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Family indifference
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Family indifference

I have been trying since I was a small child to gain some amount of love or even like from my family. I am the only girl in a family of all brothers and my father. My brothers are all a few years older than me. I have no relationship with my abusive mother. I always wanted a close relationship with my father and brothers since they are the only family I have left. Sadly it is like hitting a brick wall. I do not get invited to family functions, holiday meals or birthdays. There has been some awful rumors spread about me that I have been told were put out there by my own brothers. Other than being a brat sister when I was little, I cannot seem to understand this. I do not do drugs, or abuse alcohol nor am I a crazy religious zealot.  

My thinking is that they see me in the same light as my mother since I am the only girl I must be just like her. Right? My husband says they are completely indifferent towards me. If I did not make any attempt on my own I would not see or hear from any of my family and we live in the same town less than a mile apart from each other!

Would it be healthy for me to just move on?  
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Unfortunately family dynamics can wreck havoc.  Two of the most important lessons I have learned in life is that you can't change a person unless he/she is willing to be changed and you have to accept how a person is in the case that he/she refuses to change.  

Acceptance in this case/your situation means understanding your family has chosen to exclude you/ignore you for whatever reasons and you should move on from this situation and save your energy/put your energy into something positive, i.e. good friends, your job, your hobbies, your hubby, etc.  

Don't see anything wrong with letting them know the lines of communication are open, i.e.  sending letters or cards around the holidays if they one day decide to communicate with you and include you in family gatherings, etc.  

Definitely a difficult situation to be in and I empathize with you.  


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973741_tn?1342346373
I think moving on is a definate viable option.  I would suggest this though as well.  We can move on emotionally meaning we accept a situation for what it is.  What exactly the problem your brothers and dad have I don't know.  But they treat you poorly.  That may change but is unlikely.  Distancing yourself emotionally from it is important.  Write it off as their loss.  Don't count on them for anything.  

But, you can feel like you haven't lost total contact with them by sending out a letter twice a year or even monthly that is like a 'news' of what is going on in your life.  Keep it upbeat and friendly.  Ask in your letter what is going on in their lives and then tell some descriptions of what is going on in yours.  They may never respond but you are reaching out on a regular basis in a way that won't break your heart over and over.  

I hope that you'e created your own family to love and be loved by!  You mention a husband and this is the family you should focus your energy on.  A therapist might be a good person to talk to about the abuse you suffered by your mother and now how your family treats you by ignoring you.  Both are hurtful and discussing your emotions with a professional may help you get some clarity and closure to it all.  good luck and peace
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1268057_tn?1399131913
Unfortunately family dynamics can wreck havoc.  Two of the most important lessons I have learned in life is that you can't change a person unless he/she is willing to be changed and you have to accept how a person is in the case that he/she refuses to change.  

Acceptance in this case/your situation means understanding your family has chosen to exclude you/ignore you for whatever reasons and you should move on from this situation and save your energy/put your energy into something positive, i.e. good friends, your job, your hobbies, your hubby, etc.  

Don't see anything wrong with letting them know the lines of communication are open, i.e.  sending letters or cards around the holidays if they one day decide to communicate with you and include you in family gatherings, etc.  

Definitely a difficult situation to be in and I empathize with you.  


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2012062_tn?1330441264
You two have given great advice. Thank you so much. I feel guilty but I can no longer subject myself to this treatment. There is no good or obvious reason for it. Other than I am the only female, I can think of no other reason why my family treats me like this. Time to walk away.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Don't feel guilty dear.  It sounds like you have tried and constant rejection is too much to ask of anyone.  The reason why I suggested loose, occasional contact in letter form is because it keeps the door open in case they change their mind and it makes you feel like you've connected in a way that doesn't expect a response, thus you can't be hurt by it.

I do think that moving past this emotionally for you will lift this cloud.  that will be a good thing in your life.  Peace to you.

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13167_tn?1327197724
I agree with the others,  as a final solution you can distance yourself,  but I think first you should ask what the problem is.

Among all your family,  there must be someone who is fair,  and can be counted on to tell the truth and be open.

A brother,  a sister in law,  someone.  

I think you should ask that person out to lunch to say you really need to have a talk about something,  and then just explain yourself exactly as you did here in the first post,  as calmly and clearly as you can.

And then listen to the answer - don't argue or defend yourself,  just listen.

My guess is,  you'll get a clearer answer - it may be something that's untrue,  but you'll get the picture,  and then you can go forward from there.

Your family is connected.  They gather for special events,  and appear to cherish each other - so they're not some group of whackos who are antisocial.

I think you deserve to know the reason you're not accepted as part of that.

Best wishes.
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13167_tn?1327197724
Another note,  right now I'm reading "The Kitchen House",  a novel about a family in the early 1800's,  and those they accept and those they reject and relationships that are based on untruths.  Deeply hurt feelings that are unspoken,  and people who don't understand why someone has been rejected and the core reasons why - and why some are more forgiving,  and have accepting relationships with people who are unlovable.

It's a really good read,  and it might give you inspiration in solving your own family dynamics.
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On other thought--------  are your brothers married?  I would say that for the most part, the wives of my husbands family organize things.  My husband is one of 5 boys and I've never gotten a call about family gatherings from the men, it comes from their wives.  Just curious about the dynamics now that Rockrose brought it up.  
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That book sounds interesting.  I am going to see if I can find it to read.

Great tips given.

  
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In my experience, personal and professional, these unfortunate situations are usually based on misunderstandings, hurt feelings or a warped/skewed perception of someone that is not even close to the reality.  

I wouldn't feel guilty at all because you have tried for a long period of time to connect with your family.  It is unfortunate you have been given NO reason for their actions which is extremely unfair in my opinion and that they would rather ignore you than to talk the issue or issues out.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I honestly feel for you.  I've been down a similar road in life, but not as bumpy as yours.

I think that everyone above gave really sound advice, as they normally do.  They are all wise beyond their years and have each helped me with different aspects of my life.

The only thing I would reinforce is the fact that you now have your own family to take care of.  Your hubby and your children should be priority, and perhaps speaking with a therapist about this dysfunction regarding your father and brothers might be in order, if you cannot find anything else out from sister in laws, or a civil member of the family that may know the cause.

For the first time in my life, I am secure with who I am and I think you can get there too.  Like I mentioned, my path was kind of similar, and with that came decades of self doubt and low self esteem.  Look at how you value your family, and feel how they value you.  To me, that is the most important thing.

Maybe your father and brothers come around.  Maybe there was some kind of horrible misunderstanding.... Maybe they won't come around.... the only thing you can do is to control you.  You are in charge of your life and you can choose to let this completely ruin you, or you can choose to accept it and move forward.

(I just thought of this... you said your mother was abusive.  Was she abused as a child or was there marital abuse?  The reason I ask is because we know a family that is dysfunction 101.  The husband/father has a real low opinion of women, and it is known and accepted in that family.  Consequently, the mans son has a low opinion of women and the mans daughter has a low opinion of herself and is boarderline disrespectful to the mother/wife.)
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13167_tn?1327197724
Londres - I kind of take back my recommendation of The Kitchen House.  I was only about halfway through when I wrote this post this morning,  and had to finish the book for an upcoming book club meeting - it ends kind of stupidly.  

In fact,  the whole last half of the book is a bit trying.   In fact,  it was a bit of a surprise to see that Kathleen Grissom didn't end the book "and they lived happily ever after".  

The first half is good,  though,  and gets you to thinking about family alliances, and sometimes how they are based on the silliest incidents,  or in fact things people think that didn't even happen.
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2012062_tn?1330441264
My mother was abused as a child and as a result became an abusive and self destructive person. She has casued havoc with pretty much anyone that she creats a relationship with.

Yes my father has a low opinion of women. In a way I blame my mother because she really put him through the ringer right up until I was 18 years old. To say she screwed him up would be putting it mildly.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm going through a similar situation- ever since my mother died 10 years ago, my dad and brother have excluded me from their family events (my dad remarried a couple of years after my mom died and over time his wife has slowly stopped including me in family get-togethers, including Thanksgiving after my first child was born).  I've let my brother and dad know how hurtful this has been, but they refuse to stand up for me to their wives. The holidays are particularly hard, as we never get a Christmas card and my son is never acknowledged at the holidays or on his birthday. I used to feel like an orphan, but now I see it as "their loss" and I don't have the time or energy to play family politics or try to make sense of things. Instead, I've been focusing on my husband and son and creating our own traditions around the holidays and we rarely think about them anymore. Moving On!
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