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Understanding Estrangement: Navigating the Path of Healing

In this guide we delve into the world of estrangement and offer support, guidance, and validation to Estranged Adult Kids (EAKs). If you find yourself navigating the complex emotions and challenges of estrangement, know that you are not alone. This healing for estranged adult kids guide aims to shed light on the journey of healing as an EAK, empowering you to embrace your independence and build a healthier future.

Estrangement as an Adult Kid

Being an EAK can be an overwhelming experience, marked by a mixture of emotions, from pain and anger to confusion and relief. Estrangement is a personal decision, often born out of self-preservation and a need to break free from toxic or abusive family dynamics. As an EAK, it’s essential to recognise that you have the right to set boundaries and prioritise your well-being, even if it means stepping away from your family.


Embracing Financial Independence

One significant aspect of estrangement is achieving financial independence. As you step away from your family, it becomes crucial to stand on your own feet and make informed financial decisions. Understand that financial stability is within your reach, and with careful planning, you can navigate the path to self-sufficiency.

  1. Assessing Your Financial Situation

Start by evaluating your current financial standing. Take stock of your income, expenses, and debts. Create a budget to gain a clear understanding of your financial obligations and identify areas where you can save or cut back on expenses. Remember, being financially independent doesn’t mean you have to be wealthy; it means managing your resources responsibly.

  1. Building a Support System

Embracing financial independence can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends, mentors, or support groups for EAKs. Connecting with others who have faced similar challenges can provide valuable insights and encouragement.

  1. Exploring Education and Career Opportunities

Investing in education and career development is an essential step toward financial independence. Consider furthering your education or acquiring new skills that align with your interests and career goals. Explore job opportunities that match your qualifications, and don’t hesitate to seek guidance from career advisors or mentors.

  1. Setting Financial Goals

Outline short-term and long-term financial goals that align with your vision for the future. Whether it’s saving for a down payment on a home or planning for retirement, having clear objectives will help you stay focused and motivated.

  1. Establishing a Safety Net

Life is full of uncertainties, and having a safety net is crucial for any adult, including EAKs. Build an emergency fund that covers three to six months’ worth of living expenses. This safety net will provide peace of mind and protect you from unexpected financial setbacks.

The Emotional Rollercoaster

Estrangement can stir up a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s normal to experience conflicting feelings, such as grief for the family you wish you had, relief for breaking free, or even guilt for making the decision to estrange. Remember that healing is a process, and it’s okay to take the time to process your emotions.

  1. Practicing Self-Care

Prioritise self-care as you navigate the emotional challenges of estrangement. Engage in activities that bring you joy, whether it’s spending time with friends, pursuing hobbies, or seeking therapy. Caring for your mental and emotional well-being is essential for healing.

  1. Setting Boundaries

As an EAK, setting and maintaining boundaries is crucial for protecting your emotional space. Be firm in setting your limits regarding family members or anyone attempting to violate your boundaries. Remember that you have the right to control who has access to your life.

  1. Coping with Guilt

Guilt is a common emotion experienced by EAKs, especially when societal norms often emphasise the importance of family ties. Acknowledge your feelings of guilt may actually be grief for the family you wish you had, and recognise that estrangement may be the healthiest choice for your well-being.

  1. Navigating Family Gatherings

Family gatherings, especially during holidays, can be particularly challenging for EAKs. Decide whether attending such events aligns with your emotional needs and well-being. Don’t feel obligated to attend if it may lead to re-traumatisation or compromise your healing journey.

  1. Finding Support

Seeking support from friends, therapists, or support groups can provide validation and understanding, easing the emotional burden of estrangement. Connecting with others who have walked a similar path can help you feel less alone and more empowered.

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Building Healthy Relationships

  1. Estrangement doesn’t mean closing yourself off from forming healthy relationships. As an EAK, you have the opportunity to redefine what relationships mean to you and build connections based on trust, respect, and mutual support.

    1. Rebuilding Trust

    Estrangement can shatter trust, but it’s possible to rebuild it in new relationships. Take your time to get to know people and let them earn your trust over time. Be open and honest about your boundaries and past experiences, allowing healthy relationships to flourish.

    1. Recognising Red Flags

    Pay attention to red flags in potential relationships, whether they are romantic, platonic, or professional. Trust your instincts and distance yourself from anyone who displays toxic or abusive behavior.

    1. Forming Healthy Connections

    Nurture relationships that bring positivity and support into your life. Surround yourself with people who celebrate your growth and respect your boundaries. Healthy connections can be a source of strength and encouragement as you continue your healing journey.


Being an EAK is a unique journey filled with challenges and opportunities for growth. As you navigate the path of healing, remember that you are not defined by your past or family ties. Embrace your financial independence, prioritise self-care, and build healthy relationships that empower you to live authentically. Trust in your resilience, and know that you have the strength to create a fulfilling and purposeful life beyond estrangement.