AUDIO VERSION: (Transcript below for those who prefer to read instead)
Flesh, blood and DNA make them part of us. I’m talking about our children here. They are the beings that we brought into this world after our bodies, lives and mental status were changed immensely and having given up so much of both ourselves and our lives to take care of them to the best of our ability. We’ve walked floors, and lost sleep as well as our “personal time”. No such thing as private time existed for us. We were the ones who chose to have a child or children and were there through thick and thin for them as well yet, we have no clue as to why they’ve done what they’ve done through their estrangement from us in spite of asking them. We can only try to go internally and ask ourselves with or without professional therapy and help but, more times than not, without answers.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that for a small minority of parents, this wasn’t the case but, for the most part it was the scenario for a lot of us. As in all of my pieces about Estranged Adult Children, this doesn’t pertain to those who abused or neglected their child or children but rather, it pertains to those who did all that they could for their child or children to the best of their ability and still got shafted by them through estrangement of that child or children and we don’t know why for the most part nor, in spite of our incessant self-questioning as well as attempting to ask them without a full or proper response.
There’s nothing to be apologized for to them because we have no clue what we’ve allegedly done to them to cause them to turn like this on us and perhaps, even other siblings or the family as well. In other words, we can’t be sorry for something that they have in their heads and won’t let out to us. As a matter of fact, from the stories that I’ve read or the comments that I’ve gotten from estranged adult children, their “excuses” (that’s what they really are), are flimsy and vague at best and certainly, don’t call for the type of treatment that they’ve given to their parents and possibly, other siblings as well as family members. What they are it seems, are adults who have concocted “reasons” to estrange themselves from the people who were most solid in their lives for the better part of their lives.
The labels that they’re slapping upon their parents, the reasons that they give out for their actions, choices and decisions, seem to have more to do with themselves, their own self-loathing or those of a partner, friend or spouse than anything based in reality. In other words, they are living with a story that they or someone else, helped them create in order to justify their walking away from others who loved them.
It’s hard to hear the label “narcissist” being slapped upon parents of estranged children because their parent(s) wanted to see them more or hear from them more. Equally hard are the ones who think that once they’ve gotten a partner, spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend or whatever, there’s no need for any ties to their parents any longer. That spouse, partner or whatever, seems to have been put onto a pedestal and what they say or do, overrides decades of love, care, concern and everything else that parents have put into their child or children.
Also hard to hear is the word “abusive” as a title given to parents who have said “no” to their darling child/children or decided that the abuse the child has dealt them, is no longer going to be tolerated by the child/children. It seems to be ok for the child to be abusive and ask or demand what they want but, let a parent do the same thing to a child and it’s considered “abusive”. However, for a lot of parents in this boat, that child or those children will have no problem going to them for anything that they want or need, being as nice as they can be in order to get it before wiping the floor with their now, aging parent(s) once again.
Worse than that, a lot of parents are actually afraid of their own child or children. Part of this is because parents feel that if they’re not catering to their adult child’s every whim, need and want, they are being “bad parents” as trained in by the child and society. The other part is schooled into these kids via some “expert” bleeding heart psychologist, psychiatrist or a bunch of other whining adult children on the net where we know that there’s a lot of garbage housed. Meanwhile, they have treated their parents far worse than anything their parents could ever have done to them and consider it all as warranted. In other words, they rule the roost and they know it.
Parents who tended to bully their children, have abused them, neglected them, said no to them and reigned them in, expecting things from them, tend to still have their children with them, by their sides, ready and willing to help their parents in whatever ways that they possibly can. How does that work? How is it that those who gave everything to their child or children, have the most ill treatment while those who treated their children with an iron fist, seem to have their children around them, doing everything with and for them?
Have you ever seen a dog whose owner or pet parent walks in the direction that the dog wants to go, stopping at every tree and lamppost? Or how about the owner who runs and gets the dog’s ball while the dog lays there, waiting for their owners to bring the ball back to them? That’s called “the pet training the owner”. The owner is well schooled in caving into the dog’s needs instead of the other way around. The dog has trained the owner and he or she has little to no respect for the owner, doing as it pleases, knowing that the owner is going to be there for them no matter what. It’s the same for these estranged adult children. They have trained the parent instead of the other way around.
There is no need for atonement for this. There’s no going back and re-doing things. It’s certainly an “if only” scenario but, the reality is, parents who have been estranged by their adult children are no less worthy a person or people than those who still have their children around them no matter what they did or didn’t do to that child or children. It’s simply that the child or children who estranged themselves, learned to feel “entitled” to getting their own way as they have trained their parents and the parents have let them.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean that the estranged adult child has grounds to blame the parent. Nor, does it mean that the parent needs to chastise themselves for having given that child or children everything of themselves. What it does mean is that adult abusive and estranged children have finally been asked for something and they are not used to that. They’re used to being given everything on a silver platter in one sense or another and being catered to. They aren’t used to having to give of themselves or take into account that parents have feelings and needs too especially, while aging. They have learned that all of the “training” that they believe that they’ve done to that parent or those parents, has somehow screwed up and they are mad. They are angry with an “I’ll show you” type of attitude. If they don’t feel that way for themselves, remember that parental influences are watered down so greatly by others in their lives now that others will convolute their tales of woe (being said “no” to) into a spun story that will cause that child to walk away in punishment of their parents and believe that it’s deserved treatment. Entitlement breeds contempt when they aren’t getting their own way. Abuse may or may not follow and be part of the estrangement but, estrangement in and of itself is abuse. They have in effect, become the abusers whether they see it that way or not.
Asking and expecting something from your child in return for all that has been done for them, is not abusive or narcissism. If parents of estranged adult children can take care of their child or children while young, it’s not at all unthinkable for that parent to expect something in return.
From my little corner of life, I see adult estranged children as painful, yes but, I also see them as ill informed adults who have issues that need to be looked at and dealt with all within themselves. Until or unless they do that, the abuse will continue towards the parent(s). The moment that we started to care for our child or children, there was an understanding that we do for them but, if we need help down the road, that adult child should love that parent or parents enough to want to give back in some way. The least it could be is in love, care and concern otherwise, they are simply messed up, ill adult spoiled, estranged children who could have used a good punishment. Think of one now. It’s time.
Be well, Love and Light,
Have a great day or evening.