Family Estrangement

Contributor: SaucyxGirl SaucyxGirl
Family estrangement is something that I am quite familiar with. I moved out the house directly after high school due to a toxic relationship with my parents. They both are highly critical and judgmental of others and place expectations on others that hard if not impossible to live up to. I was constantly belittled and compared to others, and nothing that I did was ever good enough. I was called an embarrassment to the family, stupid and other derogatory words that inflicted a lot of emotional turmoil on me in my teens.

I was wondering how others deal with the estrangement. I am currently 37 and have limited contact with my family, although I moved closer to them a few years back. I still am left out pretty much every type of family gathering, or informed of such matters at the very last minute. When we are in each others presence I often times get to hear negative comments about me, and even have had mother throw in my face shit that I did when I was 14.

For me, I have found that surrounding my self with a supportive group of friends helps. As does a friendship with a much older woman who sort took on a mothering role of sorts and has been there for me since I first left without so much as a clue as to how the hell I was going to make it without a job, money or even an apartment at the age 18.
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Contributor: Alan & Michele Alan & Michele
Alan's fully estranged from his family, and I've only stayed in contact with 2 or 3 members of mine for years. We've dealt with it by filling our time/lives with other, more pleasant things. It wasn't easy at first, but now I'm glad for it. I think the hardest part for me was seeing how other families were and comparing them to what mine wasn't. Even now it's sometimes difficult on the holidays when everyone else is talking about their big happy family gatherings, but you know we're not the only ones who have to deal with that.

Contributor: js250 js250
I will try to make a long story short....

I have been estranged from my mother since I had to move out at 14. I lived with my friends families and was shuffled all over the place depending on who wanted me at the time. The last time I had to live with my mother...I was 16, just tried to kill myself and had not even left the hospital when she told me she should have waited longer to call the ambulance. After my daughter was 5, my mother wanted to try again--I let her--same story of abuse....That was 17 years ago. I have not voluntarily had anything to do with her since then. (She showed up at the hospital after my car wreck, I was still in ICU and she had all her friends around her to 'see' what a good mom she was trying to be....

My dad and I have had an off/on relationship for my whole life. Even when he was still married to my mother. I know when the chips are down we can count on each other for back up, but our daily lives are just...too far apart.

My little brother, I raised in my house after my mother almost destroyed him. He drifted a bit after leaving my home but came back...I was the only constant he had. When our dad almost died last year, he made all these promises to help save his land, help me with him and so on...then backed out and was nowhere to be found when we needed him desperately. My dad tried to kill himself and I broke the pistol... Then my brother attacked my daughter verbally with no reason at all--totally unprovoked. I told him he had to stay out of my life if he was not going to be an active family member and care for those who loved him all these years. It was the last I heard from him.

Holidays and get togethers are friends talk about their families and the fun and love they share and it still hurts. But I have learned many things from being estranged from my own family.

--The people who choose to be your family really love you for yourself, not because they have to.
--Do NOT assume your partner's family will love you when it comes down to personal issues between you and their son/daughter.
--Become independent, the rest will follow.
--Nobody else has the perfect family.
--Appearances are deceiving, clear out the closets before you welcome in the skeletons!!
--MAKE YOU OWN MEMORIES, with your friends, partner, children and others who love YOU.
Contributor: SourAppleMartini SourAppleMartini
I only keep in contact with my parents and one of my cousins. The rest of the relatives, including my own brother I can't care less about. I was estranged from my father for some time, but as I got older I was able to forget about bad things and concentrate on good thing he has done for me.