I recently read an article about a number of parents, like me, whose grown children no longer speak to them. I can relate to this. I have two children and neither of them have spoken to me in nine years. It’s cruel, sad and daunting.
My son and daughter both have busy and fulfilling lives (of which I am extremely proud). However, I was not even aware that my son got married and that he and his wife have a baby son. This was especially hurtful and I am still not completely over the crying and general sadness of not being included in such an important occasion in one of my children’s lives.
My children are both very high achievers in their respective fields of endeavour and for this I know my raising of them was responsible (I did do some things well and right). I’d like to think this was an accurate reflection of how things were… I was a single parent for most of their upbringing and I never really knew if I was doing anything right at all. Both children went to daycare while I had worked — sometimes more than one job — so I feel guilty that my nurturing was haphazard and that I didn’t spend as much time with them as perhaps I should have.
I don’t ask for much from them. All I need to know is how they are and where they are in life’s journey. I need to know they are happy. This doesn’t seem too much to me, but I cannot contact either of them and sometimes I get snippets of information through old friends who know them, but its only small and not significant at all.
I feel I worked my butt off during their childhood and spent many long hours endeavouring to feed and clothe them. They are eight years apart. They attended different schools and I spent a lot of time running around after them. A hectic lifestyle was normal for me.
My ex-husband, their father, gave them anything and everything they wanted (not needed, that was my job), but it was often kept at his house so it didn’t get to come back with them. I feel now this was unnecessarily cruel and wonder if it gave them a feeling of a chasm between the households, which was definitely not nurturing behaviour.
I feel disregarded and useless, as I am sure most in this position also feel. I hope that at some stage whatever the rift is might be broken.
Prior to Christmas last year, I emailed my daughter. She will be 42 this year. She responded three weeks later saying we would ‘liaise’ next year. I’m not sure what that means, but I can only hope that I will get to see her this year.
Love never ends, but sometimes it comes to a screeching halt when you least expect it. For me it is not knowing how my children are. I’ll continue to try and build a bridge to mend the broken fence.