How Parental Estrangement Has Shaped Me

*There are PR items in this post. Please see the end of the post for more details.


Wow, this is one of the most personal posts I've written in a hell of a long time. Something I haven't talked about much. Something I haven't seen talked about online as such by others. I kind of wanted to write this post in the vain hope that maybe just one person could relate. Maybe someone who has experienced it. Someone who has gone through the pain and even frustration of it. Please, if you have tragically lost a parent yourself and if this is a trigger for you, I completely implore you not to read on. I wouldn't want anyone upset! But yes, parental estrangement is the subject of this post today.

The parental estrangement in my life refers to my father. 

A bunch of pink peonies.

Someone who has not been in my life for a long time now. Someone who was once a part of my life. Well, for the first 15 years. Then one day and no goodbye later, he was gone. I haven't seen him since. He made contact with me on the phone near the end of last year - 13 years after I'd last seen him. You can imagine that was a heart-dropping moment when I heard his voice at the end of the phone. I spoke to him for 20 minutes, and after we ended the call, I still had no idea or indication as to what he wanted.


You'll read that and think "Perhaps he just missed you". I'm not being funny, if he did, he'd have tried a lot harder. He could have tried contacting me on social media. I haven't even moved house. I'm still here. Or maybe you're thinking that I maybe should have been the one to make the first move. Hell would have to freeze over before I'd do something like that. I have no interest in a reconciliation with my father. The only reason I would want to speak to him again is to ask questions I have. The biggest one is -


"Why?"


I can't list all of the questions I have for him, this post would be neverending otherwise. I want to keep you interested in reading on. 

A woman holding a bouquet of pink peonies.

I'm not going to dwell on the past too much. The whole saga of my parent's separation and divorce is too much of a long one and it brings back bad memories from my teens. We'll leave it at that. 


In terms of who stopped contacting who first, I think it was a joint decision from both of us. Not really discussed or put in writing, but it just kind of happened. He left the house without saying goodbye, and that was that. Three weeks after he left, I got my cat Charlie and he was the best male replacement I and my Mam could have asked for. 


When I think back on the time of my life (the last 14 years) my father hasn't been in my life, I'm kind of happy that he hasn't been a part of it. My father was and maybe still is a controlling and manipulative man. Nobody needs that kind of toxicity and negativity in their life. Especially from their own flesh and blood. 

I do genuinely believe that I wouldn't be where I am today if my Dad was still in my life. 


And I mean that in a good way. I love the woman I have become. My Mam has been my rock all my life and she is all I need. I can't deny that I did have a strong bond and love for my Dad when I was a child. He used to take me swimming, he took me to Florida to swim with dolphins and on the odd occasion helped me with my homework. It's sad to say that the toxicity that happened during my parent's divorce has completely overshadowed the positivity with him in my childhood years. 

A bouquet of pink peonies.

As to how parental estrangement has shaped me today, I think it allowed me to realise that life isn't a bed of roses. It has made me stronger. It has made me more independent. It's allowed me to discover who I am and (mostly) love who I am today. I just know that my Dad would have been a bad influence on my life. As I said, there's no room in my life (or anyone else's) life for toxicity. Obviously, parental estrangement doesn't happen in many people's lives. Parental estrangement is not nice. I never expected it to happen in mine. But it has. I've accepted it and it made my relationship with my Mam as solid as ever. 


Maybe that night when my father decided to call me, he wanted to make a reconnection. I can't and don't want to go down that road of having him in my life again. He caused too much hurt for my Mam and that is something I cannot forgive him for. And to be honest - I've done just fine without him. I got a very loving support network around me, I don't have any plans to make him a part of it. Our estrangement was for the best in my opinion. I've lived a happy life so far and achieved some good things when he hasn't been around. They say that blood is thicker than water - it's great when you have a good relationship, but when you don't, that motto can't and shouldn't come into it. 


Whether he will contact me ever again is another matter. But all I'll say to him if he ever does is - why?

A woman holding a bouquet of pink peonies.



As I said near the beginning, I hope this post has not been too upsetting or triggering for you. I wanted to write this post to say it's ok if you don't speak to any parent or any other family member. You have your reasons and everyone who knows you should respect that. We all have morals and boundaries, and if someone oversteps them, then they're not worth it. Focus all of your energy on the people who matter. The people you love. The ones who are there for you through all of your ups and downs.


I'd love to know your thoughts on this post, let me know below!



*The beautiful peonies in this post were sent to me from Haute Florist. All views are my own. For more information, please read my disclaimer. Thank you for your support!

44 comments
  1. Wow, Lucy! I’m so proud of you for sharing this with us and the timing is perfect because holidays around parents ( for numerous reasons) can be strained. I’m sure so many others will resonate with this and will be glad you shared this.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, I hope others who have gone through the same can relate x

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  2. Sharing this experience is so open and brave because others will be in a similar situation and feel like they are alone and you are showing them that they are not. Thank you for sharing xx

    Lauren - www.bournemouthgirl.com

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    1. I hope those who are going through the same aren't alone in this xx

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  3. I'm truly sorry that you went through this experience, Lucy. It is something that really shapes us and you did a great job at turning this negative experience into something positive. You sound like a very warm and down-to-earth girl. Thank you for sharing this experience with us, I'm sure there will be many of us finding comfort in your words and story. Sending love ❤️

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    1. Thank you Vanessa, your kind words mean so much! I hope some others can find comfort in this too!

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  4. This has to be one of the braves things I read today. It was also a little sad to read, but brave. I'm so proud of you for being honest with yourself about the situation. Thanks for sharing your story

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  5. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I can only imagine how shocking it would be to have heard from your Dad after all this time. You sound like a strong woman and have a lovely Mam. Take care.

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    1. Thank you lovely, I certainly have the most amazing Mam that I could ask for x

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  6. While my parents didn't separate, they should have done so and when my mother died my father was free to focus entirely and exclusively on his own self-interests. I don't think there was any particular reason for his behaviour but sadly, it seems all too common. Glad your Mam was (and still is) your rock x

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    1. It sounds like it would have been the best for your parents to separate, they could have both gone on to live their own lives and meet new people x

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  7. I just stumbled across your blog, and what an incredibly open and vulnerable first post to read. Thank you for sharing so openly and destigmatizing this topic; I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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    1. I'm glad you stumbled across my blog Alyssa, I hope you continue to read more of my blog posts in the future! x

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  8. I’m so proud of you for writing such a open and honest post. I think this will help so many young people who are going through / feeling the same as you are. I’m so sorry you had to go through such a hard time. You are a incredibly talented and lovely women so I’d defiantly say it’s his loss not yours! Sending you so much love Xo

    Elle - ellegracedeveson.com

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    1. Thank you Elle, I hope this post helps others also! xx

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  9. I'm so sorry you had to go through this Lucy, but I am happy to read it has shaped you to be a better person. Thank you for sharing this, I'm sure it will help others who have gone through a similar thing x

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    1. Thank you Caroline, it has definitely shaped me to be a better person! x

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Lucy, I can't imagine what it's been, but I am glad to read that this shaped you to be this amazing woman x

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  11. Thank you for opening up and sharing your story, I’m positive it’ll help so many others. You’re absolutely right about respecting boundaries. We all deserve to spend our energy on those who support and love us unconditionally, regardless of if they’re a family member or not. Sending lots of love!

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    1. I hope it can help others too lovely! We definitely all deserve to spend our energy on those we love and those who love us unconditionally! x

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  12. I'm so sorry you've had to go through this Lucy. Families can be so complicated. Although she's still in the picture I've got quite a difficult relationship with my mum, and like you I've found it's shaped how I am today, especially with how I parent the girls. Thank you for sharing your story. Unfortunately I feel it's going to resonate with a lot of people. X

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    1. I'm sorry to hear you have a difficult relationship with your Mum Claire, I'm glad it has shaped you into who you are today lovely x

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  13. Lucy, this is very very brave. I just want to say that not everyone would be willing to share something like this on here. I just want to congratulate you for that. I think you turned this negative experience into a good this, which is really brave and amazing! Parental estrangement should be talked more often, cause many people would feel that they are alone but in fact they aren’t. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and wisdom. Sending lots of love xx Penny | www.whatdidshetype.com

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    1. Thank you Penny, that means a lot! I hope that this post does show that any one going through parental estrangement aren't alone xx

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  14. I think this is really important to talk about so well done, it'll be something so many people can relate to and have experienced. I'm sorry you had to go through it, but I'm glad you're a stronger person for it and I'm sure your bond with your mum is amazing!
    Amy x
    callmeamy.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Amy, I'm definitely a stronger person for it and me and my Mam are so close! x

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  15. You wrote this so beautifully, you should be proud x

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  16. What a piece of trash. It sounds like you are so much better off without him. I don't know how anyone could leave their child! I love your outlook on it though.

    Corinne x
    https://skinnedcartree.com

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    1. I'm definitely better off without him Corinne, he doesn't belong in my life anymore and I'm more than content with that! x

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  17. Such a personal post Lucy thank you for being brave enough to open up about it 💛💛

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  18. Such an empowering story. Love how brave you are to tell your story. Thank you for sharing.

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  19. This is the first post I’ve seen on this topic and I am very sorry you had to go through that Lucy. Some people simply aren’t meant to be parents. I hope you are doing okay after that x

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    1. Thank you Winnie, I've been doing fine without him in my life! x

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  20. I loved how personal and honest this is. I believe that hard experiences like this one ate the ones who shape us more as characters. I know it has made you stronger. Thank you for sharing something like this.
    Eri | weirdlifestyle.com

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    1. Absolutely Eri, when things like this happen in your life, it definitely shapes you!

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  21. Thank you for sharing such a personal post sweetie.

    Danielle | thereluctantblogger.co.uk

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  22. Difficult family relationships are so so important to discuss, because you will realise you are not alone and someone will definitely relate. I am sorry to hear about this, but at the same time I am happy to know you are actually doing well even though he's not in the picture.

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  23. Thank you for sharing what happened, it seems odd that your father called you after such a long time, hope that there was a reason, so that bridges can be mended

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