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Expecting that you can go to sleep one night determined to leave the pain of an adult child’s rejection behind, and wake up over it, isn’t realistic. I’ve gleaned a few tips from my own experience with my estranged adult child as well as from studies, books, and articles that can help. Fearing judgment, you may be embarrassed to share your painful truth. Keeping a journal or simply free-writing about your feelings may provide a safe way to offload them. You may be experiencing a stress response that isn’t good for you.And you may be right to hold back with people at work, or certain friends you feel won’t understand or will judge you. Some find an online group designed as support for parents of estranged adult children useful. Acknowledging your feelings, whether in a journal or by sharing with others you trust can be healthy, but not to excess or in a negative way. Do you catch yourself saying aloud or thinking, “I’ll never get over this..” Are you continually asking questions, such as, “Why do these sorts of things always happen to me? This suggestion may sound trite, but if negative thoughts can produce more negative thoughts, positive thoughts can be as fruitful. As reported in the Harvard Health Newsletter, researchers at Hope College in Michigan found that changing one’s thoughts about a stressful situation, perhaps by considering the parts you handled well or imagining offering forgiveness, changes the body’s responses.
By accepting the sad reality of one adult child’s rejection, I can better spend my time and energy on people that want my company, on interests that are meaningful and fulfilling to me, and where I can make a difference.Be sure to experience your surroundings to the fullest, by taking notice. Perhaps recall moments from your morning that went well.I’m glad I was able to make that telephone connection and cross the task off my list. Parents have known and loved their children for so long that forgiveness may be second nature – – or not. Because of the personal benefits, forgiveness is a gift you can give yourself. In a study published by National Institute of Health in 2011, researchers found that older adults (median age 66) who forgive others report higher levels of life satisfaction.Recently, a parent told me she had reconciled with an estranged adult child after nearly two decades of estrangement. Like she did, you can live your life now—-—-and still hold out hope for a future reconciliation.Done With The Crying is available through popular booksellers. Take the confidential, 8-question survey to help parents of estranged adult children. To share with others, provide a link to the page where the content is found.Getting on with life despite what’s happened connects you to other people and activities, helps fill the void of loss, and can help you to heal.
In my book, Done With The Crying, tools, the latest research, and insight from more than 9,000 parents of estranged adults can help you move forward and heal. When you are betrayed by someone you love, perhaps particularly an estranged adult child who you nurtured and helped to shape, it’s as if the bottom falls out.We all have disappointments, but the vast majority of us accept reality and move forward, perhaps in more fulfilling directions.Even after an adult child’s rejection, you have the right to enjoy your life.It’s helpful to reach out to a trusted, empathetic friend or two, but whether you can or can’t confide in others, don’t deny your feelings exist. Some common feelings of rejected parents include: *Guilt: I must not have raised my child right. *Helplessness: How can he/she refuse to take my call? ” Called “ruminating,” this sort of negative thinking spurs more negative thought, perhaps even calling to mind the other things that “always happen.” Clinical studies have linked ruminating to high blood pressure and to unhealthy behaviors such as binge drinking and overeating, so steer clear. Turn your statements and questions around with positive thoughts. When you catch yourself thinking negatively about your adult child or the situation, notice your physical body as well. In short, the way we think about things can reduce our physical stress response Take a few deep breaths, loosen up or even get up and move around. Do something to aid your physical body and health as well as positively altering your thoughts.An adult child’s rejection may cause parents to look back critically at their parenting skills, even magnifying some incidents or interactions during the child’s growing up years as proof they did a poor job. Parents realize they have no control over their adult child’s actions. Three: Focus on the Good Take time out each day to consider the positive situations and good people in your life.*Fear: What if my other adult children leave me too? A journal of good thoughts written down at the end of each day is a healthy habit, and a formal record is fun to re-read later. Here are a few suggestions: Instead of joining everyone in the lunch break room each day, take a short stroll outdoors instead, or perhaps before you join the others.