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Many parents who have been rejected by their grown children ask, “I can’t understand why I have so much pain in my life.” The answer? It's because they are too close to the issue to see it with perspective. Most rejected parents are the victims of a trend that started in the 1960s by some antisocial, self-serving promoters and some sincere but misguided souls. They advanced the term "toxic parents” and convinced people with emotional problems that they would stop being unhappy if they severed their relationship with their progenitors. True, some parents are sick, and they should be avoided. But too often they were simply human, with their love and their faults.

The notion of severing relations with a parent “for the sake of emotional survival" was picked up by psychologists, writers and journalists. People who suffered a serious emotional trauma as children, such as the suicide of one parent, are especially vulnerable, and open to embrace anything that will mitigate their undeserved guilt, disorientation and distress. While they search for answers to the unexplainable, they are bombarded by books and the media suggesting that they cut off one or both parents to avoid further pain.

It’s tragic for parents to suffer this way. Hard as it is, parents should not take it personally. They can take comfort in first, that their child is pursuing life in the terms that he or she feels it needs to, misguided as it may be. And second, that after middle age, when so many people take stock of their lives, many of these confused children do attain some degree of understanding and contact their parents before it’s too late.

Some of these children prevent their own children from having a relationship with the “offensive” grandparent.
With luck, many of the grandchildren will eventually establish contact with their grandparents when they understand that the angry parent who deprived them of his or her own parent had serious problems.

Meantime, these parents-grandparents have to enjoy life as best they can without unjustified guilt and pain. Good luck to them all.

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