How many of us as parents have heard the words, “you’re toxic”, “you’re a narcissist”, “you’re bi-polar” and oh yes, “shut up because I hate you”? What about the idea that we’ve all had drilled into our heads over and over again by many sources, “you’re a parent so, you’re supposed to be a perfect person and like everything that your child does or you’re not a parent worth having”?
Even if your estranged adult child has never said those words to you or, they’ve said worse, that’s what’s being said somehow and is being used as an excuse by estranged adults or, we’ve put it into our own minds because some “expert” somewhere has told us via some book, article or interview that it has to be our faults that they’ve estranged. A normal child would never think to estrange themselves. Why would they? We had to have done something wrong, right?
Those who write books or articles aim them towards the 18 to 49 years of age group because that’s what the demographics tell them sell the most.
Estrangement needs a platform upon which to build up a case. These book writers, article authors and interviewee’s are keen to sell something. Where is the most money going to be made? It’s going to be garnered from the 18 to 49 years of age group. Marketers, promoters and even agents know that much. That’s why we have so many commercials geared towards that age group. They’ve done the studies. More mature people don’t and can’t spend the money. Besides, they see through the garbage faster than Superman can see through walls. Younger people don’t have their own money or much of it so, they won’t be the ones who buy either. It’s futile to market anything to either group. Money won’t flow into pockets by marketing wares to either of those age groups. Besides, it’s the 18 to the early 30-something year olds that buy into the trends, brand names and ideas. Nevermind that brand names that have a fortune spent on them fall apart faster than non-brand names or that they are manufactured in the same sweat-shops that make the higher priced articles that have a brand or designer name slapped upon them. This though is only an example of how it is that estrangement has become like a brand name that is trendy and why it gets pandered to so easily.
Experts are geared towards the younger groups of people because they are schooled into believing the hype and even political correctness of that group who are estranged or would become so.
Never mind that you, as a parent, are eagerly looking for help of some type and can’t find it. You can’t find it because you don’t count. Didn’t you know that? You had to have done something wrong or bad for this to occur so, let’s consider us all “guilty unless proven innocent”. Even if you are proven innocent, don’t hold your breath while waiting for someone in a role or expert level help to aid you through this. They simply aren’t geared nor educated towards that type of counselling. There are a few around but, they are few and far between, ready to retire or simply afraid of going against what they were taught to believe. Good luck in getting in to see one of them and even if you did manage to do so, they’re not likely to be of much help to you because their legal rear ends are on the line here. They’re caught between a rock and a hard place and not about to stir up the dust as they are on their way out and want to leave with an intact reputation. They aren’t going to stick their necks out for you even if they do see the fruitfullness of taking a stance in your favour.
Ever wondered why there’s so little help out there for parents of estranged adult children?
It’s certainly not because estrangement doesn’t exist. It most assuredly does and it’s becoming an epidemic to say the least yet, there’s more help out there for these adults to estrange themselves from their parents than there is help for parents who need help. Why is that?
It’s partially because of what has been mentioned above but it’s also the fact that parents are accepting the blame, shame and roles that their darlings have heaped upon them with guilt. We essentially, shut up and remain in our corners quietly without a word lest we be labelled by rude, crude and lewd little monsters who will call us “narcissiststs” or “toxic” because some “expert” has told them what to label us as and we hide ourselves in shame.
Granted at a certain age, we have lived a lot of life. We are tired, fed up and only want some peace in our lives. That’s not however, what our adult children want or do. They will stir up trouble for us, consciously and un-consciously and tell us that we are the cause of it all. They have the energy, fortitude and want to do this type of thing but, are we as parents, the ones who are at fault here? Did we truly do something so horrible to warrant this type of action or are we simply more inclined to sit back, full of guilt, cry, lament and worry about what it was that we did to them even if we don’t know?
I don’t want to stir up trouble because I’m old, tired and can’t be bothered so, I’ll sit here and cry or wake up through the middle of the night and pace the floors instead.
It’s that type of reasoning that has not only the “experts” baffled and confused as to what to believe but, also it also allows the gate open towards marketers, publishers, group leaders etcetera. There’s a market for those who estrange but, little to none for those who are hurting such as parents and even siblings left behind. Parents would rather put their energy and effort into sitting back, shutting up and not making waves but, pacing the floors at 2 in the morning, crying, being sick/ill, going for treatment, taking pills or surgeries and lamenting about how their adult children have abandoned them. Their energy is well placed to the privacy of their own homes than it is in standing up for themselves. How do I know? I’ve seen it over and over again by both factions in this equation.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating a revolution but, I am questioning such thinking as “shutting up”.
Listen, if you wish to sit in your living room, bedroom, street, park or whatever, crying and being quiet out of fear that either you’re really to blame for the estrangement or you’re questioning whether your adult who has estranged may be right. You’re likely as I was doing before I started writing about this topic or having started my YouTube Channel on the topic (please see how to get to my channel on YouTube if you don’t already know how). You’re likely searching, questioning and blaming self. Society has taught us to hide our heads in shame, blame, guilt and anything else we can throw into the mix because a child wouldn’t choose to do this unless there were to be a good reason, right?
Let’s say right here that crying, being in pain, getting ill/sick, having the noose tightening around our necks by our own hands, takes courage, determination and energy to do as does keeping quiet. Is this truly the time to believe that we are to blame? How many tears must we shed, how much pain must we go through before we realize that we’re being sucked dry? How long before we have a crash and try to do something about this poor excuse for our now adult children to estrange must we endure before we actually do something that perhaps, at the least, gets the word out to these spoiled and entitled monsters that we walked the floors with and gave up our own ideals for and letting them know that they are not the centres of the universe? In spite of Society’s pull towards giving these “children” more and more “rights” and letting them know it while others make money off of it all, true abuse or negligence aside, we as parents are not the cause of estrangement decisions made by these kids.
“If I don’t like something, I just walk away from it and that includes parents, siblings and even families.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if every time we don’t like something or someone, we were all able to walk away and go No Contact? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people were out there, telling us how to do it and writing How To manuals? What if we were all to hate a boss or a co-worker? Does that mean that they are horrible people and we should simply walk away from the job, the boss or the co-worker?
We can walk away from whatever it is that we don’t like. Nothing is stopping us from such an act of hatred, bitterness and defiance but, there’s a price tag associated with that decision, isn’t there? One way or another, we will pay a price. No one is going to pay our bills for us should we give up a job. More key here, what if we were to have walked away from a good job that paid not only our bills but, put food into our now estranged adult’s mouths, a roof over their heads and clothing on their backs? What would they have done then? Of course, they would have blamed us! They would have said something like, “you didn’t stay put and now I have to go without (fill in the blanks) thanks to you!” In other words, should we have taken the attitude that they’ve taken with us through estrangement and we not supply what it was that they wanted or expected from being parented, we would have been in the same position anyway, right? So, how is it that we shouldn’t do things like that but, they can?
“Do as I say, not as I do”
In other words, they won’t shut up and accept anything that they don’t like about us but we’re supposed to do whatever it is that they say that we should do or they will estrange themselves from us the moment that they can do so. To boot, we’re supposed to change ourselves into whatever it is that they want us to be to suit them at any given time in their lives. We’d have to be Gumby to twist and turn ourselves into pretzels to please them and even if we were able to do that and have done it, it doesn’t guarantee us not being estranged from, does it? It’s akin to my own daughter who wanted a boyfriend to be here 24/7 then, blaming me for having allowed it even when I’d tried to tell her that it wasn’t a good idea and why it wasn’t.
Me: I don’t think that him coming over at midnight after his shift is a good idea on a week night. We have work for the day and you have school.
Daughter: You can’t do that. It’s my house too. I want him here so, that’s your problem, not mine. You’re just trying to control me.
(I let it go, not wishing any further upheaval with her. Heaven forbid that I should be thought of as “controlling”. Later though, when she’d broken it off with him some 3 1/2 years later.)
Daughter: You should have stood up for me. (Blank) shouldn’t have been allowed here after a certain time. Why’d you do it?
Me: Because you kicked up such a fuss that you wouldn’t listen to me. I didn’t know what else to do.
Daughter: I only stayed with him because you accepted him into the house. It’s your fault!
At first I took ownership for her troubles but, I no longer do. Why? Because I realize that this was a “no-win situation”. Had I said “no” to her having the man-child over at our home, she would have rebelled and taken the transit system to his house which was over an hour and a half’s travelling away. Besides that, she would have balked at me, hated me for having said “no” to her wants and his, or heaven forbid, I would have been called a “controller”.
As it stood, she blamed me anyway in the end. It was all my fault for allowing him into the house at all hours of the day and night. I couldn’t win for losing. She was The Boss and ready to blame me for whatever didn’t go her way. In short, there was no winning and there isn’t any winning as long as any adult child wants a place to lay blame for whatever doesn’t go their way. They are unwilling to own up to their own foibles in a lot of senses. Parents make easy and cushy ways of doing that. Besides that, Society tells them that it is parent’s faults. Afterall, they have “rights”.
Are you going to continue blaming and shaming yourself? Only you can decide that much.
I’m not the Wizard of Oz or a “god” who can make things happen for you nor, can I or anyone else make your estranged adult child come back to you. I also cannot create a Fairytale ending in which all live happily ever after as I’m sure that you can appreciate. I wish that I could. I certainly wish that I were able to do that for my own situation or sake but, I cannot..at least, not on my own and without backing of some kind. That means that it’s totally your choice of course as to what you wish to swallow, by whom, when, how, how much or how little you’re willing to put out there or how much you’re willing to keep within yourself out of shame and manufactured guilt. I can’t decide that for you but, I can say that you do have some choices. You can remain the victim or you can stand up and be counted through letting your voice be heard, not just your stories of course. You can lament, cry, whine, complain, belittle yourself and throw yourself a giant pity party or you can be part of making a change versus waiting for someone else or other generations to do it.
Ask yourself if you are willing to endure the pain, hurt and sorrow of estrangement any longer and whether you’ve had enough and are willing to be part of a group who does something about the pain and suffering that you’ve most certainly endured? Be honest with yourself. You can stand up and be counted or you can continue on in pain and silence. You can shout out or you can shut up as our adult children’s estrangement excuses seem to imply. Which one do you choose?
No matter what you choose to do or not do, I wish you,
Love and Light,
Have a GREAT day/evening!