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Old August 15th, 2013, 11:14 PM
AlbertaCowboy AlbertaCowboy is offline
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Breaking Ties with Parents

Are any of you estranged from your family? I had always had a very volatile relationship with my immediate family (parents and sister). I made the mistake of drinking a lot in my 20's, and was literally an alcoholic a few years ago. However, in spring 2008, I went to treatment, and now attend AA meetings.

The frustrating thing is no matter what I do or how hard I try, my family seems to resent me. I found out I had a 5 year old daughter in late 2007. That was my main reason for quitting alcohol. Now I read and heard that sometimes Grandchildren are the reason parents and their adult children finally bury the hatchet, but this simply has not been the case. It has actually caused more problems.

My parents seem to want to take my daughter to places without me, even though I only get to visit her once a week. And when I do see her, with them around, my Dad seems angry and annoyed, since my daughter wants to be with me, not him. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances, I had to settle custody/visitation through court a couple of years ago.

An argument stemmed from the fact that the mother had put my daughter on a site called "cutekid.com" with her (8 at the time), with makeup, and wearing what looked to be a dress that was geared toward young adults not kids. She even was posing seductively. It sickened me, especially since, I had asked for a week with my daughter, since I spent a year out of the city, and on the ad it stated "we are prepared to travel anywhere in North America, as long as expenses are paid, and she does not miss too much school."

I had shown my dad in an email the pics, and asked for advice, and showed him an article about the negative effects on children being models. In fact, the European Union is considering banning underage models. What he did hurt me greatly. He erased the article, and sent the photos to all my relatives, saying look at what my son sent me, pics of his daughter!"

It shocked me. I heard from my Aunt about the pics, and she even said this pics seemed a bit odd, and not age appropriate at all. Am I overreacting, or was this a mean spirited act? There are other instances that I can think of that I was betrayed by my family, but this is one of the incidents that I chose to share.

A month ago, I broke off ties with my immediate family. I wish it did not have to end like this, but they were so toxic to deal with that I felt I had no choice. Has anyone endured anything like this? What should I do to mend the pain in my heart that I feel?
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Old August 16th, 2013, 05:43 AM
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LucyVanPelt LucyVanPelt is offline
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Re: Breaking Ties with Parents

My DH and his parents are estranged for almost 9 years. It was painful. It took years to mourn the loss. Healing began when he accepted that he could not fix things.

We might hear from his parents maybe once a year, but DH doesn't seem interested in resuming a relationship. I think he "dreams" that it could be better, like one might dream a departed loved one was there, but he wakes up and knows the dream won't come true.

Are you working the program? Adopted the Serenity Prayer as a motto? It helps.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 06:24 AM
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Re: Breaking Ties with Parents

I would consider what your father did as mean-spirited. You can probably guess better than anyone else what his agenda is... or was as to why he would edit your email.

Congrats on you overcoming alcohol addiction. That's a definite milestone in your life.

Quote:
What should I do to mend the pain in my heart that I feel?
Counseling would be a good place to start. Hang in there, stay focused and never give up trying to do the right thing.

I also commend you on accepting the responsibility of your child and turning you life around. That takes guts and courage.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 07:12 AM
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Re: Breaking Ties with Parents

Just want to add my voice of encouragement to the others. Good job on what you have accomplished! Keep on keeping on. You're doing well.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 01:05 PM
AlbertaCowboy AlbertaCowboy is offline
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Re: Breaking Ties with Parents

Quote:
Originally Posted by LucyVanPelt View Post
Are you working the program? Adopted the Serenity Prayer as a motto? It helps.
Being in the 12 step program, and saying the serenity prayer has definitely helped. I find that you meet a lot of good people who are hurting quite badly, and used alcohol or other substances to take away the pain. It always helps to be friends with people who are experiencing similar issues.

As for the decision to cut off ties with my immediate family, I am in great pain, and it almost feels like they are dead, in a way. I moved 1500km away from my family a decade ago, but many days and nights, it still feels like they are following me, saying I will never achieve my goals, and insinuating that I am a loser. Maybe counselling will help. I have told nobody about this, for fear of not being believed.

PS....I appreciate al the encouragement I have received. Not sure if all of you have been through similar circumstances, but it was not an easy decision to make. It took years.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 08:00 PM
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Re: Breaking Ties with Parents

ITA with the others


.... and you asked if anyone else was estranged/cut off from family ... yeap I am (if you're interested check out the thread waiting for the other shoe to drop ... or extended "family" I have pseudo ILs... check out those threads)
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Old August 16th, 2013, 09:59 PM
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Re: Breaking Ties with Parents

I've got two sisters I don't speak to.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 01:16 AM
AlbertaCowboy AlbertaCowboy is offline
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Re: Breaking Ties with Parents

I try not to bring this up, but hypothetically, what would you think if your immediate family invited you to stay with them, since you were visiting. For 4 straight days, your father tells you that you have to be out of the house by the 15th of next month, but you had always stated that you are renting a place on the 1st.

Eventually, you take the hint, that being told 4 times in 4 days essentially is a subtle way of saying "get the hell out of my house." Once I left after being told the 4th time, my parents would badmouth me obsessively, when it got to the point where a couple of in-laws were saying "why can't they just let it go?"

ANother thing that I have a lot of trouble with, is if I went over to my parents home on special occasions, the first thing my father would do would be to say "did you want a beer?" knowing that I quit drinking a few years ago. This happens every single time I go over there. I just do not know what to make of it.

When i return from out of town, I am going to have to see a counselor, spiritual healer, etc. I do the serenity prayer, but there are no AA meetings in the work camp I am in. I have to get by for the next week, and deal with these issues as soon as I return home. It's like there is a hole in my heart, knowing that I may never talk to them again, and despite all signs pointing to this for years, things will not be ok in the end.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 05:24 AM
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Re: Breaking Ties with Parents

Alberta Cowboy, I am sorry for the pain your parents inflict on you.

Even though you have no AA meetings to attend in real life, you may find AA Online helpful.
Quote:
It's like there is a hole in my heart, knowing that I may never talk to them again, and despite all signs pointing to this for years, things will not be ok in the end.
Here is where you are expressing pain, but you are also expressing hopelessness. Things are always alright in the end, but you may have to adjust your definition of "alright" and "the end."

You can't fix your father's broken-ness. You can only work on yourself. Grieving the loss of what your relationship with your father could have been, and becoming okay with the fact that a relationship under current conditions is not possible, you may eventually find that you are indeed alright in the end.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 08:30 AM
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Re: Breaking Ties with Parents

AlbertaCowboy, I think your dad has his own issues. The thing with the picture of your daughter, telling you that you have to be out of the house two weeks after you plan on being out, and especially repeatedly offering you a beer...

I don't know why he would, but do you think he has some need for you to be the bad guy and him to be - I dunno the right word - superior? It seems like he flat out will not accept any of your success and lies about it (to himself and to others) to make it seem like you're wrong and he's the one in charge who has to make everything all right. Does he lie to put himself in a good light and you in a bad light? That's how it comes across to me.

At any rate, whatever his issues, the best thing (IMO) for you to do is withdraw from him. See him for what he is and just don't play the game. It doesn't have to be forever, although it might be. It does have to be until you've gotten through this and your father's behavior doesn't affect you so much.
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