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Family stays away from me
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Family stays away from me

Hello all….  I have a situation I’d appreciate some feedback on.  I grew up in a family where I was emotionally and verbally abused by my mother about anything that I did, said, emotions, etc.  As a child she constantly told me I was nuts and needed a psychologist and that I would never have any friends because no one can stand to be around me.  She has gone out of her way, through the years, not only to abuse me in private but to do so in public also by belittling me in front of people.  I was lucky.  As an adult, I made friends who helped me deal with my self-esteem issues by telling me I was a good, smart and attractive person.  It took a long time but thank God for them.

Anyway…. I have a unique situation I’d like to know if anyone else has encountered.  (And if anyone has any feedback they’d care to share.)  I moved 350 miles from the family I was raised in.  (I don’t call them “my family” anymore.  I don’t feel it fits.)  I should have moved further but didn’t due to some circumstances.  So, through the years I have traveled to see them 1, 2 or 3 times in a year.  It lessens every year and I now doubt I’ll go back for a year or two.  My parents have made no effort to travel to see me in +13 years but always expect me to make the effort to visit.  They tell people I never invite them to visit, that I never call them, etc.  Although, I do 98% of the calling to them.  

My siblings make no effort to visit either.  My brother and his family have been as close as 50 miles from me several times over several years.  It was kept from me as a big family secret until my nephew let it slip out.  Talk about a collective gasp in the room!

Talking to them won’t work.  I’ve brought it up various times in 24 years.  It doesn’t do any good.  I’ve decided next time “my father” asks (my mother never does) that I’m telling him I know they have no intention of every coming to visit me so I’ll try to visit in a few years.

Has anyone else had experience with this and what did you do?   Thanks so much for your input and good ideas.  
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13 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
I've been in a situation somewhat like yours but my siblings live within 5 miles of me. The difference is my problems started after my mom died. What I hope you might consider is that there will come a day when you don't have parents to visit or have visit you. I promise these things that feel so heavy and hurtful now will be  welcomed the first time you go to pick up the phone to call mom and feel your heart break when you remember that you will never hear her voice again. Maybe just... be what you want them to be and let that be a gift to them today and a gift to you after they are gone. Sorry if that's no help but that's what I wish I would have known   before it was too late. Take care.. =)  
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Avatar_f_tn
I grew up in a family very simular to yours.
Its great that you had good friend that managed to build your self esteem.
But i can sence that they still have a bit of a hold on you because you are allowing yourself to feel guilty for the way that they are acting.
If you invite them over, but they dont come then thats up to them. You cant stop them telling other people that you dont contact them, if they want to say things like that then they will.
I dont class my lot as my family either. Too much has gone with them over the years and they dont really accept me at all and never have done.
Siblings usually follow the abusers way, as this is what they were taught as kids. If they dont want to be part of your life either and dont want to visit you then you can kick up a fuss about it or just get on with your own life, i know what i would do.
Dont feel guilty, keep inviting them over, if they dont come, thats up to them and visit them when you want to.
You sound like you are doing ok dispite your sad upbringing so dont let them bring you down too much now.
We tend to go back to childhood when we have a situation like this but we need to keep our adult heads on and realise that they have the problem not us.

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Avatar_f_tn
I have read you post, and i feel something is not being said i do not know why, but the whole family does not usually feel the same way about thir kin, have you asked each one why, and is there some little something you may have forgottrn, i do feel for you because i do not have but one of my family left and it does get lonesome i, i am not trying to cause any problems but reading between the lines there is something there, that is not coming out, now this is just my opinion and i may be wrong, i do hope things get better have you told them you love them  luck  jo
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13167_tn?1327197724
I agree with jo.  There's something here that isn't being said,  and in fact you may know what that is,  Rocky.

For everyone in your family - including your nephew - to kind of be in collaboration with keeping you at a distance,  there's something going on beyond that your mother was cruel to you.  Something has made everyone team up against you.

I think you should pick one person out of the whole group that you trust the most and feel the closest to,  and just call and very humbly ask what happened and what you can do to make it better.

I wonder if you always telegraph to your family what you wrote in plain language here on this board - that you don't consider them family.  
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13167_tn?1327197724
Oops,  meant to say "in fact you may NOT know what that is,  Rocky"
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1192491_tn?1265035429
Well, I am going to interject with something else.  I was always very close to my parents and siblings and it was a loving family.  Even though your background is totally different from mine, I couldn't help but wonder if one or both of your parents pass, will you beat yourself up for this?
Like I said, my background was different and I never had to endure what you did.  I really don't know your resentment or your heart.
Although I grew up in a loving family, my sister and I both endured physical abuse by my Dad, (that's a whole different story I will not go into).  I did not hold resentments and anger towards my Dad and I thank God for that.  However, my sister carried anger and resentmement inside her for 57 yrs.  Luckily, my sister finally forgave my Dad and the anger and resentment was soothed after so many years, my Dad died a few months later.  I am so glad my sister came to terms with him and both can now have peace.
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Avatar_f_tn
I could never understand why I seemed to be treated with a lot of disrespect by my whole family until my therapist explained that when you are emotionally abuse by a powerful parent they are very clever at bringing the rest of the family in on it as well.
It’s done in a very subtle way but it’s very damaging. Yourself esteem hits rock bottom as you believe that there must be something wrong with you to be treated this way by so many people.
When she told me this it finally put my mind at rest knowing that this is what happened.
My sister treated me like dirt when we were young, copying how my mum was with me because she was taught this. She still does the same now. Her husband had no regard for me because that’s how he saw her treating me and  even my nephew and niece treated me with no respect, but I’ve won them round now.
You would be amazed how people copy a very powerful person without realising it. I’m turning it round now but it’s taken me all these years to realise that this is what happened.
I’m not saying that this is the case in this instance but it could be possible.
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Avatar_f_tn
i reread your post and i notice that you do not mention Dad, also your post is told like it is some other person you are reffering to, and not yourself there seems to be no emotion no telling of playing with siblings, it is if you are detached, no offense intended but maybe Rockrose is right talk to one of your kin ask dad just what did i do or just what happened something did, and i know you say that you are used to them but i really do not think one ever gets used to be treated badly, luck  jo
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1034192_tn?1383278055
When a kid is abused it is very common for the other siblings to identify with the abuser.  Whats their other option? be abused too?  Also brothers find it so much easier to disengage from their familys becuase they join their wives familys. Women are expected to stay active in their original families.

I also think you should offer for them to come and not feel guilty when they dont.  You will never get them, or her, to stop bad mouthing you regardless of what you do.  Its been her MO all along and its extremely unlikely that she change.  I wouldnt be surprised if some of the people around you parents know that she is just being mean, not everyone is blind to this sort of thing.  But like the kids they feel safer going along with it.

You seem to be insightful, trust your gut and only see them as often as your self worth can take.
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757137_tn?1347200053
Sometimes people are just born into the wrong family. An atheist in a religious family, for instance, or an artist in a family of blue-collar workers. It happens. Maybe you are different and they think you strange. You certainly think they are.
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Avatar_f_tn
glad to see you back  jo
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello,

Im a 25 year old female. Gosh I so relate to this situation! Not only is my family this way but I married a husband that has a family that is this way too. Let me tell you that its all about manipulation. For people who manipulated you your whole life and the one day cant...;its hard for them. They resort to other manipulation like not visiting and not calling but saying they do. My family says we never call or visit but the reality is if we didnt call or visit we would never speak- cuz they do nothing! Gosh its sooo frustrating but there is NOTHING you can do. Sometime you have to separate and hope they come around...sometimes they wont. Im still struggling myself- I really dont think there is an answer...Some people just like to lie and control their whole life!!

Hope that helps!
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1216231_tn?1272479304
I experienced the exact thing with my mother growing up.  I just posted on it, actually.  When she'd humiliate me in public, she'd tsk and say, "I'm just teasing!"  And after screaming at me for any amount of time, she'd either ignore me for a few days, or tell me, "After you graduate, I won't even remember what I grounded you for," as though that would make everything better, and then be all buddy-buddy.

I see my parents at least once every year, and even though I'm in college, they're well-off, and they're not helping me pay for my education, they expect me to visit them every time they move.  It's emotionally draining when I'm around them, because they pretend as though my high school years never happened as I know them, and my childhood was just peaches and cream.
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