Family Members on the Outside

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Nancy

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I know many of us have them: parts of our family that don't act like family. My brother (who lives 10 minutes away from my mother) sees my mom/his mom maybe two or three times a year. He never sees his sisters. The breakdown occurred because his wife decided she didn't like us and he felt he had to take sides.

But this is what happened today: I was walking my dog across the parking lot and I looked up and saw my brother's wife. She was very obviously looking down and turning away from me as she stepped out in front of me and walked rapidly to the store. I thought...should I say 'hi', and then I thought how she wouldn't like that. Also, it made me incredibly sad that someone felt the need to turn away from me.

A couple of years ago, a gentleman was in the grocery line ahead of me, and I smiled a polite 'hello' as I unpacked my cart. He seemed to be hanging around even after he had paid, so I took a second look. It was my brother...I hadn't recognized him.

This thread won't solve any of these problems, but sometimes we feel less alone if we share our struggles.
 

Mendalla

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My brothers and I have never been especially close. In childhood and youth I was always closer to friends than them. Just too different in personality and interests. Oddly, I am probably closer to my youngest brother (8 years age gap) than my middle brother (2 years), with me as eldest. We live maybe an hour and a half apart each (I'm in London, Brother 1 is in Kitchener, Brother 2 is in Hamilton) but see each other maybe twice a year and follow each other on social media (Twitter, mainly, since I don't Facebook).
 

Lastpointe

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Sorry to hear of your family estrangement. I mainly feel for your mom, has a son near by who doesn’t visit. That is sad

but I also recognize that my family background makes me feel that way due to our collective closeness. I only see my older brother annually unless something unusual like a wedding happens. But I feel close to them and certainly stay in touch

perhaps now that you are all older calling out hi might start to thaw the ice
 
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I can relate. I have a pretty broken and scattered family. I never see my (half) brother except on special occasions, we live 15 minutes apart. I’ve tried to connect but to no avail. My dad and step mom walked around me a few months ago, downtown. It was after work, was walking with my walker, they were in a hurry, walking briskly, to get to an event - in early December I guess it was, just before I got my scooter. They walked past/ around me. Then I recognized them immediately and called them by their first names - I might have said “Dad?” first, with no response. Then they turned around, it took a second to “click” and they apologized and said they had tickets for something and were in a hurry. I was hurt. I let my dad know the next day, that I was hurt. He admitted it was a pretty big oopsie, apologized again, and we moved on. I have run into my step mom in the past and she’s been reluctant to stop and talk, maybe it’s mutual. We both feel uncomfortable. My mom and step mom have run into each other and stared daggers at one another. And I am not in any hurry to have certain family over, who live blocks away. It’s awkward, their only words are judgmental of me - why put myself through it? Divorce busted my family to bits when I was a kid and it never quite regrouped. But now...I don’t want to live in the same town with family. I want to move to get away from the toxicity. I should never have moved back here. I feel trapped here by toxic family and our impossible to resolve issues. I think maybe I want to be on the outside and make a chosen family of friends. They wouldn’t sweat it anyway.
 
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Mrs.Anteater

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I am chronically bad at not seeing people. I am just so focussed on other things. I depend on people saying hi. Sometimes, situations can be misinterpreted because of other baggage. If your baggage is not heavy and you have the liberty to shout a quick “ hi “ over no matter what reaction you are getting, your positivity will make the world a little lighter.
 

Nancy

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A few years ago, when my daughter was getting married, my sister-in-law and I had a visit in a public place, where she was very nice to me. But there were several people around who obviously liked and respected me so she got on that band wagon. She asked for a wedding invitation to my daughter's wedding. We were surprised but gave her and my brother an invitation. They didn't respond and they didn't come. Five of my brother's nieces and nephews have got married: invitations do not get responses and they do not come or even send a 'congratulations'. On Mom's 80 and then 85th birthday, they wouldn't come because they didn't want to see the three sisters. We are a family that many people used to envy because of our closeness. Until this all started.
 
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Sometimes, if someone comes from a small family or a quiet and reserved family, and they are shy on top of that - it may be hard for them to get into the family groove, if they are joining a bigger and more gregarious family. I know that happened with my dad's sister-in-law. She was always quiet and didn't jump into things with family. And the same with the wife of one of my step dad's sons. She was painfully shy and awkward around everyone - but once they had kids - 2 boys and a girl all teens now - and the kids got a bit older, and she was used to being involved with parents and teachers and the kids' sports and lessons, etc. she came out of her shell quite a bit. I could see her trying to avoid saying hi - especially back then. Not because she's rude (at least I doubt she would want to be rude, she's a kind person), but because she's shy and self conscious.
 
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I do it too - avoid making eye contact with familiar faces from high school - I don't want to be rude, I just feel awkward. I'm pretty recognizable in this small city I guess - a lot of people never left. So they often end up calling my name first and I have to stop and chit chat. It's awkward.
 

Luce NDs

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Under hostile circumstances in which we were exposed ... is it a miracle that some of us folk communicate whatsoever?

It seems it may be best to communicate imaginatively ... like in the form of abstract ... and let those that don't appreciate you go and figure out what's off base ...

Some sage stated it was good to know the self ... and few understand the expression as if it were IHC'y! Call it tacky if you desire ...
 

ChemGal

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I don't really understand instances I see of some cutting others out. In my husband's family I get it with his Dad's side, there was toxicity there. On his Mom's side there is a relative I never met as he cut himself out, I don't really understand those dynamics. His brother and sister have both had strained relationships with others in the family - varying degrees of contact. People aren't perfect, but I do see that they care in that family. To me, barring abuse, that's enough to make the relationships worthwhile maintaining. Family is important.

My sister and I aren't super close in a besties kind of way. If we weren't related we probably wouldn't be friends, we're just different, have different circles of friends, etc. I know if I need something, she'll help out if she can and vice versa. We mostly likely hanging out with each other, although it doesn't happen that frequently. When she was on her maternity leaves we did though, and while for me the biggest benefit to that was my nephews and to her it was the help we both enjoyed chatting those times too. The relationship with my brother in law is more strained, he seems to avoid seeing us as much as he can. I'm not totally sure what's going on, I don't know if he really wants to see people beyond his immediate family though, so it may not be personal. I do know that I can get help from him on certain things though and I think he knows the same, although his threshold for asking is waaay higher.
 

Luce NDs

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Is fire and light toxic to the darkness and unknown?

Consider how past unknowns dealt with the power of enlightenment!

Does such denial go on today in conforming to things audacious folks say common folk shouldn't know for marketing purposes?

Surely we don't know much better than we did before ... by rites of choice!
 

revjohn

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I'm probably that family member.

I'm horrible at remembering to phone and I am three provinces removed from the rest of the family. And birthday cards to the remaining members of my family of origin are generally late.

No hate or family drama involved. I'm just going about my business.

Last time I saw the extended family was at my dad's funeral in September thanks to Facebook reminding me some of them had birthdays I was able at least to extend a simple birthday greeting. Had it not been for Facebook I wouldn't have remembered at all.

I don't avoid them when they call me or post on my wall.

Heck if I didn't have responsibility for cooking supper and a lot of hungry mouths and bellies sitting at the table waiting for it I'd probably spend more time out in the woods after work. Daisy wouldn't complain and we wouldn't wander off anywhere we weren't familiar with when the light started to fail.

The only thing stopping me now is that without snowshoes I would not get very far, very fast and there is a greater chance to hurt one's self suddenly dropping down a foot or two with sharp rocks and things lying around.

I should get some snowshoes.
 

KayTheCurler

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I have a kid who basically ignores me if she can. From what I can gather she is still mad at me because I didn't magically supply everything she wanted during childhood. Then I compounded the problem by not spending endlessly on gifts for her first child. We are about as opposite as it is possible to be! Mostly it isn't too dreadful to live with but I confess to the odd twinge. On my birthday she wrote om FB wishing a friend a glorious, happy day with lots of family popping in to hug. No greeting of any kind for me.
 

BetteTheRed

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Ouch, that hurts, Kay. Not fair, either, but I think some of them just don't see it.

My family can be strange, too, though. In some ways, I'm as close to my family in England as anyone here, now that my parents are gone. I get along not at all well with one of my sisters (the middle one). She broke it quite deliberately some 22 years ago, and has never bothered to fix it, although when she first became a caregiver for her mother-in-law, she did once call me to apologize. We see each other two or three times a year, cordially. We don't have much in common. My youngest sister and I are closer. We even managed 15 days together in England, which is something of a stretch for both of us. We have similar interests and similar intellects. But we live an hour apart and have very different schedules.

My children are also strange. My oldest, who I gave up for adoption and didn't meet until he was in his 30s, seems to be very fond of me, although his communication style is somewhat strange. We won't talk for months, then we'll have a rapid-fire two hour conversation on FB that is as if we've known each other well all our lives. My second, also a boy, lives on Salt Spring Island. Our relationship has been occasionally a bit rocky, although also quite close. He's a bit difficult to live with; he's prone to taking advantage, and he's a major slob (and coming from Not Susie Homemaker, I mean it). It's actually great as it is, we're not close enough to get on each other's nerves, but we talk 2-3 times a week on-line, on the phone most Sundays, we play an on-line game together regularly. Daughter is probably the most uneven. She's very like her Dad, a borderline personality, so we're close, but not too, and never obviously. I had a bad post-partum depression, she was a really colicky baby, and so, it is what it is. When we're together, it's great, and we click and understand each other. But she totally withdraws when things aren't going well, and it's more often than it should be, and she's awfully fond of flinging "not my fault" around when it comes to some of her sorta self-inflicted challenges... It might be different should she have children, but that's not in her plans.
 

PilgrimsProgress

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When it comes to your family of origin -childhood rivalries/jealousies never completely disappear......

Last year I only saw my eldest step-daughter once, yet I love her heaps. When she apologised about it I said the truth, "I really don' care if I don't see you (she lives in another city) , but I do care that you still love me, despite not meeting up." She posted me a birthday card that said, "We love you now and we'll love you always."

Problem solved -we can get on with our busy lives and feel secure in each other's affections......
 

Nancy

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I'm in touch with my own kids quite regularly. We help the two who live closest as much as we can....have them over for meals, cat-sit, babysit, or whatever else comes up. The one who lives away...I keep in touch with on Messenger, and we phone a few times a month. When he visits, sometimes with his wife, and sometime on his own, I can't stop smiling. Happily, all three get along very well with one another. I hope it always stays that way.

In my husband's family of 9 kids, only one left the fold for awhile, with lots of resentment, blaming, and different memories about how he had been treated by the family. People tried to keep in touch, but it was usually ignored. However, all of a sudden, they re-joined the family. Now that brother is the family photographer who takes pictures of every event and sends them to all of us. He gave my husband a lovely birthday card with a warm and friendly personal note. I keep in touch with my sister-in-law regularly by e-mail or on Facebook.

Miracles happen.
 

Luce NDs

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My mother was against the world (anti secularism) drove dad away when I was only 1 - 2 ... leading to life long isolationism on my part and I lived within proximity of my mothers religious community that stated I was evil and crazy to be not part of their sentience (thus departed)!

I am really dead to such societies as I struggle to know more whilst my mother worked to know less ... thus we were a fractured relationship with in the familial housing. It could be depersonalizing living under her rules ...

Many folks do not observe this experience and thus don;t believe it happened ... I've been told numerous times that this didn't happen to me, so I should excise this from the (non existent) mind ... thus I have the conjecture that I yam a lost SOL! The solitude seems fine ... but sometimes I break into other's sentience as a matter of precipitative personality order ... just so they know there exist things that they don;t know. These metamorph as strangers ... then gone like butterflies in their gut as they know something is kewed or with unseen cute nature.

My grandfather didn't like kewed as something cute ... he like an aware nothing ... like a bubble in the fulminating psyche ... he admired word play in the medium ... became a town councillor to dispel some of it ... dispelling is a sin to some powerful collectives!
 

Nancy

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Luce….sounds tough. We usually want to count on a mother's love and guidance. No surprise though that your grandfather admired word play!
 

Luce NDs

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Luce, you are so bloody unique. I'm sorry that happened to you.
I really don't believe I am unique ... yet in denial and delusion and other methods of exclusion ... such things pass in blindness.

My mother had a pastor that totally believed that knowledge and love was evil ... and reconstruction of human failures should be carried out by his rules ...

As a consequence expect some precipitative disfunction (personality disturbances) in an atmosphere where many only believe their private experiences with vast mysteries ... this may take on a god-like incarnation (only apparently not altruistically)!

One can play with this in strange language ... if one believes there is something sublime in those tongues ... as hypo in nature ... below the fluid surface?

Even my submissions to some celebrity magazine have resulted in numerous rejections as they said the general public is unprepared for my strange approach to what they believed real where is was altruistically abstract ... thus incomplete in the longer dash ...

I believe it outrageously humorous ... that is from an outside view. Now if you are "in" and disrespectful to the alternate ... you may find up is down and thus BS wavering power! One must weave a bit to collect the absolute and abstract natures to weird sentience ... that's an archaic form of word for awareness! Some say it returns at the end of our dark tunnel vision ... as a terminal flash in the marketplace! This may assume the position of an NDe ... or OBI when you get beyond yourself for a bit in mind ... and you know how the emotional folk believe the mind as a queer incidence ...

Have respect ... it may be the old man's lady and all kinds of disturbances could occur when he returns as Jeremiah John's boy from the mountain ... later evolving as the jack and Jill'd movement. Not for folks adhering to no change and thus outing knowledge and learning ...

So it goes ...
 
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