Untangling An Estrangement … A Story Of Hope


I have written often over the course of  the last few years on my blog about
 the painful estrangement 
of my eldest son from the family for over three years.

I wrote first about it
in January of 2014 HERE.
It had been going on a while by then
and
 missing him so bad over the holidays left me having to
be transparent with our situation.
To let the pain out.

My writing was meant with such love, support and understanding
I can still reread those comments even today
with such a grateful heart for the extreme compassion and encouragement  that was shown
and
continues to be shown when I write honestly
about such a painful topic.

The next time I wrote of the Estrangement
it was all about learning to
find Gratitude in the midst of heartache
and
to practice self kindness
 HERE

Next I wrote about
Sharing Our Stories
in my Series of Writing the Blog You Want to Read 
HERE
In this post I wrote about
really learning Unconditional Love.

Here I wrote about disconnected writings
as I realized my blog would continue to be an online journal of my 'real life'
as well as one sharing styling beauty.
Having pain in your life
can me a motivator to actively seek beauty.

I will list the other posts
at the end of this one for those that are interested.


In the last year
I have also written about the beginnings of
Untangling of the Estrangement
which started with a 


With a family situation 
so painful and close to my heart
I have been very careful about what to share
but now with positive backing from my son
I can say the estrangement 
has come to an end.


I want to share our story
in the hopes 
I can offer support and encouragement
to anyone else
walking the painful path of estrangement.

Looking back
I remember vividly how the estrangement began.
It wasn't one simple blowout
but a string of situations 
that seemed to become harder and harder …
on both side.

How it started to me is not the story.

Rather 
this story is about how the estrangement ended.
It was not an overnight change.
But rather a process 
that literally took years.


For me
it probably began to get better
when I could forgive myself.

The first year of the estrangement
was all about anger for me.
Anger at him.
For doing 'this'.
For me
Anger felt more empowering 
at least for a while
than 
acknowledging the utter pain of being 
rejected by someone you loved so much.

When I let the pain in
it took me to my knees.
The pain was overwhelming
especially the year none of us heard from him.
I wondered it I would ever see him again.
We would have three Christmas's without him.

for years every time the landline rang
I feared grim news.


In the most painful year
I began to go over everything in my mind.
Where had I gone so very, vey wrong 
to have caused this dreadful family circumstance.

After much soul searching
I  realized
I had indeed made many mistakes regarding my relationship 
with my son.

Then I got to a place where I 
forgave myself.

I realized mistakes or not


I had done the very best I could
with what I knew 
at the time.

Living that year on my knees
I realized
to keep living
I had to give myself Grace.



And the beauty of learning to 
give oneself grace is that
your heart changes
and 
automatically 
your heart gives Grace to others.



If I had been doing

The best I could
with what I knew 
at the time 

Then so was Slater.

In that realization
there was no longer reason
for anger
at myself or him.

We had both been doing 
the very best we could
with 
what we knew 
at the time.

When I got to that realization
I saw I could make a new choice
going forward to

 Love unconditionally 
without expectation.

I could change my intention.

I could quit 'keeping score' in my head
that he did this
or
I did that.

I could just choose the action of unconditional love.

I realized I could never control another's actions
and
 that my job here
was to live my life in an integrity
where I knew my God and I were good.


For me
that was a seismic internal shift.


So fast forward a year later
when 
a miracle pit bull brought hime back for the day
I could just love on him
without bringing our tumultuous past to the table.


I had realized
that it was up to me as his mother
to demonstrate unconditional love
without expectation
if we were ever to move forward.


As our relationship progressed
I had to sit quietly
and 
really listen to what was on his heart
without wanting to defend myself.


When I really listened to his heart
I realized just how similar we were
and 
how much I had miscommunicated 
my immense love for my son.



It was his courage to be emotionally honest
that enabled 
he and I to  begin to move forward
with honest determination and compassion.


It had been my hope every since my daughter's engagement
that Slater would be at the wedding
as much for his sake 
to realize what an intragal part of the family
he always will be
as for the rest of our family
to feel whole again.


And of course as his mother
I definitely wanted my son
and
our whole family to be present for the wedding of our daughter.



Slater was not only at the wedding
but 
Slater
was truly my 
Wedding Hero.
It was with his support, love and encouragement
that I was able to
not only get though the rehearsal dinner and wedding
but
to be able to show up for the wedding 
as the loving family matriarch 
that I was hoping to be.
I am truly grateful for his love and support
during such an emotional event.

That memory  of his love and support
will live in my heart forever.


As Slater was walking me down the aisle
of  Ellis's wedding
he said
"did you ever think last year,
we'd be here'.

I hadn't even had the courage
to hope 
that we'd truly be
'where we are'.


I am so very proud of the man my son has become.
Our journey has been a tumultuous one.


But just like when I had cancer
and 
came out of that frightening journey
 so much a better a soul
with
gratitude at the end for the lessons learned on the journey.

I am grateful for how my soul and heart
have grown
and
the lessons I have learned on the excruciating journey through estrangement.
As painful as the estrangement has been
I am a better person through it all.
And now  have nothing but compassion for all of us
who navigate relationships with family.



I offer
the  Story
of my son and I
and 
our ability 
to 
Untangle Our Estrangement
in hopes to encourage others walking a similar path.



I remember in my darkest days
of our estrangement
feeling so hopeless.
But now I know
with lots of love, patience
and 
really listening
and 
a whole bunch of Grace

Estrangements sometimes can be Untangled
ending with a much improved relationship
and
much love and respect for each other.


Slater thank you for your emotional bravery
and 
for truly being my Wedding Hero
during such an important family time.
Much love my dear.
Much Love.


As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life





Final posts on Estrangement


Finding the Magic In Life - Learning to see life's magic
even in the midst of heartache.

Self Care During the Holidays 





19 comments:

  1. An absolutely graceful story of courage, fear, failure, and success. Raising children is 10 times more difficult than we could have ever imagined. It is difficult for our son to find his path at 19 years old. So there are parts of your situation that I find extremely helpful. I find it so difficult to have the right answers and know what decisions to make to help him on his journey to young adulthood. If you question whether it was helpful to discuss your painful situation...know that all of us parents out here are walking in your same path in various ways...

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  2. Tamera, I commented on your first post in 2014 that I was suffering the same heartache with my son. Thank God all is well now for you and for me. So grateful for our sweet sons! Thanks for this loving post.

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  3. We always knew with time that LOVE would win, didn't we? Your voice, through your magical words will touch many souls today. It was a true honor to finally meet this incredible young man. Love you my friend💞

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  4. Tamera,have just read your post 3 times,thank you for sharing your personal journey through your estrangement such honesty is in short supply here in UK,the "stiff upper lip" mentality is expected!For many years I blamed myself for being a bad mother.
    I was fortunate to find professional help that lead me to forgiveness and loving kindness to my daughter.Now I need the "pitbull"!!
    Thank you for your kind words on my Instagram.I wish your handsome son all the best for a happy future.Thank you for your inspiring post,feel so privileged to have found a special blog chum.XXXOOO

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  5. Tamera,have just read your post 3 times,thank you for sharing your personal journey through your estrangement such honesty is in short supply here in UK,the "stiff upper lip" mentality is expected!For many years I blamed myself for being a bad mother.
    I was fortunate to find professional help that lead me to forgiveness and loving kindness to my daughter.Now I need the "pitbull"!!
    Thank you for your kind words on my Instagram.I wish your handsome son all the best for a happy future.Thank you for your inspiring post,feel so privileged to have found a special blog chum.XXXOOO

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  6. Love, not time heals all wounds and perhaps your son was your great teacher. I'm very glad for you both you are reunited. All my best, dear Tamera.

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  7. Thank you, Tamera, for sharing straight from your mother's heart with honesty and love.
    God bless you and your loved ones, and I pray that healing will continue.

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  8. What a great, heartfelt, poignant and precious sharing of your journey. Love to you all❤️

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  9. Beautiful words and so happy for you and your family.

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  10. I am so happy for you Tamera, and thank you for sharing your painful journey. It was wonderful to see your beautiful family all together at the wedding.

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  11. What a journey you have had! I applaud your steadfastness and your willingness to learn and grow--that is what we are all here for. I am so happy for you--what a blessing all this transformation is, and will continue to be!

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  12. SEE YOU DID SOMETHING RIGHT!!!!!!!
    He was THERE for YOU when YOU NEEDED HIM the MOST................
    GORGEOUS SON.........GORGEOUS YOU!
    XX

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  13. I remember the heartache you expressed when I first discovered your blog. As a Mum of two boys, 11 and 14 I will take courage from your story for the future!
    So happy you have found some common ground.
    Xo Jazzy Jack

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  14. Gorgeous post, my favorite you've ever done. Beautiful family photos of the wedding. I am thrilled for you and your son (and the entire family as well). You are a lucky lady. xx

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  15. Tamera such a lovely post. I am so happy for you and your sweet family. Thank you for sharing this. I know it must have been work to get to a place where you both are now. I admire you so much for doing this. Much happiness to you and your son and the whole family. It's just the best that it all happened before the wedding. xoxo Kim

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  16. Beautiful post. I am grateful to have met you today. You said it best, we do the best we can with what we have at that time. So happy to you found happiness with your son again. Thanks for sharing... xo Chi

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