My Adult Estranged Child My Child Did Exist

AUDIO VERSION:  (Transcript below for those who prefer to read) Approx. 8 mins long

losing a child
I once had a child.  She’s somewhere on this planet but, wants no part of me. I did give birth and raised a child though. Just wanted you to know that much.

How many times do you find yourself thinking about your estranged child or children and feeling as though you’ve wasted your life?  Or, how often have you thought about the cost in many ways, not only financially, that it took you to raise that child? Suddenly, you begin to look around, not having that child as part of your aging years and realize that perhaps, you would have been better off had you never had a child to begin with?

I find myself talking about her.  I try not to do that as I get met with blank stares as though this is “old news” to everyone else and they’re wondering when I’m going to get past it all.  The truth is, I’m not at least, not fully.  I had a child and now I don’t have her as part of my life.  They all have theirs and a lot of them, grandchildren as well that they are proud of yet, they cannot understand why I’m not over it?

Frankly, a lot of these parents did half or less of what I did for my child.  Some of them were harsh, strict and punishing.  Others were wrapped up in their own issues and scarcely had time for their children.  Half of those had an addiction element that saw them treating their child or children like crud and somehow, those children are still around them as well as in a lot of cases, grandchildren now too.

How does this work?  I’m still not getting it or understanding it.  Could I be that dense or stupid?  Or, is there no rhyme nor reason to all of this.  Some are lucky and others aren’t?

I know that I’m not alone.  I understand that there are a lot of parents out there who are missing children that they’ve raised, been there for, taken care of and supported in every conceivable way while being as mystified about it as I am.  They don’t understand what they did “wrong” anymore than I do.

Maybe, we gave our kids too much of ourselves?  Maybe, we should have been more selfish?  Perhaps, we should have punished them more, been there less, given them less, forced them to help around the house more, not been as supporting or caring, taken up an addiction that changed our personalities, fought with partners or spouses more and not given a damn what we did to our kids?  At least then, if they walked away on us, we’d have some sort of basis on which to understand the “whys” behind these adult estranged children’s actions or choices?  Perhaps, we’d have something to apologize to them for or atone for?  However, I, like others, have nothing that we can point to as the reason.  We are left with questions that will likely never get answered or, we’ll have to invent one for ourselves because heaven knows, the experts in these matters have none to give us.  They shrug their shoulders as much as anyone else does when the subject gets brought up to them.  They don’t have answers either.

Though I have nothing but memories and photos of her and her childhood to go by and this seems like a “death” to me because literally, that’s what it’s akin to being, I can’t mention it to anyone without getting that sigh or look that tells me that they simply wish that I’d move forward or onwards and forget that I did have and raise that child.

There are no groups for occurrences like this.  We are the Forgotten Parents who go thankless for what we have given and given up for these thankless children who made their own choices and decisions to not be part of our lives or help us out in our aging years.  We won’t have them to count on or depend upon for our care nor concern.  Few others will be there for us either.  We’ll be on our own as we are now.

Yet, I did have a child whom I raised.  I am grieving her loss even when I am angry at that fact.  I need support like a grieving parent and though others may look at me like I have 3 heads when I bring it up yet again because I am in pain, everyone will assume that I simply should have moved on, let her go and forgotten about her.  Please don’t tell me to simply “get over it”.  Not only does that upset me more than I already am but, it doesn’t stop my pain.  It heightens it.

I did have a child.  My child did exist and I raised her to an adult before she made the choice to take off, leaving me with questions galore, in doubt, hurt, pain, grief and bewilderment for which there will be no help.  I thought you should know that.

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.

4 thoughts on “My Adult Estranged Child My Child Did Exist

  1. I am currently on week 3 but round 2 if that makes sense. We went through this with my son 3 years ago. It comes down to he won’t take responsibility for his bad behavior and disrespect when he is called out for it (which only happens when I am at my limit). So this time, because I did the whole grieving, begging to come home, please talk to me blah blah blah the last time, he now views this as his power over me. Cutting me off is in his mind a way to not have to communicate and accept responsibility for his actions.

    This time however I am not chasing after him. I am letting him go. It isn’t easy and I still feel loss and sadness but I know that I will continue to go through this again and again if I don’t let him go this time for good. He is getting married this year and said we are not welcome at his wedding. The future DIL is the problem and has been so I am ok with not going. Maybe someday that will end and I will get my son back. Maybe not.

    But I do know that I will not be put into this position when I do have grand kids someday and they are getting yanked out of my life as well. I won’t tip toe around him or her to keep the peace while they treat me and my husband like crap. It is not a privilege to have them in my life. They are not the center of my universe. That position belongs to God and after him my loving husband and daughter.

    And if someday she decides to follow in her brothers footsteps I will be a seasoned vet at this. I have read over and over about parents who long for years, decades their whole lives due to the estranged child. That is really sad. I feel sorry for them but they are giving a lot of power to someone who cares nothing for them.

    I say find people who care. Invest in them. Put your faith in God because he will direct the situation. While I was praying last Thursday to bring peace to my heart and take away the anger I feel for my son, these words popped into my head and it wasn’t mine. “How will he ever come to me if you are always his savior?” WOW. So maybe this is happening for a reason. Maybe I will never see the reason. I don’t know. But, I do know that life goes on. Your days are numbered. Spend them in love and forgiveness. Forgive yourself, you didn’t do this they did. The adult child made the decision. You didn’t. You need to move forward, even if it takes baby steps. Yes, you can grieve, mourn your loss but it is not healthy to dwell. It is not going to change the situation. I would recommend reading a book Done with the crying. It is a good book that can help you move forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so very much Cindy for your words of such wisdom. You are 100% correct in what you are saying and why.

      More often than not, our little darlings are doing what they are doing as a power trip and because they have the backing of someone who has control over them in one way or another. Their influence over our children cannot be discounted. There’s a great deal of it in their decisions, choices and actions. Yes, this is a power play role that they’ve taken and chosen with backing. It’s all extremely sad because they will one day, realize that it’s not just family that they’ve been coerced into doing this with but, also others and their lives will be emptied. I totally agree with you in NOT chasing them. It does feed their “power” even though they have virtually none with these partners that they’ve chosen or friends or whatever the case may be. They just haven’t seen it yet.

      I was reunited with my niece this past weekend after a 4.5 year distance. That’s a whole other kettle of fish though to my daughter. She said emphatically that she realized that her generation (also my daughter’s generation) were “entitled” and felt that way. I couldn’t help but feel that she had figured that out after the break-up with a long time boyfriend who had controlled her mind. Now that she was free of him, she had woken up to a lot of different thoughts. It’s sad that it takes them having to go through heartache of their own to come to these realizations but they seem to need it.

      I thank you for your experience, thoughts and advice. I will take them whole heartedly into consideration. There are days when I feel this way but, others where I lapse back into depressive thinking on the subject. One day, there will be consequences for our children’s lack of proper choices. They will unfortunately, have to learn the hard way.

      My very best of everything to you and especially, thanks for all that you have shared. I’m sure that others will read your words as well.

      Love and Light!


  2. I relate to all that you have written. I have an adult daughter who has cut all communication. I am sorry for your loss. I am in such grief (anger, sadness). I feel alone with no support and it’s only been 3 months. You are brave to write about your experience. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kelly. My heart goes out to you fully. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s been 3 days, 3 weeks or in my case, 3 years, does it? The cut stays fresh and open. It doesn’t heal fully. It scabs over but, it never really heals completely.

      I do believe that we need support groups for this type of thing. There just aren’t any out there. That either means that our plights aren’t as important or that there’s a stigma attached that says that we are the ones to blame otherwise, we’d have our children with us. We both know that nothing could be further from the truth though. That’s the hard part. Others need to realize it as well.

      HUGS…from one grieving mom to another. XO


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