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Living with family estrangement

(95 Posts)
Imbroglio Thu 03-Mar-16 20:12:51

I've been thinking about this for a while.

I am estranged. I don't miss those people [shudder!] but I do miss being part of a family. And I really feel for my kids who have so little family in their lives.

I feel that the Stately Homes thread is great for dealing with the inevitable interactions and stresses with people who are just no good for you, but I felt I wanted somewhere just to think about the reality of being an ex- family member.

Also it worries me when people recommend going no contact (nc) at the drop of a hat. It's a really tough way to live.

LineyReborn Thu 03-Mar-16 20:15:28

It is distressing, isn't it? It's a trade off between one sadness and another, really.

You need to pick the option that will best preserve your mental health, though.


SoThatHappened Thu 03-Mar-16 20:16:43

One of my "estranged" fmily members has tried to get in touch via my mother again. I thought about going to see them starting it up again...then I reminded myself. No fucking way. I know how it will end. Again.

Imbroglio Thu 03-Mar-16 20:17:16

Mother's Day triggered this for me. I was very close to being nc with my mother for a while but she is now in a care home with advanced dementia and I have found peace with her. But looking for a Mother's Day card I still couldn't buy a 'best mum' card.

I will also need to communicate with estranged members of the family about her deteriorating health very soon, and it's doing my head in. Finding the right medium, the right words, to be polite, to be compassionate for what they will be feeling, yet to keep myself safe.

iPost Thu 03-Mar-16 20:20:06

Yes, it is a tough way to live.

And some bits are tougher than others.

I hope you find the balance you need, to do what you have to do with the rest of the family.

<big fat hug>

Owllady Thu 03-Mar-16 20:20:22

Someone keeps trying to get in touch with me as well and I gave in and looked on Facebook and it honestly made me physically ill sad I'd actually forgotten how far I'd come iykwim
Any way, I've been sensible enough not yo go back. I'm not responsible for other people's feelings, only my own.

SoThatHappened Thu 03-Mar-16 20:21:31

I am not doing it to myself anymore. The person in question doesnt give a fuck about me and they get in touch when their life is shitty and they want support off me.

Imbroglio Thu 03-Mar-16 20:26:47

If these people didn't exist I feel would be free to just take care of myself but having been 'chucked out' of the circle makes me doubt ALL my relationships.

Snarklepoo Thu 03-Mar-16 20:30:05

It's very hard, especially when you have ageing parents. Am in the same boat with a previously NC sibling and Mother making contact a week before I get married.

I feel like I am being unreasonable for not wanting to be involved with them, especially as my Mother is still fighting my sibling's battles, but am far more concerned about allowing my own compassion and capacity to move on from a given point in time cloud the fact that I'll be dropped as soon as they decide I have stepped out of line.

No words of wisdom, sadly, but wanted to say that I really feel for your position and to express my gratitude to you for starting a thread for those who are not quite ready for Stately Homes.

iknowimcoming Thu 03-Mar-16 20:30:33

I'm mostly at peace with it now, however every now and then I get the guilt, like today when I was listening to a friend telling me about her mothers traumatic death last week and she asked me about my mum and I felt she must be thinking badly of me, probably not but that's how I feel, like a bad person for not tolerating my mum more or something, and Mother's Day feels sad too. I am doing the right thing I know I am but sometimes it's rubbish sad

Imbroglio Thu 03-Mar-16 20:31:50

Splitting up with my ex- was fine - I had loads of support and understanding.

Talking about being unable to pick up the phone and having a normal conversation with a sibling seems harder for people to relate to.

And its not like you can go online and find a new family!

iknowimcoming Thu 03-Mar-16 20:33:33

Oh I agree, it feels a bit more taboo somehow doesn't it?

Imbroglio Thu 03-Mar-16 20:35:26

Thank you for all the responses. I think this is a taboo and I find it really comforting to know I'm not alone.

RandomMess Thu 03-Mar-16 20:42:53

I am very very low contact with my family. Yes it's taboo. You do it to preserve your sanity yet still worry/feel guilty/feel so alone.

It's horrible sad

ForgivenNotForgotten Thu 03-Mar-16 20:44:47

I miss being part of a family - and my fault is a very close, big family. The problem is my sister, who went no contact with me about six years ago. I cried every day for six months, then got counselling and realised that the problem is with her, not me. She has hated me since we were children. .. and now she tells lies to the extended family, which they believe because she is so plausible, and few people realise that she could be so dishonest, so very damaged herself.

Last night, my brother in law ignored me in the local shop. Even after years, this hurts.

I think, honestly, that bereavement would be easier than this! I want to scream that it isn't fair, that it is all lies, but figure that it's easier, and fairer on everybody else to just walk away. My sister will keep on making up things to look bad - she is not above telling total untruths. I haven't the energy to argue. .. But I grieve for my children who are growing up without family, and I don't know how to explain it to them, now that they are getting older.

We (my sister and I) grew up with domestic abuse. It has taken her differently to me. When she was a tiny child, she decided that power and security came from siding with the abuser. .. I am not blaming her, but the whole thing makes me very sad.

Op, please don't blame yourself. I don't think it ever stops being painful, but having good friends does help x

Imbroglio Thu 03-Mar-16 20:53:14

Thanks forgiven. It does seem so often that the root of the problem is in previous generations.

Cupcakes2014 Thu 03-Mar-16 21:00:50

I'm currently going through this at the moment, I've been nc with my mum for 9 months. I do worry about the effect this will have on my children but then I realise that I'm doing the right thing. I'm not sure if it's because mothers day is coming up but I'm feeling very lonely and isolated, dosent help that the rest of my family have been manipulated by her and don't seem to want to bother with me. How do people cope with feeling like this? Will it get easier? I know why I'm doing this and I know this is the right thing for me and my family.

Imbroglio Thu 03-Mar-16 21:04:52

Cupcakes I have the same thing. Doubts creep in. But the idea of my kids being drawn into this and used against me makes me feel sicker than sick. And I have no doubt it would happen if I risked it.

Openmindedmonkey Thu 03-Mar-16 21:13:12

My sister & 'D'H rejected us all 13 years ago; she has 2 DSs (1 sn) & it's broken our hearts. Unexplained, unexpected, awful. My DH & I try to fill the gap for my dps but know we never will. M's day is awful.
flowers to everyone going through this

pocketsaviour Thu 03-Mar-16 21:21:45

I've been NC with my mum for just over a year. Any close friends are aware of the back story and are supportive; colleagues and acquaintances are kept at bay with meaningless phrases like "Mother's Day? Don't really celebrate it, it's just a marketing exercise for Hallmark" or "A quiet Xmas, just me and my DC".

I do count myself very lucky to have my sister. We are united and give each other strength. I would find it very difficult if she wasn't in my life.

uglyflowers Thu 03-Mar-16 21:32:41

Hello. I am n/c with all my family. I feel really sad about it but ultimately know it is much better this way for my mental health. I do feel that I hide it from others as to admit publicly that you basically don't get on with any member of your family invites the response that it must be me who is the problem. Therefore it becomes a shameful secret when really I'm not the one who did anything wrong except walk away from abuse. Sigh.

Imbroglio Thu 03-Mar-16 21:50:36

Yes I identify with the sense of shame. With my mother being so ill I feel I should be in touch with family but I have been treated so rudely by some that I now feel that any communication from me will be treated derisively. I couldn't send Christmas cards this year - just felt paralysed.

ForgivenNotForgotten Thu 03-Mar-16 22:38:17

I also identify with the sense of shame. It's hard to believe it's not all my fault somehow. I'm embarrassed when I think about how my family see me, and it's hard to tell friends that my sister has cut me off.

I didn't send Christmas cards this year either - and feel really guilty about it sad

ThankGodItsAlmostSpringTime Fri 04-Mar-16 00:40:52

flowers OP.

I am NC with my whole family as my mother cut me off. They never bothered much with me or my DCs anyway. I would be summoned to family events and treated as the family 'nutter' so don't miss them as such, it is more the thought that I have no one to count on in a emergency with the DCs as they would have helped grudgingly. My DCs will also always be aware that they have a massive family on my side who don't care about them anymore. That really hurts.

I have to buy extra presents at Christmas and for birthdays to make up the massive shortfall as they only get from us now. We try to go away at Christmas so something different is happening rather than us just be on our own.

My mother still tends my baby DD's grave which I find really upsetting. We live too far away to tend it regularly but I would rather it be full of weeds than she touch it. I have told her to leave it alone as if she isn't interested in my living children, why would she spend time on my dead one. I realise she feeds off it as her bit of drama, her bit of tragedy.

I am still in that period of mourning and disbelief that my mother really intends to never see us again and angry that it should have been my decision as I had a very good reason for it, she didn't. I was on tenterhooks every time the phone rang, for a good year (still am a bit 3 years later), although now would never allow her back into our lives, it's too late.

It has devastated me tbh. I never wanted my DCs family history blighted like mine was (mother has past form for cutting off her own siblings and my biological father).

I have really had to examine my very soul in great detail to decide if it was really all my fault/actions that my own mother doesn't want to know me. Jury is till out on that one although I am accepting that she is a narcissitic witch who designated me as the family scapegoat and I had a lucky escape. My mistake was hanging around far too long to try to get her love/approval and letting my DCs have a relationship with her. That is my biggest regret. I should never have gone back 'home' when I got away at 18.

It is really not something I would wish on anyone.

Imbroglio Fri 04-Mar-16 07:43:09

I'm so sorry for the loss of your baby. flowers.

I think I also try to compensate my children but some things you just can't make up for.

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