I’m a firm believer in the adage “What Goes Around Comes Around” and the older I get the more often I see it happen in real life.
This adage especially hits home when it comes to children. Children are a reflection of us, for the most part. We can do our best to instill respect and kindness in our children, but it won’t necessarily be the behavior they decide to retain when they become an adult. If the latest trend with their peers is easier, better or makes them look good in their friends eyes, they will follow that path.
They grow up to be their own individual, with the addition of what their generation see’s as cool. And it appears the last generation found parental alienation to be their “thing”. It’s like an epidemic, an illness, one that is spreading across America like a post gone viral! We never know who it will infect. A perfectly good parent, raises a happy child, then the adult child catches the virus and all is lost. The affected adult child becomes distant and secretive. Then they stop calling and texting. Then, when the parent attempts to contact the adult child the parent is unwittingly attacked verbally by the adult child. Blamed for all kinds of abuses completely unknown to the parent. The venom and anger in the attack is heartbreaking. The illness only progresses from there to complete alienation of the unsuspecting, heartbroken parent. The disease takes the adult child, the grandchildren and anyone else that can be recruited by the infected adult child.
Adult children that choose to estrange themselves from their mother, or father, or both, will decide to start a family before they have resolved the issue. Or, sometimes, to try and fill the gaping hole left when they estranged themselves.
If they do have children amidst their estrangement illness they unknowingly, and intentionally, involve their children. Withholding visits with the grandparent, not allowing the grandparent to meet the child, etc. Maybe having a child of their own is their way of “showing” their estranged parent how to raise a child “right” since they feel they were raised so wrong. It’s just part of the illness. You can’t take it personally.
Every estranged adult child that I have heard talk, and there are several hundred, they always come to the conclusion that their parent was terrible and raised them poorly. It’s the “Blame Your Parents for Your Screwed Up Life” syndrome we all experienced back in the 1980’s. When people were seeking counseling for their issues in life and their counselors were directing them to blame their parents. Absolving the person of all responsibility for their life pretty much.
Well, It’s a major part of this illness. It’s been polished up with some new tactics added and key phrases like estranged son, estranged daughter, estranged parent and toxic parenting to name a few.
Fortunately my generation, the X Gen, realized all this blaming our parents wasn’t getting US anywhere. If anything we were digressing in our everyday affairs and blaming our parents for it. A lot of us, if not most of us, kicked the counseling to the curb and took responsibility for our actions and our future. Without damaging our relationships with our parents, we took the reins of our life and moved forward.
With this enigma rearing its ugly head again in this epidemic, we are seeing the estranged adult damage their family unit like never before. The estranged adult child doesn’t appear to care to self reflect, or take responsibility for their lives, or what they say and do to their parent(s). They want to strip their parent(s) of any love or family contact. They’re teaching their parents a lesson that doesn’t end. What they are really doing is sewing seeds. Seeds of destruction and despair. Seeds of devastating hurt to come. Insidious, evil little seeds. And they are unwittingly planting them in their own children.
Beware of what thou sew, for thou shall reap the same!
These estranged adults show their children; We don’t call our family regularly. If our family calls we are to be rude, cold, irritated on the phone with them. Tell them we don’t want to talk to them anymore. Tell them they are toxic and hang up. Tell them don’t call anymore. Remind them that they’ll never see their grandchildren. And we have no explanation to give for treating our family like this, but that is how we treat family.
Day in and day out, these little children see the way their mother or father treats their parents. That’s all they know. It’s the only thing they learn about treating family members is what their parent does. These little children learn it, they learn it well.
When the estranged adult parent becomes older, and their child starts treating them, the way they were taught to treat family, it’s going to be a sad downward spiral. And just like their own parents did, they will beg for their child to stop, to listen, to just let them be a part of their lives. But they taught their children well, and their sweet little child that they never took to visit grandma, that they never spoke of grandma, or nicely about her, that sweet little child will turn his/her back, with the coldest of shoulder, and walk out, just like mommy (or daddy) did to their parents and they might say, “This is how you taught me to treat my family.”
What goes around . . . . will come around……you can mark my words.