Support Groups for adult children with estranged families?
November 5, 2013 8:10 AM Subscribe
Is there such a thing? I tried searching some, but I dunno, maybe I'm not searching right because I didn't find anything.
posted by manderin to human relations (6 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Years ago I cut off all contact with all family members. And I mean ALL contact with ALL of them. I even had to get a lawyer involved and had my father sent a Cease & Desist. My only regret has been not doing it sooner. It actually started by me estranging the main emotional abuser which was my father. But the estrangement then grew to all members of my blood relatives when it became clear that none of them were ever going to accept the fact that I was never going to see or speak to my father again. I wasted a good deal of my 20's trying to be civil and trying to compromise towards people who refused to do the same for me. Finally I had to ask myself whether I was willing to spend my 30's and 40's this way too and the answer was a resounding NO.
Though life in general has been happier and better without them, I have found that there were lots of people who did not understand my decision and judged me for it. Such as people who come from supportive families and the concept of there being a bad parent in existence is something they have trouble comprehending despite what they see on the news every day. And then there are people who continue to be abused by their families, but haven't seen the light yet and think it's their own fault.- these too will judge you for not having contact with your family. At one point a "friend" of mine took it upon himself to try to initiate a family reunion without my consent or knowledge because he claimed "no one should disown their parents." This betrayal was so traumatic for me I never really recovered from it and I fell into a severe depression. This was someone I was a good friend to for 5 years and he betrays me and our friendship and instead took the side of people he had never even met! My friendship with him was severed and I had to move and erase my tracks from my family all over again. From that point forward I decided I was done with being judged for my decision and having to explain myself to people who were bound not to understand. I began to just tell everyone who asked that my parents were dead and that I was an only child. I feel bad about lying to people sometimes, but now that my parents are "dead" at least I'm no longer judged as "bad child" by people who barely know me and I don't have to worry about anyone betraying my whereabouts to my family again. However it would be nice to know a group of people who went through something similar where I can be honest without fear of rejection, judgement or sabotage. Do such groups exist?