Source: Photograph by Priscilla du Preez. Copyright free. Unsplash. Family estrangement—especially when initiated by an adult child—remains a mark of shame , despite all the recent psychological research that's been conducted reporting that it's not uncommon, some sympathetic attention by mainstream media, and the publication of two mainstream books which at least drag the subject out of the shadows. (Both authors are bloggers here. Dr. Joshua Coleman is a psychologist and his book, Rules of Estrangement , seeks to help estranged parents. Dr. Karl Pillemer is a sociologist and his book Fault Lines promotes reconciliation). I'm not an impartial observer, having cut my sole surviving parent—my mother—out of my life more than 30 years ago. I well remember how people's view of me shifted then; it might have been a nurse in a doctor's office asking about my mother's medical history and her face registering disapproval when I said didn't know. It came up in other ways, of course, all of them uncomfortable. When parents cut a child out of their lives, the governing assumption is that they must have a very good reason since their action runs counter to everything we believe about the enduring and inviolable nature of parental… Read full this story
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