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Forums / Multicultural experiences / Parent of an estranged Adult daughter

Topic: Parent of an estranged Adult daughter

  1. magiore
    magiore avatar
    29 posts
    7 February 2018

    I need to connect with other parents who are going through what I am going through.

    I will be brief for now, but will discuss further once I connect with others who are going through the same crisis as mine.

    It's been six weeks now our daughter left the family, she eloped and we don't know where she is. she left us suddenly, our lives changed practically overnight.

    We cannot believe that she could such a thing, the guy and his family have brainwashed her and stolen her from us. I heard that she is already engaged to this guy and the family will marry her off as soon as possible. We cannot believe that she could do such a thing behind our back.

    I need help, I have no one around me who is approaching me to help.

    If there is anyone out there who is in a similar case to mine please reach out to me so we can come close to discuss our precious loss together.

    Thank you

    3 people found this helpful
  2. white knight
    Community Champion
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    white knight avatar
    9747 posts
    7 February 2018 in reply to magiore

    Hi Magiore, welcome

    Yes I am one.

    I habe two daughters. The eldesy Im close to, the youngest I dont have contact.

    I also have a neice that I treated ad a daughter then at 14yo she was recruited to a religious sect and brainwashed. Apart from her grandmother she has no contact with any blood relatives.

    My youngest rang me at 13yo to tell me she never wanted to see me again. She wouldnt give an answer why. Ten years padt and she walked up my long driveway. That was 2016. She visited 5 times that year. All was going well then xmas approached. We had a gift for her birthday from September and xmad gifts. She insisted she turm up on the 27th Dec when my eldest was to arrive. I refused and gave her 3 options. See my eldest didnt want anything to do with her.

    So, just like her mother, she stopped all contact. End of January came and she messaged me. I told her off for not communicating. That was the end of our relationship. ..again.

    Things do improve over time in accepting these situations. I mean do we want to grieve all the time over what essentially is immature, insensitive amd selfish behaviour with poor communication? .

    my daughter like her mother wants to punish me. Such people i draw the line with. It means rejecting 30% of humsms but I survive better.

    Google

    Topic: fortress of survival- beyondblue

    Topic: your own worse enemy- beyondblue

    Topic: losing a child- beyondblue

    Topic: do we expect a smooth road in life?- beyondblue

    It wont be easy for you however when things are out of you control if you try to contact her now it will pudh her firther away.

    As hard as it will be...wait until she comes to you

    Tony WK

    1 person found this helpful
  3. magiore
    magiore avatar
    29 posts
    7 February 2018 in reply to white knight

    Hi Tony,

    Firstly, I want to thank you for noticing my post and replying to it. It means a lot to me, Thank you!

    Secondly, I want to express empathy to you for what you have gone through also...I must say it's not easy at all.

    To bring your children into this world and then to find that they do this to you.

    As a parent it hurts a lot, especially when I know that I have everything so right in bringing my daughter up.

    I was always there for her, I just can't understand why I should deserve to be treated like this.

    Please write to me again, I want to share more of the pain and suffering with nice people like you so we can at least comfort each other in these difficult times.

    I look forward to further exchanges with you in regard to our common crisis.

    Take care

    Magiore

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Ellie05
    Ellie05 avatar
    178 posts
    8 February 2018 in reply to magiore

    Hi Magiore,

    I haven't been in a situation like this myself but I have seen estrangements happen in my extended family. I'm so sorry for what you are going through.

    Do you know if she is still in contact with any other relatives (siblings, grandparents etc)? What did you mean when you said her partner and his family had brainwashed her? Do you know much about them or why they'd want to do this?

    Sorry to ask you so many questions, please do not the feel to answer if it is painful. I don't want to alarm you but controlling behaviour like this is never a good sign when it comes to romantic partners.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. white knight
    Community Champion
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    white knight avatar
    9747 posts
    8 February 2018 in reply to Ellie05

    Hi magiore

    Lovely reply from you. Brainwashing isn't so hard by controlling adults to teenagers or young adults. Some people say "it takes two" in response to conflict...no, it takes one most times. And you may well have been a good parent but we know that in the eyes of a child, we are all far from perfect and so, we parents feel we don't deserve such treatment. Our children don't think about our sacrifices, they are only thinking about themselves. Empathy is learned and often flies under the radar during our parenting actions.

    This is where confidence in yourself (and partner/fathe rof your daughter) needs to be gathered and secured in full belief. I'll use my daughter as an example at times and you can see my point and adopt the concept to your situation.

    For example: My daughter was told I had a gift for her birthday around mid September after we reunited. (Bare in mind I hadn't sent her a gift for 10 years. Birthday cards yes but not a gift as she was disrespectful to me.) She didn't acknowledge my message. Then xmas came and she had 3 days of choices when to come here and celebrate xmas. She didn't reply. Then when she messaged me on 12th January and I asked her if she got my messages- "yes" she had, then "why didn't you reply". This is when she went silent on the Facebook messages. No answer. I knew she had adopted her mothers weapon of silence.

    The point is- I had to find it in my power to not cave in to being a soft touch dad. She did wrong, she was disrespectful, she spoiled xmas, she did all these things INTENTIONALLY. Then I must stand firm, very firm that she has a lot of inner work to do in order for her to get back in my life.

    Eg if she contacted me again the first thing I would say is- "do you have something to say to me"?. If I don't hear the words I'm sorry or similar then am I to let it go and try again? No. This stance is extremely difficult but I'm tired of letting things go. No more. She is 24yo, old enough to treat others humanely. As my thread listed above (fortress of survival) tells, you have to draw the line otherwise your hurt will double. Just because she is your daughter doesn't mean you are a receiver of insults and abuse.

    My daughter when she came back into my life, only did so on Facebook. That meant she could and eventually did, unfriend me when we argued. I didn't know her address (eg to send the gift) nor her phone number or email. So she was being clever.

    To be continued

  6. white knight
    Community Champion
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    white knight avatar
    9747 posts
    8 February 2018 in reply to white knight

    continued-

    As a former private investigator I could find her easily but if she doesn't want me to find her then I'd be stalking her against her will.
    In my life I make my own rules. This is where parent often don't take control of their own lives. A relationship is a two way affair, not only the child. As you have been a good parent I'm certain your daughter will be one day wanting to return to your life. It's so easy as I did 2 years ago to say "ok darling, love to have you back". But not if nothing is resolved and that includes everything on a list you have prepared. The alternative for me, sadly, is not having her coming and going all my life. I'm 61yo now, I don't want this trauma to continue again and again. It has to stop.

    How do we cope?. Not well as said. But we all have our own way. Mine is poetry. I write about anything I grieve about. eg

    This was written in 1996 after I left the family home due to me being abused

    Bucket of love

    Getting pushed out and I really had to leave

    it doesn't really matter much, that's what I believe

    Either way I hold a bucket to catch my tears that fall

    for each time you looked for me and you yelled your loudest call.

    But as I am not around when you trip and graze your knee

    I hold that bucket really tight till the day you cry to me.

    That day will surely come when the floodgates open wide

    and you rest your head on mine where the tears of hurt subside.

    Then I put that bucket under to collect those painful drops

    any that miss the mark, I'll collect with a licking mop.

    Finally I'll empty it all onto a flower seed

    and watch it bloom so bright from trauma to a deed.

    I cant mend your little heart except to collect your tears

    and give you all the love I have that you missed in your younger years.

    Those times you fell over crying when your leg was crook

    I couldn't pick you up and hold you...but I cried in Hammersbrook....

    Hammersbrook is not a town, I replaced the real town. You get the therapy with writing be it poetry or just writing. Even a story about the events so that one day your daughter might read it could let it all out.

    My niece also isn't in my life. She joined a sect at 14yo (talk about brainwashing) and at 18yo I bought her a car then gave her away at her wedding. Then one day she disapproved of a minor matter and she be gone mainly because I'm not part of the "movement".

    So you can see why the barriers have to be erected, to care for ourselves...not just accept them back. Everything is conditional.

    Tony WK

    1 person found this helpful
  7. magiore
    magiore avatar
    29 posts
    8 February 2018 in reply to Ellie05

    Hi Ellie05

    Thank you for your response to my post. Thank you for feeling for me and your warmth of tone at the same time.

    It's ok, I am prepared to discuss my crisis. It's a very difficult one.

    I am preparing quite a lengthy account of it, so please login soon to read about it more.

    It is comforting to engage with people who are in the same or similar situations.

    The pain is enormous, the magnitude of impact it has on us is immense.

    Thank you for noticing my story,

    All the best

    Magiore

    1 person found this helpful
  8. magiore
    magiore avatar
    29 posts
    8 February 2018 in reply to white knight

    Hi White Knight

    I was most impressed after reading your recent reply to my post. Also a very nice poem too. Very touching to read.

    Also, I noticed that you mentioned that you were a private investigator in the past. Golly, where is a PI when you need one?! I really need one in my life now, to help find my daughter, but it will be against her will. She will refuse to return to us. She is 21 and can do whatever she likes. The law cannot make her return home.

    It impacted on me to read about the past concerning your daughter and niece. It's very difficult to confront these situations. There were some very important messages in there. I also believe that my daughter does need to realize that she has done wrong and that she has a lot of growing up to do. I refuse to let myself down or my husband and son at the same time.

    I am preparing a longer account detailing more about my case. If you like to read it once I post it. I hope to over this weekend.

    I want to thank you so much for taking the time to notice my story and to also spend time in replying.

    Thank you for your concern and warmth in understanding my problem.

    I certainly wish you peace and hope that one day the unexplained barriers can be melted down but with respect and understanding.

    Wishing you peace,

    Magiore

    1 person found this helpful
  9. magiore
    magiore avatar
    29 posts
    11 February 2018
    I am having a terrible weekend...
    I occasionally have fits and outbursts of tears trying to understand why this has happened to me...
    It’s been the biggest shock in my life to lose my daughter like this. She is very selfish and is not trying to make it good with me or her family...she suddenly walked out from my life...I cannot accept this...she’s my daughter...she belongs to me...I miss her tremendously...I miss all the sweet girly things we used to do...our intimacy as mother and daughter and our connection...I cannot let go...it’s too hard and too painful...no one is next to me to comfort me...I am so alone...I just cry on my bed...I have no direction...no purpose anymore since I have lost what belongs to me and what is precious to me...
    There is another side to this story which I didn’t write about...
    I didn’t mention the fact that my husband and I are very different on our point of view on this issue about our daughter...it’s come to the point of extreme controversy...I cannot find an answer to this problem...
    For my husband and my son (who by the way are both alike and very much together in everything) don’t have any sympathy for my daughter whatsoever anymore...she ‘died’ for them after she betrayed her family. There is absolutely no room for negotiation with them...she will never be accepted by them ever again...
    I am in the middle of all of this...I do not agree.. yes..my daughter made a very big mistake...but in the end she is still my daughter...I cannot forget her.
    They put an ultimatum on me...it’s either them or her...I either stay with them and believe in what they believe or else they will disown me too. I am in such a difficult situation...how dare they give me a choice like that.
    They don’t even want to discuss this matter with any of our extended family or friends...I am going crazy...I cannot handle being in this situation.
    I am not in contact with my daughter (she is 21) but if I do..it has to be in secrecy...my daughter and I were in contact with each other at some point in the early part when she left us...but it was only because she wanted her belongings and to use me for benefit which I don’t agree with...so I am in a catch 22...really don’t know what to do here..
    I don’t know whether to keep my husband and son...BTW I am partly separated from them...I am looking after them because I feel for their loss at this time..we have a common sorrow...or whether I should go with my daughter..
    1 person found this helpful
  10. magiore
    magiore avatar
    29 posts
    12 February 2018 in reply to magiore

    I must say my husband is a very difficult man to live with..He didn't even get to know my daughter's boyfriend early on..he just refused him from seeing our daughter or having anything to do with her..I find this so wrong. My husband should have given a chance to get to know the guy and his family..my daughter eloped because of this..she fears her father very much...this is the case we have on our hands...why we have lost our daughter...we ended up fighting with the guy's family one evening..it was so ugly..I never had such a screaming fight with anyone in my life before...the guy and his family were hiding my daughter somewhere...we went to their home to try to get our daughter back...they wouldn't hand her to us...and she also didn't want to come back home with us..it was the worst thing...they had stolen our daughter..she's mine..how dare anyone keep our daughter from us...I am aching...

    It's very sad...since I have tried speaking and coaxing my husband to be more easy going and to try to accept our daughter's choice...but it's no use..we just end up fighting all the time and are getting nowhere..hence our deteriorating marriage...I hope I explained my case with a bit more detail now and that you can understand what is exactly going on with me..I need help and have nowhere to go...Everyone around me knows about what has happened but no one knocks on my front door to offer me comfort..

    Thank you for anyone out there who is reading my story...please reach out to me...

    1 person found this helpful
  11. james1
    Multicultural Correspondent
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    3037 posts
    13 February 2018 in reply to magiore

    Hello magiore,

    I'm sorry to hear about your struggles at the moment. It sounds like a really tough situation to be in as you are trapped between your husband and son who have put a difficult choice in front of you and your daughter who is estranged.

    From what you have said, you also sound very isolated emotionally with nobody around to support you, at a time when you feel like a part of you has just been taken away and stolen.

    I do not know what is the best course of action, but I am concerned about how you are feeling.

    So I'm glad that you have come to talk to us here, but can I ask what other help or support you have tried to seek? From what you've said, it sounds like you have spoken to others about it as well but they didn't provide you with what you wanted?

    James

    3 people found this helpful
  12. white knight
    Community Champion
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    white knight avatar
    9747 posts
    13 February 2018 in reply to james1

    Hi Magiore

    Ok, I've read over this thread a lot. Please, I'm not picking in you but I am wanting to point out some issues here in the big picture.

    Your husband and son have their own natural thinking ways and likely they aren't collaborating- just very much alike, not unusual with father and son. And everyone has rights. They have a right to feel the way they do, act, disown and reject. I am a strong believer of peoples individual rights. The same as your daughter, she has rights. She is old enough to drive, vote, decide on any adult issue she pleases. She isn't "yours" although I know your pain for your loss in saying that. So lets try to get some things into perspective. Join with me in trying? how about it? lets try.

    Your daughter isn't injured, physically mistreated as far as you know, etc. Her allowing herself to be "taken" away can be seen as being brainwashed but could be a feeling of wanting to escape from other factors eg her dad. Love has a very strong effect on all of us especially younger people. A protective father is one waving a red flag at a bull if his daughter is in love. By her boyfriend not being accepted that paves the path she must travel.

    Unfortunately you might consider the submissive tack. Calm down firstly and that might take time. Get distraction, hobby, visits to the beach, talk to understanding friends. I rarely give advice to members directly, usually allow them to come to a decision, but in this case here is what I would do.

    You already state that you are living apart from your husband and son. I would engage with them only enough so you all get along. I'd not mention your daughter as there has been enough trauma already and tensions are high. Then I'd contact the family she is with and express that you are living alone and your daughter is welcome to join you for a drink and friendly no argument chat at a café. Then leave it at that because she is her own person and the more you pressurize it the worse things will get, then you wont see your daughter at all.

    Traumatic changes in ones life can hit us hard, but some people take things in their stride. We need to get the balance of both. You daughter strives to be seen as mature and able to make her own decisions. "Owning her" is not going to allow her to feel free as a person. Pressure doesn't help it hinders.

    Strive to be friends with everyone and find activities to divert your hurt. You are a good mum, you care, just need to relax for a while.

    Tony WK

    2 people found this helpful
  13. bindi-QLD
    bindi-QLD avatar
    211 posts
    13 February 2018 in reply to white knight

    Hi magiore,

    I am so sorry for your pain as well, you sound very isolated and your daughter's love has meant a lot to you. I can understand how much it meant, considering the difficult marriage you've endured, and your son being so much like to your husband. A daughter who was also your friend must have felt so great, it must be hard to be separated for a while.

    I wanted to say I agree with Tony's very empowering advice, I hope you will be able to hear what he has to say. As much as your daughter loves you and appreciates you, she really isn't your possession. If you feel that way, it may be a pressure that she feels that is overwhelming, because of your connection and her empathy for you. She really needs to be seen and accepted as an adult, with adult needs to fulfill of her own. She needs love, and sounds like she found it. Can you be happy for that? I feel that if you can, it could be the key to you rekindling your relationship that is so important to you both.

    In all your posts, I didn't catch any real criticisms about her new husband, other than you feel she will belong to someone else. Is there anything in particular you are concerned about with the young man?

    4 people found this helpful
  14. magiore
    magiore avatar
    29 posts
    13 February 2018 in reply to bindi-QLD

    Hi Bindi,

    Firstly, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read my post and to also prepare a reply to me.

    It really means a lot, thank you!

    It is so true that I have so much pain and hurt in my heart at this time.

    It's not easy being in the middle of it where both sides mean so much to my life.

    I miss my daughter incredibly, and it pains me to see her go this way. She has done wrong. She could have done it differently, she is immature and didn't calculate it carefully.

    We were a family with a strong belief in unity and love. What happened to us?

    I have met my daughter's so-called 'fiance' a couple of times. I haven't however had the chance to know him properly..I just don't agree how he and my daughter made plans behind our backs...he should have respected us and been a man to come to me and my husband to ask for her hand. But...on the other hand...my husband put a spanner into the works. He met the guy for the first time and fought, refused and gave him hell at that time. I totally don't agree with what he did and I am forced to agree with my husband. Something I will not do..I can't live with a man where I have to always say yes...when I actually mean 'No'. But, everytime I tell my husband that he did wrong...he asks me to leave and never come back to him.

    This is how it is...

    Thank you for your time...

    2 people found this helpful
  15. magiore
    magiore avatar
    29 posts
    13 February 2018 in reply to james1
    Hi James
    Firstly, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to read and understand my issue. I also like to thank you for the sensitive tone accompanied in your reply.
    Yes..it’s so true that I am emotionally isolated, it’s a very difficult state to be in. I have two sides to this problem. One is my daughter and the other is my husband and son. Both are wrong. I am in the middle of it trying to make either side compromise..but it’s not going to happen. Both sides are very stubborn. I have done all that I can to try to sort this situation out. I am depending on a miracle now.
    I have spoken to several people online and in person..but once people hear my story there is really very little advice they can offer to me. It’s all up to my daughter and my husband I think. They hold the key to this problem.
    I was considering trying to contact the guy and his family. But, soon after my daughter left us..I did message each of them..but they didn’t reply. They don’t need to I guess...they have their prize now...they have won...they have taken my daughter away from me...they don’t need me...
    Also the fact that we had a huge screaming fight with the family one evening...It was very ugly...They refused to hand us back our daughter..when we went to their house to demand they give her back to us...It was the ugliest fight..you wouldn’t believe!
    I have one concern however..they are a refugee family...I am fearing that they are forcing a quick marriage on my daughter for an easy grant of Aussie citizenship...I did mention this to my daughter at one point but she just blocked me on her phone once I told her that..
    She is hypnotised by this family..she is madly in love with the guy.. not knowing where she is going..
    It remains to be seen what her fate will be....
    Thanks for your reply to me,
    I appreciate it so much,
    Take care
    2 people found this helpful
  16. Hayfa
    beyondblue Connect Mentor
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    Hayfa avatar
    120 posts
    13 February 2018 in reply to magiore

    Hello Magiore

    I am sorry to hear of this difficult situation you are facing.
    First of all, I think the important thing here is for you and your husband to calm down and think about this rationally. What's done is done, your daughter has made her choice and acted on it, It is not conducive for you to think that the parent-in-laws have taken her away, she is obviously scared therefore she kept away for now.

    This is hard on both families and your daughter and her partner, I think what needs to happen here is that all of you need to sit down and talk about what has happened and how to move on from here. Your husband may not agree or be happy with what has happened, and it is not a question of acceptance either because it has happened and that is the reality now.
    I am guessing from your post here that eloping is a big deal in your culture hence the difficulty of people to broach the subject with you. Is there anyone close to you and your husband that you can reach out to and talk to? Is there a community leader that may bring both families together for a talk about this?

    In my ethnic community, eloping happens for the same reasons (parents don't accept partner) but at some point it is accepted that the couple are now married, parents make contact even with help from others since there is only a limited time to which parents will keep kids estranged from them.
    I think given the argument that occurred with the boys family, it is probably best to leave things to calm down a bit. Perhaps another way is if you make contact with your daughter and arrange for everyone to meet for a discussion but only when you are sure everyone will be calm and respectful.
    You and your husband need to look after yourselves too, as much as this is hard and you may not like your daughter's decision it is best to sort it out and try to salvage a relationship with this boy otherwise this will breed more contempt and you could put him in a position where he won't allow your daughter or future children to be part of your lives.
    This will take time, if you keep pushing your husband he will probably go the other way, go slowly on this and perhaps get someone else who your husband trusts such as another family member who may also talk rationally to him about this.

    Keep talking to us here Magiore, someone will always answer your post and support you.

    Hayfa

    3 people found this helpful
  17. Ellie05
    Ellie05 avatar
    178 posts
    14 February 2018 in reply to magiore

    Hi Magiore,

    I think Hayfa has offered some very sensible advice. You are putting a lot of pressure on yourself to resolve this situation but the reality is that it will take time. If your daughter is frightened of her father then it makes sense that she wants to keep her location hidden. She may be wary of reaching out to you because she worries that you will lead him to her. Perhaps once the dust settles his anger will subside and she will feel more confident in trying to re-establish a relationship. It sounds as though the two of you were very close so I have no doubt that she misses you, but she is also madly in love with this guy and as a young adult it makes sense that she would want to try and establish some freedom for herself given her father has been quite controlling and tried to prevent the relationship from happening.

    In the meantime I think you need to focus on how best to care for yourself in this difficult time. You've tried reaching out to your daughter and reasoning with your husband and at this stage all you can really do is wait for things to calm down. You're friends might not be able to offer any advice on how to resolve the situation but this doesn't mean that they can't support you through it. Perhaps you could let them know you need some friendship and distraction? When I'm going through a hard time I try to book as many social appointments as possible, the goal being to be able to distract myself from my misery for a short while. There are other things you can do as well - such as a walk on the beach, watching a movie, a nice bubble bath and engaging in a hobby (I've recently started painting and making jewellery). If your friends are finding it hard to provide the support you need then it might be worth chatting to your GP to see if they can refer you to a counsellor. Just having someone to talk too can make a big difference.

    1 person found this helpful
  18. magiore
    magiore avatar
    29 posts
    14 February 2018 in reply to Hayfa

    Hello Hayfa
    Firstly, may I say a big thank you for noticing my post and sending me a reply. I really appreciate the time that you have taken to donate your thoughts and to try to comfort me with an intention of giving me supporting advice.
    I am also so impressed at how you almost can sense that I come from an ethnic background. Perhaps it’s the way that I have described the mannerisms of what is going on. I cannot believe how accurately you can pick up on that. It’s amazing.
    I must tell you that I believe in absolutely everything that you have written there and I sense that you can understand all the ins and outs. Since you mention that it happens in your ethnic community also. The heated reactions and lack of blessing because of disagreement all take part in this horrible process, it’s all in accordance with my case.
    Believe me, I really wish for there to be discussion with all parties concerned, but I truly think that this will not be possible for one reason. My husband and son are totally against it, against my daughter, against her choice, it’s impossible for me to even try to negotiate with them even over time. My daughter ‘died’ for them.
    They have put a close on this subject and an ultimatum on me. If I dare try to contact my daughter or decide to go with her, or see her, then my husband and my son will disown me too. They are making it very hard on me. I have to make my choice here and I simply can’t. My marriage is on shaky ground at the moment. I am partly separated. I cannot live with a man where I have to agree to him when I actually don’t.

     

    1 person found this helpful
  19. Just Sara
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    Just Sara avatar
    3398 posts
    14 February 2018 in reply to magiore

    Hello and welcome to our caring forum community magiore;

    I am a daughter and a mother. I've experienced estrangement from both sides of the coin. Being physically/emotionally separated hurt my heart very deeply indeed.

    When my child withdrew from me, it was like losing a part of myself. I grieved terribly for a long time. Eventually when they returned, things haven't been the same. Not because of any one incident or resentments, but because children grow up by pushing limits of their own independence. It has to be this way for them to learn; whether a mistake or not. It's a rite of passage for all...

    As a mother, I had to grieve this loss as a natural course; my nest was empty. My child wasn't my child anymore, a young adult had replaced them. Accepting this was the only way to keep them in my life.

    As a daughter? I went to my family to tell them something they didn't want to hear. In my mind it had to be done to find some sense of inner peace within 'me', not them.

    My mother's response was so eruptive, it shocked me to my core. Why wasn't she understanding and loving? I'd been honest and as tactful as I could, but she refused to accept my words no matter how sensitively I spoke.

    We were estranged for 18 months. In this time I felt a loss of biblical proportions; my mother wasn't there for me.

    What hurt more though, was her attitude of not understanding or accepting my feelings and decisions as being that of an adult needing to make peace with what had happened. In her eyes, I was a negligent and bad daughter. I wasn't afforded my right to independence and leading my life as I felt was appropriate.

    This challenged us both in our own ways. The bond between us as mother and daughter wasn't broken, but was strained. 18 months later I met with her for lunch and we talked about what had happened. At last we spoke as two adults, each from our own perspective. We both respected these views without question.

    Our connection became stronger and has been tested many times since. Love has many guises, but respect and accepting each other as having the right to feel and experience life in our own way, was the empowering aspect of love that kept us together. We're now friends as well as family.

    Please take care of your heart dear magiore;

    Kind thoughts;

    Sez

    1 person found this helpful
  20. Hayfa
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    14 February 2018 in reply to magiore

    Hi Magiore

    I am so sorry to hear about the pressure that is being put on you by your husband and son.
    If you permit me to ask please just so that I can fully understand the situation, is the disowning from your husband and son toward your daughter because of an intermarriage? If so then it explains their reaction and pressure on you to do the same.
    Regardless of what the reason is, and I know that it doesn't look like it now but I really don't think that they will stay angry and holding this opinion forever,they will slowly come around and your daughter won't be estranged.

    I think that if you are pushing the subject with your son and husband then they will keep putting pressure on you to stay away from your daughter. Take some time out, don't say anything, I am really sure that your husband and son are not going to throw you out if you feel different about the situation or talk to your daughter. This is such an ethnic reaction (excuse the expression), they know they can't stop you if you want to speak to your daughter and what they are actually trying to do is make you see it their way so that you don't push for a solution because they are not ready to make peace.

    I can tell you that I have witnessed this exact same situation to many families in my community both here in Australia and overseas. It is very heated and messy at first with lots of family pressure for everyone to row in one boat and throw the person who they think did wrong overboard. You need to concentrate on yourself right now and later reach out to your daughter, your husband and son don't have to know and again, I really don't think they can do much to you if you did.

    Who are the community leaders or religious/Imams if any in your community? Can they come at some point and have a talk to your husband and son, if your husband and son hear their reasoning then perhaps they will be in a better position to start accepting what has happened and moving forward with building a new relationship with your daughter and the boy and his family.

    When this situation happens in ethnic communities, most of the time the parents take this stance due to cultural reasons to show that they are against the action and they want to be seen in their community as responding appropriately to something against normal traditional convention. Once the parents have been seen to take a stance, they are forgiven later on for reconnecting with their child. Give them space, it will work out.

    Hayfa

    2 people found this helpful
  21. Donte'
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    14 February 2018 in reply to magiore

    Hello Magiore and welcome to this multicultural experiences forum.

    I don't have experience in this as my daughter is 22 and still lives with me. It sounds devastating though the way you describe it. It is very difficult to say anything about this without knowing the age of your daughter and the inside story of the situation.

    As a parent I'd say getting some professional help, inclusive of counselling for you and your partner, perhaps mediation where your daughter and the other side can be invited to communicate and find a middle way if possible, and legal advice/options.

    It really all depends on your daughter's age and willingness to reconnect with you. Despite what happens in your daughter's life and relationship though, it is important to seek supports for yourself and your partner and the rest of the family. Find practical ways to look after yourselves and each other and develop strategies to cope with this change and the stress it has brought into your lives.

    That's all I can think off without knowing the situation. X

  22. Donte'
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    14 February 2018 in reply to magiore

    Hi magiore,

    I hear your pain.

    When our children become adults and want to break away from us is not an easy thing. Yet it is necessary in order for them to develop their own identity as individuals.

    Our children do not belong to us. They are not ours. Our possession. They are free individuals like we are and entitled to their own choices and life. This is what adulthood is all about. And we need to encourage them and learn to let go. Even other animals do this - they push their offsprings away when the time comes. They need to fetch for themselves and open their wings. This is normal.

    As parents (I have a 22 yo daughter), of course we worry. But we are not in control. And neither we should be. Not at this age. We can be available for support if they ever ask for it but our parenting is done.

    I went through a very tough time the last few years seeing my daughter navigating relationships and at one stage being in a codependent relationship which became violent but all I had to do was call the police which put an intervention order against her boyfriend. When she decided to break this and against my will continuously see him behind my back and against the law, I decided to take a few steps back and let her experience whatever she needed to experience in order to learn whatever lesson she needed to learn. This was her relationship, not mine. Her life, not mine. her choices, not mine. The only thing I could do as a father was to stop enabling her behaviour and let her find out for herself. After years of on and off and numerous dramas, tears and pain (on both her part and mine), she one day woke up to herself and realized she deserves better. She broke the relationship by herself and now has a job, bought a car, pays her bills, rent, expenses, her loans and studies pharmacy. Her boyfriend is still unemployed, drinking all day and playing video games. One day she told me 'dad, I'm sick and tired of being his mum. I don't wanna be a carer or a social worker anymore.'

    I'm proud of my daughter. And I'm proud of myself for taking steps back and not intervening. For letting her experience and learn for herself the lessons that she needed to learn in order to mature and grow up and be the amazing lady she is today. There are stages in parenting and once they become adults we need to treat them like adults. That's how I learned in life and that's how I taught her too. That's my parental experience. Everyone's different. Thank you for allowing me to express it. X

    2 people found this helpful
  23. Donte'
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    14 February 2018 in reply to white knight

    Hi White Knight,

    As a dad, I believe your advice is sound, even if it hurts to hear or accept.

    One of the hardest things parents are obligated to do is to let go and allow their children to become the adults they choose to be. in actual fact, encourage them and push them away, if I dare say.

    There is a time where parents have control in a child's life, and that is when the child is dependent on them and needs boundaries, guidance, authority and discipline together with the parental love. Once the child ceases to be a child, we need to treat them as another adult - equal to us, for this is who they are. This is truly one of the hardest things to achieve as a parent and also as a child: The shift of roles and the dynamics in the relationship.

    When I was going through this with my daughter I consulted counsellors, chat lines, read numerous books, talked to others in similar situation, attended support groups, and spent a lot of time meditating, crying, talking to myself and doing all the things I needed to do to get to the point of acceptance.

    When a child stops being a child and becomes an adult, we, parents also need to grow and change with them. Our relationships change, our life purpose changes, everything is different. But that's life. Is never cemented in concrete. Life is fluid and ever changing and so are we. It is important to acknowledge the loss, grieve and allow ourselves time to heal and move on.

    As a single parent with no other supports or extended family here in Australia and with one child only, I found that it was one of the hardest thing for me to learn. Good thing is, when all is settled and the dust is blown apart, our relationship remains and is re shaped and evaluated.

    Nowadays, I enjoy having drinks and chat with my daughter often laughing about our intimate relationships, men and our affairs. You never really 'lose' your child, you just gain a new adult/friendship in your life!

  24. Donte'
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    14 February 2018 in reply to magiore

    Hello again magiore,

    I've been following your thread and reading the posts of various people and your replies which has given me a better understanding of the situation and its complexity from when I first originally read your story. I would urge you to seek support from a Family Counsellor, preferably one who is bicultural and understands the issues within your cultural context. Also, I would suggest you look into Family Mediation Services. a mediator who is totally independent and doesn't take sides or have any emotional investment in this situation could invite the different sides to a discussion separately, then they could talk to all of you and try to mediate/negotiate an agreement amongst you. It's a great service and can help you resolve conflict and drift. I personally benefited immensely from this service when i was going through my separation and avoided court case and unnecessary hardships. Something to consider.

    Best of wishes X

    1 person found this helpful
  25. magiore
    magiore avatar
    29 posts
    14 February 2018 in reply to white knight

    Hello Tony, (Reply to White Knight)

    So lovely to hear from you again. I do agree with your thoughts.

    Yes, I think it's better to try to avoid the subject of our daughter every time I see my husband and my son.

    I need to let the psychological dust settle and give it some time for the realisation of what has happened to sink into their heads.

    I am trying to formulate and design a plan that will hopefully and eventually work to bring some kind of positivity into all of this.

    Please continue to link here and read more of what I will have to say..I appreciate all your sentiments and I am glad that we can share our common circumstances...it is most comforting to hear other people's similar stories..makes me feel that I am not alone in the world with this problem..

    Thank you and take care

    1 person found this helpful
  26. magiore
    magiore avatar
    29 posts
    14 February 2018 in reply to Ellie05
    Hi Ellie05
    So nice to hear from you again...
    Thank you for taking the time to write such supportive words and useful advice for me whilst I am going through this very difficult time.
    It comforting to know that there are empathetic people out there who will take time to listen...
    I do agree that at this time both my husband and myself need people to connect with...there is only one problem here..I am ok to do this...this is why I have taken my story virtual....in reaI life I have no one I can talk to about this...as far as my husband is concerned ...he refuses to see anyone...he doesn’t want to be distracted...especially if anyone is going to discuss this matter to disagree with his thoughts...he flatly refuses to talk to anyone like this...
    I am lucky that I have many hobbies and interests in my life...golly...I think I have too many...so I have no problems with occupying myself in order to achieve a distraction...but with an underlying deep sadness, feeling of insecurity of not knowing why this has happened to me...disbelief
    You sound like a very sweet and gentle person with a kind heart...
    I do believe your strongest message there is that...it will take time...
    So true...
    Many thanks
    1 person found this helpful
  27. white knight
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    white knight avatar
    9747 posts
    15 February 2018 in reply to magiore

    Hi Magiore

    Thankyou for the acknowledgement.

    A therapist once said to me "Tony, you know all the theory, you just have difficulty putting it into practice".

    You are dealing with people which adds to the issues. Just Sara reflected perfectly the pain, emptiness and trauma associated with such loss.

    As a man I'd like to wish you well in your developments of this situation. One day all will be ok. These humps in our lives arent welcome but will heal one day.

    Regards TonyWK

    2 people found this helpful
  28. magiore
    magiore avatar
    29 posts
    15 February 2018 in reply to Hayfa

    Hi Hayfa,

    I did contact 2 local friends of ours (in secrecy from my husband) and two people overseas to try to help us. I asked them to come to speak to my husband. They are happy to do that, but when I told my husband that we need to talk to someone about this, he got very angry with me, we had a big fight and he asked me to leave the house. He doesn’t want to talk to anybody about this subject. He is very stubborn. I even approached our Parish priest. He advised that we both need to reach our daughter, otherwise we risk losing her.

    The two people I approached overseas are very close to my husband. One is his brother and the other is his best friend. I called them secretly. I told them to not tell my husband that I called. They were very sad for my case, but they cannot do anything. My husband refuses to even speak with them about this case. As far as he is concerned it is an ‘open and shut case’. He tells me that no one on this Earth can change his mind. He simply refuses his daughter to marry into this family.
    I can only hope for a miracle now,
    Take care and thank you once again

    1 person found this helpful
  29. Donte'
    Multicultural Correspondent
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    16 February 2018 in reply to magiore

    Hello Magiore and thank you for responding to my comments.

    It is indeed an impossible situation it seems if your husband is so adamant not to communicate, talk, negotiate or share on this topic with you as you describe. Clearly that doesn't leave you much to work with and is not a very good partnership. If you believe that your relationship with your husband has reached its end, maybe let him be, and try and reconnect with your daughter instead and continue your relationship with her independent of your husband. Your husband doesn't own you, like you don't own your daughter. You are aloud to have your own relationship with your daughter (provided she also desires this), despite what your husband or your son decide to do. Maybe that would be the only option considering the circumstances.

  30. magiore
    magiore avatar
    29 posts
    19 February 2018 in reply to Donte'

    Hi Donte
    (continuation)
    I think that both my husband and daughter have faults in this very difficult case. There are more ins and outs to the story...but to keep it short..I don’t agree with either of them. I fully understand that we don’t ‘own’ our children and respect that they will leave us one day to find their future lives. The fault I find with my daughter, is that I disagree with the way that she ran away from us all of a sudden. She stopped contact with us and I have heard that she is already engaged to this guy with a date set also to get married. Her estranged mannerisms hurt me a lot. I respect that she has found her love and this is the direction she wants. The fault I find with my husband is that he was against her choice right from the start and the negativity he displayed in front of my daughter and her guy. He was also very rude to his family which I found to be too harsh..this frightened my daughter away from us...I try to explain this to my husband but he refuses to acknowledge that he is wrong...so you can see how complicated this is going to be...

    BTW..I don't know why my post was changed into the category of multiculturalism..i placed it in the family relationship sub category originally....who is responsible for changing it???

    Thank you for your time....

    1 person found this helpful

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