Doing My Best

Doing My Best

The longer this strange and terrible estrangement goes on, the more blind corners and hairpin turns I come up against. I think I’m doing ok, then I receive a video or see a picture and I feel like I’m skidding off the road into a ravine. Yes, I think I’m going on with my life, working at gaining wisdom, compassion and maturity, but there is always the ghost of my missing son and grandchildren haunting me. There are days when I feel enervated, tired, headachy for no apparent reason. I now realize it is brought on by low-lying depression. I usually break down and cry at some point, then eventually the lassitude abates and I resume what has become my new normal of doing my best to live a full life with a broken heart.

I have prayed, asked for clarity, done my best to learn from all this. I’ve read everything I can find on the subject of personal transformation, love, compassion, patience, forgiveness and spirituality. I work diligently on letting go, developing faith in my life, accepting what is and surrendering. I take care of my health, get enough sleep, exercise. I’m a good listener and do my best to be kind and thoughtful. I light candles for my son and grandchildren and everyday I visualize us together, hugging, laughing and loving each other. I have been in therapy, practiced mindfulness, meditated….I’m doing my best.

It just seems that this kind of thing – being abandoned and alienated by my own adult child – has no closure, no resolution. I can’t put it behind me, like an argument that ends with insights and mutual understanding. The bridge between us has been destroyed in a fire of confusion and misunderstandings and it’s hell knowing that those I love and miss so much are going on with their lives on the other side of the chasm.

I have to forgive myself for suffering, for periodically falling into depression. I’m not superhuman – my moods fluctuate just like the changing weather, the moon or ocean tides. I am doing my best, even on those days when I am sad. I still eat three squares a day, walk the dog, see friends and go on with life. That’s enough to ask of myself – of anyone, really.

7 thoughts on “Doing My Best”

  • i have and am enduring the same grief. It is surely like that part of me has died inside, yet continues to pain me endlessly. It has been 10 years now. The bouts of grief/depression come out of nowhere and knock me back down. I exist, I love, I have a wonderful support system, but the loss just isn’t conquerable. I wish there was a local support group I could sit with in person, mothers/fathers who truly, truly know our pain.

    • Hello, Paulette – thanks for writing. I’m sorry to hear that after 10 years it still is so debilitating. It’s been almost 8 years for me, and it’s pretty much the same for me. There is no closure on this sort of thing, and although I”m glad my son and his family are alive and well, it’s still painful knowing they’re going on with their lives without me.
      I also wish there was a local support group, (where do you live?) for those of us who are in this terrible situation. I have put out feelers in the past, but there wasn’t any interest or enough people who had this kind of problem. I imagine you’ve had to do a lot of searching for what might help you, as I have, as there is no set course, at least yet, of treatment and recovery for those of us who have been alienated from and are estranged from our adult children. I like the way you put it, that this kind of loss ‘just isn’t conquerable.’ I sadly agree. But we can go on and enjoy the people who are in our lives. Wishing you many blessings.

      • How comforting to “stumble” on other stories that reflect mine. My heart was broken in a way I never knew possible in a divorce. Now that child , who I dedicated my life to for 15 years of single parenting, has surpassed that pain & brought me to new heights of misery. I simply am not able to process the pain or accept the reality that IS. I am a strong & intelligent woman and this situation seems to have no resolution. I also have a great support network with my friends, but after many years & tears, what else is there possibly to discuss or brainstorm? The feeling of isolation & loneliness are at times debilitating. I am in therapy & occasionally find some relief. Now with Christmas a few days away and all of my friends living in my former city, I am overcome with sadness to face this time of year, completely & totally alone when my precious grandkids are 15 minutes away. And no sign that it will ever be resolved or healed because no one is allowed any contact with me and I have NO idea why. I continue to feel like I’m living in total shock & have no idea how to recover. No amount of talking, volunteering to help others , professional therapy or any other distraction seems to have any lasting relief. My heart goes out to all of us.

  • I hope that when your son has a child his heart may soften at some point, (or is your DIL the instigator?). I agree, it’s ugly and selfish to deprive the children of their loving grandparents. I can’t imagine what our adult children are thinking or how they are justifying alienating us from the kids – a travesty.
    I hope your situation improves one day – keep me posted – good to hear from you.

  • Honestly, estrangement by an adult child is one of the worst pains a person can go through. Others just can’t understand unless they have been through it. Time may pass, and feelings may improve, but that kind of loss and confusion never fully goes away. How could it? My heart and thoughts are so deeply with you. May I ask, how long have you been going through this? I am 7 years in myself.

    • I agree – estrangement by and from our adult child is a terrible burden of pain to carry with us as mothers. It abates over time, but it’s always with us. My heart goes out to you, also. I haven’t seen my grandchildren in over 7 years…I just can’t believe it!

      • I am so sorry to hear that. My son is married but hasn’t had a child yet and I don’t know how I will feel when it happens and I know I, as well as he baby, am being robbed of yet another family connection in life. 🙁

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