A new support group is now available in Skipton for parents coming to terms with estrangement from their adult children. Hosted by Sundy Gilchrist, the meetings take place once a month at Being Better on Newmarket Street.
Sundy, who works as a Healing Coach for parents of estranging adult children, created a Facebook group in 2016 in which she offered help and guidance to parents excluded from the lives of their adult offspring. She soon recognised the need for a physical group within the Craven area.
When asked about the aim of the group, Sundy said:
“So many parents find themselves in a variety and degree of estrangement. There is no particular ‘way’ or path to follow other than the one that each of us decides to take. My aim of the group varies. In some cases, I will advise on the steps to take to build bridges. In others, I will assist them in coming to terms with the emotional impact. I also support parents in the unfolding of this living bereavement, as it is likely to develop as time goes on, with weddings, babies and deaths.
We hear a great deal about other kinds of broken relationships, but there is very little focus on this particular area. There is easily accessible support available (whether it be sufficient or not) for parents denied access to their younger children. There is also support for grandparents who have no contact with their grandchildren after the death or divorce of their child or child’s partner. Support groups for parents rejected by their grown up children are uncommon.
“I feel if this was talked about more, it would help in some way in allowing people to see that it’s not ‘just them’ and that they can reach out for help without judgment. People should be able to see that they can gain support from others who are in similar circumstances. It seems there is a lot of shame, guilt and feeling of blame among parents whose adult children have rejected them.”
Sundy is aware that, in some situations, the estrangement is the choice made by the parents themselves. Just as there are parents suffering the emotional impact of being shut out by their children, there are equally as many adults who have been unfairly disowned or rejected by their parents. Sundy’s group is solely for estranged parents.
“I recognise that sometimes parents do indeed cut themselves off from their adult children. Whilst this is a similar issue and has many parallels, there is a subtle difference and I do believe needs a different kind of support.”
Estranged from her own children for the past 12 years, Sundy knows all too well how painful it can be when intentionally excluded, dismissed or treated with disdain by a loved one. She combines her own life experiences with her relationship coaching skills to help others come to terms with this form of ‘living bereavement’.
You can read more about Sundy on her website: http://sundygilchrist.com/
The next meeting will take place on 16th August from 2pm until 4pm. Entry costs £5.To book your place, please email: Sundygilchrist@yahoo.co.uk