When Adult Children Estrange From Their Parents
SHOCK! Fear, anger, overwhelmed, sad, surreal; so many adjectives to describe the first feelings and emotions of finding out that your adult child does not want to have a relationship anymore.
CONFUSION AND BEWILDERMENT
I was stunned and in a state of unbelief. Shame started to set in along with its companion, guilt. Then the questions: Where did we go wrong? Maybe we should have done this or that?
Then the talk with God. My husband and I prayed and asked for wisdom as we were raising these two kids. We felt that we were following God the best we knew how! Then the tears. Oh, the tears! So many memories swirling around in my head. My husband and I were devastated.
So, I did what most people do these days, I googled something like “groups for parents with adult kids who don’t want a relationship”. “Estranged” popped up in the search and as I started scrolling, PEAK Support Group pops up. I click on the link and find out that it’s a group that meets at a church not far from us. Parents of Estranged Adult Kids. My first thought was wow, that’s what we are now??!! Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought my son and daughter would cut us off. After all, since they left home, they always wanted to hang out with us.
So, I find out when the next meeting is, and my husband and I go. I did not know what to expect; this was all so surreal. We walk in, it’s a small group, we have our greetings, and all sit down in a circle. One of the facilitators of the group introduces herself and the two other ladies who helped start it. She communicates that they are not counselors, just fellow parents who have a child or children who are estranged. They ask us to go around the circle and introduce ourselves and tell who is estranged and for how long. I ask my husband to talk because at that moment I just could not voice the words yet. He introduced us and said our son was estranged since 2020 and our daughter since June 2021.
I’m sitting there listening as we go around the circle and tears start welling up in my eyes and I almost burst. I could not believe there were other parents going through the same thing. It was so sad but at the same time, I was so thankful to have found a place where other parents would understand what we were going through.
HOLDING ONTO HOPE
I was still in a state of shock and unbelief, but after leaving the meeting that night, hope set in. I knew we were on a journey, one that I never thought we would be on, but knew we had help now. That was August of 2021, and we are still on this journey of ups and downs, but our Papa God has been with us the whole time, meeting us right where we are in all the emotions and grief. My husband and I have grown so much through all of this, and we are looking forward to the day when we can have a relationship as a family again. Until that time, I’m so grateful for PEAK Support Group, and the family they have become.
Meet the Author
Stephanie Revell is a mother coping with the devastating estrangement of her two adult children. She encourages other parents dealing with adult child estrangement to seek comfort and encouragement through a local support group. Her message is to never lose hope and remain steadfast in prayer.