… an estrangement ...



I hesitate to write about this 
and
 I hesitate not to write. 
If we do not speak of the hurt
it does not mean it goes away
rather at times 
it can fester
into anger and hate
and
 often times the rage is aimed at our own heart.

So I write.
even though my heart is now on the mend.
I write so I remember.
I want to remember my own questions ... 

because having a child estrange himself from 
your family
brings complicated emotions
and sometimes they come in as questions …


Is it my fault?
Could I have done something different?
If I was the parent then …
that I am now …
would it be different.
How long will this phase last?
Will I even see him again?
Would this have happened , no matter what I did?

But mostly I wonder
in his heart of hearts 
Does he know just how much I love him.


There is much grieving
by many in a chosen estrangement
Next to my sister's death
this … and the years leading up to it
have been the hardest for me.

But it s a quiet suffering
the kind that is usually behind doors
but to me
keeping it secret gives it a shame 
I am not willing to wear.
A chosen estrangement
is brutal
and there is no public rite of passage
No sorrowful good bye
IT is a limbo
filled with hope and fear
and wondering 
when and if it will end.

The wondering if he is OK
the tensing up
every time our land line rings
and
 what dreaded news could be on the other end.

As far as I know
he is still in school and working
and
in  committed relationship
and
 even has a new puppy 
but also a motorcycle
and
 he has an intensity I can relate to
and
 that is why I have always worried about him 
Intensity has many beautiful attributes 
it allows you to feel and see so much beauty in the world
but it has a double edge
that can take you to the other side.

His phone goes unanswered
my texts of love and support
perhaps unread.
We all have reached out
with no avail.

So I must realize
It is what it is.
Give myself moments to grieve
and
 then pack it back up
and
 move forward
with gratitude
for the beauty and love in my life

Knowing I can still 
make a beautiful life

even with a hole in my heart.


I send my son much love
and prayers
that his heart may be healed.










38 comments:

  1. Tamera, I know exactly what you're going through and you are in my prayers. My sister has been estranged from our family for about 7 months and only recently when I got engaged did she begin talking to me again. But I see the pain my mom is in over it and know what you're going through first-hand. Whatever the reasons for your son to step away from your family right now, I pray he will realize how much you love him and will come back soon. One day he will realize that no matter what, family is family and so long as there's love there's no reason for separation. You and your son are in my prayers and I pray God holds your son carefully in his hands toward that reunion. xoxo!

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  2. Thank you very much my dear for reaching out … and sharing your story with me. How lovely that your up coming wedding has brought your sister back to you.

    Big congratulations on your engagement my dear! I wish the two of you the best of wedded bliss!

    Thank you again ever so much Danielle.

    xoxo
    Tamera

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  3. Tamera, not speaking of these hurts can also lead to physical illness. The pain of a loss or a hurt can lodge itself within our physical bodies. Speaking, writing, expressing grief through art...all can help to keep the energy moving. It may not heal the hurt, but it can help keep us whole and healthy and able to be present. Godspeed.

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  4. Sue your words are so very true … and so well said … Thank You my dear … your words are a gift to my soul.

    xoxo
    Tamera

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  5. Tamera, I have 4 children who are grown--all in their 30's now. I have learned to humble myself and try to understand my mistakes from the past and how they impacted others. Even though it was unintentional, my actions caused issues for my children and they have each, in their own way, withdrawn for a period and come to terms with the truth about their lives. I felt it was my job to let them know that I am truly sorry and don't blame them for my mistakes. They have thanked me for that kind of courage and honesty, and now we are all pretty much better. But I think that in our 20's we have to process any unresolved issues we have in order to move on. It is a gift to our children to give them the time and space we need, and to see it as healthy and necessary--and that this won't last forever. I hope this doesn't sound like I've made assumptions about your family and parenting. But all families have issues and they just have to be sorted out so everyone can move on. Good luck! Allegra

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  6. Thank you Allegra, I am so happy to hear things don't always stay the same. I so appreciate your view, from a little further down the road … it is those glimpses I am searching for… Parenting is very humbling indeed …especially at this age … I have truly apologized … and changed and .. softened over the last couple of years … there was a time … when I thought the only right way … was the way I saw things … no more … there are many different truths … and we all own our own …I now pray to be able to see and hear the truths of others and not just my own.

    I don't feel that you are making assumptions … obviously … things have not turned out the way I had hoped … thank you so for taking the time to comment and offer hope.

    xoxo
    Tamera

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  7. Tamera, I was delighted to come across your blog just the other day. I wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks for sharing this very personal piece of yourself. I've experienced loss in a different kind of way and your words of about moving forward despite loss resonate with me. I feel your outlook is a precious one indeed. Warm houghts to you. Holli

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    1. Holli thank you for your gracious words … They are gifts to my soul. You are right … we must learn to navigate through the loss … for there is no way to out run heartache … as it is a part of life. But maybe if we stop to embrace it head on … we can not only grow from it … but strengthen our heart and soul in the process.

      Thank you again for the warm thoughts.

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  8. When you share things like this, it helps others like me know they are not alone. We have a 17-yr-old daughter adopted from Russia when she was 15 months old. She has fetal alcohol syndrome resulting in serious behavioral problems. The stress is almost more than I can handle making me sick and feeling oh so old. Many of us are going through things and we have to support each other. You are so poetic in expressing yourself and I always feel like I am not alone in my struggles. I pray for your family as I pray for mine.

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    1. Cheryl, first I send you strong hugs of love and support … you are not alone … and oh so right about supporting each other through troubling times. Praying for you and your family.

      I send you love. Thank you Cheryl for stopping by … and letting me know I am not alone.

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  9. Oh Tamera, I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope for healing for both you, whatever form it takes. It takes much courage to be so open. Know that by speaking your truth, you're helping someone out there who will read this and know they are not alone.

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  10. Thank you so very much my dear … I hope it does. Knowing we are not alone in heartache … can be balm for the soul … mine has been so vey touched by that very truth.

    xoxo
    Tamera
    Tamera

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  11. Hi Tamera,

    I am friends with Adrienne and we just discussed you and your broken heart regarding your son recently. I follow your blog
    faithfully it always brings me peace as I don't have the gift you have expressing your feelings. What I shared with Adrienne is
    that a very close friend of mine had this happen with one of her sons, the oldest of three. She never knew why he turned
    against her and it went on for a few years. Then one day he came back into her life, she never asked what caused him
    to leave and he never offered an explanation, they have a close relationship now and even though she would love to know
    what happen she feels bringing it up if he doesn't want to share is the best thing at this time in their lives.

    Debbie


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  12. Debbie thank you so very much for your kind words … and for sharing such a hopeful story. It does my heart good to hear sometimes these situations can resolve themselves … and to know .. I am not alone.

    I so appreciate your taking the time to leave words of hope .. and aren't you lucky to be friends with dear Adrienne! I can tell by your kindness … she is as well!

    xoxo
    Tamera

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  13. Good for you for not making this a shameful situation! Much love and prayers for your family.

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    1. Thank you my dear friend … love and prayers gratefully accepted :))

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    2. much
      xoxo

      Tamera

      PS I LOVED Josh's engagement picture!!!

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  14. Tamera, my son also. Our hearts break in unison, but hope is never gone.

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    1. My dear … so very sorry to hear we share the same heartbreak … sending you strong loving hugs! And hear's to hope!

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  15. Tamera dear, I remember encouraging you to share this journey, this place in time, in your place here with so many that care. I hope you feel the love and support, as well as shared experience, your honesty brings. I know this is a heart break of a time and yet your heart is broken wide open to share with others. This is a moment in time. Years will go by, growth will happen and things may be very different in years to come. I've seen it time and time again in my field. Hugs to you for living a beautiful life despite heartbreak and for sharing your journey in such a profound way.
    Hugs to you my dear,
    xx-Heather

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    1. Awww my dear Heather … thank you so very much for your encouraging words my friend! Yes, I do feel the love and support … this loving community has given me the courage to say what is in my heart and to grow compassion for others as I realize none of us can escape the pain in life. Our hurts may vary … but our hearts are the same. I appreciate not only your loving words … but your profession observations as well. thank you dear friend.

      xoxo

      Tamera

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  16. Such courage you show...many of us have similar heartbreaks, and it ALWAYS helps to get them out in the open...hugs to you, Tamera...

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    1. Margy thank you so very much. I do agree, with the right timing … bringing things out in the open, while still respecting the privacy of others … can be very cathartic … especially with such an out pouring of support. Thank you so for your kindness and encouragement. Just know I think the world of You … and how you live your life with such passion, style. wisdom, adventure and artistry! I can't wait to see your photos of your latest travels down the Amazon!

      xoxo

      Tamera

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  17. I really do admire you. And just coming out of the holidays, your pain must be most intense right now. I will share that I have been estranged from my mother since I was young. But, from what I see, your situation is entirely different. It is so difficult to know that she is still alive and living her life all these years and doesn't come running after me. The difference I see here is that you are crying out for help, guidance, desire, and new direction. That will make all the difference to you son when he is ready. Your desire to make changes to accommodate your son will eventually reach him, whereas my mother could never find a voice to move in the direction of reaching out. When your son is ready, I have no doubt you will be there with layers of communication that will put things right. The transition from childhood to adulthood is so difficult for both children and parents I am learning. Sharing your pain does help all of us forge along with you as well all move through these tough roles without that darn guide book that we all so desperately need.

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  18. Sarah thank you so much for sharing your own estrangement … I am so sorry to hear of it … and know that it is always hard, no matter which side you are on. I know this because I had some hard years with my parents, mostly my mother, at this age. I too, chose to estrange my self … but came back. The ironic part of the story is … I tried to do and be everything different than my mother, while raising my kids. Instead of working as she did, I chose to stay home with them … and as you know, even homeschooled them. And here I am … with the very same outcome.

    I have tried everything I know to change the situation with my middle son … to reconcile the situation. I thought we were getting so much better the last couple of years …

    I know he and I are alike in so many ways … and I know at his age … there was only one truth … and it was all mine … Boy does life look different from this side of the aisle :)) He is a wonderful young man, who I am actually quite proud of … especially his wonderful heart.

    Sarah thank you so very much for sharing your story … I send you much love and love to your mother … it breaks my heart thinking about how very much she is missing on a daily basis, not being a part of your life … and of your children's life. You are an amazing, talented and loving women and mother.. I am always in awe of all you are … and all you do.

    xoxo
    Tamera

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  19. Such honesty and bravery....you are indeed a woman of substance.
    We all have sadness in our lives and to share these feelings takes great courage.
    You are one in a million.
    Hugs,
    Leslie

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    1. Leslie thank you so very much for your words … they touch my soul.

      xoxo
      Tamera

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  20. Goodness, I have never even heard of this sort of thing before, I don't know how you are managing to cope with it, I would be devastated, I am one of those types who believes that if two people have been close then everything can be worked through no matter how painful, by talking, screaming, fighting, whatever it takes.
    You are very special indeed Tamera

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    1. Tabitha, it has indeed been devastating … some days more so than others … What truly breaks my heart is that he hasn't cut myself and my husband out of his life … I can understand that kind of anger at his age … but he has cut out his siblings … and even his own Grandfather who has done nothing except try to help him. It is hard watching someone I love, hurt those that I love. You are quite lucky to have never heard of this sort of thing my dear … sometimes I am startled to wake up and realize … this is my life. I used to believe love could fix anything … and maybe it still can … with the added element of time.

      Are the storms in Scotland letting up yet my dear?

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  21. Tamera, you write with such grace, honesty and clarity about your situation, and your sadness and grief are plain. None of us can promise that it will all come right in the end - none of us know the future. But I hope very much that your son will one day choose to reconnect, and that by leaving the door open and continuing to offer love, even if it is not accepted right now, you are creating the conditions for his return. There is NO shame in feeling pain, and family relationships are complex and so difficult to manage sometimes. Sending much love to you. xxxx

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  22. I hope as the saying goes that time heals and perhaps brings about a reunion soon. But it takes time and I am sure it took a lot for you to write this...I wish you and your family all the best.

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  23. Tamera, I am so sorry. I can only imagine how I would feel if it were my own daughter. Having been estranged from my own mother at several key periods in my life, and had those periods end, even if we had to acknowledge some conflict that will never be resolved to either of our satisfaction, I am praying that you and your son will reconcile and be able to move past this period. He may not admit it, but he has just as big a hole in his heart, too, and he does know you love him.

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  24. I offer you thoughts of support, knowing how painful this chosen estrangement must feel to you. How difficult it is to not have contact with a loved one. Thank you for sharing your deepest feelings, written with beauty.

    "Knowing I can still make a beautiful life. Even with a hole in my heart." I know this to be true.

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  25. Oh Tamera, you said it right, i feel the exact same way - But i try not to think to much about it, it makes me sad, so sad -
    The greatest fear i have is that i will never see her again - I wish i was still a part of her life, i really thought we were getting along pretty well - I realize that i was not a perfect mother, i'm not the person i was 10 years ago but she doesn't seem to see it - I realize too that she has a lot of pain - i wanted so much to help her - But she has to do it on her own -

    Take care of yourself

    Big hugs

    Arianexo

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  26. One of the greatest gifts we were blessed with was that of being a mother and the added blessing of a mother's eternal love she has for her children. Even when the pain cuts to the core, we wouldn't trade this kind of love, care, and heartache. He will always know that your love is there and not going anywhere no matter how far away he seems, he will always feel that heartstring attachment. It's always a good thing to share our deepest sorrows as well as our greatest joys. My heart is with you, dearest friend.

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  27. Oh Tamera I feel for you. Estrangement is so so painful. And i can relate to being confused and angry and hurt and having so many questions. But it sounds like you've done every thing you can to reach out and share your love and your desire to reconnect to him....all you can do at this point is to let go. And I know how hard that can be..mothers feel so deeply for all their children, but especially for those that are struggling. I can only hope that he is working out something in his own way and that this time away from his family will eventually deepen his appreciation for his mother and his entire family.
    Blessings to you my friend. Hang in there.. this too shall pass.
    xo
    Leslie

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  28. Tamera, sending good thoughts your way. Though it is a heartbreaking time, I suspect in the end your son's relationships will come out the stronger for it. We are often foolish and impetuous in our youth and we gain from that.
    Thank you for your authenticity and genuine voice.

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