Parent Alienation.  I found this phrase somehow comforting, like finally discovering the name of an illness.  However, unlike a cold or cancer, there are no pills or X-rays to help cure and identify the pain and suffering.  I've searched the web for ways to understand rejection and found the following helpful:

"Rejection assigns blame; it is by assigning blame that the party, who is rejecting the other party, is able to feel absolved and free of any responsibility to work on the relationship or situation. “You” (what you did, who you are, or what you did not do), is the focus of rejection and the means by which the blame it assigns is expressed." ...
Is rejection ever justified? In my opinion, this would be similar to asking if it is ever justified to blame, fault-find, or condemn. Rejection begins with and ends by identifying the faults in the other party. It never acknowledges the strengths, the untapped potential, or change-ability of the individual. It is not an expression of loyalty, and contributes nothing to a relationship except to absolve the person blaming from any responsibility to engage in problem solving or remain loyal."
OK, I'm not to "blame", but neither can I "blame" him because I know it heals nothing regarding having a loving relationship.  I am helpless to heal my son's heart and at a loss as how to heal my own.  I now understand more about the joy of the father in the Biblical Prodical Son story than I ever had previously, but I morn that there was not a story written about how the father and his wife coped emotionally with their own feelings of parental failure.  I've hoped time would heal our son's wounds from a hasty argument.  I've hoped efforts at keeping the "door" open would show my desire and willingness to change his perceived view of my actions and words.  So far, three years have passed and his alienation is as strong as ever.  He was 36 years old yesterday, has been married 12 years, is a successful director of a software company, and the father of two beautiful daughters that my husband and I are not allowed to see.  We are proud of his accomplishments and most all of the choices he's made in his life, with the obvious exception of his rejection of us.  To us, the alienation feels like a nightmare that we keep hoping to wake up from.  It seems to us that his life views are black and white, rather like the computer programming of X's and o's.  How can we not continue to struggle with wanting him to see that there are 26 letters in the alphabet and a million ways to view life's mishaps?  How does it makes sense that the bundle of joy we invested our whole lives in can be so cavalier as to say he doesn't want a relationship with us anymore?  An aunt tells us that his rejecting us is like rejecting Santa Claus.  A counselor suggested a narcissistic personality disorder.  I forgot to ask if that was genetic or environmental, but in reality, the result wouldn't relieve an iota of our suffering.  Perhaps, if at the end of my life this rejection has remained, I will be like Job and ask God if this was part of His plan that I was just supposed to accept.  Until then, I'll ask Him daily for ways to cope and still be the person He intended for me to be.

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Comment by Leanne Wiese on March 16, 2012 at 12:28pm

Thank you Mike for your encouragement to keep learning about destructive family dynamics and the link you provided.  Yes, learning and a good RX go a fair way to dulling the sting.  I think I have incorrectly identified our situation as Parental Alienation.  I've since learned that it is more the situation of being a Parent of an Estranged Adult Child.  I've not found a whole lot on this family dynamic yet, but sure hope to.  It does help to know others end up in this pit too but it helps more to learn how they get out. 

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