REAL SASers: I am estranged from my daughter, and miss her

When Christie’s* daughter got married, she had no idea that her entire family dynamic was about to change. In fact,

When Christie’s* daughter got married, she had no idea that her entire family dynamic was about to change. In fact, this real Starts At 60 reader is just one of the countless people affected by family estrangement.

“My two daughters had a normal upbringing”, Christie said. “Everything was happy and lovely. Although in time, my youngest did develop a mental illness”.

“My older daughter never acknowledged the sickness, instead she focused more and more on her boyfriend”. In time, Christie’s eldest daughter Kim* would marry, and the cracks would appear.

“Kim’s husband had his own demons, and convinced my daughter she’d had a bad upbringing”, Christie explained. “Kim changed too, she became totally different from the loving person I raised”.

When Kim gave birth to a son, Sammy* the family became truly estranged. “Suddenly, I wasn’t fit to take care of Sammy”, Christie said.

“Kim and her husband accused me of being dangerous on the roads, and said my younger daughter was unwell because I had been a bad parent”.

“They never had any real evidence for these awful allegations though”, Christie said. “It was almost like Kim had been brainwashed. She was isolated from her family and even her friends too”.

Kim and her husband blocked Christie out of their lives entirely. She was no longer welcome to see her own grandson, Sammy.

Even though her grandson is now one year old, Christie is yet to properly meet him. “I don’t feel angry about the situation – I just feel deeply sad”.

“They only live 2 kilometres away from me now”, Christie said tearfully. “It’s awful knowing my family is so close, and yet so far”.

“Without Kim and Sammy, there’s a big hole in my life”, Christie said. “I know Kim and her husband are raising a family without any support, which is crazy when I live close by”.

Christie has even seen Kim and her grandson around the neighbourhood. However, they either haven’t noticed Christie or don’t want to acknowledge her.

Other grandparents affected by family estrangement can contact the Council of Grandparents. This advocacy group represents the legal and emotional interests of Australian grandparents.

“I will always be open to reconciliation”, Christie concluded. “I miss my daughter so much, and want the chance to know my grandson too. It’s terribly hard, not even knowing what I’m missing out on”.

Are you affected by family estrangement? Share your experiences below:

*Names changed to protect privacy

  1. Lynette Lowe  

    It would be interesting to know what nationality Christie’s soninlaw is to have so much influence and control over his wife !

  2. kp  

    Maybe you need to read about narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) to understand what has happened to your daughter.Apply the label to the husband & some understanding could be forthcoming.The first thing these people do is isolate their target from family & friends.I’ll let you read the rest online.Know what you’re dealing with .Been there…done that….Now I have my daughter back.Good luck.

  3. Antoinette O'Brien  

    Understand completely how you are feeling. We have suffered the same issue, only opposite way about. And yes, the person he married is absolutely narcissistic 100%!!! However, 15 years later, and four grandsons, our son is back in the family fold [but she isn’t]. We never knew where they were, if he was alive, nothing. A divinely timed “accidental” meeting, with one of his sisters, broke the chain around his neck, and he phoned his father. A Miracle!! Back “with us” now for nearly nine months. Continue to pray for her return to the family. …..and I will too!! Stay strong; a mothers and fathers love will always be there, regardless.

  4. Wilma Boreham  

    yes I am in the same boat, wish I could speak with my son How i miss him.

  5. Joy Anne Bourke  

    Christie I am in the same situation. I did everything for my eldest daughter and when she married and had her first son I was present and within 2 months I was cut off. I was so devastated that I could not think straight. What did I do??? Nothing. In August 2008 I tried to make up as I was moving to Mackay. Finally saw the family and within 6 months was I was banned again. Then in 2011 I was asked to move in with them and I assumed everything was OK. They moved and I had to get my own accommodation on their property. I was so happy. I bought a van to have put on the property and was getting it permanently placed on their property. Then they asked me to get the van off. I moved into a caravan park and moved the van there and after spending $30,000 I Was broke and passed to caravan park owner. The my daughter kept coming around and seeing me everyday with my grandson. I did not want to stir the boat so said nothing and accepted what she was doing. I went for a trip to Scotland to stay with friends and I went on a Mediterrean Cruise and then home and stayed in caravan park until I found a house to rent. 2 months later I had just settled in house and I had a massive DVT with PE and nearly lost my life, my younger daughter was on her way up to see me and the older one would not come. I was flowned to Brisbane and was in hospital for 3 weeks. She was told to look after me by my younger daughter, take to Drs Appt, etc. They she took over a business and only took me to Drs a couple of times as she was then busy but had plenty of time to drop bundles of towels for me to wash. It was hard for me. After 3 weeks of doing this and borrowing $900 for business name she dropped me and said that she was not coming around anymore and I could not see my grandson. I told her to give me the money back now and she did. I then emailed her to say I was moving to Brisbane for medical appts. etc. I have not seen them since. I know how you feel and it hurts very deeply. But what can you do.

  6. Margaret Pearce  

    Unfortunately l read this so often. I haven’t seen my daughter or grandchildren for over 13 years. I still have a letter from her that she wrote to me the day of her wedding 20 years ago thanking me for being her Mum & that she loved me and would always be my little girl. My marriage ended around that time and l was in a new relationship. Her husband refused to come to visit, but my daughter still came, when l commented about him refusing to come to our home and get to know my husband. She said he doesn’t want to get to know him and it will get worse when they had children. Sure enough the had a girl and a boy 12 months apart and the distancing started. My daughter made less and less visits to see me with the children and l would have to make an appointment to go see them. She told one of my other daughter that she felt guilty when she did come to visit with the children. When the babies were 30 mths & 18mts old l asked if I could babysit my grandchildren and she replied S******* will never let you look after them and you should know not to ask, That was the final straw and l asked her how long is this going to go on. We had serious words then about the way l was being treated. The next day my daughter rings me again to tell me that l am not allowed to have any more contact with my grandchildren because I am immoral malipative and their children could be harmed if they continued to have contact with me. I was gutted, l tried so hard to reason with my daughter. I went to my lawyer for advice and l ended a having to have counselling to try and understand why my daughter would turn against me like this. After about 5 or 6 years of trying to be part of their lives l gave up. The presents and letters l had sent those first few years were returned with a note saying. It’s not appropriate for the children to receive gifts from you because they don’t know you. So now every birthday and Christmas l have been putting money into an account, l also have made scrapbooks with all the photos of my side of the family and stories about the life my grandchildren have missed out on.When the time is right, they will receive these books and the money l have saved for them, It won’t be while they still live at home with their parents, because I doubt they would receive them. I am not hanging on with the hope that when my grandchildren receive these item they will be coming to find me,, because I have a feeling that they would have been brainwashed that l am this evil person. Over the years my daughter has cut herself of from my youngest daughter and her two children and she has very limited contact with my 3rd daughter. Last September I was told l have stage 3 breast cancer and at present going through 12 months intensive treatment to cure this. It took over 3 months for my daughter too send me an email . It read. “I am sorry to hear that you have breast cancer and l hope the treatment isn’t too hard on you. ” It was signed off with her name. So cold and impersonal. Not from the loving caring daughter l raised. The saddest thing of all is that not only have her children missed out on so much from not being allowed to know my side of the family my daughter has missed out on so much of her family as well. If she was ever to call me or knock on my door l would welcome her with open arms. But as the years go by l doubt that will ever happen. What is it that attracts beautiful intelligence women to such controlling men andwhy is it they choose to stay with them, even when they know that they are harming not only themselves but the children who are being used as pawns in hurting others. I would like to say to others who are going through this soul distroying experience . Hang in there your child and grandchildren will come back. But l have heard that so man times over the years and it still hasn’t happened for me. Some
    are lucky and the rift is mended but there is so many off us loving and missing our family. The loss and hurt never goes away.

  7. Mirtha Molenaar  

    I know we’re not alone. Sad to read all the horrible things that our loved ones can do nasty things to parents like our son have done to us.We have not seen him since the day he got married nearly 5 years ago.His wife and her family are Evil because they have kept him away from us,our son changed from the moment he started with that Evil person,only daughter and very selfish.She knew what she wanted to do and she achieved that.Our son have asked to leave them alone, so we have, not my choice though I still have lots of issues to clarify,perhaps one day I may have that opportunity,I can only hope.He is the one who has to live with what he’s done to us,as for our family we know that one day he’ll regret dishoned us.Very Sad!😥

  8. Christine Watson  

    As I read all of your comments I can’t believe there are so many in the same situation as me. My son is estranged from all of my Family & I have finally stopped beating myself up about his lack of contact & caring, it was destroying me emotionally. I have a new Grand-daughter that I have only seen briefly & she is now 5 months old. His partner of ten years & wife of five has somehow convinced him that all of his Family & friends aren’t worth knowing. The loving Son, Grandson, Brother, Nephew & Cousin is now a stranger & has turned his back on all who loved him growing up. The happy, funny Boy we all new & loved seems to have disappeared. I live with the hope that one day, he may come back into our lives but have never been able to understand what went wrong & how we ended up in this terrible situation.

    • Barb  

      We are in the same situation and we have stopped beating ourselves up. One day we hope to meet up with our 3 grandchildren, one of whom we have never met.

  9. When two people marry or become partners, it usually means that two families are expecting to be joined too. This is not always the anticipated happy outcome. Individuals or sides may resent or fear each other.

    There can also be “elder abuse”, domestic violence, and mental health issues involved.

    Check out the book and online information about psychopaths/sociopaths by Robert Hare. His book “Without Conscience” gives many examples and explanations of various behaviours and “techniques”. Another good resource is a USA website named “Lovefraud”.

    Domestic violence is not just physical. It usually starts with isolating the victim from their friends, relatives, and other possible support systems. Children, pets and loved ones are often threatened or used as pawns. Brain-washing is used to destroy self-confidence and convince the victim that the way they feel and see things is unreliable – they need to follow only the perpetrator’s ideas and instructions.

    Let your isolated family member know that you will always love them and that you will help if they ever need it.

  10. Kate  

    So real…you could be writing about me and my daughter. I have watched her abusive boyfriend, the father of her child, distance her from her family. She has recently contacted me to say she is sorry, she loves me, and she can’t see me. If he finds out she is communicating with me she will suffer. Apparently she believes she needs him in order to keep her two special needs children. Children’s Aid says she is of ‘diminished capacity’. Without him to help with the kids, they will take them. She is beautiful and was so happy, sunny and loving. He has reduced her to a scared mother, afraid of society, afraid to be in touch with her own mother. She lives less than 2km away from me and yet I have not seen her or my grandchildren for over a year now. All I can do is tell her that I am here for her and always will be, and that I love her. We have an iffy way to communicate occasionally until he finds it. I know that she is hurting and so am I.

  11. Anne  

    Your not alone-I have 3 daughters, recently my middle daughter died from complications of Diabetes.
    My husband and I divorced-we had alot of stress in our lives. He is Sicilian from the other side-old school
    so he believes take the kids to and put up a wall-he did. but my daughter who died-she realized it was wrong and we always were there for each other. She tried to stick up for me and tell them they were wrong but unfortunately death did not change them
    I feel like I lost 3 kids when in reality I lost one
    Dont give up, keep moving and pray, I send notes, emails, textes and never get a response
    Hopefully one day.
    I remarried to a wonderful man and his 3 kids love me like a mom, they r so sweet-I always say now I have 6 kids
    but they are my step kids, I still grieve for my daughter and want my other 2 daughters. But God must have a plan
    I am hopeful that God will grant my wishes before I die-I keep praying.. Good luck

  12. Gai  

    It is so hard when adult children don’t want to have anything to do with you. I have 1 granddaughter I have never met and another that I haven’t seen in months. I love my sons and would love to hear from them occasionally. I send a text but hear nothing back. I don’t think they truly realise the hurt they cause by not talking to you. I am thankful to God for my daughters and my grandson and new baby on the way. All I can do is keep praying for my family and trust that I will have a relationship again with my sons before I die.

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