Tuesday, August 23, 2011

For Mike

Today, I read something on the Dr. Coleman forum that truly made my heart ache and made me angry, righteously so, that people like Dr. Coleman are only catering to the hurts being suffered by estranged parents. My question is, what about the estranged sons and daughters? Why are their hurts being ignored by this man who claims to have the answer to ending estrangement? I'll tell you why, Dear Reader, it's because Dr. Coleman, and all the estranged parents out there who are busy blaming their sons and daughters are WRONG. The way to end estrangement is NOT by allowing the parents to continue their onslaught of manipulations. The way to end estrangement is NOT by catering to wealthy parents who just want to give the appearance that they are good people. The way to end estrangement and all the hurts caused by it is not to expect that everyone who enters your forum will be there to ONLY show support and empathy for the parents who are estranged.

Mike, who started the original thread for the now infamous (at least in our community) Dr. Coleman thread titled "Many parents will never admit that they are responsible for the estrangement" wrote the following today:

I feel like a fool…

My younger brother passed away a couple of weeks ago. His passing has been the most heart wrenching ordeal I've ever had to go through, more so than the abuse we suffered at the hands of our parents. He was the only person in my life that was important to me. And now my little brother is gone.

The beauty that came from the abuse my brother and I experienced from our parents was the gift of the bond we shared. Lonely, with no family and only a couple of friends, I decided to contact my father for closure…and he rejected me. I feel numb. The night I witnessed my father holding a loaded gun to my brother's head while he threatened to blow his brains out on the floor keeps racing through my mind. He claims he's the victim of the estrangement, and despite all the abuse, the rejection has left me an empty shell.

I regret ever having started this thread, and I apologize to everyone for posting this. I noticed some parents on this board don't like the fact that adult children of estranged parents have been posting here. Why is that? No worries. That's why I'm asking Dr. Coleman to delete this thread.

Thank you,


My heart aches for this man, who not only had to suffer terrible abuses at the hands of his parents, but who recently lost the one person in life he loved the most. There is something so terribly heart-wrenching about his statement that he was able to find beauty in the abuses he suffered - and that that beauty is now gone. To say that the death of his brother has been harder than being abused his whole life is one powerful statement. And it's as though Mike feels that there is nothing to show for it all, no one left to validate him, no one left to prove that he isn't alone. I'm afraid for this man who may be feeling so alone in the world.

Mike, if you're listening, you aren't alone. I am so deeply sorry for the painful loss you have suffered, so terribly hurt for you that you don't have parents to turn to during this very dark time. No apologies are necessary, no explanations needed. I know there are many people out there who share your pain and who would welcome you into their worlds with open arms. Our community here is just one example, of which I'm sure there are more.

I have found the Dr. Coleman forum to be an uninviting place, where most of the people who post are not interested in hearing anyone's side but their own. I think many of the estranged parents who go there are merely seeking guidance from a source who will validate their self-righteous behaviors and manipulations. I posted there, along with my husband and several others from our community, in the hopes that we could tell our truths as well.

I'm sorry that your truths have been rejected by your parents, and that most of us have not truly been heard on the Dr. Coleman forum, where the parents there are more interested in proving to the world how right they are, than they are invested in creating healthier relationships with their children. You don't have to apologize to me, for you gave me an opportunity to express my own views and opinions, in a place where I was most certain I would not be welcome.

You are a brave man, Mike, for telling your truths in spite of their reception. You are a survivor, and a warrior-spirit, for you would not have made it as far as you have without a burning inner strength that so few of us maintain.

My heart goes out to you, wherever you may roam. I am so sorry for the losses you have suffered, and I hope that you find peace and love. I SUPPORT YOU.


  1. I hate that society tells people like Mike that they are fools, and that he has apparently listened. What a tragic re-traumatization, to feel a fool for putting a stop to abuse. To feel a fool for speaking out. To feel a fool because nobody will listen or understand. His update on the situation in his family is a grim reminder that dysfunction and violence continue to spin out of control, with or without our participation.

    To ask for the whole thread to be deleted, to me, reflects an attitude that "it wasn't worth it." I think all dialogue is worth it, even if it "fails" by conventional standards.

    I will not let his story be deleted. I refuse to erase what has happened in our lives. We will tell his story if he cannot.

    The pain Mike carries is everyone's pain.

  2. I agree with you Upsi, one hundred percent. Mike sounds defeated. I hope he isn't and that he can use whatever strength he's got left to fight his way back. He is not a failure.

    It's my belief that if he looks closer, he'll realize that there are people who understand. There are people who are willing to listen to him.

  3. Man...you know what's crazy? I just re-read the entire thread, all four pages worth of comments on the Dr. Coleman forum...and I just started laughing at the absurdity of it. The conversation went from an estranged adult son explaining how he feels that many parents won't take responsibility, to the parents talking about how they REFUSE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. It was a bit gradual, and then all of a sudden...

    "THEY are responsible for this estrangement, not ME."

    Wow. I feel another post coming.

  4. This is heartbreaking. When I read the thread I very much had the feeling that I was stepping into a vortex of people like my NM, who turn the world upside down to meet their needs and expectations. They call black white and white black. I hope Mike risks sharing once more, with a forum that is truly supportive of a survivor of the brutality he endured.

  5. hey mike, i posted something to you but the jackasses over at coleman conglomerates deleted it. gee i wonder why. maybe because i called them crazy? beats me!

    anyways, here's what i wrote,
    hope you are doing okay:

    oh mike,
    what happened? what a terrible blow this must be for you. if you can survive this, you can survive anything. i am so sorry about the loss of your little brother.
    you don't need to apologize, unless you mean you're sorry for ever sticking your head in this shithole, which that i'd understand. but what you said is true, yep, most of these people are full of shit. it was very brave of you to recognize their destructive behavior and call them out on it. don't believe in anything insensitive they say about things being your fault, stop moping, oh i'm sorry for you but move on, etc etc. the thing about narcissistic parents is that they might display pity if you're pitiful, i think it gives them some sort of smug 'yeah, you're fucked up just like i thought and you deserve' sort of feeling. and i think you've pretty much proved your point given that everyone responded with 'oh your parents are horrid, but i'm not.' bler bler bler.
    the people are crazy here. you pointed out the obvious and they were like 'nooooooo.' so, crazy.
    that last line of your original post still makes me laugh. yeah, damn right, haha.

    (also why the hell do i have to do math to save my post? wtf? thanks dr coleman! for taking care of my brain! gotta keep these neurons churning!)

    much love

  6. Judy - I agree, I'm hoping Mike pops his head in to our blogs and forums. The Dr. C forum just isn't a safe place for estranged sons and daughters.

    Lisa - I understand your frustration completely. I've actually wondered if he was going to delete my posts too, since he seemed to feel I was being too "educational" instead of supporting the estranged parents. Thanks for showing your support for Mike here, I hope he reads it and knows there are people out there like him who are all searching for love and acceptance.