are tossing around while describing their parents, commiserating with one another and labelling their parents as “narcissistic” or “toxic” because the parent said something like, “you kids are all that I have in my old age.”

The word “narcissist” and “toxic” are being used by adult children who are so misguided that they cannot see that their labels are not only incorrectly used towards their parents but that their friends and partners are far more damaging than their parents ever could be or dream of being.  One even went so far as to blame her parents for her tastes in partners who have beaten and abused her then, said that it was her mother who caused her to have those tastes because she had spoken badly about a friend she was with but was nice with her.  I think my jaw dropped down to my knees and frankly, had that woman been in front of me (she was 57 years of age by the way), I would have slapped her at that moment.

While I agree whole heartedly that there are abusive, negligent and narcissistic parents out there in this world, I would also argue that it’s a rarity more than it’s a reality for most.  The amount of adult children who have estranged themselves from their parents out of a self-diagnosis of narcissism or abuse or toxicity, without ever having entered a therapist’s office or if they did, it was for one session and they went to YouTube or some other net produced piece where they put 2 and 2 together to get 5 and called it correct, is simply astounding to say the least.

There are a lot of messed up kids running around out there in today’s world.  Social media, instant Dr. Google and others who are looking for a source of blame rather than themselves as the true source are diagnosing their parents then, labelling them with some pretty serious disorders and accusing them of some really tough stuff because these kids can’t cope with Life and recognize that they are to blame for their own choices or lack of them.  Not the parent(s).

What happens though when their parents die?  Do they see reality and feel regret and remorse or do they go on blaming the now deceased parents forever?  At what age do they grow up and realize that it was their own choices or lack of them that had created their world and all that’s in it, not their parent(s)?  Does such a time ever come?  If so, what good does it do the parent(s) who have gone to their graves, never knowing why their child or children estranged themselves?

There’s something that I’d like to say to these estranged adult children.

Dear Adult Estranged Child:

You can distance yourself right out of your parent(s) life or lives.  You can label them with a self-delusional title or many in order to justify your distance from your parents and staying out of their lives.  However, let it be said that the titles that you’re giving or accusing your parents of being are not accurate and are self-diagnosed.  Simply because you can find, cut and fit yourself and your parents into something you’ve read or seen on the internet, doesn’t mean that you’re correct.  There’s a lot of crap, garbage and misinformation out there or put out there by some really misguided sources in order to make money or be self-serving.  

When or if the parent(s) that you’ve estranged yourself from have asked you point-blankly what it is that you feel that they’ve done that is so bad that you have needed to remove them from your life, have you been able to give proper, full and complete answers or have you come up with vague answers to none?  The same goes for examples of what they’ve allegedly done to you that was so bad for you to have handed out such a sentence to those parents who likely gave you everything that you had, including health, clothing, food, shelter and many extras that you enjoyed.  Can you answer their questions with point blank, understandable examples or are you so unable to answer those questions that you ignore them completely?  If you haven’t responded, cut them off of contacting you, why have you done so without explanation?  Could it be because you have no real answers for them and you know that the watered down versions or examples that you would give to them, also sound silly, stupid and yes, even selfish as well as self-centred?

You can go on blaming your parents for everything that you don’t like about yourself or your life but, do you realize that you’ve made choices, decisions or not made proper ones for yourself and that your parent’s influences over you, long ago were so watered down as to be non-influential upon you?  In fact, your choices, decisions or lack of them, have more to do with you, your sense of entitlement as well as looking for a scapegoat in order for you not to take responsibility for making changes or other choices within yourself as well as your own life.  Do you realize that much about yourself and your life and possibly, even whomever you’ve chosen to be your partner in this life of yours?  Unless you were in an arranged marriage of some kind, you chose them.  If they have your head swayed against your parents because they can’t stand theirs or want you as only part of their family, you have a problem on your hands through your own choices.  

Let’s look at it this way.  Whether your parents chose to have you or not, the fact still remains that they not only raised you the best that they could or knew how but, they did everything for you during the time that you couldn’t do for yourself and likely, gave you more than they could afford to have given you.  They likely walked the floor with you at night while colicky or sick or teething.  If they couldn’t look after you, they ensured that someone else could and did.  One way or another, your parents saw to it that you were taken care of.  If they were to now say that they are aging and need help and it’s their turn, is it so horrific for them to be asking the child that they took care of for so many years?  Why is it considered “bad” if you feel that way?  Have you explained that to yourself or been able to even try to do so?  

Your parents may not be perfect people.  They have warts, flaws and faults too but, guess what?  So do you.  You may see it as your parents having created or caused your defects or poor decisions and choices but, is that the reality? Is it the truth or are you simply looking for a scapegoat on which to place blame or justify your poor choices in your life and others that surround you?  

If you are a parent yourself, you’d better be damned sure that you’re doing everything 100% correctly or you could find yourself walking in your parents shoes with your own kids down the road.  How will you feel then?  Or, will you go back and say, “I’m flawed because of my parents”?  Do you truly believe that your kids are going to believe that excuse given that you couldn’t accept your own parent’s imperfections?  What goes around, comes around.  Remember that much.  

With all of that said, I wish you estranged adult children well because trust me, you’re going to need it in one way or another, at some point or another.  If you think that because you got your parents out of your life, cutting them off like you’d cut off a nutcase on the street who haggled you and you couldn’t be bothered with, your life is going to be a smooth ride from here on out, think again.  Your problems have just begun no matter what you think.  Regrets and guilt live on for a long time as do consequences of your actions, decisions or lack of them.  What then?  Do you blame your deceased parents after their deaths for lack of an inheritance? Do you cry and curse at your parents when your own child or children walk out on you?  Don’t think it can or will happen?  Think again because your parents never thought it would happen to them either.  

Good luck to you.  I wish you all of the best because you’re going to need it.  What goes around, comes around.  


An Adult Child Estranged Mom

On that note, I will end this piece here but, for parents out there who are suffering the throes of these oftentimes, spoiled, entitled feeling and misguided adult children, my sincerest condolences.  I know all too well what this feels like to have happen and it’s my wish that things will turn around and go well for you.

Be Well, Love and Light

Have a great day or evening.

Published by ponderinglifetoo

I'm a wife, mother, artist, photographer and bookkeeper. I love writing out my thoughts in journals but, am finding my way to sharing these with others now.

7 thoughts on “Estranged Adult Children: The Dirty Little Secret

  1. I am really impressed together with your writing
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  2. Ohh I cannot tell you how emotionally uplifting this is to know “I am not the only one”! My child has created a fantasy land of horrid accusations that I think she truly believes, from abusing my animals to abusing HER! The child was spanked once. She has zero recall of any happy times and has told me I am a horrible parent. To say that ever happy memory I have was crushed is an understatement and that she even made me doubt my own sanity truly frightened me. I will miss her to the day I day but I will NOT let her take away my memories and my truth. I grieve for her and what future she has taken and I swear I will lose it on the next person that tells me “she’ll come back”! Lol. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deb, you have my empathy and sympathy fully.

      It’s unfair when we try as parents to be good to them and they do this type of thing, isn’t it? At times, it can almost feel as though we’ve lost our own memories because they are so strong on theirs. Unfortunately, they use these types of delusional thinking patterns and made-up stories to justify their own actions, decisions and “need” to do what they’ve done. Deep down inside though, they know the reality of it all though they may have begun to believe their own created lies to some degree or another. Tell a story often enough and it becomes their reality….that is, until they find out how other kids grew up and do an internal comparison.

      I wouldn’t dare to tell you that she’ll come back. I held onto a rope of hope now, I see a thread dangling and am facing the reality of what is and has really happened.

      From one mom to another who is grieving this hurtful behaviour from our children, a HUGE HUG of understanding.

      XO XO XO


  3. You were able to put into words my exact thoughts….I have never experienced anything more painful….you are my new favorite blogger…xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bobbie. I truly appreciate your comment and the fact that you took the time to write it. I’m glad that it helped articulate what you are feeling. I’m sorry that you’re there though. XO XO XO


  4. There was no fight, no bad words, our ed just decided to go silent and for a year we respected her “space” and said or did nothing to cross her “space” then after a year we got the email saying how we don’t respect her “space” and we are narcissists and toxic. Her sibling can’t make head nor tail of why, there is no hate, there is no love either, and there has been no specific reason we were cut off, nor anything we could say or do to change it. We are getting on with our lives but hope and pray she NEVER does this to her son (she has it seems a history of just cutting people off who bore her, or irritate her, or deems they have slighted her).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much KittyGirl for taking the time to share your story with other parents who may not allow me to post their comment (they ask outright not to be published out of fear of retribution…like it can get any worse than having NO contact but…I respect their wishes of course).

      It’s sounding to me like it took your ed awhile to come up with a reason and do some reading, searching and find the labels of “narcissists” and “toxic” and peg you and your hubby into those holes.

      The fact that there was no “reason” given for all of this and that after awhile, you get an email, stating that it was because you weren’t “respecting her space” is like saying, “you read my diary, went through my drawers, purse and private letters”. What is that? I hate that word as well…”space”. I’m sure that you’re like me…growing up, we all lived in a tiny home where you were lucky to have 2 square inches of space to spread out your feet, let alone whatever this new term is for “space”.

      The most likely reason that you were given no real reason for this was more likely (and commonly done) because she couldn’t give you a real reason. Calling you those names/terms that she’s obviously either self-diagnosed you as being or has found on chat forums on the net is because she has no real reason that is understandable to even her.

      As for her doing this to her son…she may…but, I doubt it. EC’s usually figure that they are far better parents than their parents were to them and they are “perfect” or without warts, flaws and faults. Most likely, it will be her son (your grandson) who will take her cue and do this to HER. Of course, as you’ve described…if this is her M.O. of walking away on people from historical perspectives, it’s possible for her to walk away on him too if there’s something else better. However, I do think that doing that, for her, would prove that she’s the narcissistic tending person and they don’t like to be looked down upon. They prefer to do the down-grading. She’s likely wanting to be thought of as “the perfect mom” as anything else would be a blow to her self-esteem.

      I do hope that some day, her sibling mouths off to her and tells her how selfish she’s being. That rarely happens as the EC seems to distance themselves from everyone within a family but, hey…we never know. The fact that you have one child who doesn’t feel the same way and hasn’t done this to you, means that it’s HER, not YOU who has the issue. It’s up to her to see it, do something about it and apologize to you and your husband for it.

      Please accept my sincerest empathy for her behaviour. It’s hard to get through, I know. I do hope that you are going on with your life. I am trying but, I’m in the “anger stage” now. Once I am there, it’s not a good place for anyone to be with me. What was once only grief, I’ve turned over to understanding that it was never me or her father (my husband). It was always…HER.

      Best of wishes! HUGS XO


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