Post # 1
I have written previously about my estranged relationship with my mother, well things have gotten worse if thats even possible. I can honestly say that there is maybe 2 sets of people that get along in my family everyone pretty much doesn’t talk or is estranged. My mother is very close to my sister and I am very close with my grandmother besides that everyone else pretty much doesn’t speak at best. The immediate familys talk with expection of me and my mother but between the familys there is little or none communication.
Even when times where better in the past my family is not the type in general to look out for one another. There is little unconditional love if someone in my family were to have lets say a drinking problem they would be cast out. Even my aunt who is currently sick with breast cancer doesn’t have very much support. Honestly it is getting to the point that I am just ashamed of how my family operates and I just want to distance myself from pretty much everyone. I feel very sad that I even feel like this but this is truely how I feel most times.
There is quite a bit more back stories obviously and much more info to all this but I don’t want to write a novel about all the stuff going on. I have thought for quite some time about writing a letter that I would send to every member of my family ( there isn’t much of us maybe 10 or so adults) and just say that I am unhappy the way our family operates and offer an olive branch to open discussion to hopefully improve our realtionships not only with me but with everyone. I would write one letter and they all would get the same copy so no one can twist what the letters says. At this point things really can’t get much worse and no one is willing to stand up and actually say how things are. Everyone prefers to sweep everything under the rug or talk about people behind their backs.
I am tired, sad, and beat down about all of this, and I feel as though this is my only chance to help out before it is too late.
Am I crazy to be the person to lay it all out?
Post # 2
They might peg you as a troublemaker, even though that is the opposite of your intentions.
How about reaching out to one of them? There must be one, who you feel is more human than the rest.
When my mom was sick, her side of the family was nowhere to be found. She had lost touch with everyone. Granted, my mom was no walk in the park, herself. But when she died, I called one person from her family, my cousin Peg. I was scared but Peg was great. She and her daughter came to the funeral, I didn’t know they would. And she reunited me with my other cousin, and that cousin’s daughter, and kids.
I feel better about it than I have in a long time. I always felt so cut off. This sounds like a cheesey TV movie, but it’s true!
Post # 3
I think Danaweddingguest has some very good points.
Could you meet with a family counselor? They should be able to help you come up with strategies to improve your interactions with your family and eventually you might be able to get a relative ot two to join you.
Post # 4
Like you already mentioned, there are stories behind EVERY relationship (or lack of relationship) in your family and probably years of resentment or ill will. While I give you credit for wanting to change things, it is unlikely you will succeed. You may think you understand what happened between many of them, but you probably don’t. Additionally, most older adults are not receptive to someone’s child trying to take charge of a family, and your good will in trying to reach out will likely become another story keeping people apart. I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but I’ve watched it happen in my own family. I’ve simply decided that those things stop with me. I encourage a good relationship between my children and their cousins, and I send holiday cards to EVERYONE, regardless of whether my mum talks with them or not. Instead of talking about it or rehashing old grudges, I am trying to LIVE it and be the change I want to see. I am going to make sure the next generation doesn’t end up like the one before me, but I know I cannot change water already under the bridge.
Post # 5
sway0060: I feel you. Although my story is different, I am estranged to my family.. except my grandma. I don’t have any support from my mum (technically step mum but she has bought me up since I was a baby) our relationship has been frosty since I was 17 and she left my dad, its awkward and I am very hurt how she treats me even though I am not ‘technically her daughter, I feel I should be treated as one, I barely got a congrats when I got engaged, I live on the other side of the world now but even when I lived 20 mins away I saw her once / twice a year.. and my dad well that’s a whole new story that you probably wouldn’t believe even if I said it. I have written emails explaining my hurt at the situation but the blame normally comes back on me, or I get ‘sorry I will try harder’ and no change. I give up after 7 years of trying I will accept they are how they are.
Obviously there is a tonne of back story, and I have days when I worry and feel sad about not having a typical loving family / don’t even get me started on wedding worries!! We have different morals and over the years I have learnt to accept I cant change them. I try to focus on what I have now, my Fiance and his family are perfect and loving and accepting. It also means all the more to me to have my own family, and when I have children to never allow the hurt that I have felt.
I suggest writing the letter. Hopefully you will have a better outcome than me, sometimes I have written a letter and not sent it – kinda gets the feelings out without the drama that has come from me actually sending it.
Stay positive and invest in those who are always by your side.