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Are you estranged from a family member?

Are you estranged from a family member? Have you attempted to reconcile? Share your story and read what others have to say. Join the discussion by posting a reply below.

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Periodic Contributor

People change. At least young people do. If she was 17 when she moved out, she was still very much a teenage nightmare. I'm sure she is a very different person now.  She may still have episodes etc. but  the way she thinks about things has got to be very different. Why carry all of that hurt and anger etc. with you like you're carrying a 50 lb bag of rocks? Forgiveness is a gift for yourself. Just set some boundaries/rules, and tell her if she breaks them, she loses and will have to start over. Plus, raising that young man, showing him that valuable gift of how to forgive someone and how to set appropriate boundaries,  is what will help him not estrange from you or anyone else later on.

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Newbie

I can say that I am estranged from my neice and nephew.  I do not know why.  They refuse to have anything to do with me, I have made multiple attempts to reconcile, to no avail.  I send them Christmas cards and birthday cards, no response.  I don't know what gives.  My neice was at my mom's viewing in 2008.  This was in Pennsylvania, she came from Florida with my brother and his wife.  It was fine there during that time. . . but, do not know what I have done that is so awful.  At this point, I feel that they are the ones missing out.  I must go on with my life, I will continue to send those cards, but. . . oh well!  Extremely frustrating and do not know what to do.  

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Bronze Conversationalist

Just a question please...

But why are you sending Christmas and birthday cards to those who refuse to have anything to do with you?  If they don't want to discuss their lack of interest in you or to reconcile in any why...why not send cards to those who would appreciate them like perhaps an elderly neighbor or someone you know in a nursing home?

Regular Contributor

My step-brother is estranged from his brother and his family. Started when their mother died, and some words were said that led to a fight between the brothers. That was in 1998. They are still estranged. He has tried multiple times to make amends, but nothing. His sister-in-law is an extremely rigid, grudge-holding woman, and I'm sure is the reason nothing will happen as long as she's alive. She has even told their children not to talk to their uncle! My step-brother is heart-broken and when he finds out through social media about family events (such as the birth of his niece's daughter), he gets extremely sad. This does nothing to help his mental health. Both are getting older and I dread the day that I see his brother's obit and have to tell him. This is stupid! Life is too short!

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Newbie

Basically my whole family has disowned me and I have tried multiple times to try and reconcile without success.  It started October 2018 after my 30 year old nephew I kicked out of my house.  He was extremely sloppy and left food and dirty dishes everywhere, not to mention he didn't clean up after his cat and the poor thing often went with slimy water and very full litter boxes (2 of them)  I took videos of how he was living and I don't believe any sane person would be ok with that.  My sister was shown these videos and also had gone down into the basement where he was staying and witnessed it first hand.  Unfortunately, she had let this behavior go on for most of his child/teen years, never holding him accountable for anything.  When I finally snapped and told him he was to pack his crap and get out, my sister took his side and screamed at me.  So needless to say that was in 2018 and I have not heard from her since, no replies to my numerous texts/messages.  Neither of her 2 sons speak to me and have turned quite a few people against me.  I have depression and anxiety and for awhile it was really really bad going through what I've been going through.  But time and counselling and friends have shown me that it is never just one persons fault or one persons side of the story. I didn't bring this on myself. My sister and I use to be so close with both our parents gone.  I miss her but don't forsee her having the guts to confront me with how she feels so we could work it out.   Life is way too short to hold a grudge against someone.  Anger is a very evil feeling.  I believe in forgiveness as our Lord and Savior forgives us our sins.

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Bronze Conversationalist

Could it be that your sister's guilt from not making her son accountable was what fueled her anger?  Because I don't feel YOU did anything wrong in kicking out your nephew.  You had a right to expect that your nephew give respect to you and your home.

Which goes back to people taking their anger and lack of self esteem out on innocent people.   It's unfair, and even more disrespectful when it taken out on family members.  

 

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Periodic Contributor

Its one thing to set boundaries and follow through with them, (which I agree is so important) its another to purposely take videos and embarrass them to family members. I think that is disrespectful. People that love each other, are also kind, and I can see how they may be angry. They may choose to live a different way than you. You are correct in that, whoever stays with you must follow your rules (if they are not paying rent). If they are paying rent and their lifestyle isn't disturbing others areas, and they are not causing damage......then you've entered into a contract with them and you can't tell them what to do pretty much. 

Again, if you had a renter down there that you didn't know, would you do the same thing or would you think it would be appropriate to do so?

Take care. Life is short not to try to do the best you can to have family in your life.

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Bronze Conversationalist

@HeidiW625856   How do you know that the videos were taken to embarrass them to family members, and not as proof to show this was really going on?

It's one thing to choose to live a different way than someone else.  But, IMO, there is no excuse for causing an unhealthy environment to other people and animals due to that fact!

Also? Paying rent is a sign of using someone else's property.  And written rental contracts do indeed tell people what they very much must do as renters.

Family members or not, entering into a contract is just as legal.

Periodic Contributor

I think you are reading more in to this. We do not know the full story. I was giving my impression of how the other family member may have perceived this or how they may have felt, and I think we need to remember we are not here to judge others situations, this isn't the Peoples Court.

I do know that people do not just "ghost" family for no reason. Most times, its because one member overstepped boundaries or treated another with disrespect, didn't listen to what they had to say, or tried to control them as if they were a child. It doesn't mean its right, but it does mean that everyone is entitled to their own feelings and both sides are to blame. Pointing fingers at who is "more to blame" solves nothing. I only commented in kindness.

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Bronze Conversationalist

@HeidiW625856   oh boy!  LOL

 

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Moderator
Moderator

Hello everyone,

Please remember to post according to the community guidelines, and refrain from insults and inflammatory comments.



YOU MUST RESPECT OTHER POSTERS EVEN IF YOU DISAGREE WITH THEM



Also, please be welcoming of new posters, even when you argue with their positions.

Thank you for your cooperation in making the AARP Community a safe and welcoming place for all.
http://community.aarp.org/t5/custom/page/page-id/Guidelines

Contributor

You shouldn't feel bad at all. I tried to convince my stepmother that my brother-in-law has been stealing from the family business for years and instead of willing to do an accounting of the rental trust, I was shunned and pushed out. I have not had any correspondence with my sister or my three nieces, step mother or my 95 your old father in almost 4 years.My girlfriend and her family love me and our three cats, and I choose to look ahead. I suggest you do the same.

 

Periodic Contributor

Did you keep the cat ?

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Contributor

Ihave been estranged from most of my family for many years. It started with a dispute with my mother, 10 years after my dad's passing. My sisters and brother spread the hate throughout the rest of the family.  I was not informed of my mother, or other family members, who had passed. I discovered my mother's death after going to the cemetary and seeing her headstone, along with an aunt and uncle, when I went to pay my respects to my father. This was about 5 years ago and my mother passed in 2008. I have been in touch with one of my sisters in the past few years and things are going well. My brother, who I was very close to, refuses to speak with me, my other sister also refuses. This is all after many years of trying. I have not given up.

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Bronze Conversationalist

No matter how angry people are within a family, I think it's unthinkable not to inform someone of a death in the family!   My gosh!  I'm so sorry about your not being told your mother had passed.

Newbie

How awful to find your mom's death by visiting the cemetery!  And an aunt and uncle!  You handled it well.  So. . . whatever you do. . . never give up!  No matter what!  You are on the right trail!  Kudos to you!  

Conversationalist

While I was not estranged from any family members, my two brothers were.  As they got married and started families, what was once a close relationship changed.  Their wives were so different they could not get along, so it goes that the brothers did not get along either.  What real or imagined slights kept them apart for years.  One brother's wife passed away, and so he moved in with me.  I have always tried to be a mediator, but sometimes you just have to say, I can't do it for them, they have to do it themselves.  My brother moved to Germany where he would marry for a second time.  As he got ready to leave, my older brother came to say goodbye, probably guessing they would never see each other again.  Whatever broke them apart was over.  My older brother passed away 3 years ago and I am glad the two made their amends.

Contributor

Yes I'm My oldest son who lives 3 hours from me wrote me a letter listing my failings as a father, I responed with a letter saying that I knew that I was not the best father in the world but that I had tryed my best. I have tryed many times to apoligise for my past errors in bringing him up but as of yet we cannot come together. At my age there is not much time left to resolve this, so it seems I will go to my death with a estranged son.  

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