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I'm Honey!

As a woman who has lived through many passages and learned through my larger than life experiences (positive and negative), I’ve discovered how to take a big empowering bite out of life.

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how to recover from loneliness when an adult child rejects you

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” – J. K Rowling

Today, I want to write on a topic that weighs on my heart. The above quote makes sense, but how can a parent after 50 accept the rejection of their adult child? I don’t believe they can recover from the rejection, but there are ways to empower them to cope with the betrayal and the unavoidable loneliness. I call it a ‘betrayal wound,’ a wound that never heals. Because if you are a typical good enough parent, your adult child’s rejection is unnatural and unhealthy. 

I understand your feeling all too well. I am a mother whose adult child has rejected me. Am I lonely because of this? Yes, at times. Am I still working on ways to handle my situation? Yes. 

Many pieces fit into place in the parent-adult child rejection puzzle. Without dialogue between the parent and adult child, putting the pieces of the puzzle together is impossible. This is very frustrating and creates all types of unhealthy emotions. When an adult child rejects reconciliation, a parent has options. To try to accept what she cannot change. To branch out into her personal life and become empowered. 

A PARENT ASKS HERSELF

Over and over again, you ask yourself:

  1. “Why did this happen? What was the cause?
  2.  “Was there a straw that broke the camel’s back?”
  3. How can my adult child be content with her life after she caused her mother such pain?”
  4. “How can an adult parent who rejected her mother defend her actions to her children and other family members?”
  5.   “What action could I have taken to stop this problem?
  6. “How can I pull myself out of the doldrums of loneliness and rejection?”

Want to grab a cup of coffee and listen to me read this blog to you? Watch below!

WHY DO ADULT CHILDREN REJECT THEIR PARENTS?

Many causes create rejection. Divorce. Remarriage. An influential mate. Unique circumstances. Anger. Drugs. Jealousies. Whatever the situation, it is complex, destructive, and isolating for a parent and the other family members.  

HELP YOURSELF AFTER 50 WARD OFF LONELINESS AND HURT

The first thing you can do is count your ‘positive’ blessings every morning before you get out of bed. Say your blessings aloud, jot them down, and then read them out loud.

It is essential to acknowledge the positivity of self and your environment at the beginning of each day; This will comfort you and allow your positive juices to flow at the beginning of each day. Otherwise, you will activate the lonely pain that starts your day on a downward spiral.

Next, look for a group, club, or class that shares your interests. These things will bring joy into your life. Force yourself to explore several options and then motivate yourself and join. 

Another option is to make an appointment with a positive psychology professional. There is a degree in Positive Psychology

Join my private Facebook group, Celebrate Life. Our group includes women after 5O who engage with one another. There are women from all over the world who have joys and problems just like you and I. Loneliness, rejection, and feeling invisible after 50 are just a few.

My Celebrate Life Facebook group is beginning to set up subgroups. We have a Zoom meet-up monthly, and we have a widows group getting legs as I write to you. There is a sense of belonging that comes with being a group member. The group will give you something to look forward to and some optimistic stimulation.

All in all, a sense of belonging staves off loneliness.

celebrate life after 50, Honey Good's private Facebook group

INITIATE RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS

Another way to stave off loneliness and the hurt from the rejection of an adult child is to reach out to others. Enjoy and nurture your relationships with your Grands and other family members. 

Volunteer for a cause you believe in. You will meet women of all ages who love the cause. Volunteering brings more meaning into your life.

  • Strengthen your existing relationships. 
  • Call friends more often. 
  • Deepen your family connections.

Additionally, you could adopt a pooch, a cat, or a bird, or buy goldfish! Our animal friends provide companionship and unconditional love and do prevent loneliness. Walking your pet opens you up to a community of dog walkers.

Another thing to try? Talk to strangers waiting with you, sitting next to you at a concert, at the next table at a coffee shop. Strike up a conversation. My conversations with strangers have led to real friendships. 

I saved the most important for last: PRACTICE SELF CARE: When feeling lonely, nurture yourself. Eat nutritious foods, exercise, and get your rest. You’ll feel better about yourself.

THOUSANDS OF OTHER PARENTS ARE IN SIMILAR STRAITS

Remember this, darling: You may be lonely, but you’re not alone. When I researched adult children’s rejection of their parents and learned the problem is epidemic. I was taken aback. 

Take heart that other parents are in similar straits and are embarrassed to discuss their situation. They are lonely too. They feel ashamed. I realize this does not bring solace, but it does educate you to know you are one of the thousands and not alone.

I AM A REJECTED MOTHER WHO SUFFERS FROM LONELINESS

Ultimately, I did not use my power to stop my daughter, though I could have. I should have. If you are sitting idly by suffering with loneliness like other moms, suffer no more. Use your power and whatever means reasonable. It’s good to remember the importance of empowering yourself. Go on the offense.

I ERRED- I TOOK THE HIGH ROAD

When I realized my daughter was rejecting me, I sent loving gifts in the mail with handwritten loving notes. First was a paperweight with her Zodiac sign with a message that said, “I have loved you since the first moment I laid eyes on you.” No reply. I did not give up. I sent another loving, sentimental gift with no response. 

She continued with her rejection, always in a public way and with no words. My Ultimate Concierge and myself were not invited to family weddings. She did not come to any family celebrations, including her grandmother’s 100th birthday. She kept her family away.

I am revealing this to share with you my pain. I am not divulging anything she has not already exposed. Unfortunately, she rejected me without a conversation between mother and daughter. This is a loss for both of us. Her actions spoke volumes.

I learned a lesson. Taking the high road depends on individual situations. Let me clarify that I believe in taking the high road 99% of the time. 

I thought the high road was my power. Kindness begets kindness. I came from love. Sadly, this love was not returned. I gave my power away and exacerbated the problem that has hurt my grandchildren, who I love. And who love the rest of my family and me. 

 I am a survivor of widowhood, cancer, financial problems, etc. Surviving the rejection of a child is a lonely path for a woman after 50. And it takes different coping skills depending on each situation.  

HOW TO USE YOUR POWER TO RECOVER FROM LONELINESS

The good news is, there is hope. I am in the process of learning how to use my power. 

Do not allow your rejecting adult child to steal away your personal empowerment and joy of life. Just because you are having difficulties in this area of your life does not mean you should get to the place where you feel personally defeated in other areas. Expand your horizons into areas of joy. 

So, do not apologize and beg for forgiveness unless you were a horrible mother.

Do whatever you must do to own your power and stop giving it away to anyone. 

The situation with my daughter has been going on for five years. I am genuinely not angry with her. Instead, I feel sorry for her. I am sorry about the times I missed with my grandchildren, and my grandchildren missed with me. It has been lonely. Indeed, I ache for that connection. 

To sum it up, learning to let go and accept is the best way to manage any part of your life that does not go the way you expect. Including when your adult child chooses to reject you.

If reading this helped you in any way, I am smiling. Please read more on this in my blog Alienation of an Adult Child.

Have you or someone you know suffered from the estrangement of an adult child? I’d love to hear your story. Join the conversation in the comments below.

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August 14, 2022

Passages After 50, Relationships

HOW TO RECOVER FROM LONELINESS WHEN AN ADULT CHILD REJECTS YOU

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  1. Marcia Roberts says:

    Oh Honey! You really “hit the nail on its head” with your post! Thank you SO much for your words of wisdom!! I, too, have an adult son who is in his early 50’s that has totally distanced himself, his wife, and his teen son from me for the last 2 years. There is NO communication and he tells me that we have “irreconcilable differences”….but, he doesn’t share with me what he means by that. He has told me many times that “I don’t count”, but, I know that I DO COUNT! I have not allowed his behavior to affect my daily life! Thankfully, I have a very close relationship with his adult son and his family! Plus, a wonderful, supportive “husband”❤️ Thanks again❤️

  2. Paula says:

    I have an estranged adult child. She has pushed me away since she was a young teen. I thought she would outgrow it. I gave her space to grow. I talked to her , I went out of my way to please her, nothing changed. I later blamed her husband, I blamed myself, I blamed others. Sometimes It seemed to get better but never very much. She is cordial at best, occasionally I get glimpses of what should be the natural relationship between between mother and daughter. Recently she has expanded the icy chill to other family members for a reason that has been resolved originated by her spouse. She is distant, isolates her children from us, I pray. What more can I do?
    When is it a mistake to sometimes take the high road?

  3. Ranel says:

    This is a wonderful article, Honey. All of your articles about personal experiences are helpful to those of us out here struggling with real life problems.

    My husband this week was diagnosed with cancer. We have been married 50 years, I’m age 73 and he is 85. He is not only my husband but my family! We will soon see an oncologist.. Meanwhile, we remain hopeful and positive as we should! Many advances have been made in the cancer world, right?

    Please continue to write articles that truly help people. You are very good at that!
    Ranel M

    • Honey Good says:

      I am sorry to hear of your husband’s illness. I know Cancer is a terrifying diagnosis. I have been there. I am sending you good thoughts and prayers. You are correct. There are so many new and innovative procedures and medicines. Warmly, Honey

  4. Lana Hood says:

    Thank you for sharing this personal story. I have family and friends in this same situation and it is heart wrenching. I shall pass your words on to them.

    • Honey Good says:

      Thank you Lana for passing this on. You all may like my private FB group, Celebrate Life for women after 50. They women really engage with one another. Warmly, Honey

  5. Kate says:

    This is sad. I too have the same problem with my child and can I say often times it’s the daughter. I worked hard and raised her up well but she has little to do with her mom. Once I opened up to different people it seem like folks were coming out of the wood works saying the same. I believe in all honesty that this is a spiritual thing cause it’s all over the world. No, it dint just happened last year but it’s so prevalent today and accepted. I finally wormed my way back into my child’s life. Then one day she called and decided to release hell on me to a degree that I was totally devastated and ended up in the hospital for five days. I had pneumonia/ covid while she was blessing me. I told her I was sick but it never registered with her. There has been hundreds of stories so the saying goes and it doesn’t get any better. In the meantime I push my self to work, purchase plants, go to church on Sunday and exercise when it hits me to do something. I have no social life. It’s hard making friends after 65 yrs of age.
    My family is very small and more than most of them have passed on. My brother thinks I’m a selfish bitch b/c I won’t send him money and chime in on his stuff. ( My mom used to send him money when he called).
    Women are quiet about their pain. They hurt all alone.
    They pray to God for a change in their grief and most of the time His grace is sufficient for this world.

    • Honey Good says:

      Please join my private Facebook group, Celebrate Life for Women after 50. The women interact and it is a great group. Start writing to others in the group and they will write to you. Bring up your problem and who knows who will come out of the woodwork. We want to start a sub group for women in yours and my situation. Write to pr@www.honeygood.com and you will hear back from Susan Berman Hammer, my manager. She will help you with your questions if you have any. Hope to see your name. I don’t want you to feel lonely. Warmly, Honey

  6. Lynn says:

    You could have written this just for me. Thank you for opening up and sharing your story with us. It lets us all know that we are not alone.
    I continue to hold out hope that my situation with my son will change but so far it hasn’t. Maybe in the future it will. In the meantime, though, I try to still live a life that’s worth living. That is truly the best way I’ve found to function with the pain and loneliness of the rejection.
    Bless you for sharing this with us. It truly is an epidemic.

    • Honey Good says:

      Thank you for your note. I am sorry you are going through this experience. We are not alone. How sad is that! So many moms and dads are suffering. I wonder if the adult children who reject us are, too? Warmly, honey

  7. Pauline Cambridge says:

    My youngest daughter and I did not talk for 3 months. Over politics if you can imagine. I was lucky. One day she called me and said I miss my mom. I’m afraid if she hadn’t done that we still would not be talking. I have 3 other children. I never discussed this with any of them but I’m sure they knew. I now have an excellent relationship with that daughter. I feel sorry for your daughter. Some day I’m sure she will forever regret not having you. My advice to you would be to embrace your other children. You have done what you could and unfortunately for her she has not responded. ❤️

  8. Anne says:

    We are experiencing the same sudden and very sad estrangement with our son and DIL. It’s something I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but I agree with everything you wrote. We find joy in other areas of our lives while hoping that the situation changes some day. Thanks for saying it out loud.

    • Honey Good says:

      You are welcome. I am glad you are finding joy in your lives. I hope they both comes to their senses and come home. Warmly, Honey

  9. Susan says:

    I’m also in this situation. I honestly think it’s stemming from jealousy. It makes everything all the more difficult when an only child is rejecting their parent.
    I wish I could read the reactions of your other readers who are in this situation. We can all learn from others.

    • Honey Good says:

      Do you belong to my private Facebook group, Celebrate Life for women over 50? If you don’t and care to join (for free) please do. Also, please email pr@www.honeygood.com. Susan Berman Hammer manages my group. There are women who want to start a subgroup of adult children who reject their parents. The group really interact and our women over 50. Warmly, Honey

  10. Janice Gineris says:

    Susan, my heart aches for you and under the circumstances which you have endured you have handled it well. You are a bigger person than I would be. My prayers for you are that one day your daughter will come to her senses. There is no greater love than a mother’s love for her children! Your daughter being a mother herself should acknowledge this, however she is the one that has to come to terms with the situation.
    Thinking of you often and praying that this will resolve itself.
    Sending a big hug for we all need one once in awhile.

    Janice G.

    • Honey Good says:

      Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived near one another! As I recall you love to garden or have a flower garden. I love to also and did in California. We also have memories to share and we think along the same lines politically and in our private lives. I also recall, I think, you lost a child and have had to weather other storms as we all have. We also have in common, I think, that we’alway’ land on our feet and have husbands who love us dearly. My daughter has hurt me to my core and actually and permanently scared my heart for life. Never the less, I see my glass half full and carry on. Sending you a big hug. Susan

  11. Celeste says:

    Just simply thank you Honey for your words of wisdom

  12. Chris Sanders says:

    My heart goes out to you. My son married a woman who believes his family is not worthy. We have all tried to improve relations.
    It makes relations with all the family strained. I still speak to my son. I am blessed in that sense. However, we cannot talk honestly about her attitude. I never dreamed one of my own children would be so alienated. Sending you a mother’s love.
    Chris

    • Honey Good says:

      Isn’t is amazing how one person can ruin an entire families positive dynamic. I am glad you see your son. Warmly, Honey

  13. Brenda says:

    My heart aches for you & others! Life can be so hard! What I’ve seen over & over ( in my many life years & working in the mental health field) is that a son or daughter can live you to pieces, think you are a great parent —- then they marry. For a myriad of mostly ridiculous reasons — you become the enemy. Often you can’t figure out what’s wrong or it makes no sense. A son or daughter in law steps in & destroys a family. BUT your child ALLOWS them to do that for some crazy reason!! An acquaintance has a heartbreaking story. She has a wonderful son, educated well by them, loving family. He married a nightmare & from the first meeting, she hated them! She didn’t know them or want to know them. Now, the important thing is why did their son stay with her, when he saw this behavior?? He changed completely & they were heartbroken. They ignored much & just hung in there. Over & over. ( He also changed toward his siblings). The finale was they received a call that their son was in the hospital, ICU, with heart problems. Very bad. They rushed there. His wife was waiting , no one could go in. They were terrified. So DIL decided to go to the cafeteria to eat. While she was gone, the nurse came out & said they could gave a very short visit. They went in for 5 mi utes. They went out & DIL started SCREAMING at them that she should have gone FIRST. They had no right to go in! There was no reasoning with her. Cut to the chase—- son got ok— they were cut OFF. Sibs were cut off. They tried everything. Ten years went by— one say they get a call from son. He was getting divorced. She left him for an old boyfriend. They are reunited & welcomed him & kids with open arms —the 15 year nightmare was over! Sorry this is so long!!! I have many other similar stories!!!! But the main point is—- the effect that the person they marry can have a huge impact. AND it makes no sense.

    • Honey Good says:

      You are correct. There are so many extenuating circumstances that cut off ties between adult children and their parents. The fact remains…it is unacceptable behavior! So many lives are hurt in the cross hairs. Thank you for your story. I am thrilled their son recovered and the family is reunited. Thank you for sharing. Warmly, Honey

  14. Elizabeth Clay says:

    Thank you so much for addressing this painful topic. My son rejected me about 15 years ago, and has NEVER given me an explanation as to WHY. I wonder how this could have happened to ME! I was a loving single mother and my children always came first. I have never remarried. There is not a day that’s gone by that I haven’t wondered what made him reject me. What an awful thing to do to a person….the hurt he left in his wake will never go away, and I am left every day, to wonder where I went wrong….(still blaming myself)
    Thank you for making me, and other parents in this similar situation, feel they are not the only rejected, loving one out there. It can be a lonely place, and one I wouldn’t wish on anyone….whatever the reasons, no one deserves this kind of treatment.
    I shall join your group.

    • Honey Good says:

      Elizabeth, Have you asked him why? You may not get an answer but never the less you have the right as his mother to ask.
      Please join my private facebook group, Celebrate Life too. Their is a lot of engagement and one of the women is setting up a sub group on this topic. I will be involved in the group. I know how you are feeling. You are not alone. Warmly, Honey

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