Reconnecting With Family – An emotional post

I’ve been struggling with something for quite some time. Every single week, I make a goal to finally call some of my family members. And yet I still have not done this. I really would like to call my aunt and my grandfather (both on my dad’s side), but it would be hard.

You’d think it would be as easy as picking up my cell phone and calling them, but it’s really not. I know that I will pretty much want to dedicate a whole day to it, and I’m just not feeling ready yet.

When you don’t talk to people for so long, I’m just afraid that they will think something is wrong, or that I “need” something. I’m also afraid that they’ll start talking about my dad and then I’ll lose it.

When my dad passed away almost 5 years ago, it was hard on everyone. I even made a long depressing post all about it and it was nice to write about it and get my feelings all out. My dad was definitely the one who brought everyone together in my family so when he passed away, it was devastating for everyone.

I know that he passed away 5 years ago, and most people say that I should be over it by now. Most people no longer sympathize and some don’t understand why I want to reconnect with my family. I am of course still upset with everything that has happened.

And how could I not still be upset? He was my rock, he was my everything. He was my dad.

My Aunt

My aunt came to the funeral, but it was heartbreaking seeing her. I have talked to her once since then and it was on the phone. It was very hard talking to her and we spent most of the time on the phone crying. That was around 2 years ago.

I really want to call her again and really form a relationship with his side of my family. She did send me an email recently congratulating me on my engagement and said my dad would’ve been happy.

My Grandfather

My grandfather couldn’t make it to the funeral. He lives far away (Miami) and was unable to come because he was too sick to make it and his doctor didn’t allowed to travel such a long distance. He was very upset though, I remember my dad and him talking for hours EVERY SINGLE DAY. When we told him that my dad had passed away, he was devastated. I’m positive that everyone died a little that day.

I haven’t talked to my grandfather since the day my dad passed. I also haven’t seen him since I was very little. I probably wasn’t even in elementary school when I saw him last. Even though my dad and him were very close, he never came to visit (for reasons that are private).

Why I want to reconnect

I want them to be a part of my wedding. And if my grandfather is healthier now, I would like him to walk me down the aisle. I would love to be able to call them up and tell them about how life is going, and to also hear about theirs.

I have also been feeling jealous. All of my friends always talk about all of these family activities that they are always doing, and then I just sit there, jealous, the whole time. No family events, no unexpected visitors, no family dinners, no holidays, nothing. It definitely makes me sad when I can’t chime in with a similar story.

So there’s my sob story. Definitely need a drink (probably tons of drinks) now.

Have you ever reconnected with family? Tips?

Comments

  1. vesta says

    Maybe just emailing your aunt for now is a good start — maybe she reads this blog of yours and that will be a good opening.

  2. Shey says

    Im so sorry your mother put you through that. I makes me so angry at her, and I dont even know you! I really think that sometime you need to really cut people people out your life, even if its blood.

    I know you plan to get a new house soon (next year?). I don't think she should get the address. Change your phone number. You can't keep letting her put you and your younger sister through this.

    As for Reconnecting with your Aunt and Grandfather, I really think you should pick a date for each, whether it's a month or a week from now, and go for it. It will always be hard, but if your dad would be 60, that means your grandfather is probably about 80. He wont be around forever, and if he was too sick to come to the funeral of his son, he's probably not in the best of health. Don't make this become a regret.

      • C The Writer says

        I agree, I'm struggling enough because my grandmother is going to be 73 this year and it's hard. I miss being with her all the time like when I was a little girl, but as my grandfather's health declines, it takes all her energy to take care of him. I wish I could help her out, I owe her my life.
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  3. Shey says

    Also, It wouldn't surprise me if your mother has mental illness. My sister acts the same way and while she refuses to get diagnosed and she abused her kids pretty much the same way you wrote your mother abused you, until my sister took them, I call her a Manic Bipolar with Narcissistic personality disorder.

    And while this may be hard to hear, if she is mentally ill, it may not be entirely her fault. I'm not sure how you'll process that because I'm still angry at my sister everyday for how she treated her duties as a mother, but I realize her brain chemical balances isn't something she controls. And for her generation (and even this generation with all it progressive thinking) mental illness has a huge stigma. Did they even diagnose like they do now, 40 years ago?

    I hope you come to a point in your life where you can forgive/come to terms with it and her. And that doesn't mean reconnecting and letting her back in your life. I wouldn't recommend that unless she got counseling and medicated. It means finding peace within yourself even if nothing's been said or fixed or dealt with in your relationship with your mother. Because in the end, maybe you won't be able to fix it. Not everything gets fixed. Life is complicated and messy. Sometimes all you can do is take what you've got and make the best out of it.

    With the healing yourself, thats something you CAN control. It’s easier said then done though, and I'd recomend some self-help books or even counselling for yourself and your sister.

  4. LivingDFRocks! says

    Don't let more precious time escape from re-connecting with those that obviously matter to you. I have the same misgivings concerning my father (he was and is not a very good person…) and I eventually came to terms with the fact that I am ok not ever seeing or speaking to him again. You deserve to be supported and surrounded by well meaning people and although it may be emotionally difficult at first (because you will evoke memories of your father) you will feel glad that you did. Thanks for sharing this post!

  5. evencheap says

    Although you've been through so much, you seem to have turned out great, so thank goodness for that!

    I recently reconnected with one of my cousins who was upset about the year I bought dollar store gifts for the family. I just went over to her house recently and apologized since she was offended. In your case a phone call would probably be better since you haven't spoken to her on a while. You may just have to muster it up and call her. It would be great to have them at your wedding.
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  6. Leslie says

    A few things (this is loooong).

    First, when I was 11 an older sister on my dad's side was 18 and moved to Virginia. I hardly knew her anyway. She wasn't too close to our Dad and had a falling out with him at some point. Since I was so young, I never saw or talked to her again. That was, until my Senior year in college when I received a phone call from her out of the blue. I even asked, "Who is this?" when she called because the chances of it being her were so low. When I asked her why she was calling now she responded, "Life's too short not to." We have continued talking on the phone and even visited each other several times. It was an awkward and emotional first phone call but having a supportive family member is definitely what I need and I am always grateful for her picking up the phone that day.

    With that said, I want to point out that you can call your Aunt and Grandfather and not talk about your dad. If the conversation goes that way tell them that you still miss your dad very much (5 years is nothing) and that you aren't ready to talk about it yet but you still want to talk to them, about other things. They should understand. Then, when you're ready, you can have that conversation.

    Now, about your mom. I am not sure if you read it but I went through something sort-of similar except my mother has never apologized (artificial or not) and is in complete denial that she did anything wrong or that anything bad even happened. That hurts and it will always hurt. This is your mom! She's supposed to protect you and she didn't. That will always be painful. But do not feel like you need to make amends with her. You don't and it sounds like she is not someone who will help you in your life. As you said, you need all the supportive people you can get and she is not one of them.

    Last thing, the feelings of jealousy and loneliness are things you should work on internally. Just as you didn't ask to be born into a shitty family, others didn't ask to be born into a good family. Don't be jealous of something they can't control. Instead, try to create your own family. Either by calling your Aunt & Grandpa and/or by forming close friendships with people who will provide you loving support. The best part about that is these are people who are choosing to care about you – sometimes that means even more than family!

    Last thing continued, find your own ways to cope with Holidays. For me, I am okay being alone on Christmas as it was never a big holiday for my family and lots of people around here don't celebrate it anyway. So I turn it into a day of movie watching, hot cocoa drinking, and couch laying. I enjoy that. For Thanksgiving, however, I do not like being alone. It is such a family-focused holiday that I have always accepted invitations from friends/others to their family's thanksgiving. Yes, sometimes I sit at that table thinking, "I wish this was my family" but then I have to remind myself "I am grateful for having friends who want me to be a part of their family" and that makes me feel good.

    Certainly feel free to email me anytime to commiserate over being family-less. I will always be here to provide a virtual hug when you need one.

    • MakingSenseofCents says

      Thanks Leslie. I remember your post. Why are some parents like this? I'm always afraid that I'll turn out similar, it's definitely a big fear of mine.

      And I know, the jealousy I have is something that I need to work on. It just really makes me cringe when some of my friends are being stupid. My friend the other day was mad that her mom (she actually told me that she thought about disowning her mom) bought her 3 flat screen TVs and wouldn't drop pick them up at the store for her. I cringed and told her to grow up! Stuff like that just makes me confused and mad that people treat their parents badly.

      Luckily I do have W's family and they are wonderful.

  7. Jenna says

    1) Some people are toxic and you really are much better off without them. My mom had to disconnect from her father for many years. There was abuse there too. It became very clear that this was necessary when he started to act inappropriately around my sister and I when we were two or so. She always sent birthday cards and did reconcile with him after many years when he was very sick. You can love her better from afar.

    2) For your family you would like to reconnect to, I bet a letter and a phone call would go a long, long way. Even though it is difficult, connecting those who do love you and loved your dad will be a blessing for you both.

    I wish you the best of luck! Family is hard. You can't choose them but you care for them anyways.

  8. Catherine says

    You know how I feel especially regarding your mom…

    The wedding will likely be the exact excuse you'll need to break down some of the barriers. Like you, I've lost touch with a lot of my family for various reasons. My dad left when I was 15, so no, he's not dead but I haven't seen him in 13 years. With him leaving we especially lost touch with his side of the family. I was torn about our wedding, I didn't want to call and tell them/extend invitation for fear they may think I was only inviting them so we'd get a gift or something but at the same time I knew if I didn't tell them they would be hurt. Every single call and invite I made, was well received. People were genuinely happy for me and excited to be at the wedding to reconnect. Making that first call is a big ice breaker. Call people first before mailing out the invites. Good Luck Michelle :)
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  9. kimateyesonthedollar says

    Thanks for sharing. I'm sure it's hard but probably makes you feel better to get it out. If you don't feel up for a call, I'd write a letter to your aunt and or Grandpa. If they are older, they would appreciate that. Just let them know you are ready to reconnect and let them call you. They won' t be around forever and think how you'd feel if you heard one of them passed before you could get back in touch.,

    I would have no contact with my mom. You will always want her love and support, but sadly, it may never come. Unless she admits her problems and gets some serious help to turn her life around, I would not see or speak with her. In spite of her, you have turned into a wonderful, motivated, and kind person. Don't ever let her make you think otherwise.
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  10. Tanner says

    Though I can't relate to wanting to reconnect with family (mostly because my mother never really let us get close to any of them and she'd talk about them anyway, even my godparents–so what I do know of my extended family is bad), I can completely understand wanting to reconnect and I encourage you to do it. I know I'd want to if I was in your shoes, because it kind of sucks feeling like you have no family at all (as I do). I think your aunt and your grandfather would be perhaps happy to reconnect and it's worth a shot. With your mother? Not so much… not at all. I also feel bad when EVERYBODY and their dogs talk about family functions, get togethers. Sometimes they even talk about these family functions as a burden and a bad thing… when I SO so would like to even have them, period. Even if it's just a run-down, $5/pp family lunch… I know that's not something I'll ever experience unless we're talking about a forward family (siblings or partner's/friends' families) and not with my former 'family'.
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    • Tanner says

      (Sorry, it wasnt letting me submit a long comment!) Cont:
      Any tips? You're your own person now. You're not an extension of them, nor them of you. You're a grown adult with a very bright future and even brighter mind. So connect on your terms, and if there's the chance *they* do not want to reconnect, so be it. I couldn't see why they wouldn't want to, though. As for your mother… that'd be the only one I'd skip. Do let us know about how that progresses with your grandfather and aunt! Should be wonderful if he could walk you down the aisle.
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  11. SaraCate says

    I am so sorry to hear about your family relationships. I have empathy for you as I have a strained/non-existent relationship with my mother that had some similar financial challenges. I tried to keep an open mind to reconnecting, but when I would open up she would immediately crush me. I was frequently told to keep trying. Once my then boyfriend now husband started to see into the situation much closer, and supported me backing away from the relationships all together as he saw the way she treated me and the hurt she continuously inflicted. We keep an open mind that one day she would want to make some changes, but do not actively try to reach out to her anymore. I say you have to do what's in your heart – it's not always easy, but you know what's right for YOU – whether that is reaching out or not.
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  12. Michael says

    I'm going to apologize for the bluntness of my comment right now. I in NO way intend it to come off in a negative way. That said, REACH OUT TO YOUR AUNT AND GRANDFATHER!!! Girl, you miss them. You will feel SO much better when they are actively back in your life. Your Aunt seems as though she's made attempts to connect. Go with it. My only question really is WHY you stopped speaking to both of them. Did something happen? Other than your Dad's passing I mean.

    As for your mother. I agree with you. I would not be able to forgive, forget, move on, deal – any of it. I would also choose to never speak or associate with her. IMO, your rage/anger is justified.

    Reach out to your family. Start with e-mailing your aunt. It would be easier, I think, to read words and think out your response as opposed to being face to face. Be open and honest with her. If it's difficult to discuss your father, say so.

    Good luck…. and HUGS!!!

  13. Sharon says

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss or your dad and to hear about how horribly your mom has treated you. It sounds to me like you really do want to reach out to your aunt and grandfather, so I think you should do it. It might be awkward at first, but it's clear from this post how much you'd like them in your life. Just take the first step and make a call and see where it goes from there.

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
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  14. Sam says

    I understand how your feeling, Michelle. It sounds like reconnecting with your aunt & grandfather on your father's side would be really good for you. I would just tell myself that after the phone calls you won't be any worse off than you are now. Even if they didn't want anything to do with you (surely this won't be the case) you will still be in the same boat you are now, with no relationship. But the phone calls could also lead to you reconnecting & forming relationships. It would be a good way to remember your dad & maybe even help you to move on a bit & get closure. ……
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  15. Sam says

    …..Your not the only one that has a tough relationship with family, so please don't feel like you're alone! My situation is a bit different, but I no longer have a good relationship with my family. My parents completely disagree with my relationship (we have a 12 year age difference, but we've been together for almost 5 years now & are doing great) and the ony time my mom has even met my boyfriend was at therapy that I convinved her to go to. She has never been around him other than that. ….
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  16. Sam says

    ….They don't agree with my career path & the fact that I didn't go to traditional college (more so my mom) & that I'm self employed. I'm not allowed to bring Jason to family events, therefore I no longer attend. I used to be very close to my dad, but their behavior has completely strained our relationship & now I'm lucky to talk to him occasionally via text, or maybe on the phone every few months, but it's not the same at all. Luckily my grandma is sypathyses with me & reminds me that I'm normal :) Also, my boyfriends family is great & has accepted me as part of the family with open arms which I will never take for granted either.__It's still a struggle each & every day. If you ever need someone to talk to – reach out!

    sorry to write a book! haha it said my comments were too long so I had to split them up :)
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  17. Crystal says

    I'd call your aunt and grandfather right now and reconnect the best you can. They'll understand that you don't want to talk about your dad yet.

    As for your mom, I see no reason to have her in your life at all at this point. I know she's your mom, but she's toxic people…toxic people are to be avoided. I'm so sorry. I have some toxic family members and I avoid them too. It sucks sometimes because you do miss people (alot), but opening yourself up to be hurt over and over is just allowing yourself to be emotionally victimized…I refuse to let it happen again. Good luck!
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  18. thadthoughts says

    Wow, so much heartache in this one post. I am sorry that you have had it so very difficult. I don't know if we ever truly get over things that hurt us at the core of our being, but I do know that by God's grace we can learn how to live with them (and not let them over power us).

    One of the earlier commenters suggested you email your aunt first. I think that is a great way to break the ice and move toward more regular communication. Start with that and see how it goes from there.

    Don't focus on the negative things as you move toward your wedding. Focus on creating a family that is caring and loving.
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  19. Jon says

    I bet this was a tough post to write. I appreciate bloggers who share some of their personal struggles along with the great ideas they have about finance, life or other matters. There is already lots of great advice in the comments. I'd agree with Catherine that the wedding is a perfect chance to reconnect with those you want to involve in your life. I am sure both your Aunt and Grandfather would be excited to hear from you. Thank you for sharing.

  20. therandompath says

    So sorry that you had to go through all of this Michelle at such a young age. Hugs to you!

    As for your aunt and grandfather, I really think you should reach out to them. One thing you realize as you get older, is that life really is short. Your relatives are not going to be around forever and if you don't reconnect with them now, you may regret it when they are no longer here. Letter writing is old-school but it still works. Do it! I bet they miss you just as much you miss them :)

    As for your mom…ignore her. You are a wonderful person Michelle and you deserve to be happy.
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  21. Annie says

    I agree with everyone here who has said DO IT to reconnecting with your grandpa and aunt. Unless there's a reason to not speak with them, say, they were like your mom – and it's obvious there isn't – call them. (!!) My family is not the touchy-feely, close-knit type either, but when I spoke briefly with my uncle in the UK two years ago, it was for the first time in almost 20 years. I nearly cried. Guaranteed they DO think about you and have been feeling like you – should I call? Will it be difficult? Will she want to speak with me? It will be worth it.

  22. Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence says

    Sorry you had to go through all that. About your mom, it looks like she is too toxic to be around. I would keep her far, and no, you are not a bad person for doing so, you have to look out for yourself first. The other two, it looks like you don't have a reason to not contact them, apart from the pain you all feel. I would ask someone neutral to make arrangements for a meeting in person. What you can't say over the phone you can tell them face to face, and whatever way it goes, you can be at peace for making the effort. Take a flight to Miami, a hotel so you can be independent and you can visit your grandfather there. I am sure he misses you as much as you do and you may regret not to have done so down the road.
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  23. C The Writer says

    Well, Michelle, you know my family is a mess. It's good you cut your mother out of your life. Now you can move on. I really do want you to reconnect with your father's family. They want to be part of your life, and you want to be in theirs, before it's too late. I never knew my father's family and I have no hope of reaching them. You have the opportunity, carpe diem.

    I'm so sorry about your dad. No, you shouldn't be over it. My dad died 18 years ago and losing him is something I will never get over. All we can do is live the best we can. It's hard for me knowing other people have perfect families, but all I can do is keep moving forward, and hope I meet a wonderful person with a wonderful family like you did.

  24. missamanda101 says

    I wish I had something supportive, insightful, or helpful to contribute, but it's all been said by others. Forgive me if I repeat any sentiments already expressed, but I did want to chime in as well.

    Anyone who tells you you should be over this by now is completely wrong! My uncle died 6 years ago, and I'm still not over it – and I was not all that close with him. The thought of losing my father (or mother, or sisters) is enough to break my heart…

    You do not need toxic people in your life. If you don't want a relationship with your mother – don't have one, and don't let other make you feel bad for that decisions. I've cut out people from my life for FAR FAR FAR less, and I don't regret it.

    Take the chance to reach out to your family that you do want a relationship with, but do it when and how it's right for you. Do you still talk to cousins or other relatives that are still in touch with them? It may help to talk to a "middle-man" first about what's been going on with your aunt or grandpa before calling them directly.

    Regardless of what you decide, or how you decide to do it, it's clear that you have a strong support system that even includes "strangers" online.

    Hope things work out!
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  25. Lena says

    This is so hard! First, lots of hugs to you, my friend! I think you need to take it one family member at a time. Maybe, start with Grandpa, considering his age. It might feel unbearable right now but if you don't try and he passes away, you will regret it for the rest of your life. I'm sorry for all the pain you are going through! As for your Mom, it would be hard. She hurt you a lot! You really need to decide whether or not you even want any relationships with her. Whatever you decide, remember you are not alone! We are all here for you! Hugs :)
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  26. April says

    My husband had to cut ties with his Mother a few years ago (before we were married), and because his parents were still married, he lost his relationship with his father as well. His mother passed away March of 2012. Everyone kept saying "I bet you wish you reconnected with her, now that she's gone." And he always said "I don't regret what I did, I did what I had to do. But I'm sad my mother is gone." Just because she's your mother, doesn't mean she has to be part of your life. Sometimes the best family is the family you choose, not the one you are given. I don't think you have to reconnect with her at all. I actually don't think you should! You don't need that sort of parasite in your life. Why spend time trying to be with people you don't enjoy being around?

    As for your dad's family… I think you should definitely reach out. Since your aunt sent you an email, its the perfect opportunity to write back and tell her that you've been wanting to call but haven't had the courage. Ask her what would be a good time for her and set aside the time you'll need. I think you might find it therapeutic. At my husband's mother's funeral, we reconnected with his dad. Instead of looking at what happened in the past, we just looked at the future. He has become such a huge part of our lives now and we couldn't be happier.

    Spend the time and effort being around people who love and support you. It sounds like your dad was a great person and I'm sure his family will help be there for you. Also, it sounds like your fiance's husband is huge and supportive. Hopefully joining that family will be a fresh start!

    Also don't forget your online support! There are lots of comments from your readers. Know we are here for you too :)
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  27. Newlyweds ona Budget says

    I don't see how people could tell you to reconnect with your mom. She admitted she wasn't meant to be a mom, don't try and make her be someone she's not, in this case–a mother. You're very strong for recognizing that that is a toxic relationship.
    I think your aunt and grandfather would absolutely be honored and cherished if you started trying to have a relationship with them.
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  28. Dillon says

    Just do it….the longer you put it off the harder it will be. Just pull the band aid off fast and make the calls back to back. If you don't want a long conversation, tell them I only have 10 minutes to talk but I wanted to say hi. Then, set a timer and get off the phone (if you want to) when 10 minutes are up.

  29. maria@moneyprinciple says

    Thinking of you, Michelle; I can only sympathise and wish you all the best. I also suspect that were I in your shoes I would have just picked up the phone and done it – would it be worse after the phone call? Probably not.

  30. The Baby Is Fine! says

    Thank you for sharing – you have a lot of "internet friends" thinking of you and supporting you!

    I think you are right to not want to reconnect with your mom, and I don't think anyone should question that. You have to think of what's best for you and what will be best for your marriage (and potential future children!).

    And I think reconnecting with your dad's relatives is a great idea. But I totally understand why a phone call would seem overwhelming. I think an email to your aunt is a good way to start. If your grandpa doesn't do email, maybe you could ask your aunt to give him a heads up that you will be calling him next week (or whenever) – that way when you do call, you won't have to have that awkward first couple of minutes where he tries to figure out why you're calling ;)

    GOOD LUCK!!

  31. Shannon-ReadyForZero says

    I don't have any tips other than to say don't worry about what everyone else says. Follow your heart and your instincts and do what you feel is right. And if you call your grandfather, tell him simply that you want to be in his life. No need to explain anything but rather just genuinely say how you feel.

    I'm so sorry to hear about all that you've been through! It sounds like you've really built yourself a great life for yourself in spite of difficulties – just follow your heart and keep moving forward!
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  32. eemusings says

    ((hugs))

    I hope you do reconnect with your dad's side of the family! I too don't have much family at all (and basically none in this country) and am not close to them (and had a phase where my mum talked about getting me fostered out). Doesn't even begin to compare with what you've endured – so sorry to hear about what you've had to go through. Can't choose your family, but you can make a new one, which you will be :)
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  33. Kate says

    The things your mom put you through are so unfair, but you've become an amazing adult despite all of that. I can't imagine how difficult losing your dad was, but I hope you do try to reconnect with his side of the family, even if it's not easy. I would imagine that they may want to have a relationship with you and your sister but also don't know how to do it or what to say. You have a lot of people encouraging you to take the first step. Good luck and best wishes!

  34. Chelsea says

    Sorry about your Dad – time doesn't heal all wounds.

    I can relate to having a mother that wasn't meant to be a mother.. in fact I just posted a little about my own struggles in that regard. My advice (for what it's worth) – don't forgive or reconnect with your mom if it's only going to bring more stress into your life. It's only worth it if it's going to bring more positivity to your life than negativity. As for your Aunt and Grandpa – send a card or e-mail if you're not ready to pick up the phone… There's more than one way to reach out :)

  35. Michelle says

    Michelle, my parents divorced when I was young and my dad remarried within 8 months of the divorce. He has not been the dad that I would have hoped for and even though he was young when he had me it wasn't an excuse for his lack of support (emotional and otherwise). You don't chose your family. Usually we have a couple of lemons in a family and it's a pretty good situation. In other families there are people who shouldn't be parents. Don't feel badly for setting boundaries with your mom. Sadly, it might be time to give her back her stuff and move on. Forgive her-not for her sake but for yours. Once you forgive her it frees the energy that it takes you to be angry with her. Then, don't communicate with her anymore. I kept trying with my dad and while we didn't have theft as an issue (as you mentioned in your post) we did have a lack of commitment to me which was a big issue. Also, I didn't feel good when dealing with him because each time I would visit I would leave feeling like crap. It's hard to let someone go, but, I found that it has been the best solution for me. I have forgiven him and allowed myself to be angry about the situation. Then I have moved on as best I could. Pick up the phone and talk to your Grandpa and Aunt. Send them letters with pictures, they will appreciate the gesture and will be so happy to hear from you. Wishing you all the best.

  36. Stephanie says

    THat is a heart breaking story and I am so sorry you had to go through that. From the abundance of comments it is clear you hit a chord with many people.

    My Mom held my brother and sister and I together and I need to, as the oldest, try harder to reconnect myself. I have let it go since she passed and I am not happy about it. They are good people. but we are years apart and several states apart and I have gotten lazy about communication since our mom passed.

    I think you need to forgive your mom for YOU. She does not have to know you forgive her, that is not what forgiveness is about. It is about letting it go so YOU can move on and be happy. She did some terrible things to you. Forgiving her does not mean letting her back into your life. I think you are right to keep her away. It sounds like she is a user and as a mom of grown kids, I find it so sad she does not realize what she has squandered her entire life. Our kids are our greatest treasure and the fact she does not understand that is just tragic.

    I would connect with the people who your dad loved before it is too late and then you can never make it right. Regrets are hard to live with sometimes and you have been through enough. Just be honest with them when you call, let them know how you feel and put it all on the line. I have found being honest and not being afraid to say how I feel can serve me very well .

    I really wish you the best, I am so sad you were treated so badly by the one person who should love you above her own life. I cannot even begin to understand how that feels. If your moms stuff is hurtful to have around, move it to a storage unit, pay the first month. Give your mom the information and then it is her problem to pay it. Get it out of your life if it causes you pain, you are the one who is going to have to protect yourself. You do not owe her one darn thing, so be true to yourself and let her go and let her stuff go. It is not fair for her to expect you to take care of her things. That is her job.

    God bless and good luck. I hope you get the family connections that you deserve and can move on and be happy , you deserve it !!

  37. Budget & the Beach says

    I just think there are certain people who have so much meaning to us that it's very hard to just "get over." I lost a close friend to cancer three years ago and I've lost people in the past, but nothing has affected me like her passing, and there are certain songs that remind me of her that if I hear I also start crying. I can also relate to the family issues. My mom was also pretty unfit when I was growing up, but we are able to have a relationship now and although she is messed up in her own way, she never does anything to harm me now. My brother on the other hand is another story. I would never support him in any way. He is a loser who just takes from people and doesn't care. Long story. I think if the relationship is worth saving and could bring meaning to your life, it's worth reconnecting and defining the relationship so that it fits comfortably in your life. No more, no less. But if not…if it's just because everyone tells you you should, then don't. Sounds like you still have a lot of healing to go through…
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  38. Momof2Girls says

    Wow, as a mom I just can't grasp the behavior of your mother. I very much hope, besides getting your thoughts out here, that you have also spoken with a professional. You and your sister were subjected to years of abuse by her and that is exactly why the loss of your father will never hurt any less. Not now and not in 20 years.

    Your aunt and grandfather are your only connections to him. I think it may be really important for you to go see them in person and you should probably make those visits with your sister. The two of you need it. Seeing those two people for the first time will be very emotional. You will want to hold on for a long time and that is what you NEED to do. Phone is too hard. When you can hug them and hold on to them it will help relieve some of the stress you all have over this loss.

    All of my grandparents were gone by the time I got married. It was a big hole on that day. On my wrist I had a little bag that held a pice of silver for good luck and my grandfathers military id and on my right hand I wore a ring belonging to my grandmother. You must make this happen before that day, because if you wait and they come it will be overwhelming.

    From the sound of things your mother probably suffers from mental illness…it does not excuse all she put you through and you will probably never really know, because she behaves too selfishly to get any help. You need to focus on healing you. One way to help would probably be to empty your home of her things. Send them to a storage facility or anywhere and send her a notice of where she can find them and that yo do not want to hear from her again.

    Good old fashioned hand-written letters could be a great way to start talking to to aunt and grandfather. You can write what you want, send it off and then have a little space before getting any response. Email is a bit too instantaneous if y ask me.

    I have an absent biological father and thanks to the world of technology his family tracked down my mother on FB and have tried to communicate with me. I had to really think about it and determined that I am too angry. It would not be fair to subject them to my hatred for him (especially painful knowing I have a younger brother and sister that I will never know because I do not want to project my pain onto them, and then there was another brother that died, again I never knew him). I just have to look at what I DO have. Two parents (my stepfather adopted me) that love me and have supported me my whole life. Two sisters, with spouses, a niece and another on the way. Most importantly, my husband and amazing little girls. I get to do it right…

  39. Cece says

    So sorry that you got stuck with a mom who wasn't really a mom. I can't blame you for just wanting to shut her out of your life. Sometimes that is the most healthy thing for you to do and I think that's okay. She's a user and you don't need that. I am very close with my immediate family but any extended family not so much because I didn't grow up around them. It does make me sad sometimes. If I picked up the phone to call I don't even know what we'd talk about. Definitely pursue this extended family if it's in your heart to do so.
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  40. Evan says

    Wow. Very powerful post. We don't talk to my mother's side of the family b/c of how they treated her when her mother (which I found out later to be her step mother) died. I have a close buddy whose father bounced on him and just recently that side has contacted him. It is a world of emotions he said.

    Its clearly easier said then done but with email today you can write, edit and delete before sending.
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