Episode 96: When Estrangement Feels Like Abuse

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Not every parent rejected by an adult child feels abused by that rejection. But many do.

If your child’s refusal to talk to you feels abusive, chances are there are good reasons for that. However, they may not be the reasons you think.

Not all behavior that causes emotional pain constitutes abuse. But if you’ve been abused before, your brain is on high alert for painful interactions.

Feeling abused when you’re hurt is often a symptom of having been abused — not necessarily by current players, but in the past.

This is not your fault, and it’s also not caused by your child’s behavior, which is more likely merely a trigger.

If your adult child’s withholding feels abusive, the best thing you can do is to seek help from a mental health professional. In many cases, a trauma specialist is an appropriate choice.

Scroll down for links to a couple of therapist directories.

For practical tips on how to repair an estranged relationship with your adult child(ren) and yourself, see Tina’s book, Reconnecting With Your Estranged Adult Child.

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Episode links:

Trauma Therapist Network
Goodtherapy.org
Psychologytoday.com

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