Break the contact: “Mom, if you love me, you will not write to me anymore”

The cherry pie as a symbol of a terrible childhood experience: The Viennese author Selma Heaney recently described the associated trauma on Facebook. Her grandmother, with whom she grew up, baked such a wonderful cherry cake for her every year for her birthday that no other example could come close to tasting it. On her eleventh birthday, there was an argument that ended with the cake ending up in the dirt and the grandmother said to the stunned girl the sentence: “It was the last cherry cake I baked for you, you nasty girl.” Then it must remain. The recipe is irreparably lost, and so is her relationship with her grandmother, with whom she should not have had contact for years and until her death.

Far more people than one might think are struggling with such emotional phantom pain, which results in a break in the contact between children and usually the parents as the closest caregivers. But few talk about it, because such breaks are accompanied by shame, oppression, guilt and despair, especially for the abandoned parents. The fact that adult children are increasingly breaking the bond can also be explained by the fact that the importance of the family of origin has diminished significantly in favor of selected affiliations such as friend clicks. Young people have also grown up in a psychologised society.

In media and portals dealing with private humility and error messages to Hollywood greats, radical alienation of famous children from their parents has long been part of the usual repertoire of disasters, such as divorce and drug crash: pop singer Adele, who no longer wants anything to do do with his alcoholic father and said in a thank you speech to his manager at the Grammy Awards 2017: “I love you as a father, which by the way I do not love.” Tallulah Willis, who struggles with eating disorders and substance abuse problems, has not spoken to her mother Demi Moore, who is also addicted to drugs, in three years. Former child star Drew Barrymore, who was declared of legal age as a 15-year-old because her parents “did not protect her” and her mother “became the toughest subject in my life,” she said in an interview with The Guardian: “I just never been mad at her. I have also always felt guilt and compassion. But we can not be a part of each other’s lives. “

The German psychotherapist and specialist on the subject Claudia Haarmann (see interview) is convinced that development is always possible, but parents must accept that the time factor is not determined by them and that they are also required to deal with “family wounds”. If emotional abuse and violence have repeatedly occurred in a parent-child bond without any kind of guilt, reunion for the “best interests of the child,” as it is legally called, is sometimes not desirable at all. – The contact can also be quite harmful, says Haarmann. Narcissistic parents, who often reverse the parent-child role and behave as stubbornly, insultingly and hurtfully as a defiant child, can create destructive levels of stress for young adults. When interviewed by profile, interviewees who saw radio silence as a liberation said phrases such as “I have decided that I will no longer expose myself to it”, “I could never please him / her” or “My mother was extremely manipulative “I only saw it through now.” On the parents’ side, words like “I just wanted the best for my child” or “I still do not know what I did wrong”, “My child is not wearing anything” were missing. “

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