I talked with a woman in my hiking community who was sad that day that her daughter had stopped talking with her. She had poured out her story that since she had started going on long backpack trips, her daughter just didn’t seem to want to talk with her. And then, her daughter’s infant died. Her precious daughter, whom she wanted to comfort, refused her compassion, cutting her off from her other grandchildren.
My heart went out to her! I could hear the sadness, the guilt, the frustration, and the yearning to reconnect with her daughter.
I listened. I validated her pain and encouraged her to allow her feelings to flow.
That week, I was enrolled in an intensive training to learn the steps of creating a webinar-based product in a week! Marnie Pehrson was guiding me to create my webinar for “one person and one problem!” I realized that the tools of Radical Forgiveness that I’ve used to reconnect with my own family, to release my own guilt and shame in troubled or broken relationships, could probably help in this situation too. Then, I wondered, “How many other women suffer from being disconnected from their adult children?”
I searched Facebook for groups focused on estrangement and alienation from adult children. Boy! Did I find them! I had no idea how huge this group is! I also had no idea how deeply and grievously parents are wounded and suffering the estrangement, alienation, and abuse of their adult children. I joined a couple of groups and started listening.
What I read broke my heart! I wanted to reach out and hold each one of them, and say, “There is hope! There is a way to look at this breakdown in your life that gives you strength and freedom!” I really got their pain!
“So I got out of bed this morning. Actually it was after noon…Im up now. I can’t eat…for a former anorexic that is a problem. I laid in bed for hours this morning getting angry.”
“I finally cried… I knew that I was out of sorts but couldn’t quite put my finger on the reason. About an hour ago, in the midst of baking, (something I do when I am stressed), I just broke down, sobbing with huge tears. I see this as cleansing; a good thing. We have to grieve this loss, they seem dead but they aren’t.”
“This is a lonely and hurtful path we all must walk. There may seem to be no sense to be made of an adult child who would throw away a loving parent and never want to see them again.”
“I know others here are like me and simply dread the holidays that are coming up. I grew up loving the holidays! It was always such a special, wonderful time. Our home was that way also until the devil came into it and literally stole my daughter and turned her into his sidekick. Now I wish I could just skip Nov 1 to Jan 1. Isn’t that awful to allow someone to do that to you life?”
What if these suffering parents were open to taking the journey of reconnecting with others by first allowing their feelings and loving and accepting themselves for having them? Would that help clear their path and help them move forward with freedom?
Could they experience what Sara had realized during her Radical Forgiveness journey?
“It’s so freeing to be given the space to ALLOW the anger to be ok, even HELPFUL, and not have to stuff it down anymore! To explore the idea that my son is HELPING me have my “human experience” when he is annoying me? That’s really a helpful way to look at it.”
I want to find out!
Here’s the journey I created for parents – or anyone, really! – who are estranged from their adult children. I even heard from a couple of my friends who are intrigued by this because THEY feel disconnected from their parents. Check it out for yourself or for people you know who are estranged, alienated, or disconnected from their parents or adult children AND they are open to DOING something about it because they’re open to the possibility that there COULD be another way to see the situation.
I know it’s not the right time for everyone!