Recovering an alienated child is no walk in the park. However you can get the court to intervene in terms of contempt charges by the coparent, intensive reunification support orders, etc.
Now, with adult alienated children, you don't have the option of getting support from the court. They've aged out. At 18 they feel they rule the world as a new adult. Many parents wonder if it's even possible to reunite with an adult child. I am here to tell you that it is 10000% possible. And here's why.
Most of you who have followed me for awhile know my story. And many may not. So, I will share again because it's really important that you know where I come from.
I used to be a formerly alienated child. Yep. I acted out in many of the same ways your kids might be acting out. I could be mean, hostile, and many times straight up distant. My mother instilled a narrative in us that my dad was the worst human piece of garbage on the planet. That he didn't want us, he was abusive, he was a bad husband, the list goes on and on. Now, their relationship was very unhealthy. They were hostile, argumentative, and always blaming one another. Was my dad the greatest husband? Maybe not Prince Charming. And my mom was no Cinderella, either. And, she let the dynamic of their marriage and her perception of him as a husband, get the better of her.
And so, we believed her narrative. For years! Flash forward, slowly but surely those beliefs were being debunked in the ways my father showed up as the authentic, loving father he was.
He is reaching out? He is coming to my games? He is loving and kind and caring? How could that be? I don't want him taking to me. I don't want him at my games. He's a bad dad (I think...).
And yet way deep down there were parts of me that of course did want him to do those things! He would show up at my games and I would be relieved, almost. Wow, he really does want to see me play. But to save face I have to ignore him and tell him to stop coming.
And unfortunately, my father would give into my inauthentic requests. We played this dance for quite some time. We would go lengthy periods of time without speaking, which only caused further divide between us. See, he really doesn't care. I haven't heard from him.
Therefore, we did not reunite until I was an adult and had kids of my own. Through my own divorce with scary alienating experiences, and dating people with alienated kids, I began realizing what my dad was experiencing. Coupled with my inner thoughts of actually missing my dad, things started coming together.
I was finally able to share the loving relationship with my father that I had actually always dreamed of. And, he was able to share that with me, and his beloved granddaughters. He was the sweetest father and grandfather to us. I even helped him reunite with his other children. I guided him. Through the ways he shifted, he shifted our entire family. An entirely alienated, split, divided family finally united.
We all shared several years of wonder relationships until his unfortunate passing from cancer. I am so grateful for this time we had together. For my girls to see that I had a loving relationship with my father.
Had we not reunited, I am not sure how my life would be. I would not be here today doing the work I do now to help parents recover their children. The alienation space would be vastly different. My girls would have a different outlook on father-daughter relationships. The list could go on. So, while I was unable to share a relationship with my father for so many years, the silver lining is that I get to cherish the memories of the relationship we did share. And-- that I have been able to help so many parents become empowered to recover their children, as my dad did, and how I was recovered. Even after years of no contact.
So, I want you to read this again and ponder what your adult child may be feeling. Now do you think it's possible?
Check out my webinar for parents with adult children to get started on going deeper with learning what it takes to recover your adult child. It's a slightly different ballgame than parents with minor kids, and yet the main takeaway is that even as adults, they are always your children. It's hard, until it isn't--then, it's easy. Ask me how I know.....