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Severing Family ties.

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Severing Family ties.

Postby blue_girl » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:52 pm

I am a 20 year old woman who has lived with a toxic family her whole life.
My father is a gamblr, mild alcoholic, chronic womaniser and had physically abused me.
My mother suffers from severe psychotic depression and I have always had to looked after her and my siblings since my parents divorced when I was 7. My mum has been hospitalised numerous times for her depression even once causing us to be sent overseas to live with my dad and his new wife for 4 months because she was incapable of providing us with satisfactory care.

When I was 13 I was sent to live with my father because the man in my mothers life was controlling and did not like me being around. MY father had since remarried and had a new child on the way.
I will never forget the moment i moved in with them, he said to me - don't think i want you here, that man got a court order. you do not belong with my new family. i lived there till i finished high school but it was a really tough few years and he would hit me when he though i messed up and it was an emotionally volatile relationship.

After high school i took a year off and lived with my mother and 2 siblings. While i lived with my father they became a very tight family unit and my siblings were not very welcoming. I did it to try and rebuild a relationship with my mother. However i fell back into care taker mode when my mum had another relapse and ended back in hospital. she is still very sick even though she is out. she doesn't take her medication or talk to the people she should but she has also stopped listening to me.
It was a very hard year in which my siblings and i constantly fought and they have since told me i do not belong in their lives they only tolerate me because they are trying to help mum.

My whole family is toxic. My siblings do not speak to my father at all. My relationship with my mother has become impossible. Since i have been at uni this year she has sided with my siblings. They are all manipulative and nasty. The emotionally abuse me.

Anyway, I want to severe all my family ties. I think i will kept brief contact via email for big events such as graduation, pregnancies etc but it has come to the point where they are having negative effects on my mental and physical health. eg. my mum made me cancel a specialist appt i have waited 5 months for so that i could pick up a dog she bought from the pound.

I just wondered if anyone else has "divorced" their family? or had a toxic family?
or even advice? am i just overreacting?

thanks. and sorry for the post being so long.
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Re: Severing Family ties.

Postby salted lipstick » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:13 pm

I think if it's going to be better for your health and well-being to sever family ties it is definitely something you need to seriously consider doing. I think you should get a therapist to talk it over with first though.

I only say this because I have severed ties with my father. You shouldn't underestimate the effect that severing a family tie can have on your mental and emotional health. You will experience a grief and a loss, not necessarily of the family you have, but of losing hope that you can ever have the family you wanted. There is no-one who can replace a parent, no matter how distant you originally were to your actual parent and no matter how close you feel to a new person. No one can ever fill that void. I don't think you realise the severity of that until you actually do it. And seeing as I have taken that action with my father, I can tell you that you will need good support through this because it will impact you in ways that you can imagine unless you've experienced it. You will need to talk to a therapist about it. It is different to grieving the loss of a family member through death in that it was a choice and in some ways there will be guilt associated with that choice, even if it is the right thing for you to do. You need to make sure you have adequate support to go through this course of action.

If it is what you need to do for your health and well-being, I wish you all the best.
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Re: Severing Family ties.

Postby blue_girl » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:25 pm

i am in therapy currently and it was my therapist who suggested that i look at this path..
she how ever hasn't ever done this herself and recommended looking at a forum to talk to people who had been in similar situations :)
What kind of support networks did you have? i will continue seeing a therapist because there are lots of emotional issues i need to work through clearly.
Thank you for being honest and warning me of the negative feelings associated with severing family ties, i appreciate it :)


-G
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Re: Severing Family ties.

Postby salted lipstick » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:55 pm

I'm really glad to hear you have a therapist. That's good. It means you will have thought it over a lot more in depth because of talking it through with another person... She sounds sensible also that she has suggested you talk to people who have done it, so I feel much more reassured now that I know you have some good support. :D

I'll tell you a bit more about my situation tomorrow when I'm a bit less tired (it's 2:30am at the moment)...
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Re: Severing Family ties.

Postby blue_girl » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:02 pm

i look forward to hearing your story :)
yeah my therapist is great, she has helped a great deal already.
i know what you mean its 3 am currently and i really should go to bed!
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