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estranged and suffering

(7 Posts)
meandyouplustwo Tue 11-Aug-15 16:41:38

hi , maybe posting on here will help , or maybe someone knows what i feel like ?
Im newly estranged from my sister and mother . I spent my whole childhood in fear of mothers temper and being told i was no good , not wanted , along with physical abuse . the emotional abuse was worse . it left me very angry and fighting back as a teenager and finally suicidal until counselling saved me and now i am a happy mother of two children with a supportive, successful relationship and a good career. but i have walked away from my sister because i cannot cope with her passive aggressive behaviour and my mum siding with her . i have many friends and accessed more counselling that has agreed that walking away would be the best thing to do ........ but today i watched a friend walking with her new partner ( she went through a very messy divorce) and thought that when a relationship comes to an end a new partner may come along ........ but nobody replaces a mum or sister ....... im in the position of seeing happy extended families everywhere and realising that I haven't got that. I also have an 8 year old who will know at some point that she isnt seeing her cousins...... can anyone relate and offer me some kind words or understanding of how to manage this. thankyou

Atomik Tue 11-Aug-15 16:59:32

Oh love.

I've been estranged from my father for.. God ,30 years odd now. My mother and brother for over a decade.

All I can tell you is that I have found that most emotional open wounds eventually form scar tissue. By the time the scar is fully healed, the nerves are safety tucked away most days. But it can feel a bit two steps forward, one step back along the way.

I can't tell you I never run my finger over the scar, wince and wish things had been different. With a certain pang that can linger and make my face leaky. But most days, it's fine. It was just the best I could do with the cards I'd been dealt.

I think what has worked for me over the years is giving myself permission to feel what I feel. But to lay down limits so feeling doesn't slip into wallowing.

I have a 15 year old. He found some very old photos of my father. He sometimes asks questions. He has memories of my mum, his cousins are my brother's children (I am still in touch with SIL) , so questions about them crop up too.

I've tried to stick to an honesty that is appropriate to age/stage. But also draw the line at feeling his right to information trumps my responsibility to myself, him and my husband to dredge up stuff I am better off not bringing to the front of my mind anymore. What's done is done. Moving on as much as I am able is fairer on everybody. Even if that means some gorier details get glossed over and he ends up with a somewhat santitised version of my truth.

<big fat hug> I know this is far from easy, and sometimes a slow, difficult, lonely process.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 11-Aug-15 17:18:34

You may be seeing what appear to be "happy extended families everywhere" but you're simply taking snapshots of moments in time when those concerned are in public places and behind closed doors their relationships with each other may be as fraught as yours was with your mother and sister.

It's probably just as well that they can't be replaced as you may find you've you've traded like for like, which may be the case for your friend who currently appears to be happy with her new partner.

When bioligical relatives were put up for grabs you drew a short straw , but you've overcome that adversity and have every reason to congratulate yourself on breaking free of abuse that, left unchecked, can be be handed through generations.

For myriad reasons lots of dc don't see, or grow up alongside, their cousins. I doubt the absence of hers will negatively impact on your dd's childhood and, if she so wishes, she will have the option of forming relationships with them when she's an adult

Don't mourn or regret what you didn't have and what you haven't got; be thankful for what you do have, which is considerably more than those millions of others who would gladly trade places with you - and whose 'snapshot' of you shows a woman who's sublimely happy with her lot. smile

goddessofsmallthings Tue 11-Aug-15 17:19:55

handed down through generations etc.

pocketsaviour Tue 11-Aug-15 19:11:36

Hello OP,

You might want to pop into the Stately Homes thread where lots of us are in a similar position to you.

meandyouplustwo Wed 12-Aug-15 15:22:10

thankyou everyone, yesterday was a bad day - today not so bad, i knew i would have wobbles but i don't see what choice i have. i will pop over to the stately homes thread , many many thanks for everyones kindness

springydaffs Wed 12-Aug-15 17:14:35

I agree that you're probably seeing people out and about who may look fine but behind closed doors are not.

But, hey, there are many people who are fine and have the dream. There's no getting around that. We didn't get the good family and that hurts.

Ime, just like an abusive romantic relationship, I went back in the hope things had improved. They were MUCH worse. Whether because my tolerance was much lower having had a few years of peace; or whether they had stored up those few years of toxicity and I got it in one go. Who can tell.

These days I don't hanker after them. I luxuriate in my freedom, it is a constant source of joy that I am free from them. As dazzling as their social events look, I know from experience it would be a day of being mercilessly bashed. In all honesty, it holds no appeal.

BUT that doesn't mean I don't have a squashed feeling that I am alone with no family. I cant know if I'd feel the same if they were all dead. I am currently going through a serious health crisis and, oh, I could do with family during the rough times. Friends, though lovely, aren't the same.

Imo it is like a bereavement and one goes through very real stages of grief for some time. One can't hurry grief, it takes its time. Regardless how bad things get I am never tempted to go back. I just wish I'd been dealt a better hand. That's the sum of it.

There is an org called Stand Alone which supports people in our position. I've not had much joy getting along to their events but do take a look.

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