Goodbye for Now

Goodbye for Now

I started writing this blog about eleven years ago, when I was in the throes of the early and devastating events which ultimately led to estrangement and alienation from my son and four grandchildren. This blog has been my friend, my refuge, my safe place where I have explored the many dynamics of estrangement.

Through my writings, I have endeavored to understand what happened to me, to share my thoughts and feelings and to search for ways to rise above the terrible abuse I received. I wrote a book about estrangement and alienation. I’ve communicated with other estranged parents from all over the world; I’ve been a guest writer and a willing ear to anyone who needed a safe place. I sincerely hope I have helped.

I took the high road for all these years. I never missed an opportunity to communicate with my four grandchildren even though, for the past 11 years, I’ve not been allowed to see them. I never wavered in my efforts to connect with them and to love them from afar.

But, at this time, after so very much effort, I find myself depleted and empty handed.

I am no longer willing to function as an outlier, navigating the vacuum of a one-sided relationship with my son and grandkids. I am worth more than this.

I now turn my attention to new beginnings. I focus on my life, my happiness, and health. I protect my heart and nourish my soul. To that end, I recently relocated to a lovely coastal town where I bought a sweet house on a lake. I ride my bike on a beautiful street shaded by a canopy of live oak trees. I’m making lots of new friends. I play piano for singers and ensembles. I walk along the seashore where I am filled with peace from the glorious music of waves. I find joy in the egrets that fly by and the blue herons that sun themselves on my seawall. 

I can breathe deeply for the first time in over a decade.

I’m slowly re-training my brain, creating new and stronger pathways that bring me peace and I’m losing the habit of old negative thought patterns. I’m practicing letting go of the past – past worries, anxieties and hurts. And I am practicing staying in the present.

It’s taken me a very long time to be able to see the truth, to accept it and to let go of my son and grandchildren. It’s taken me a very long time to begin to heal. I never dreamed this could ever happen between my son and me. I never dreamed that I would have to cut the cord for my own salvation. But I must do so, or I’ll never be free of the trauma and grief.

I’ve been through a war. I’m a veteran, with invisible bruises and scars. I have PTSD, sleepless nights and tear-stained pillows. But, I’m still here, I’m still alive and I choose to rise above the pain. I will never go back into the dark and shattering trenches.

I am home now. I’m in recovery, and probably will be for the rest of my life. I’m treating myself with loving kindness, patience and love. Never again will I betray myself by abdicating my goodness, my worth, or my heart to anyone who only wants to destroy me. 

It’s time to put my energy into healing. I no longer want to dissect, discuss, ruminate or try to figure out why I have been shaken from my family tree by my son and his wife. I want to spend what time I have left on this earth choosing to be happy, healthy and loving – to myself and to all those who choose to be in my life. I feel that would be time better spent.

So, I will say goodbye for now. I wish all who have read my blog over the years many, many blessings. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for honoring me with your time and attention and for sharing this journey with me.

33 thoughts on “Goodbye for Now”

  • Thank you for this. I am almost 3 years in & still in unspeakable pain. There are times when I wake up & I can’t believe this is real. I don’t have grandchildren yet, but I know they will be held hostage & ransomed. I just finished your book & I helped me. Thank you.

    • You’re welcome, Cheryl. I know how painful all this is. If I can make a suggestion: stay in the present rather than projecting into the future re: grandkids. I’ve learned that anything can happen and life can change in a minute. Do your best to stay strong, grounded, and optimistic while going on with your life.

  • Thank you, Nancy for your beautiful book. We are estranged by our 3 daughters ( 7 grandchildren). Horrific

  • From one Nancy Lee to another, thank you for your inspirational book from your heart and the hearts of other wise souls. My wish and hope is for this current trend of children abandoning their parents will end. What they don’t comprehend is that they are teaching their own children that it’s perfectly ok to disown your parent. Many will also someday be abandoned and they will understand the pain they have inflicted. but by then their discarded parent may be long gone. Too late for reconciliation. Life is hard enough without this hatred, anger and betrayal. It’s a sickness that has become epidemic with the only vaccine to cure it is love and forgiveness. We need to be strong and be examples of the cure because somewhere in their malable thinking they forgot the love we instilled in them before they became adults. They haveve “gone to the dark side” and we need to keep our love lights burning to help them find their way back.

    • Beautifully said and so true. Thank-you, Nancy for taking the time to write this very helpful comment.I received your private email and will be responding soon. Blessings and much love to you

    • Nancy Lee Good, Thank you for your post. It is very well written. I have told my son, that they are teaching their children to act the same way. There are no grandparents at all. The wife doesn’t talk to her family either. They are on babies, but they don’t remember us and or haven’t met us. Can’t reconcilliate, either. The wife is in control. He drank the Kool-aide.

  • Hi Nancy. I just found your blog after ordering your book which I have just sat down to read. It’s been 5 painful years now estranged from my son-unbelievable. The pain and despair have not diminished. My depression has gotten worse. I’ve only been contacted for money or to inform me he is getting married and would like to “swing by and pick up some of his things”. After divorce, I was abandoned by both my son and daughter, but after about 3 years, I’ve reunited with my daughter but there cannot be any mention of her brother (she becomes defensive) and I find myself walking on eggshells. I have no family except for my two children. After they abandoned me, I was left homeless and jobless. Not until after the divorce, I found out about some of their betrayal concerning plans about life after the divorce. That has also been very painful. I was a stay-at-home mom who homeschooled both kids, girl scout leader, and coordinator of every extracurricular activity imaginable. I was a great mom who gave up a career for her children. They were my whole world and my son was my rock and best friend. He now assassinates my character. I struggle every day and have even come close a few times to end the pain that never subsides. I blame myself and carry guilt and shame. I keep second-guessing everything. I live every day in the past. After not being invited to his college graduation and now wedding, I feel hurt and anger. It hurts to realize there is no genuine and sincere kindness and love from your son. I feel numb and withdrawn. I can’t believe there are other moms and grandmothers who have experienced this deep despair. I look forward to reading your book and spending time on your blog. Thanks for leaving it up. I’m so happy for you. I wish you peace and much happiness. God Bless.

    • Lisa- I somehow forgot to reply to your comment. I hope you are doing better. You’ve been through so much hurt and disappointment and my heart goes out to you. Thank you for your kind wishes and I’m sending you blessings and healing

  • Nancy, I cannot express in words how much you have helped me with your writing. Your blog and your book are the voice of sanity for me to keep me out of the mire of all that pain. You are an inspiration to soooo many breaking hearts. Ten years is enough. I wish you peace and joy in your new chapter.

    • Hello, Frances- Thanks so much for writing and for your kind words. I hope you are finding the courage to choose peace and self-love each day. I’m so glad my writings have helped you and I wish you good health, healing and love.

    • Hi Linda – I will be leaving the blog up indefinitely for those who may need it. There are several years worth of posts and discussions of the process of dealing with estrangement. Good luck to you!

    • I agree. I can’t believe how many of us grandparents are in a club we never wanted to join. It’s sad. Maybe we could set up a private Facebook page

  • Thank you, Nancy for having the courage to share your heart for all these years and providing a path for those who are new to this unwanted journey. As a relative new comer to estrangement from my daughter, 5 yr old granddaughter and son in law for 1.5 yrs, i have read as much as I could get my hands on and your voice has mirrored so many of my feelings and thoughts. It is unchartered waters for my family which includes my husband, her siblings, her granny and there are still days the best I can do is to pick myself up off the floor and carry on but I do know that life goes on and I along with my family are incorporating the new norm without our daughter The door is always open to her and I will continue to reach out at this time. but my life too is of value and I am working on creating my new norm without her. My wish for you is to find your peace, to experience much joy, dwell in contentment and to cherish both your old and new relationships. Sending warm hugs!

    • Thank-you, Janet, for your warm wishes and kind words. Everyday is a challenge, as you know, so it’s important to cherish the moment, the little things, the small victories. I sometimes forget that a day without tears or a belly laugh shared with friends is a triumph and lightens my heart. I’m glad you’re finding your way in this ‘unwanted journey” and I wish you continued success in creating peace in your new norm of living with estrangement.
      Sending you a warm hug and many blessings. You’re welcome to write to me at my private email- – if you ever feel the need.

  • I’m glad you have a good, new life, Nancy. You more than deserve that. I am not surprised at all that the blog must go.
    Since all I am offered is a huge vat of poison, I’ve decided to withdraw completely from my son and his terribly disturbed wife. I feel better already.
    There is no alternative, absolutely nothing except the acceptance of reality.
    I will continue to send birthday gifts and the occasional letter to my grandkids, as long as that doesn’t bring chaos to my well-being.
    I will think of you by the water or on your bike under a shady canopy, making new friends. Perhaps we will meet someday, I hope. Take care and thank you for writing your book and blog.

    • Thanks so much – I appreciate your thoughts and completely agree with you that there is no alternative but to accept reality. But it’s not easy getting to that point. I also agree that it’s a good idea to continue to reach out to your grandkids as long as it doesn’t cause you anxiety and duress (that’s one of the reasons I decided to turn away: I don’t hear from my grandkids and it’s always me reaching out, which became uncomfortable and sad for me).
      It would be wonderful to meet someday. I hope you’re finding ways to experience joy and enthusiasm about your own life!

  • Dear Nancy, I wish you peace and happiness. You deserve it, God knows. Thank you for your inspiring blog, which has helped me immensely on and off over the last almost 5 years. I can imagine how writing this blog may continue to open up the wounds by discussing the terrible alienation and abuse your son and his wife have heaped upon you. Your story has meant alot to me and I learned so much. Take good care. Our God has so much happiness in store for you in paradise on Earth.

  • You are going to be be so missed 💕 The help you have given me over the last few years I can never repay . I shed some tears when I read that this was goodbye , but you leave a legacy of courage , kindness, empathy and healing . I wish you well in your new home and your new life … take care my friend and thank you from the bottom of my heart .

    • Thanks so much, Gill. I deeply appreciate your kind words and I ‘m so glad I helped you in some way. I hope your situation has improved and I’d be honored if you’d keep in touch and write to me at my private email. Blessings and healing to you.

  • Thank you. Your writings got me through some very tough times, and helped more than you know. It’s been nine years since my daughter chose to alienate, keeping the gate to the grandchildren who were the center of my universe closed. Time hasn’t healed any wounds (she and I still don’t speak), but it also can’t stop the inevitability of change. Two of those grandchildren are now in their teens and one’s in her twenties, and just this week they joined together to tell their mom they’d had enough. They were tired of losing time with family they love, tired of her sabotaging all attempts at communication, and got her to say she’d no longer interfere. It took a combination of work, patience, support, and events out of my control…but two days ago I received texts from each of my three grandchildren. What’s sad is that they now need to process the betrayal by their parents in order to heal from the unnecessary loss created by alienation.

    Like you, I had moved away to start anew, and still believe it was the best decision. So I wish you all the best, along with 3 things to remember: Self care will get you through. Life can change in an instant in the most unexpected of ways. Your grandchildren love you.

    • Thank-you for your thoughts. I remember you from several years ago and I’m so happy to hear that you are now beginning the healing process with your grandchildren. Wonderful news! I wish you a blessed reconciliation and many years of health and happiness.

  • Just when I found you BUT……. I totally get this. This is me! For me, reading and talking about it over and over keeps it alive. Honestly, it is a fresh hurt each time. Im tired. I don’t want to keep doing this either . I feel guilty leaving it, leaving her, letting it go. I remind myself she doesn’t care. I want desperately to enjoy what time i have left without this hurt

    • Tracy – I completely understand. I wish you health and happiness. I hope to write a book of recovery, full of positive, victorious thoughts and ideas that support our healing. Blessings and healing to you.

  • Thank you. You helped me survive the past year. My story is the same. My granddaughter graduates in May. I’m not invited. My son no longer is involved on our side of the family.
    We educated him, college, helped babysit, ran to Dr appts for kids. You name it. Now we are no longer needed it all about her side. We are devastated.
    I wish you well.

    • I”m so, so sorry, RJ. I hope you can heal one day and find some joy and peace. It’s not easy, but you can choose to be happy, one day at a time. Blessings to you.

      • I have just finished reading your blog and have ordered and received your book. I will start reading that tomorrow. My story is just like RJ Ray’s except it’s been 2 + years since we’ve seen them, but 10 years since I feared we’d arrive here. although I’m sure my son never saw it coming. I have 2 granddaughters, now going on 6 and 9. The eggshells are so familiar. Because I could see it coming, I felt like I was tied to the railroad tracks and the train was heading my way. If I wanted to escape I’d have to chew off my arms! I no longer have my arms…my son and my granddaughters. No gifts, no photos, nothing. He no longer sees his brother and his family, because that son wanted to sit down and talk with him about a path forward. That being said, my DIL saw to it that they’ve only seen each other 3 times in 2 years, even though they live in the same metropolitan area. There’s no contact with anyone on our side of the family. It’s so difficult and I will be struggling forever, I think. Thanks for your blog and your offer to email me directly. I need all the support I can get!

        • Cheryl! It seems that we can write each other’s pain! It also seems that the women in a lot of estranged sons lives are involved. Same here. Except they are not married. (That is a story of its own)! I wish that we all could have a zoom meeting or an in person support group. Our community seems to lack providing support groups for hidden afflictions. The gravest pain is one brought on into a parents heart from our children of estrangement. Cheryl I am grasping at every fiber of hope to believe the son I had raised has that love he exhibited towards us and comes to realize it sooner than later. However, I found that reading and listening to sermons, Gods word, singing and praising God for the good I do have helps me even for a moment. I joined a Trauma support group for 10 weeks in the deepest time of my despair. It was run thru a local church. It’s open to anyone no matter where you live. It’s a zoom group. If you are interested Let me know and I’ll get you the information. It does help. I look for support but I look for “how others got to the other side! Rehashing endlessly is hard to let go of, yet small steps towards feeling alive again gives hope.
          I’m in my 14th month of estrangement. It’s my second round. In 2014 he cut me off for 7 months. For 6 yrs we had family in every facet a family is, vacations, their impromptu visits, dinners, events, grandkids here all the time! Then pandemic and pregnancy again and the hatchets were pulled out that whacked and cut us. First my daughter then me and my husband. Whack whack cut cut!!! The things forgiven for were taken back and a threat to put me on trial or else!! Yep to no longer be a part of your lives! They estranged from my daughter first then us! All we’ve heard is disgusting hateful words of contempt for not giving “her” what she wanted! Like Nancy getting that phone call from an unethical family therapist passing the message to her!
          The punishment does not fit!!! Yet in the cancel culture it’s second nature. My son partner has been estranged from her mother for 5 yrs and her oldest brother. There’s no straight line to grasping the length and depth of history in families of estrangement but it does seem to have it’s lineages. Children learn from what they see and hear that is “normal” for them, cancel culture is rampant and the crazy thing is that these same people talk about loyalty and family importance yet in reality it all has an expiration date.
          Cheryl, please know I’m praying for your heart. I know it’s ever present despair we wake up and carry every min of every day. But I’m here for you! We are all in this together.

  • Thank you Nancy for sharing your heartache and pain so openly and honestly with those who seek refuge from their grief to explore and understand. You are a strong warrior filled with the grace of forgiveness and good will; you are a shining star who sought to guide others through the crevices and quagmires of deep pain, self-deprecation and self-defeat by holding their hands and their hearts. Your depths of despair are matched by the heights of the glorious freedom you have allowed yourself to now achieve and you inspire others to reach for it themselves. You are free – believe it as you march on to a higher peaceful and more accepting place in the world while remembering that your generosity of spirit is very much appreciated and you are loved!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *