This episode was inspired by this post in the Community forums inside the Reconnection Club:
“Sometimes I wonder if my daughter is getting some kind of ‘cheap thrill’ at my expense. I keep contacting her but she doesn’t contact me. Yet she throws me a ‘crumb’ in response. She knows I want to see her, but she has the power to make sure we don’t.”
In case you’re in a hurry, the answer is no. Estranged adult children get no thrill whatsoever from cutting off parents. Even though you may feel powerless in the face of the estrangement, I’m willing to bet your child doesn’t feel all that powerful.
If you think a lion is going to attack you and you run away, is that a powerful act? It’s awful to think about, but your child is viewing you in the same way you might view a powerful lion, who might actually chase him or her. That’s why s/he estranges.
When your only power lies in removing yourself from a situation, that’s not a powerful place to be.
In this episode, I read a text from an anonymous estranged adult that shows how little power these folks experience in withholding themselves.
And yet rejected parents also feel powerless. They don’t wish to harm their children, and can hardly conceive of being viewed that way.
It’s all about perception.
Recognize the fact that if your adult child isn’t talking to you, or isn’t responding as much as you’d like, it’s not because they’re toying with you.
It’s because the only power they have in the face of a relationship that didn’t feel good to them the last time they were engaged in it, is to remove themselves.
You have so much more power in the relationship than you realize. Your child is in control of one thing: Showing up. But you’re the one who has the power to set the tone for the relationship.
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