Just awhile ago, I found this wonderful, encouraging comment on this blog left by Kelly McCormick. Thank you so much, Kelly! Now I'd like to share your thoughts and insights more fully by re-posting it here. That's what I'd like this blog to be–a place of sharing and caring for one another. Like you, Kelly, I searched for someone, too, who truly understood my heartache.....
"My story gives hope to the hurting mothers out there who wonder when if it will ever be over. I was estranged from my son for 12 years. I'm here to tell you that reconciliation happens...regardless of how long the separation.
Like so many others, I didn't see it coming. My son, daughter, and I were very close. I had been in a difficult marriage for many years, and I officially ended the marriage. The divorce was very reasonable; there was nothing much to divide so we did it all through a paralegal. I had custody of our two children and my ex had visitation.
My 11-year-son started to be angry and rebellious towards me. Soon, he told me that he wanted to live with his father. I agreed because I thought it would be temporary and that he would "learn his lesson" and return home a more humble boy. I was wrong. The rift deepened, and I couldn't seem to regain footing.
Over the years, I tried everything from counseling to begging my ex to persuade him, to confronting my son, meeting with his teachers, meeting with adolescent experts...everything. Like so many, I tried anything and everything, over and over again. I had turned from God during my divorce because the Bible said it was wrong to divorce and I decided to get one anyhow. The situation with my son felt like God's punishment. I was truly heartbroken and could hardly get out of bed some days. Although I didn't think of suicide, I knew that I wouldn't fight death if given the option.
I searched for books or stories of other women in similar situations and couldn't find any (the Internet has come a long way). I couldn't comprehend how we had gone from a very close relationship to completely estranged. I was worried sick about my son's well-being. I believed that I must be a bad mother because I couldn't protect my child and I couldn't find anybody else who experienced this. I was deeply ashamed and became withdrawn.
As the years went by, I continued to ask questions and do deep soul searching that led me to some wonderful places. What could I learn from this? How can I have peace? What do I need to see about me? How can I grow? How do I forgive myself? How do I forgive others who played a role? Who is God anyhow?
The questions led me to beautiful places I couldn't have dreamed of. There was a lot in the middle, but the rift ended as suddenly as it started. It was not the result of a new trick, profound advice, or slick technique. Now that I have some perspective (we've been reconciled for about three years), I believe it changed when my heart was right; when I truly accepted and felt grateful for the whole ride. I did not do a thing.
Out of the blue, my daughter told me that my son was moving to Houston from Los Angele, and it was happening next week. Through my daughter, he agreed to come to my husband's and my house for a family dinner. His only stipulation was that he did not want to talk about the past. We have been building our relationship since then and I have honored his request.
There is so much more to tell and so much is difficult to put into words. My main message is that I am living proof that there's reason for hope. I also agree with the other posts that demanding answers sent me backwards rather than forwards. Now, I am in the joyful place of asking what I can do to help other mothers (and fathers) who are in similar situations. I hope that commenting on this post is encouraging to somebody out there."