HOW DO YOU TOLERATE THE PAIN OF ESTRANGEMENT FROM AN ADULT CHILD?
Wow, this is a tough one. A situation that is full of blame, grief, and feeling unfairly attacked or mistreated–by the very child you loved, nurtured and cherished. It causes so much anxiety.
When parents come in to see me they most often are expressing a litany of all of the reasons why they should not be excluded from their child’s life. They are usually puzzled and grieving the loss of contact with precious grandchildren as well. Blame is an active part of the conversation, whether it is of their child, or their child’s spouse. Sometimes it is a lack of self-compassion for choices the parent made during the child’s upbringing that they wish they could change now.
BLAME LEAVES BOTH PARTIES STUCK.
Blame is the act in this play that causes parents and children to do that which is the opposite of what would heal the rift. It does not help.
Openness to what is being said is the door to healing.
And if the relationship cannot be repaired, then you can learn that allowing your feelings instead of avoiding them by continually entering into defense mode, will allow you to feel better overall. Feelings are never permanent. They come and they go (often in less than a minute), even the positive ones, even joy.
IT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO HEAR WHAT IS BEING SAID WHEN YOU FEEL ATTACKED.
There are several factors in play when a family is estranged. Considering family history and communication challenges is where you begin. Parents need to look inward to cope with what may not change in terms of the relationship status. The time frame of change is not something that can be controlled when both parties have their own work to do. One thing is for certain, the more you understand and tolerate your own emotions, the better your will feel.