Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Parent of an estranged Adult daughter

Community Member

I need to connect with other parents who are going through what I am going through.

I will be brief for now, but will discuss further once I connect with others who are going through the same crisis as mine.

It's been six weeks now our daughter left the family, she eloped and we don't know where she is. she left us suddenly, our lives changed practically overnight.

We cannot believe that she could such a thing, the guy and his family have brainwashed her and stolen her from us. I heard that she is already engaged to this guy and the family will marry her off as soon as possible. We cannot believe that she could do such a thing behind our back.

I need help, I have no one around me who is approaching me to help.

If there is anyone out there who is in a similar case to mine please reach out to me so we can come close to discuss our precious loss together.

Thank you

70 Replies 70

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Magiore, welcome

Yes I am one.

I habe two daughters. The eldesy Im close to, the youngest I dont have contact.

I also have a neice that I treated ad a daughter then at 14yo she was recruited to a religious sect and brainwashed. Apart from her grandmother she has no contact with any blood relatives.

My youngest rang me at 13yo to tell me she never wanted to see me again. She wouldnt give an answer why. Ten years padt and she walked up my long driveway. That was 2016. She visited 5 times that year. All was going well then xmas approached. We had a gift for her birthday from September and xmad gifts. She insisted she turm up on the 27th Dec when my eldest was to arrive. I refused and gave her 3 options. See my eldest didnt want anything to do with her.

So, just like her mother, she stopped all contact. End of January came and she messaged me. I told her off for not communicating. That was the end of our relationship. ..again.

Things do improve over time in accepting these situations. I mean do we want to grieve all the time over what essentially is immature, insensitive amd selfish behaviour with poor communication? .

my daughter like her mother wants to punish me. Such people i draw the line with. It means rejecting 30% of humsms but I survive better.


Topic: fortress of survival- beyondblue

Topic: your own worse enemy- beyondblue

Topic: losing a child- beyondblue

Topic: do we expect a smooth road in life?- beyondblue

It wont be easy for you however when things are out of you control if you try to contact her now it will pudh her firther away.

As hard as it will be...wait until she comes to you

Tony WK

Hi Tony,

Firstly, I want to thank you for noticing my post and replying to it. It means a lot to me, Thank you!

Secondly, I want to express empathy to you for what you have gone through also...I must say it's not easy at all.

To bring your children into this world and then to find that they do this to you.

As a parent it hurts a lot, especially when I know that I have everything so right in bringing my daughter up.

I was always there for her, I just can't understand why I should deserve to be treated like this.

Please write to me again, I want to share more of the pain and suffering with nice people like you so we can at least comfort each other in these difficult times.

I look forward to further exchanges with you in regard to our common crisis.

Take care


Community Member

Hi Magiore,

I haven't been in a situation like this myself but I have seen estrangements happen in my extended family. I'm so sorry for what you are going through.

Do you know if she is still in contact with any other relatives (siblings, grandparents etc)? What did you mean when you said her partner and his family had brainwashed her? Do you know much about them or why they'd want to do this?

Sorry to ask you so many questions, please do not the feel to answer if it is painful. I don't want to alarm you but controlling behaviour like this is never a good sign when it comes to romantic partners.

Hi magiore

Lovely reply from you. Brainwashing isn't so hard by controlling adults to teenagers or young adults. Some people say "it takes two" in response to conflict...no, it takes one most times. And you may well have been a good parent but we know that in the eyes of a child, we are all far from perfect and so, we parents feel we don't deserve such treatment. Our children don't think about our sacrifices, they are only thinking about themselves. Empathy is learned and often flies under the radar during our parenting actions.

This is where confidence in yourself (and partner/fathe rof your daughter) needs to be gathered and secured in full belief. I'll use my daughter as an example at times and you can see my point and adopt the concept to your situation.

For example: My daughter was told I had a gift for her birthday around mid September after we reunited. (Bare in mind I hadn't sent her a gift for 10 years. Birthday cards yes but not a gift as she was disrespectful to me.) She didn't acknowledge my message. Then xmas came and she had 3 days of choices when to come here and celebrate xmas. She didn't reply. Then when she messaged me on 12th January and I asked her if she got my messages- "yes" she had, then "why didn't you reply". This is when she went silent on the Facebook messages. No answer. I knew she had adopted her mothers weapon of silence.

The point is- I had to find it in my power to not cave in to being a soft touch dad. She did wrong, she was disrespectful, she spoiled xmas, she did all these things INTENTIONALLY. Then I must stand firm, very firm that she has a lot of inner work to do in order for her to get back in my life.

Eg if she contacted me again the first thing I would say is- "do you have something to say to me"?. If I don't hear the words I'm sorry or similar then am I to let it go and try again? No. This stance is extremely difficult but I'm tired of letting things go. No more. She is 24yo, old enough to treat others humanely. As my thread listed above (fortress of survival) tells, you have to draw the line otherwise your hurt will double. Just because she is your daughter doesn't mean you are a receiver of insults and abuse.

My daughter when she came back into my life, only did so on Facebook. That meant she could and eventually did, unfriend me when we argued. I didn't know her address (eg to send the gift) nor her phone number or email. So she was being clever.

To be continued


As a former private investigator I could find her easily but if she doesn't want me to find her then I'd be stalking her against her will.
In my life I make my own rules. This is where parent often don't take control of their own lives. A relationship is a two way affair, not only the child. As you have been a good parent I'm certain your daughter will be one day wanting to return to your life. It's so easy as I did 2 years ago to say "ok darling, love to have you back". But not if nothing is resolved and that includes everything on a list you have prepared. The alternative for me, sadly, is not having her coming and going all my life. I'm 61yo now, I don't want this trauma to continue again and again. It has to stop.

How do we cope?. Not well as said. But we all have our own way. Mine is poetry. I write about anything I grieve about. eg

This was written in 1996 after I left the family home due to me being abused

Bucket of love

Getting pushed out and I really had to leave

it doesn't really matter much, that's what I believe

Either way I hold a bucket to catch my tears that fall

for each time you looked for me and you yelled your loudest call.

But as I am not around when you trip and graze your knee

I hold that bucket really tight till the day you cry to me.

That day will surely come when the floodgates open wide

and you rest your head on mine where the tears of hurt subside.

Then I put that bucket under to collect those painful drops

any that miss the mark, I'll collect with a licking mop.

Finally I'll empty it all onto a flower seed

and watch it bloom so bright from trauma to a deed.

I cant mend your little heart except to collect your tears

and give you all the love I have that you missed in your younger years.

Those times you fell over crying when your leg was crook

I couldn't pick you up and hold you...but I cried in Hammersbrook....

Hammersbrook is not a town, I replaced the real town. You get the therapy with writing be it poetry or just writing. Even a story about the events so that one day your daughter might read it could let it all out.

My niece also isn't in my life. She joined a sect at 14yo (talk about brainwashing) and at 18yo I bought her a car then gave her away at her wedding. Then one day she disapproved of a minor matter and she be gone mainly because I'm not part of the "movement".

So you can see why the barriers have to be erected, to care for ourselves...not just accept them back. Everything is conditional.

Tony WK

Community Member

Hi Ellie05

Thank you for your response to my post. Thank you for feeling for me and your warmth of tone at the same time.

It's ok, I am prepared to discuss my crisis. It's a very difficult one.

I am preparing quite a lengthy account of it, so please login soon to read about it more.

It is comforting to engage with people who are in the same or similar situations.

The pain is enormous, the magnitude of impact it has on us is immense.

Thank you for noticing my story,

All the best


Hi White Knight

I was most impressed after reading your recent reply to my post. Also a very nice poem too. Very touching to read.

Also, I noticed that you mentioned that you were a private investigator in the past. Golly, where is a PI when you need one?! I really need one in my life now, to help find my daughter, but it will be against her will. She will refuse to return to us. She is 21 and can do whatever she likes. The law cannot make her return home.

It impacted on me to read about the past concerning your daughter and niece. It's very difficult to confront these situations. There were some very important messages in there. I also believe that my daughter does need to realize that she has done wrong and that she has a lot of growing up to do. I refuse to let myself down or my husband and son at the same time.

I am preparing a longer account detailing more about my case. If you like to read it once I post it. I hope to over this weekend.

I want to thank you so much for taking the time to notice my story and to also spend time in replying.

Thank you for your concern and warmth in understanding my problem.

I certainly wish you peace and hope that one day the unexplained barriers can be melted down but with respect and understanding.

Wishing you peace,


Community Member
I am having a terrible weekend...
I occasionally have fits and outbursts of tears trying to understand why this has happened to me...
It’s been the biggest shock in my life to lose my daughter like this. She is very selfish and is not trying to make it good with me or her family...she suddenly walked out from my life...I cannot accept this...she’s my daughter...she belongs to me...I miss her tremendously...I miss all the sweet girly things we used to do...our intimacy as mother and daughter and our connection...I cannot let go...it’s too hard and too painful...no one is next to me to comfort me...I am so alone...I just cry on my bed...I have no direction...no purpose anymore since I have lost what belongs to me and what is precious to me...
There is another side to this story which I didn’t write about...
I didn’t mention the fact that my husband and I are very different on our point of view on this issue about our daughter...it’s come to the point of extreme controversy...I cannot find an answer to this problem...
For my husband and my son (who by the way are both alike and very much together in everything) don’t have any sympathy for my daughter whatsoever anymore...she ‘died’ for them after she betrayed her family. There is absolutely no room for negotiation with them...she will never be accepted by them ever again...
I am in the middle of all of this...I do not agree.. yes..my daughter made a very big mistake...but in the end she is still my daughter...I cannot forget her.
They put an ultimatum on me...it’s either them or her...I either stay with them and believe in what they believe or else they will disown me too. I am in such a difficult situation...how dare they give me a choice like that.
They don’t even want to discuss this matter with any of our extended family or friends...I am going crazy...I cannot handle being in this situation.
I am not in contact with my daughter (she is 21) but if I do..it has to be in secrecy...my daughter and I were in contact with each other at some point in the early part when she left us...but it was only because she wanted her belongings and to use me for benefit which I don’t agree with...so I am in a catch 22...really don’t know what to do here..
I don’t know whether to keep my husband and son...BTW I am partly separated from them...I am looking after them because I feel for their loss at this time..we have a common sorrow...or whether I should go with my daughter..

Community Member

I must say my husband is a very difficult man to live with..He didn't even get to know my daughter's boyfriend early on..he just refused him from seeing our daughter or having anything to do with her..I find this so wrong. My husband should have given a chance to get to know the guy and his family..my daughter eloped because of this..she fears her father very much...this is the case we have on our hands...why we have lost our daughter...we ended up fighting with the guy's family one evening..it was so ugly..I never had such a screaming fight with anyone in my life before...the guy and his family were hiding my daughter somewhere...we went to their home to try to get our daughter back...they wouldn't hand her to us...and she also didn't want to come back home with us..it was the worst thing...they had stolen our daughter..she's mine..how dare anyone keep our daughter from us...I am aching...

It's very sad...since I have tried speaking and coaxing my husband to be more easy going and to try to accept our daughter's choice...but it's no use..we just end up fighting all the time and are getting nowhere..hence our deteriorating marriage...I hope I explained my case with a bit more detail now and that you can understand what is exactly going on with me..I need help and have nowhere to go...Everyone around me knows about what has happened but no one knocks on my front door to offer me comfort..

Thank you for anyone out there who is reading my story...please reach out to me...