August 07, 2012,
M.A. asks from San Antonio, TX on August 05, 2012
Family - Lewisville,TX
So, here's my dilema. I grew up in a family that would always get together, especially during the holidays. Both sides of my families hated my parents....ie: Mom's side hated Dad...Dad's side hated mom. My mother passed several years ago, so this very much separated family. Over the years, I have tried reaching out to family especially thru Facebook and other contacts that I had available. They either avoid me or make small talk, like they way you would talk to a stranger. This really bothers me. I get my feelings hurt when I see photos of family reunions and such on Facebook. Events that I was never invited to. Currently, Im also enstranged from my father and sisters. When my mother died, my family set this unrealistic expectation that it was my responsibility as the oldest to care for them. I was 17 then, now I'm in my 30's. The sisters are now grown and I have done what I could for them. I feel that the more I do, the less they appreciate me, the more they expect and I am taken for granted. I would now like to cut all communication from any family members. Any advice from those who have been thru a similar situation would be appreciated.
T.W. answers from Syracuse on August 05, 2012
Surround yourself with friends and people that want to spend time with you. Seeing their posts on Facebook clearly upsets you so make it easier on yourself and block their posts from appearing on your news feed...you don't have to de-friend them, just block them and they won't know. You'll feel happier right there, I guarantee.
I've gone through a similiar situation with my brother and SIL, it hurts but the more I've involved myself with other people and friends, the less it bothers me. I hardly even vent about with my husband anymore, which is great because it doesn't change anything, just continues to bring up hurt feelings. You don't need them if they can't respect you!
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P.G. answers from Dallas on August 05, 2012
I haven't bee through something so major, but I have made a choice to extremely limit my relationship with my mother. She is not a good person to be around, and I would never leave my son alone with her. Luckily I live 1000 miles away. It hurts for a pretty long while, but in the end it is less painful. I do occasionally feel a bit sad about it, but the thing that makes a difference is your "family of choice". You can't choose who you are related to, but you can choose who is in your life. My mother in law and my step sister fill the hole that my mother has left, and I am very thankful for them. When the people that "should" fill a role in your life do not, and you know they never will, do your best to accept that. Once you stop trying to force that space to be filled by the wrong person, you can make room for the right people to come into your life. It's not biology, it's love and respect that matter.
ADD: Oddly, there was a series on the SHOWTIME network called Robin of Sherwood (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wha5YXUj-uo - an episode) that showed me when I was in my late teens/early 20's that you CAN choose your family, one that will love and support you through all things - they just aren't necessarily biological.
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E.S. answers from Boston on August 05, 2012
Hi! my dad's family didn't have any use for us after my dad died. That was in 1970. Here's what worked for us. We (my mom and sisters) surrounded ourselves with friends. Holidays and weekends were wild, fun affairs. We included anyone who WANTED to come. They became our family. Long after we all grew up and moved away people would still call and ask if they could come for X holiday or a long weekend. Realizing we were going to have virtually no family for our kids we went out of our way to surround our kids with other people. They have lots of people who care about them. I often say my kids (19 and almost 17) like Brenda better than me. And my Sarah and Brenda's mom have a very special relationship. This year the goal was to learn to quilt so the 70 year old and the 16 year old go off to class once a week. This often includes lunch out, shopping, and sitting together at the kitchen table snacking and talking. This is the kind of thing we THINK grandparents will do but it doesn't work out that way. Okay, I've been long-winded but what I am trying to say is take a deep breath, forget them, they don't care about you and go out and find our own family. Hugs!
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A.G. answers from Houston on August 05, 2012
Give them their space. Family will always be there. Ask anyone...family will never go away no matter how you treat them or try to avoid them. Keep a cheerful heart so that the one day they call out of the blue, you'll be ready with a cheerful attitude.
C.B. answers from Dallas on August 07, 2012
It's a sad situation and can be heartbreaking. I think you should find happiness elsewhere instead of searching for it through family. If you do not have a relationship with God, that is a WONDERFUL way to start finding inner happiness. Learning more about the Bible will take your mind away from any negativity, jealousy, hurt feelings you have. If you do have a relationship with God, maybe look into it a little closer, talk with Him even more about your feelings of loneliness and abandonment. He is the only one that can help you get peaceful. Also, a simple thing I would suggest you also do, go to your settings in FB that allows you to limit what you see on people's pages. You can make it so you only see important things from them, not their everyday status, etc. This way you're not unfriending them, but you don't have to be exposed to things they may be doing that you were unaware of. Everyone puts so much importance on family first. And that is very important to all of us, IF the dynamic in the family works. If it doesn't, finding calm and peace and forgiveness in the Lord will bring your true family to you. Good luck and God bless.