I’m sorry. Estrangement is truly heartbreaking. The stories I hear on this topic are always heartbreaking, and include much ongoing, unresolved loss. The stories hold such longing for what could have been rich, healthy, and loving relationships. It happens between siblings, parents and children, and in-laws.
These are always stories about wretched boundaries and differing belief systems, from political parties to substance abuse, and to mental health disorders that disrupt even the possibility of “normal.”
The issues will often be generational as well, passed down in a chain that is among the hardest to break. I often tell clients that the very difficult work they are embarking on is heroic. It requires So. Much. Courage.
I’ll offer some examples of what this can look like.