How does a mother who put her entire identity into her baby the moment she came into the world find herself again when, years later, her grown child cuts all ties?
Michelle Rohlf’s unwanted estrangement from her daughter Naomi strips her of everything . . . her grandchildren, her peace of mind, and most of all, herself. In spite of her broken heart and broken spirit, she embarks on a three-year journey of healing and forgiveness, discovering the impact her own upbringing had on her attachment to her daughter. But just as Michelle learns that her life isn’t over because her daughter walked away, Naomi shows up again, without an apology or explanation.
Much to Michelle’s surprise, this reappearance challenges her own recovery from codependency. She finds herself in a struggle to hold on to the sense of self she fought so hard to gain. This is the story of a woman who had to lose her daughter in order to find the identity she’d never really had.
If you are a parent who has become estranged from your child, there is hope. You are not alone in this journey of rejection. The first step toward healing is to work on yourself. Find your own life apart from your child, because you are valuable and the world needs you.
Michelle Rohlf has spent a lifetime focusing on relationships and encouraging others to cultivate their own healthy relationships. She speaks at retreats, women’s meetings, and Bible Studies. She has a passion for mentoring and discipleship, whether it be one on one or in small groups. Married to a wonderful, supportive man since 1995, Michelle resides in Phoenix, Arizona. She has two daughters, two grandsons, and two small, fluffy dogs. Losing Her, Finding Me is her first book.
They called us liars in our own home. They have been keeping that baby away from us all year, and now they have accused us of things we have never done. There is no coming back from this. We have no defense.
My dad and brother would tease me about being fat. Or really, they’d tease me about anything. If it wasn’t about fat, it’d be about something else, but since I was a little fluffier than many super-skinny girls around me, they took the easy route to get at me.
I am that person. The dog that gets kicked when you’ve had a bad day at work, or the person you yell at because you can’t yell at your spouse. I’m the one. It’s me! The scapegoat, the whipping girl, the fall gal.
I reached out to my husband and took the baby from him for one last time. I watched her and cuddled her close, willing myself to memorize her face. I said goodbye to her in my heart and my mind, and I said a little prayer for her life.
Whenever a man would say something nice to me, like I was pretty or something like that, I didn’t believe him. Chuck would say nice things. Kevin never did. Getting a compliment out of Kevin was like keeping the beer out of his hands . . . impossible!
I told strangers I talked to in any line when they asked me about my kids. I’d tell them I had two daughters but that one of them was estranged, and “Let me tell you what she did!” I was begging for someone to fix it, but all they could do was listen and be shocked and sad with me.
Once I realized this was going to be a thing in my life, I started looking for support. I joined a parent estrangement board online and started reading stories of other parents who had been discarded like yesterday’s trash, stories that would make your head spin and your heartbreak.