Estrangement is a final boundary that many adult children choose to enforce with their parents after a lifetime of not being heard, valued, or respected. It's not a decision that people make lightly or easily — indeed, there are countless barriers to estrangement that come from a societal belief that family is an immutable, infallible bond that can't be broken or ignored. There is no morality in estrangement. Those who can cut off their parents aren't better people with better boundaries. Those who continue a relationship with parents who abused them aren't broken or codependent or foolish for wanting to keep their parents in their life.
In recent years when I have discussed my first marriage, I've been referring to the one with legal paperwork, self-esteem turmoil, and a divorce at the end. In all of those times I have said the words "my first marriage," I forgot that my first marriage was actually to my childhood best friend who lived two doors … Continue reading My Real First Marriage