Estrangement is a form of taking and walking away in a lot of cases.
I have an adult estranged child and I’ve been trying to fill her void with those who I have had in my life. I’ve met with brick walls and, it’s hit me like a bucket of cold water that no one is really interested. Is it me? Is it that I didn’t do enough? Did I do too much? That’s the quandary that I’ve been debating over for weeks and months now. What is it that’s causing the distancing? Am I that boring or, what is it? Could I truly be to blame for my daughter to have estranged herself?
After years now of therapy, I ran the idea past my now, therapist. What we and others who I’ve been tossed around to have come up with are two ideas.
The estrangement of your adult child is much like an Acquaintance, only out to take what you can give to them that they want or need from you.
If you give, they will come. That’s something that I’ve come to learn about a lot of different people who have crossed my life over the years. It’s also something that several therapists have come to the conclusion by themselves that occurs within Life.
I’ve tried throughout my life to be a “Giver” and give, I have done. Actually, I’ve given until I have no more in my life or within myself to give. That’s when people started disappearing from my life one by one. The moment that my “use” had diminished greatly to and for these people, they seemed to not be around even during my own times of trouble and in spite of having been there for them in ways that were immeasurable. Was it me? What had I done wrong? Was it my husband? What was he doing wrong? Could either of us have done something wrong?
I had given parties for people, money, gifts, been ever ready to do whatever they wanted to do even if I hadn’t wanted to do it or when they wanted. The moment that I had the inability to do all of these things, that’s when I noticed people were leaving and not even caring what might be going on in my life. Instead, they’d drown me in their sorrows while asking me for help. When they knew that I was in trouble and could have used at least a phone call from them nevermind anything else, they weren’t around. Except for Telemarketers and the ever popular scammers, the phone didn’t ring and the door wasn’t knocked upon. Most waited until they thought that I should be ok, then tried to call with their own problems again, asking me for something.
“You’re so willing to have a warm body around you that you’ll give until you can’t do it anymore,” said one wise therapist that I had counselling me. She was a trained psychologist whom I paid fully by the way and on time. Unfortunately, I’d later learn that she was correct in her summation. Others that I was tossed around to also came up with the same type of explanation. I believed none of them. It had to be me. I was convinced that I had done something wrong to them or was being someone I shouldn’t be for them somehow.
The Tsunami of troubles hit us after having given every cent that we had to a relative to help them out of a troubled position.
Our car of nearly 20 years of age finally cut out. The tiny house that we live in and have done so for nearly 39 years now, had water pipes burst and caused us to lose not only a good portion of our belongings but, an area in an already too small home. Worse, the insurance company that we had paid into for years, sent in some hacks as contractors who ended up causing us secondary damages. Realizing that the contracting company that they’d sent were costing them more than it should have been through these secondary damages, the insurance company refused to send them back again. We concurred as we now had only one bathroom left and it now had damages too thanks in no small part to the contractor’s negligence and ineptitude. They were cheap for the insurance company to have gotten in to do the work but, it had also cost them more in the long run because they were simply out to do the job with incompetent workers who truly didn’t know what they were doing and were doing things as quickly as they could, cutting corners so as to turn a profit in spite of a low estimate that they had given to the insurance company to get the job.
The list of woes is long. It’s far too long to write into this entry for now but, suffice it to say that no one, not even those who could have helped us, were around to help. That included the one and only child that we had. I’d even tried to write to her and phone her, requesting even a lift to get groceries as she’d offered to do. I received nothing in return except some search engined searching articles that one could see were nothing but platitudes, cut and pasted into an email. There was no further offers by anyone to even take us for grocery shopping or to doctor’s appointments by not only our daughter but, everyone else whom we’d done for, given to and been there for in every conceivable way.
Why cross an ocean for someone who wouldn’t jump a puddle for you?
It’s at this point that I realized that putting in too much effort, energy, time and even money, doesn’t mean that you’re going to get back in anywhere near the amount that you’ve given out to them by any means. They may simply be around as long as you’re giving them something. When you can’t do it any longer for whatever your reasons, they are gone. This was our case and, it was easy to see now that we required a bit of help even in the form of some assistance in getting around while we had our vehicle unable to be used. Forget our home. That was a mess and it wasn’t going to be repaired easily. In other words, we’d crossed oceans for people who wouldn’t leap over a puddle for us.
Have you given more than you’ll ever receive or even remotely reasonable help when you’ve needed it?
People don’t respect people who don’t respect themselves, their time or their money or whatever else you may be doing for them. They tend to expect that you’re always going to be there for them if you’ve set up that precedent with them. While it may sound or seem that you’d be given to first and foremost by those you’ve given the most to, they were likely only in your life as long as they needed something or someone. The moment that you’re unable to do so, forget the idea of them being there for you. Even were you to need help and still be giving them help as I was doing, they won’t be there or will give you excuses if you haven’t respected yourself enough.
If you give, they will take.
If you think that this is a joke or a play on words, think again. Unless you have people around you who are what we’ll call “givers” too, people will take from you as long as you’re giving. Don’t expect them to be around when you need something though or, steel yourself to the idea that they may give but, will often call it even no matter how much you’ve given and how little they’ve done. Estranged Adult Children are no different.
Of course, it’s never alright for anyone to give in order to receive anything but, it’s a fact of life that if you’re giving and giving and giving then require one’s help and don’t receive it from them or anyone else that you’ve helped out, you’re a doormat for those who will take from you. I’ve often found that I don’t hear from a lot of people unless they want to fill my head, ears or empty my giving wallet or self to and for them. If I can’t help for whatever my reasons, they are gone from my life. It’s a sad and pathetic fact that a lot of people are slowly figuring out as Life goes by.
They aren’t the best thing since sliced bread came into being.
People tend to be sociable creatures. Humans need other humans for the most part or, no man is an island so to speak. Everyone needs someone or others at times in their lives. Estranged Adults are no different. No matter how independent we may be or think that we are, there will come a time when we need help of some kind. We all do. We all need help at some point or another in our lives. If you can’t call up one or two people that you’ve done the most for and have them help you out during your times of need, no matter what they think that they are, they aren’t one of the earth’s or even your treasures. It’s time to recognize them for what they are rather than continuing on to fool yourself into believing that they’re there because of you and you only. They’re there for what they get out of you in one or many ways more often than not. Keep that in mind as you go through Life.
People can give but, they love to take. Estrangement is no different.
When someone estranges themselves from you and your life, unless it’s a case of true abuse and, I don’t mean the type of things that some estranged adults consider as “abuse”, what they are essentially saying is that they no longer want you or need you as part of their lives. That’s a given concept but, it’s at the crux of what a lot of these estranged adult children do to their parents. They will take and take and take from the parent until they find other sources or can provide for themselves. In other words, as detailed above about others, being blood related, if you’ve given too much of yourself, your energy and resources of any kind, doesn’t mean a thing to those who will take then walk away when you no longer suit their purposes or wants. I have an entire list of people that I can say that about but, more importantly, the child or children that we raise and give everything to that we can, hold no more allegiance to you as a parent than they do with anyone else. The moment that your “purpose” in their lives are done or they have no need for you anymore, they’re gone. Eat their dust so to speak. Watch them walk away without a glance back except while they re-write their histories and make you out to be a monster in their own or someone else’s mind.
Influencers do just that. They influence others for their own purposes or needs.
It’s always prudent to remind parents that we’re not talking about truly abusive parents here. Yes, they can say all that they want about us but, more often than not, if there was no true abuse done to them, their reasons for estranging themselves from you may be because someone else has convinced them that you are a rotten person, ill, mentally ill or whatever works on the person to get them to estrange themselves.
It may be a grudge, a sore spot in them or to control and have manipulation rights over that person but, there’s an agenda there for the influencer to do what they are doing. Lies, labels, money and yes, substances can be used to sway that person into their clutches. What’s more pathetic is that these adult children are willing to swallow it all with a heaping tablespoon or bowl full.
It may be an ex spouse of yours or their families. An argument or debate can set it off as can saying “no” to something because it’s crossing your boundaries or you can’t do it for them which sets them off into estrangementville. It may be your seeming best friend or, an ill equipped and intentioned therapist who has done it. At the least, your child has provided them with the gun and the unaware therapist has handed them the bullets with which to knock you out of the picture. There may be a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, friend or online group that bolsters and manipulates one another. The sources of estrangement influencers are endless. Some are more aware of what they are doing than others but, all have something to gain by helping to cause the rift between parent and adult estranged child. In other words, these people are “takers” and will do whatever is necessary to win that battle. As one commenter put it on my YouTube channel concerning estrangement of adult children, “they’re the Nazis of the world”. That goes for both the child as well as the influencer who will eventually be unable to get what they need from your estranged adult child or keep giving to these adults as they need or require. What goes around, comes around in other words.
A lot of parents who have estranged adults for reasons other than true abuse or neglect, see a lot of estranged adults as takers. They will take whatever suits them and toss the rest away when there’s no purpose in it for them any longer.
Before anyone gets down my back about this topic as usually happens, there are a few things that I’m acknowledging here:
True abuse/neglect has to be present here for estrangement to be considered justified. We are not talking about what someone else has deemed as “abuse” but, true abuse is what is meant here. Be sure that as a parent, you haven’t done that and I’m sure that abusers are not the type to read this entire piece anyway or the type that are in here to figure it all out.
Secondly, I am not a professional mental health caregiver. Should you feel that you require one, please seek them out for yourself now.
Lastly, this piece is written from the perspective of a parent who cares. I get no monetary remuneration from writing these pieces or my YouTube channel. I am writing and doing videos out of a want to help other parents experiencing this epidemic phenomenon, trend or fad who are hurting, crying, in pain and wondering why it’s happened. This piece is not meant for anyone who has estranged unless you are searching for what is thought of here.
Stop doing quite so much for others and watch what happens.
From my little corner of life to yours, if you doubt anything that has been said in this piece, try stopping or lessening what you do for others and see what happens. It will be shocking to say the least. You weren’t put on earth to give until you bleed. Try focusing on you a bit more and see how many leave your life. Those who leave it are those who were simply there to get what they could out of you. This is especially true of those adults who have estranged themselves from you. There are reasons. Stop looking at what you’ve done to cause it other than asking yourself if you may be disrespected because you no longer are needed, required, your money, babysitting purposes or any other plethora of things that can be party to the estrangement.
On that note…be well, Love and Light,
Have a GREAT day/evening!