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Estrangement

Siblings and wider family

(28 Posts)
LostChild Mon 16-Sep-19 20:17:52

When you estranged/were estranged, what happened with siblings and wider family?

Smileless2012 Mon 16-Sep-19 20:23:16

When we were estranged by our son the only member of his family that he remained in contact with is his brother.

The contact is sporadic as our DS lives in Aus. and he hasn't been back to the UK for almost 2 years.

rosecarmel Mon 16-Sep-19 23:46:19

Also sporadic- Some went years without contact- Currently, my immediate family all interact- Some of the nieces and nephews keep in touch with each other- I also touch base with them from time to time, some more often than others-
There has been plenty of estrangement in my family and plenty of reunions-

LostChild Tue 17-Sep-19 00:09:27

Our family was similar Rosecarmel, periods of years where I was estranged by my mum from family and told awful things about them.. Then expected to suddenly welcome them into my life. Alienated after that by things she told them about me and by her telling me they didn't like me. When I estranged they all estranged me except my brother who refused to accept my pleas for a relationship without talking about her. 2 years of nasty and manipulative phone calls before he cut me off. Then my uncle who would speak kindly to me, but only on the subject of my mum and never asked after me and the children or ignored attempts to ask after his wellbeing. She did her job well.

I remember crying to my counsellir asking if I was really so awful that, they couldn't put up with me to see my children so my children could have those conections. We then went through my family tree and she showed me that there was never any love for my little family. That woman saved me, I went to her broken thinking I must be the worst person ever to be so I unloved and unwanted. She helped me undo years of conditioning akin to Stockholm syndrome.

Namsnanny Tue 17-Sep-19 00:29:45

All of my family are somewhere between extremely low contact (no communication except under unusual circumstances ie funeral) and no contact until my AC gives them permission to.

With the exception of one sibling, who has occasional contact.

rosecarmel Tue 17-Sep-19 01:11:46

My family tree is similar, LostChild- Estrangement wasn't a one-off and done- Its been generations in the making- And it seems the only remedy is continued distance for most but not all- Efforts made to deeply communicate have proved beneficial-

I pulled up stakes and left my home state when I finally understood that the love for my own little family wasn't there despite my efforts to provide safe haven during family ups and downs years prior- I made my share of mistakes while engaging in such endeavors but I cannot be held accountable for not stepping up to the plate and making an effort-

Saying that I wasn't my family's cup of tea is putting it mildly- smile

CassieJ Tue 17-Sep-19 07:33:53

Estrangement from elder child has meant he decided to cut off all family, siblings, grandparents etc. As they sided with me he felt he would no longer have contact with any of them.

Smileless2012 Tue 17-Sep-19 09:12:20

It's a shame Cassie that some cannot accept that others disagree with them and so are viewed as taking sides.

LostChild Tue 17-Sep-19 13:31:21

It must be difficult as a mother Cassie, I've focused very hard on good sibling relationships after my experience and I'd be gutted if they stopped talking to each other.

OutsideDave Thu 19-Sep-19 21:55:10

But they did ‘take sides’ as it indicates- they sided with Cassie. Hard to not take it as taking sides when that’s precisely what it is. Neutrality is absolutely possible (and should be encouraged if there’s to be any hope of reunion!)

paddyann Thu 19-Sep-19 22:20:39

my sister sort of abdicated when my dad died so she wouldn't have to care for our mother who had ongoing health problems.She even stopped her children from waving in grannies window on their way past from school .She didn't see or speak to any of us for 12 years .When her daughter got married we weren't invited .
She did turn up in floods of tears at mums funeral..with her in laws supporting her.My mother would have said they were crocodile tears.Since mum died 15 years ago I have spent an hour in that sisters company and only because a visiting cousin invited her to my home .She couldn't get away quick enough ...but she was very plausable when telling the cousin how much she loved and missed our mum...believe that if you like ,I didn't!

Smileless2012 Thu 19-Sep-19 22:21:52

It depends on what you regard as taking sides and we don't know from Cassie what she meant by that.

Some regard not agreeing with them and thinking what they've done is right or justified as taking sides.

Our DS has remained in contact with his brother throughout our estrangement and we don't regard that as him taking sides. They're brothers and as he's the only family member our ES has any contact with, we're thankful that they remain in contact.

Sadly for some it's all or nothing; if you're not for me you're against me.

LostChild Thu 19-Sep-19 22:28:32

My brother sided with my mum, as in he cut me off unless I had a relationship with her and before he cut me off, he repeated all the lies she has told him about me and was pretty nasty. Even though I knew she was saying most of it, it was so much worse coming from him. I'd probably still have a relationship with him if he agreed not to discuss her. He has been abused too, just controlled and manipulated rather than scapegoated.

Smileless2012 Thu 19-Sep-19 22:28:49

That must have been very difficult for you paddyann. Her tears at your mum's funeral do sound like crocodile tears.

What's the point of being at someone's funeral when you weren't there for them while they were alive.

agnurse Thu 19-Sep-19 22:34:06

My sister chose to go NC with us, her siblings, when she and her husband estranged from our parents. Ironically, I had told my parents expressly that I wouldn't be taking sides or acting as a mediator (they agreed that this wasn't my role), and I had never indicated to her that I was on anyone's "side" or wanted an explanation as to what had happened.

My AIL threw a wobbly when she found out that Hubby (an adult) had been contacting her ex-husband on occasion. She felt that because they had divorced, anybody in the family choosing to contact him was a personal betrayal of her. Consequently she became Aunt Who We Don't See. We have maintained a positive relationship with UIL and have visited his family. We found him and his new wife to be charming, gracious hosts, and their children are lovely.

LostChild Thu 19-Sep-19 23:36:29

Makes you wonder how many families are out there just torn to shreds because of one person's behaviour and blaming the wrong person for it.

CassieJ Fri 20-Sep-19 08:26:02

As my other children did not agree with my elder [ now estranged son ], he decided that he would no longer have anything to do with them.
This has been part of our estrangement, if I disagreed with anything he said, or tried to voice my own opinion, then I was the one in the wrong. The same with his siblings, they have tried to voice their opinions on what is happening, but he sees it as them taking "my side" so no longer wants to know them.

Smileless2012 Fri 20-Sep-19 08:34:12

That was our situation with our ES's wife Cassie. A difference of opinion, a different point of view was an 'attack'.

If you weren't for her 100%, and by that I mean in total agreement with everything she said and did, you were against her.

BradfordLass72 Fri 20-Sep-19 08:42:27

paddyann Sounds like my sister.
When Mum was terminally ill (she had emigrated to be with me in NZ some years before, because my sister made it clear she wouldn't care for her as she got less able) Mum wrote to ask her to fly out and see her one last time.

My sister said Mum should send the money as she could use it but she wasn't going to visit, and 'oh by the way, sell your house before you die and send me my share.'

She'd been Mum's favourite child all her life, very much indulged. What a payback sad

Smileless2012 Fri 20-Sep-19 08:47:02

It's interesting isn't it. paddyann's sister sounds like you sister Bradfordlass and Cassie's ES sounds like our ES's wife!

Humbertbear Fri 20-Sep-19 08:54:40

My older sister doesn’t talk to my me or my mother but she still sees my younger sister. My husband and I are still friends with my older sister’s estranged husband. Can you see a pattern here?

LostChild Fri 20-Sep-19 11:34:00

Some people are just so controlling that they micromanage everyone around them. Anyone disagreeing is a threat somehow. It's weird.

Dawn22 Fri 20-Sep-19 12:18:25

Estrangement is one of the hardest things to deal with. It cuts to the very core of our being.

I have often heard it said that families are everything and that you can always depend on family. But not so. When it is good it is very good but when it is bad it is rotten. Nothing hurts like family.

LostChild Fri 20-Sep-19 12:55:20

It really does Dawn. I'm so jealous of friends who have strong bonds with their mums... I don't know if jealous is the right word, I just want that too.

LlynP Tue 15-Oct-19 15:30:32

I can totally identify with the hurt that 'taking sides' causes. My relationship with my sister broke down a few years ago and her (adult) children decided to cut contact with me. I have no idea why, they haven't even had the good grace to hear my side. I'm not even aware of what I'm supposed to have done and suspect that they've been fed a lot of lies by their mother.

She has also managed to cut off all of her husband's many siblings and their families but she thinks none of this is her fault.

I've put a physical distance between them and myself but it still hurts that I've been shut out so unfairly and without explanation