"Children Who Break Your Heart": A Reader Asks for Your Advice

At the Legacy Project, we’ve asked over 1200 of the oldest and wisest Americans for their advice about how to solve life’s problems. In this post we ask: How do you deal with children who break your heart? For advice on this topic and much more, see the bestselling book 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans.

In an earlier post, one of the Legacy Project elders shared her mixed feelings about having children. Loraine,89 , talked about accepting both the joy and the pain children can bring. She stated: “If you don’t have children now, when you have them you will have these moments.  When you look at them and your heart – it’s like your heart takes all the pain and all the love for them that you have.”

We just received a comment on that post from one of our readers, who would like your advice:

What about when your children are disappointments? I would like to hear how parents handle situations when their most loved children are cause for a broken heart? Comments please!

We asked some experts for their advice, which you can find here.

Can you help? Does anyone have advice for overcoming the heartbreak children can sometimes cause? Please share your comments!

679 thoughts on “"Children Who Break Your Heart": A Reader Asks for Your Advice

  1. To all of you who have laid bear your souls I want to say that I am so sorry to hear of your suffering inflicted by those whom you have dedicated your lives to & have given your all.
    I came across this column in the wee hours of the night after googling ‘why has my daughter completely changed so much?’
    I have two daughters & a son. My eldest daughter put us through hell & I can’t even speak of it but my younger daughter I thought of as my blessing she was as good as gold we never had a cross word until she met her future husband. They have been married for several years now &
    my relationship with her is touch & go. I raised my children with as much love patience & kindness that I could. I stayed at home investing all my time & strength into them never for
    one moment did I ever conceive that I would be treated with such contempt & callousness.
    My health has been pretty bad for the last ten yrs & I have had several big operations & I have needed some support & I’ve been disappointed.
    My relationship with my eldest daughter has begun to improve after 5 years of no contact & she came to see me
    after this last operation which was lovely & I’m hoping that I continue to see her though it’s only once every 3-4 weeks.
    My younger daughter I’m hoping will grow up & recognise that I’ve always been there for her & love her so very much.
    I used to think that your parents could make you or break you.
    I had a terrible childhood with a mother who made it clear I wasn’t wanted & I have tried to be the mother to my children that I would have liked.
    I used to think that the best you could do in life was to be able to leave yr children with an inheritance. Now we will be leaving all we have to our son. I have a good relationship with him so far & he is loving caring & supportive. If he changes & breaks my heart like his sisters I don’t think I will be able to endure the heartbreak a third time.
    I just want o add that I have a wonderful husband who has supported me through all of this & I thank GOD for him everyday. I think the world the people of this world are sadly lacking in love for one another to each ones own detriment. Reading these experiences has made me realise that there are so many parents suffering such grief because of thankless children.
    As to whether we should bequeath our wealth to cur children to which they may feel entitled I think that if they do not treat their parents with love respect & consideration that they deserve then they are no longer entitled to anything.
    I will always be here for my children but refuse to be trampled on anymore.
    then

  2. I do not have any advise, only empathy. My youngest son who is 18 and myself have had many struggles the last 2-3 years. He smokes weed almost everyday and I do not approve. I have thrown it out, taken things away etc. to no avail. He says I just need to accept it. He is in his first year now of university, seems to be doing ok, but he is like an emotional roller coaster- happy one minute, angry the next. I have tried to get him to go talk to someone he refuses, and when I try to talk to him he just yells at me, and threatens me – that he will leave etc. I realize this could also be from the drug use, but he refuses to admit that there are any lasting or harmful side effects. He is extremely hurtful to me. My heart is shattered. I don’t know what to do, but I feel that I need to just let him go and hope that one day he will find his way back to us.

  3. My 43 yr old son and his wife haven’t spoken or have had any contact with us for over a year as a result I haven’t seen my grandson during this whole time.My son visits my mother (who enables him by giving him money )and will bad mouth us the whole time he says his father and I have destroyed his life that we owe him a million. etc. etc.After a small dissagrement he swore at me then he decided to cut all connection to both my husband and I and all our family( cousins aunts uncles). I dont understand! I am trying to understand but try as I might I don’t. I feel my son is jealous of our lifestyle and feels entitled to everything we have worked so hard for all our lives, we are immigrants with no education just hard work. We are responsible because we have always tried to give him everything we did’t have growing up, we always made excuses for him (has ADD ,is depressed etc) and have financially supported him all his life.He hasn’t been able to hold on to a job more than 6 months and claims he cant find a job. We have in the past tried to create jobs for him at his insistence, we invested in 3 different business ventures.Lost our money each time. Those are our mistakes, we are now paying for them. I wish I could go back and do things differently but I can’t.Even now when my mother tells me that he doesn’t have money to pay his bills my heart
    breaks.He is married to a nice girl ,they have both taken us out of their facebook and messenger and wont answer their phone. Till my grandson was four I took care of him the whole day every Friday I miss him so much my heart hurts ,he loved being at our house and would not want to leave now after a year and a half I wonder what that poor little boy must think ,where did we go? does he still remember us.As for my son and his family I pray for their well being every day and I pray that my grandson never gives them the pain they have given us. After reading about narcissism I realize both my son and my mother suffer from it and I have been caught in the middle all my life.I have come to the realization that I can not change them. I have a responsibility to my mother she is too old to change and I feel sorry for her because she doesnt have any friends due to her constant complaining and negativity but I pray to God that my son will change and not be negative about life and people as he has been .I WISH I KNEW WHAT TO DO!!!!

  4. The way my son talks to me and the disrespect he has towards me breaks my heart. I’ve seen how he is with others and hear what they think of him and it makes me so very proud! Just like his success and work ethic. But more than anything he’s the best dad to my 5year old grandson and 7 month old granddaughter. At 23 he’s been with (Let’s call her”Amy”)since high school and they been married almost 2 years He was the oldest of 4boys and we were always close, as he got older he had more anger in him, was always right and rarely apologized for anything hurtful that he said in anger)The last time we spoke(1st wk in September was due to a misunderstanding between me and “Amy”) I hung up on him because he was screaming as loud as he could and I REFUSED TO HEAR IT, then he text and tells me what a pathetic excuse of a mother I am!! I’m still not sure what I did that day! But I know she called him at work and told I threatened to call the cops on her!! Me and her were SO close,more a daughter &friend than in-laws!! I haven’t been the same since, he’s never been THAT mean and since that day I can’tsee the grandkids!!! I need those babies more than anything and they need me too! I’ve tried texting and calling they don’t answer me for any reason! If they don’t want to talk to me, I’m ok with that but Im at the point of wanting to make the first move(even if I have to make it over & over) and even apologize for or agree to whatever I need to so I can have my babies back because looking at their pictures every day is what keeps me going even though it hurts like hell too

  5. I’m glad I found this blog. As of today I ended my relationship with my 20 yr old daughter. We have never been close and are about as different as 2 people can be. She is a very cold, unloving person. I wear my heart on my sleeve. She has always been selfish and rigid and the only way our relationship exists is if I play by her rules, she is a controlling bully. If I say or do something she doesn’t like she immediately stops talking to me or ignores my texts. She has hurt me so many times I have lost count. I’ve tried and tried for years to make this work with her, including counseling. We are not fixable, I can’t believe my own child can be so cruel but she is.

  6. I can’t sleep.really for the last 3 days.. It is my daughter’s 14th Birthday today.

    She has dealt with so much trauma starting 3 years ago, a sibling passing and her Moms sister recently. It really has changed her personality and outlook. We used to be sooo close and she was so happy, funny and loved life.

    Her Mom and I never really were functional and we never were married. After the loss slowly; things just started to get more inward and not wanting to see or speak with me. Mom has something to do with it as well. (I’m being nice I’ll just leave it at that!)

    It got to the point where in the last 2 years I may have seen her 6 or 7 times and just for my family parties. She blocks me from calls and her Mom has always done that, So even though on paper I’m supposed to help make decisions; joint custody that NEVER Happens; just about the $$$. My daughter now is speaking to me like her mother did if we do speak and getting into social problems at school and never did before. I’m afraid for her as she is getting in trouble and doesn’t care what I say or do.

    I live 10 miles aways and she’s never even seen my new place and I will not be seeing her tomorrow for her birthday. This has been the hardest couple of months because my Father passed on July as well. Her mom would rather I suffer than go over another parenting agreement and she’s 14 now… so I don’t even think court can help me. I am miserable and don’t know what to do.. I miss her as she is my only child.

    It’s only getting worse as time progresses. I ask her mom to let her go to counseling and she says NO. Father’s have it the worst when it comes to the system even if you are positive influence. Another thing; Father’s who can see their children.. DO NOT take it for granted. That is a gift.

    On a positive, I knew this was gonna happen so my way of dealing with it was to donate money to a charity that helps Dads and Daughters stay connected, bond and love and support one another through the ups and downs of life. It did ease the pain a little by knowing I helped others do what I can not.

    We’ll see what tomorrow brings.. Praying for all of us that are in or not in a similar situation. I’m giving it up to GOD and hoping things will change.

  7. Parents are given much more bandwidth than children when it comes to their ability to complain. But you know, children didn’t ask to be brought into this world and saddled with the emotional, genetic, and familial baggage that often accompanies existence. You brought us in and we have to navigate your egos, your aspirations for us, and your belief systems. I’m one of three siblings who are all non-religious, childfree-by-choice, and politically liberal and active. My life consists of working for my community and for nonprofits, art, and writing and study. I grew up in a very strict, oppressive, Conservative, military, and religious family. My entire childhood was spent in remote areas where I was constantly the ‘new girl’ until a parent left the military and we were suddenly thrust into civilian life in a small town where everyone had lived for generations in some cases. Can you imagine how alienated that must feel? What that does to your ability to form and maintain relationships? My parents are still married but they’re miserable. I basically grew up in a single parent household. It was chilly, repressive, and my emotional needs were not met even if my physical ones were.

    One of my parents has struggled with severe anxiety (not great when a spouse does a top secret job) and the other is controlling, socially inappropriate, and feels betrayed by his children, who do not share his political views. Doing the work he did, I cannot understand why he would have a family at all. We were lugged around and left behind. I have no family connections, no place that I can go that holds positive and familiar memories.
    On top of it, one of my parents is disappointed that there are no grandchildren. With serious hereditary disease, histories of depression and anxiety, and a lack of connectedness and roots (there’s also ancestral amnesia due to negative events that happened on both sides of the family), this is not a healthy situation to bring children into. To make matters worse, one parent just doesn’t listen and is an aggressor, while the other continues to defend their uncaring behavior.

    I struggle daily with my decision to let go but I’m not certain I could function if I didn’t release myself from the anchor that has been slowly drowning me, despite my best efforts to breathe, for my entire life. If that makes me an ungrateful wretch, so be it. This life is my own.

  8. I was always a excellent mother, my kids was always first in my life. When I find out that my 18 year old was keeping secrets of his drug use and other terrible things. I notices he was acting different, as a disable parent he used me for money and whatever he could drain me out of. Meanwhile he spending money on his secret lover while he was draining me. He could not careless about me , he stolen from me, just to give it to her. I decide to put him out of my home. I can do bad by myself. I no longer want a mother and son relationship.

  9. Maria, my heart break for you, you and I are so much in the same boat. I am also an immigrant and my son’s behavior is so much like yours, the only different is I am 71 years old and have no husband.
    I wish I know how to ease this pain but a good feeling that I am not alone.
    Take care.

  10. This is for Ryan,
    Hi Ryan,
    The best advice I can give you is get your daughter to a female therapist to process her feelings. She has been through a lot and at her age when confronted about these serious life issues feelings become in tangled. She needs to have a professional to guide her through. Also in addition group therapy that is applicable to her age and subject would be beneficial during or after therapy.
    Do not worry this will all work out. She does love you.

  11. For Mary,
    We cannot make young adults do anything so we must accept them where they are. I would put the disapproval of pot smoking aside. It’s not that dangerous other drugs are. We have to come from a place of love and to embrace them if we don’t they will avoid us. When you approach him with love and acceptance of who he is, give it some time and he will eventually begin to trust you. When he feels he can trust you you will hear him talk about his inner feelings. Then you can begin to understand him on a much greater level. I’m speaking from a lot of experience and 4 years of therapy over my daughter’s life. My 32 yr old daughter and I now have the best relationship we’ve ever had. I began to put myself in her shoes and understanding of her pain instead of being the mom who knows what’s best. I would rather hear what she’s going through than not hear anything. Wishing you the best.

  12. If you truly want your child back in your life, accept ALL blame, and apologize SPECIFICALLY for what it is THEY think you did. Name it. Own it. Take FULL responsibility and make NO excuses. NONE. Explain that your new behaviour will demonstrate how much you’ve grown and will prove you are a changed person.
    This will work. Are you grovelling? YES! But..if you are hurt beyond words, and want you child back no matter what..then do this! I did, and it worked.

  13. I also have a very ungrateful daughter. I adopted her at 3 days old and raised her by myself. When she was old enough I periodically worked multiple jobs to give her everything any child could want. I always thought we were close. She graduated from a prestegous university and I even came up with the money to send her abroad in a college sponsored program for her last college semester. The day she graduated college I out 7000.00 on a brand new car for her to start her life with. She got a job shortly after graduating and moved 2000 miles away. When she tried buying a home I enabled that too by sending her money she needed for down payment. She got married and had a baby at which time she started being rude and putting me Down. That s been 4 yrs. I met her daughter and husband after they got married (4 yrs) and she has t spoken to me and blames me for everything so we no longer talk. I was on chemo and became disabled and her comment to me was ” what do you want me to go about it, be happy you have a roof over ur head and food to eat.) This coming from the ungrateful snit whose household income is close to 300000. Yr and she lives in a 500000. Home that I helped her get into. Really? In my time if need to be so cruel for no reason. I m done.

  14. My adult daughter is in her 5 th year of college and is so full of false pride. Her and her boyfriend like to talk smart and they put me down and her brother. She is so snarky and insulting. I finally got sick of it and confronted her. She became the victim and the bully went into a rant that i make her miserable for years and im too sensitive! She insults me in a backhanded way and im too sensitive i get upset too easy. I really hate her right now! She is impossible to talk to theres no resoning with her. I have given so much to her and i always felt she didn’t appreciate it. Turns out she could care less. I really think shes got an imbalance or somthing. Im at my wits end tryin to get her to stop acting like shes better than the rest. My heart is broken from her words of demeaning me and my feelings. Shes good at taking the focuss off the problem and turning on ya though. My husband caters to her. I will not anymore and she wont care.

  15. My son just turned 16 and I haven’t seen him in two months. He told his therapist that he and I were about as close as a son and his father could be, but that now he just sees things differently. I have to email his therapist because his mother is as silent as he is. He told me that I’m not even his father and that I’m just some jackass, yet he expects presents on his birthdays and on Christmas. To be honest, I feel like hopping in my car and disappearing. If he really doesn’t want a father, let him have that experience.

  16. I need help… my adult son has blamed me for everything that is wrong in his life. We have had problems with him since he was about 16. His anger comes and goes he seemed to be doing better when he got around 21. But he cant keep a job or a girlfriend, he is constantly homeless. Yes, homeless because I moved out of the country. Came back and he is mad, he said we left him in the states but at the same time he was living with someone and didn’t even care to call me. When his life is good I don’t hear from him. When his life is bad its my fault and he wants to move in. recently, I invited him over for thanksgiving but could not pick him up. He was mad because I told him his step dad would because I had to cook and work. He was irate. pretty much told me he would shoot at my house, kill me if I touched my grand daughter that he does not care for she is with her mother. and called me every name in the book. I was devastated. I keep trying.. over and over… what do I do.. Honestly, I think he has a mental issue but he refuses to seek help.. I have to let him go…

  17. All of my children 29, 30, 38, 40 live within 5 miles from me. None contacted me about Thanksgiving. One I haven’t seen since last Christmas. Last time I spent any time with my 38 yr and his family was February. My oldest only needs me to babysit the 4 & 5 yr olds, who I adore and always says yes. But no one ever comes to help me. None call to just say hi. when they were growing up they always come first. I don’t make plans because maybe they will call and invite me over, I want to be available to go. I have no idea what has changed unless their father who I divorced 12 yrs ago is telling lies again. I cannot and will not engage in any conversation regarding what he says because no matter what I say to defend myself I’m told I’m bitter. How do I even convince them I’m not! My therapist keeps saying I should contact them. Why?

  18. i woke up this morning to a horrible text from my 32 year old son who was the apple of my eye his entire life.

    What happened? All I know is he disapproved of my b/f. 3 years ago my grandaughter was born and I have never been in her presence..my grandson is 8..I have hardly seen him.

    I paid their rent after asking them to move out for 1 year 2012-2013..

    I have been paying their cable for 6 years.

    I ended up on disability a year ago and so a month ago I stopped paying their cable..178 a month! I texted him and his g/f that I was no longer able to pay it a little over a month ago.

    This a.m. my son texts me that his cable for his “kids” is shut off now because I did not pay his bill and he does not have it in his budget and that I did not give him sufficient notice and he hopes I have a miserable “f-ing” holiday.

    The thing that bothered me most was he said he hopes something horrible happens to him “soon” :(.

    This kid is driving one of my cars..that I just paid registration fees for and I pay the insurance monthly.’

    The sick part of this whole thing is I WISH I could pay his cable to get it back on…but I can’t afford it…I own a home alone…my youngest son lives with me and pays nothing…I just can’t do it anymore.

    When my youngest son moved in…I kicked that b/f out of my life in hopes to have my family back…that was 7 months ago…and they have not “returned” to me. My b/f never did a thing to them..they just didn’t like him because he was living with me and they felt “he” was getting their monetary benefits.

    My b/f and I had problems otherwise I wouldn’t have made the choice to kick him out..but we have resolved those problems and I am thinking of having him back in my life now as he truly loves me and is the only one in this world that is there for me.

    My X husband is a big part of their lives and does alot for me with my b/f gone (heavy stuff around house) and I have to hear about the grandkids all the time thru him….

    I have had may suicidal thoughts in the last 2 years…I gave them everything…I gave UP so much for him…and I sit here with a pit in my stomach this morning which is how I found this website.

    I just need to be reassured…that I SHOULD not be feeling like this and that it is OK that I stopped paying the cable..since they decided 3 years ago I was not worthy to have access to my grandchildren. .

    He textes me that it was unbelievable that I did this to them (stopped paying cable).

    I text back..Its unbelievable I don’t have you or kids in my life and I can’t afford my own stuff so I am not paying “strangers” cable. 🙁

    This is so painful…it is comforting to read this thread and know that I am not alone.

    I’m waiting for the phone call from my X and he will ask if there is anyway I can get the cable turned back on for my “grandchildren” I’m not allowed to see..lol…Cause he pays whatever he can to help them and has no more.

    Well I have no more either…I’m not doing this out of spite as I have paid their cable in the last 3 years that I haven’t even MET my beautiful grandaughter.
    Its only because I own a home on disability…and I’m struggling to that I just can’t do it anymore.

    What a way to start a day…a text from a beloved son saying something will happen to him (he used to do heroin) and feeling like I have failed when I really have given them ALL of me and got nothing in return except these hateful texts.

  19. Im not sure what to do, my 32 yr old daughter runs a daycare out of a small house she bought. She recently has pressured me to sell my home and rent her small home within next 2 months of her closing down daycare. I sold my home n close Jan 30 2018. My daughter has decided not to close daycare and screw me. Im so upset and dont know if contract can be broken. My daughter acts like, no big deal, and we are not speaking and shes holding grandkids from me. I live alone and thought this was good opportunity for me to downsize. Im taking a big loss on my home and my credit is not good to buy another so im stuck renting in bad area for more than my house payment is? I cant believe she has done this to her mom

  20. Wow. So interesting to read all these heartfelt posts. So I am not alone!! It feels as if I am all alone with this pain. I have learned much from reading these. I have health issues taking my attention and the best things I can do is pray, let go, let God. Thank you all who shared for validating my feelings. It really helps.

  21. I have a 38-year-old daughter who I went to visit at Thanksgiving. Thought our relationship was doing good only to be told by her on Thanksgiving Day that I have never been a mom to her & she just tolerates me. Then throws me out. Looking back I now see the telltale signs, but I just looked the other way thinking she was having a bad day. She was vicious in her attack. The last time she verbally attacked me, thank goodness I was at home & just hung up on her. She called me a week later & apologized, said she was having a rough time at work. Told her then she was being disrespectful & would not tolerate it anymore & if she did, I would cut off contact with her. She promised it would never happen again. She has been verbally attacking me for years. I believe she is embarrassed to be seen with me. I don’t think I will ever be good enough for her. I live a simple life. She on the other hand feels money & materialistic gains make you a good person. That’s her choice, I’m okay with that, but not the abuse. I’m devastated & right now I’m just putting one foot in front of the other trying to make it through another day. Can’t stop crying. It has taken a toll on me.

  22. The stories sound so much like my own. I was a single Mom who was there for her only child. Any time she wanted something she was nice, but the minute she didn’t she was cruel. Now that she is an adult and married she seems to think she is far above me, she is cold, critical and brings up things from the past to throw in my face. She will lure me to her home, a couple of hundred miles away, with the promise of gifts. So I will drive all the way to go see her and she will be nice for a short time, then she will start in with all of her BS. She is one of the most heartless, narcississtic and arrogant people I have ever known. I am just so tired of her horrible behavior that I don’t want to see her anymore. But she will call me up at the last minute and tell me that her and her husband will be in town for a couple of days, I always give in and spend time entertaining them. But I rarely enjoy any time with her as she is constantly on her cell phone or tablet, only grunts a few things at me, never smiles, rarely expresses gratitude, is snarky, obstinate and generally disagreeable.It is no fun for me.If I ask her for a photo graph of her and her husband she will tell me that I cannot have one because I will just show it to other people. If I am looking at her photos with her anything that I say she will have some invalidating thing to say to me. Either that someone else would have said something different or that I am not reacting correctly or that I don’t act like I like her friends or that I am doing something else that displeases her, and almost everything I do or say displeases her. She has even commented that I laugh and smile too often, or that I act all nicey, nicey. It’s
    ridicuous!! Lately, she has started embarassing me in front of her husband! She will stop at nothing to invalidate and disrespect me. I love her but I cannot stand her anymore!

  23. Oh and I forgot about the constant correcting of my behavior that she does. Either she claims that I am not being polite enough to other people, say things that are politically incorrect, talk too much, say the WRONG things, don’t show enough interest in her friends, ask too many questions, am off the wall, etc. etc. It just never ends. She has actually said that I am looking at her the wrong way, don’t listen, don’t ask the right questions or hang around with the right people nor do I live the right way. I finally got angry at her and ask her if there was anything that she DID like about me. She said” we will talk about this later!” UNBELIEVABLE!!!

  24. My 21 year old daughter has met a young man and married him. His family has money and they go to a church that has tell my daughter that she has no spiritual obligation to me. That she doesn’t have to have anything to do with me. I haven’t seen my grandson in 9 months. She didn’t call for Thanksgiving she cussed me out the last time we spoke. All because I don’t drive and I asked her to come visit me. I’m so heartbroken I know that I have a daughter but I don’t feel like I have a daughter. She spends all her time with his parents and she wants everything to do with my ex-husband and his wife and nothing to do with my husband and I. When my ex-husband his wife wanted nothing to do with her we were the only ones there for her. We feel like she’s being brainwashed

  25. Wow.. all
    These horror stories.. I always believe stupidly that these things would never happen to me and my daughter.. I was so nieve to think
    That I would be any different than the rest of you. I cry as I write this as I realized it today after a fight we had that confirms how much she despises me and matter of fact, I’m pretty sure if I died tomorriw I don’t think she would care too much, if anything maybe she would be free of me. She has no dad as he left due to a drug addiction and other reasons so she can’t run to him so it’s just her brother and I. Like the rest of you, I feel unappreciated, as I try so hard to make her happy like the rest of you, but it doesn’t matter, my efforts mean nothing. I could give her the moon and sky, she would be thankful in the moment but turn on me the next day. Shes always on her phone and ignores me when I speak to her, laughs at me when I’m angry and hurt, talks down too me, is extremely condescending and patronizing and has no respect for me. I’m starting to think maybe I’m not worthy and shouldn’t blame her for treating me so badly. I don’t think much of myself right now anyway and sometimes think I would be better off dead, I wonder if that would finally make her happy cause she would be free of me. I always felt so close to her growing up but now that she’s older and has friends, she doesn’t need/want me anymore I’m just a means to an end, a source of money and transportation. I don’t fully understand it either, she’s a vegan animal loving child, so much compassion for other living beings, except me I guess. She was even mean to my mother once, it made her cry. I told her this is how I feel nearly every day and it’s just the way it is. I guess it just really sucks to make your kids your whole life and do everything for them to make them happy then they turn on you for whatever reason, but then I think maybe I deserve this, after all I too did this to my mother when I was a teen but I was raised by a very abusing father and mom mother knew it and didn’t do anything other than try to protect me,she never left him so I found my own escapes. But my daughter doesn’t have these issues. She lives in a happy, quiet non abusive household with minimum rules or chores, nothing like what I had to do or endure. Even today, we’re here at Disneyland and on the way down we got into a big fight over nothing.. she was really cold and mean towards me, I aware she wish I were dead, I’m honestly not sure if she cares if I did, I’m just not sure anymore? I think she loves me but maybe just doesn’t like me very much? I just don’t understand what I’ve done wrong but I can’t help thinking maybe I’m just a crappy mother and just in denial or something? I was sh I knew so I could fix what I’m doing wrong. Its so hard being a single mother cause I have no supprt from a husband, just my oldest child who tries to protect me and stick up for me (she’s 11 years older than her sister) so we’ve always been close growing up cause it was just us, again no husband. She just yells at her too if she tries to stick up for me and so he just walks away. I think he may be afraid of her too, I think
    We all are a little bit. So as I sit her at 3am writing this cause I can’t sleep wondering why I became a mother? I love being one but I don’t think I’m a good one or my daughter wouldn’t loathe me the way she does so in that sense, I should have known I wouldn’t have made a good mom considering my own awful childhood. So what do I do now. I can’t help but love my kids and I won’t abandon them cause they’re my life so I guess us parents should just accept our fates. Our kids mostly deep down hate us, don’t really want us but need us and realize I’m going to lose her eventually at the rate things are going in sure she will eventually leave me and might never speak too me again so I guess we just cry and accept it right? I’m so broken hearted over this I can’t stop crying. I’m just sad I was such a stupid fool to think anything otherwise. Just like the rest of you, our daughters grow up hating us.. it’s sad and really painful but what can we do.. ? For me, I guess I will get up and go to Disneyland and pretend to be happy until she decides to hate me again.. and I guess this will go on until shes old enough to leave us.. maybe this is a good thing preparing myself for the inevitable, maybe that’s what we all should do, realize our kids don’t really want us, they just need us then they hate you and leave.. this hurts more than any physical pain I’ve ever felt in my life, my heart is broken and so am I

  26. Oh and I left out she won’t hug me, show any kind of love towards me or say she loves me back,.EVER, but she hugs and tells her friends she loves them.. that’s like a knife to my heart. Hurts like hell. Just more proof she hates me or I should say, disgusted and ashamed of me, that’s what it feels like.. dusgusted, embarrassed and ashamed of me to be her mother. I feel like such a failure and loser.. I let her down.. I should have been a better mom, one she could be proud of and want to hug and say I love you. I think she likes her b/f step mother and wishes I was more like her.. she’s younger and prettier, thinner than me so maybe that’s why.. I’m just a huge pathetic disappointment too both my kids. I hate myself for letting them down. I know they deserve a better mother than me.. I hate myself more than they ever could.

  27. I have a 19 year young daughter, she lived with me and her dad between exchanging after divorce when she was 2 years young. Her dad being an abusive man, both physically, verbally; it has extremely difficult to have her in my custody because it meant danger to my life. My daughter had lived with her dad for the last years of her teenage life, and I was afraid of frequent visits, because of the danger involved, so now that I finally got her to Facebook me (at age 19), she is not used of the loving motherly attention. She questioned me “thank you for the birthday gifts. How did you get my dad’s address?” (her dad hid her from me, and her stepmother was cleaver at creating criminal activity and getting away with it, I am the nice stupid one that gets crap end of it). I get the feeling her dad is telling her how to question me, and or dictating her words. However, I was very excited about her Facebook response, I messaged her that I have a degree in law, and that I still have my nurses license, and work inpatient hospital care, and that I plan to take a vacation to Hawaii soon and would purchase a airplane ticket for her to come along. Also, asked her to give me a list of the personal items she needs, like girls stuff. My daughter said, “stop you’re doing too much, that’s a little creepy.” And I said, “Oh.” then went on to say, “that’s what mother’s normally do.” then I said, “But it’s ok, I will understand your point of view.” After my last comment, my daughter did not make another comment, I waited for over an hour, but nothing. Will she ever speak to me? spent time with me? Travel with me? Want my gifts? Should I keep sending gifts?

    Please advise, and please try to be gentle and kind, thank you.

  28. Iam54 yr. old mother of two beautiful daughters. Its been several years of estrangement with my youngest- 24, and 3-4 years with my eldest-27.

    Ive reached out offering only love and support- No Advice- for years. No response. Im frazzled with constant heartache and actual grief. Ive called to make an appointment for help, awaiting a return call.

    As Ive read through this, I have found Im Not Alone. Which to me, is comforting and bewildering. Neither of my daughters have children, at least not that Im aware of: Total Estrangement. I cant help but believe that if/ when they are blessed with their own, things will change. And Its Very Difficult To Wait to have any contact until that day.

    Why do children that are lived and cherished so much do this? What does a mother do? If Anything can be done.

    How do I cope , I feel Ive lost them forever.

    Greif, Mourning, whatever this is, it hurts beyond words.

    Miss K – Tulsa

  29. I have two sons who are as different as night and day. My olest son is 40 he was always way going but very opinionated. Second son is 39 he was always clinging and required more attention, we were always closer. Their father and I divorced after 20 years of marriage, he was having an affair with my friend our close neighbor. Now I know it takes two to make a marriage but I felt so betrayed by two people I trusted, well anyway I had to move on for my sons. The younger son was diagnosed with jr arthritis dad, refused to admit there was anything wrong medically wrong said I babied him. Ok I will try to shorten this, I was a stay at home for 17 Years and had no formal education, although I love my children more than words can express, I tried to be the best mother to them, they care first before everything (maybe why dad strayed). Many things happened my oldest son moved to Hawaii didn’t marry until age 38, We do not always agree on everything but I know he loves me. My youngest son married at 33, I must say both have married women who are well suited to them and love them and that is all a mom could want for her children. My oldest son has a 14 yr old son in the states, my youngest son feels he is not a good father so he will not talk to his brother. My youngest son blames father for divorce so he doesn’t talk to him either. When my youngest son married ther was a miscommunication regarding a bridal shower, it was my fault because I didn’t know how to tell his future mother-
    In-law I couldn’t afford a big shower. Needless to say my future daughter in law called me and was yelling at me, I told her I thought we should discuss this later as to not say something we didn’t mean I hung up. My son called me and I tried to tell him how I felt and what happened, he told me it is not all about me, believe me I understand that and have never felt that way. I was hurt and told him I wasn’t going to the wedding, I did apologize and said I would not miss his wedding. Since he has been married (they did live I Michigan, I live in Illinois, he would talk to me even call for advice) then we where blessed with a baby girl, they moved back to Illinois, now my understanding was they moved to Michigan to get away from a very controlling mother. I like my daughter-in-law and her parents, they live 15 minutes from my home, I also understand daughters are closer to there families. I also do not expect to ever be put before my sons family, he is a wonderful father (oh yeh because of his dease he refused to go to high school, emotional problems divorce and being ill, he continued to graduate from Columbia on the deans and presidents list). He also refuses to talk to my brother because another incident wit the wedding. I do not ever interfere with his married life (my friends believe it is is wife, I do not agree he is very smart and has a mind of his own if he cares about me he should do so on his own). I am not sure if my not wanted to interfere makes him feel I don’t care and I know he is not big on phone calls, so I decided to try texting once a week just say love You I also always include wife and children, no response back. I sent him a text, love you miss you, would like to know how you are, texting is fine. He did respond back I will call you tomorrow, a month has gone by no calls. Did text haven’t heard from you, he texted back they are all fighting bad colds. I am so sorry for running on and the very bad grammar just needed to vent, I am so very hurt and just do not know what to do next.

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