Dear Estranged Mom

Dear Estranged Mom,

I don’t know your circumstance, but there is one thing I do know and that is you never ever wanted things to turn out this way; not for yourself nor your child. And while you may have made mistakes big, small or unknown, God knows every hair on your head– and most of all He knows your heart. He knows if you could change whatever it was that separated you from your child, you would in heartbeat.

But here we are. And to be honest, here we may forevermore be. This is not to discourage you, but having too much hope can drive us mad. Hoping for that call or thinking we might find a card in our mailbox invites disappointment. And for this reason mothers like us have to have to be diligent in self-care and face the reality that we may never again have that dreamy Mother’s Day.  This is a sad but harsh reality. Sure, something might bust loose but who knows when and for how long?  Once we are in this position we are walking on eggshells as the child is critically attuned.

So what should we do with such a day as today?  What should we do every day? Here are some ideas that come to mind

  1. Avoid self-sabotage. Don’t call anyone who is the least bit critical.  After all, who can really relate to what you are going through?  And who really knows all that occurred?
  2. Designate device free days.  Don’t look at your phone/social media when you are down. Intentionally separate yourself and find other outlets.
  3. If you feel you must reach out to the child do so by snail mail and kiss the letter goodbye as it is a note in a bottle.  It is likely that whatever you write will be closely scrutinized so write unemotionally and cautiously.
  4. On holidays, birthdays and such, take a little road trip with someone who is willing to shoulder a bit of your baggage as you are likely to need help.
  5. Consider visiting someone who could use some love. Focus on that person for a few hours.  Make things less about you on days you are apt to feel down.
  6. On days you suspect will be difficult treat yourself to a special meal or gift. God wants you to be well.
  7. Hug your pet if you have one. They adore you. (Can I have a mother do-over with my cat?)  If you don’t have a pet consider getting one. They are, as they say, therapeutic.

The point dear mother, is that you are not a horrible, soulless person. You are just incredibly troubled by your situation. And as you feel the pain of your loss you are apt to dwell and become unable to express your feelings appropriately. It can be one of those vicious cycles in which you find yourself.  You grieve and hurt; in turn you hurt (verb) unintentionally as you are on edge feeling worthless as a parent, and so on and so on.  This has been my experience and it is likely yours.

The only way out, I have come to believe, is to make specific plans to take care of ourselves.  Our children, if they are grown, will do what they will and others will assume they know you and what occurred. There is nothing we can do about that except avoid trigger situations that cause us pain.  Clear your path and decide what it is you need to change, not for them but for you!

In terms of what to change consider this.  Keep your heart as pure as you can. Love others as much as you can. If you have been judging anyone else stop. I find that as I judge I’m inviting judgement. Instead, my dear, let’s be the best people we can be from this day forward. Give no food to the estrangement beast– the warped thinking that we are not worthy of being loved.

If this speaks to you please comment below so that we can keep in touch.  If you know someone else in this position, please pass this along.

Your Sister in Estrangement,

Bonsai

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12 thoughts on “Dear Estranged Mom

  1. I like the ideas #2 and #5.
    There are times when estrangement from our loved ones comes about for no fault of ours. It is just something that happens through a set of circumstances and then all of a sudden there is no turning back.

    We need to practice compassion and kindness for ourselves as we do for others.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is true that estrangement has a lot to do with circumstances– some within our control but much outside. I could wear a sackcloth or I could put on a good face, wear a nice dress and shine. I know what God wants between the two so I must press on and keep writing. Thank you for the comment. You are always kind to me.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you. I have been estranged from my daughter for two years. Sadly no real reason that I can find….. Not knowing is the hardest. I grieve everyday for her. Memories are being made without her in them. It feels like a death with little support.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is like a death. It is so very very hard. I’m sorry you are going though this. Read all the support resources you can find and focus on moving forward. It is easier said than done, but we must. There is no choice. Estrangement is an isolated island. Please keep in touch and when you find things that work for you I’d like to hear what they are! Hugs. Bonsai

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      • No closure for us, but the child is alive and most likely safe. Hopefully safe. That is the good part. I’ve thought trough more and wrote out a plan for myself. I know well that I have a good heart and have/will do good things for others. I need to focus on not judging and being my best. Then I can always say, although I miss you child you should miss me as I am blessing others. I have blessed others and need to stay strong and pick up my game. Don’t let the child take you down. The strong and more beautiful your soul the more potential they will realize what they are missing. Beyond reproach! I just got off the phone with someone who has known me since the day I was born. If anyone knows my soul they do. Let’s beat this wrap!

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  3. I was having an especially bad day today. I just couldn’t stop crying. Then I read your letter. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It really spoke to me. It’s almost 2 years since my son and his wife decided they could no longer have me in their lives. I have a grandson who doesn’t remember me and one I have never met. These are 2 very well educated, professionals who are weekly church goers. My daughter-in-law actually works for the church in music ministry. Yet they do not hear the voice of God telling them how wrong this is. I am not a heartless, monster without a soul. I am his mother who was there every step of the way during his life. I supported him any way I could in whatever he wanted to do. This is my reward.
    I am grateful to have found sites like this so that we can all share our experiences and hopefully find some relief from this nightmare. May God richly bless you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for the blessing. It is frankly the toughest thing I’ve experienced since my recovery from an abusive relationship that ended in 1995 but caused me to be very unstable for a few years. Thus there is much baggage and ownership on my part for my failures then. If you read more into my blog you will understand what some of that baggage pertains to. My daughter has a lot of pain and she has to get though that without me it seems as I am a reminder and because of the past our relationship is as fragile as a soap bubble it the wind. She tried hard to feel normal but it was not to be– at least for now. There is a lot of projection onto me which in my more clear state is hard to take; but take it I must.

      All of our situations are different but the pain is pretty similar I think (the grandchild pieces is one I don’t have and I can’t imagine adding that on top of it all…).

      So the two pieces of advice I have that is to create a written care plan for yourself. Also, write down how it is you think you got to this point with the estranged, what you know about their grievances with you, and take steps to be “beyond reproach.” I actually have a checklist and an accountability partner to whom I’m reporting everyday. I am eliminating judgment, assuming about others, and “coping” without crying so much. Every day I evaluate how I did and record success/failure. In a nutshell, I want to be the person who dies and those who attend my service say, “She never said a bad word about anyone” as that is how they remember me by that point.

      God will hold you through this. He is there to take any sin and all pain.

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