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Family ties

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posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 03:50 AM
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I just need to rant somewhere, where those involved won't see.

I struggle with my familial relations, like most people.
In a way, I got far from them, moving to Europe in my early twenties. Most of the time I feel I suffer from the lack of feeling "roots" around me, on the other hand, there are moments I think, thank god.

But this is sort of a internal struggle I have always had, since I was very little. I think it is pretty normal- that love/ hate thing.

What I hate particularly is that my parents divorced when I was young and both sort of went their own ways, losing contact almost completely, reaching out once every few years. I am the oldest child. I have a sister who grew up with me, and a brother who was raised by my father, with our stepsister.

Between the two parents, neither had much of an idea who I was, as they did not observe me on a regular basis. They formed their ideas of me in terms of their feelings about each other- my mother claimed I was exactly my father, my father claimed I was exactly my mother.

Completely opposing characteristics were applied to me- I am too passive, too submissive, weak, emotional and inconsistant like my father, but too forceful, dominating, insensitive and rigid like my mother.
According to one, I need to learn to say no and stop being a bleeding heart who is constantly walked on like a carpet,
to the other, I am a scary feminist bully who runs the world around her and is completely self sufficient.

Growing up, I pretty much just stayed silent faced with all this, aware that it had more to do with their relationship than with my self.
My mother is dead now, and I don't have much interaction with my father. My struggle is with my siblings that did not grow up with me.
They grew up with my fathers image of me. He is part of a big family that creates myths of each other and talk about each other a lot. There are good guys and bad guys.

It seems I am a bad guy. My stepsister and brother only saw me a few times, that I could count on one hand, before adulthood, and yet she expresses often her view of me as the cruel and aggressive older sister. The Facebook memes where I am tagged as "that" sister who says mean things, and beats up others, or accomplishes terrifying and dangerous acts.... my brother is less expressive, but his jokes put in here and there make it clear, he too, has this idea of me as intimidating and evil.

She keeps focusing on it with humor, I finally said "hey, I don't recognize myself in this image. " after having asked my kids and husband is they saw me the way she is portraying (who knows, I could be blind to my own faults!), and they say they are perplexed as it isn't me at all.
But it seems she ignored that and is doing it even more.

Perhaps I was the evil villain all kids need to believe exist somewhere- the boogeyman- made possible because she couldn't actually see me and my dad was able to spin this myth whatever way he wished.
Perhaps HE needed a way to convince himself he had a reason to abandon me, it wasn't his fault, the girl was a monster, formed by her monster monster mother.

Whatever. Frankly, crap happens, people try to cope with life the best they can, they make mistakes, even horrible ones.
What bothers me is that my siblings, (and perhaps my father and stepmother, I don't know) are still nurturing and sustaining this false image, even when it no longer is necessary. I am gone for 24 years now. There's no need to be creating this stupid myth to justify not seeing me- they can just say, "I don't see her because she is far away, by her own choice, and I can't afford to go there."

I love these people, I really want to keep some sense of connection, but it hurts so much too, and I am so tired of just being forgiving and understanding to people who remain convinced I am evil.
Jeezus. I have always hated feminists and they still tell people I am a feminist. # like that starts to get to you after years!


This morning I got on the computer and saw my stepsister had tagged me in another meme, suggesting I am a sadistic mother, and I am thinking about unfriending her- though that would make me seem like the meanie she says I am.
We can make fun of the whole facebook thing, but it is exactly the same as in the past, when family members would refuse to come to the same events or talk to each other, in modern version.


I'm mad, but the truth is- it hurts.
She seems to think that I will find something complimentary or pleasurable about being seen as strong.
I don't. I don't care about being strong- I care about being kind.




posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 04:00 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma
I'm bound to be wrong here, but here's my thought on the topic of family. Family, sure can be defined as those related through either blood or ceremony, but then you realize the key word or phrase is "can be". Now my own definition of family. I suppose that's complicated. Let's just say I believe you choose your own family. Who you love, who you care about. That is family. Blood lines used to be important. They aren't anymore. Choose who you love. Simple. Yet, it really isn't.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 04:04 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

Bluesma,

If life has taught me anything, it is that human beings insist upon categorising and pigeon holing everything and everyone around them, despite being woefully intellectually stunted, to the point of being impertinent to think that they have any business forming an opinion or holding one.

Clearly you are dealing with individuals so mentally incompetent that the very act of their placing you in a box constitutes an overreach of their intellectual prowess. I would advise that you remember that these people are not intelligent enough to hold opinions on anything at all, leave alone on persons as wonderful, worldly, and wise as yourself.

Raise the middle finger, and have another coffee.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 04:10 AM
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Raise the middle finger, and have another coffee.


You make perfectly clear sense sometimes, ya know.

And I agree.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 04:41 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: Bluesma


Raise the middle finger, and have another coffee.

Thanks- that is excellent advice.
I've got coffee in hand, but am also seriously considering making chocolate cookies as well.
Perhaps my diet has made me irritable.

My daughter said a few weeks ago "isn't your stepsister somewhat of a stupid redneck? That's what she seems like anyway."
I shushed her and objected.
Secretly looking back on that now and wondering if my daughter might be more insightful than I wanted to admit.

But I don't want to counter with the same tactic, of demonizing someone to comfort myself.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 04:54 AM
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For what it's worth every family pegs one member as "the black sheep".
Fairly or unfairly. It's worth saying at least once to your stepsister,

Hey! You don't know me and that's a very unfair accessment, can we work on you getting to know the real me moving forward?" Can you commit to this?

After that if she persists it's appropriate to give her the finger and move forward knowing you've tried and the problem is ALL her. I'm sorry your family's behavior has hurt you. Truly!

I get pegged all the time as aggressive, am the black-sheep because I didn't go to college or have a nice desk job, am the one they throw their hands up over exclaiming "well, you know how SHE is!" ad nauseum. They have a host of qualifiers for me that are ridiculous.

It may have something to do with what's called " resting bitch-face"? LOL!!
Or the fact I don't pander and say what I mean?

Regardless I love my family and they can suck it. Altho it took me YEARS to get to that point. Instead of getting down on myself, I turned it around to me being an asset. I'm now the one who argues with medical billing for my Parent's, the one who goes with, to return an item to the store or argue with customer service over a mistake. I'm the one they call to do "the dirty work", the family pit-bull. It's not the role I prefer, but finally my family appreciates me.


They are never going to perceive me as being a softy, or appreciate my volunteer work, and they definitely will never acknowledge me as a kind and giving person. That's ok....it doesn't negate those qualities and in reality I'm not that way for approval anyhow, they raised me to be that way even tho they seem to have forgotten it.
GRINS!!!

Hold your head high! You've overcome a lot and still want to have good relationships with your siblings. That's a HUGE mountain to climb and I admire you for it.
HUGGS!!!



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 04:59 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma



This morning I got on the computer and saw my stepsister had tagged me in another meme, suggesting I am a sadistic mother, and I am thinking about unfriending her- though that would make me seem like the meanie she says I am. We can make fun of the whole facebook thing, but it is exactly the same as in the past, when family members would refuse to come to the same events or talk to each other, in modern version.

I'm mad, but the truth is- it hurts. She seems to think that I will find something complimentary or pleasurable about being seen as strong. I don't. I don't care about being strong- I care about being kind.


I´ve been in this situation (before facebook). I know it hurts but there´s one thing you maybe forgot.
It´s your life, you know exactly how you are and it seems you are social person. Without knowing you, I dare to say you swallow too much. It´s not critic against you, but it reads that way. You probably are a person that does not need much action, you want peace and live your life.

You have to stand up against such things like tagging you sadistical. If you take it with a smile everytime, they lower the bar every time they do it. Because for them, you seem to be okay with it.

The longer you wait, the worser it gets. Talk to them, tell them how you feel and that most of what they think they know of you, was the opinion of your father. Tell them it hurts to be treated like that.

I´m inclined to write you a U2U because some things are not really for public.
Been through # like this, if you want advice, you can write me anytime!



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 05:16 AM
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originally posted by: Bluesma
I just need to rant somewhere, where those involved won't see.
I struggle with my familial relations, like most people.
In a way, I got far from them, moving to Europe in my early twenties. Most of the time I feel I suffer from the lack of feeling "roots" around me.


You are married, you have family I'm sure you have put down your own roots

for your future family tree? Instead of looking back (its gone you cant change

it) don't waste time looking back look forward.




What I hate particularly is that my parents divorced when I was young and both sort of went their own ways, losing contact almost completely, reaching out once every few years. I am the oldest child. I have a sister who grew up with me, and a brother who was raised by my father, with our stepsister.
Between the two parents, neither had much of an idea who I was, as they did not observe me on a regular basis. They formed their ideas of me in terms of their feelings about each other- my mother claimed I was exactly my father, my father claimed I was exactly my mother.


You dealt with it in the best way you could? People always see things from their

own perspective, even you lol! The one thing I have learned .... in life you can

only play the hand your dealt.




Completely opposing characteristics were applied to me- I am too passive, too submissive, weak, emotional and inconsistant like my father, but too forceful, dominating, insensitive and rigid like my mother.
According to one, I need to learn to say no and stop being a bleeding heart who is constantly walked on like a carpet,
to the other, I am a scary feminist bully who runs the world around her and is completely self sufficient.


And so you are! every one of those contradicting characteristics, because you

are seen through *others* perceptions which are coloured by their own ghosts.

As it is impossible in life to please everyone, make yourself into the person you

like and admire. Be who you want to be.




Growing up, I pretty much just stayed silent faced with all this, aware that it had more to do with their relationship than with my self.
My mother is dead now, and I don't have much interaction with my father. My struggle is with my siblings that did not grow up with me.
They grew up with my fathers image of me. He is part of a big family that creates myths of each other and talk about each other a lot. There are good guys and bad guys.


Never a truer word said than "You can choose your friends but you cant choose

your family. Sometimes friends are more than family.



It seems I am a bad guy. My stepsister and brother only saw me a few times, that I could count on one hand, before adulthood, and yet she expresses often her view of me as the cruel and aggressive older sister. The Facebook memes where I am tagged as "that" sister who says mean things, and beats up others, or accomplishes terrifying and dangerous acts.... my brother is less expressive, but his jokes put in here and there make it clear, he too, has this idea of me as intimidating and evil.


Let it go .... Life is too short to dwell on what is past and gone, it cant be changed,

ignore their pettiness their barbs.... Be the better person and rise above it! Let it be

their loss.


But it seems she ignored that and is doing it even more.



Like all mean minded, and bullies the more she feels she is getting to you the more

satisfaction she is getting. Let it go ignore her, be HAPPY and SUCCESSFUL ..... that's

the best revenge.



Perhaps I was the evil villain all kids need to believe exist somewhere- the boogeyman- made possible because she couldn't actually see me and my dad was able to spin this myth whatever way he wished.
Perhaps HE needed a way to convince himself he had a reason to abandon me,
it wasn't his fault, the girl was a monster, formed by her monster monster mother.


^^^^^ Perfectly answered.... its not about you!! Its about making themselves feel

better!




I love these people, I really want to keep some sense of connection,



WHY??? I find love is a much overused and misunderstood term. And are

you prepared to hang onto their coat tails for dear life just to feel some sort

of connection. when they have made it quite clear they don't really care. If

love is that important to you, you will find it in bucketful's in care homes for

children or the elderly. They will truly appreciate you.



This morning I got on the computer and saw my stepsister had tagged me in another meme, suggesting I am a sadistic mother, and I am thinking about unfriending her- though that would make me seem like the meanie she says I am.
We can make fun of the whole facebook thing, but it is exactly the same as in the past, when family members would refuse to come to the same events or talk to each other, in modern version.
I'm mad, but the truth is- it hurts.


Are you a masochist?


LOL!! The TV programme in the background has just said "There's no such

thing as the perfect family ......
edit on 13-4-2016 by eletheia because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 05:27 AM
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See this bit?:


originally posted by: Bluesma

My daughter said a few weeks ago "isn't your stepsister somewhat of a stupid redneck? That's what she seems like anyway."
I shushed her and objected.
Secretly looking back on that now and wondering if my daughter might be more insightful than I wanted to admit.

But I don't want to counter with the same tactic, of demonizing someone to comfort myself.


That right there is how you know that you are a beautiful person, right down to your guts. Forget the haters, the misery peddlers. Hold onto that chunk of you that knows better, and in so doing vanquish the toxic mess that you are being fed by your blood kin.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 06:08 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma
Never forget, the people in your family that you don´t like / don´t like you...

You never would befriend with them in real life when you meet them on the street, so just because you share parts of the same DNA, it does not mean you have to get along with them.

Not saying family is not important, but sometimes, it´s better to break up ties, if you´re the one suffering constantly.
I know, your situation is a little bit different as you want to bond with them.

I wanted to get along with my sister, but after a few month, she´d forget and restart again.
This was going on for years. When I finally started to not talk to her anymore, she stopped eating.
That was her way to press me into talk to her, through my parents back then.

At first, I had remorse, if she dies it´s my fault. Guess what, its totally not! And I told her that. Die if you want, but consider I don´t give a # why, because if you decide to stop eating, it´s your decision. Sounds cold and hard, if you don´t know what has been done to me. I don´t have to bear this guilt because you have your own mind. Shortly after that, she started eating again, although I was not talking to her...



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 06:14 AM
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Facebook is a great conductor of drama! It doesn't create it, just allows it to flow well.

I have an aunt that is good about these sort of passive aggressive posts. So I hid her, knowing that unfriending would create more drama. I don't see any of her crap, so it doesn't make my blood pressure go up.

But in all honesty, if you want to cut her off, you should do it. Though I doubt you do, as you said, you do love them.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 06:18 AM
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Why are you even bothering with these people? If they want to believe you're some kind of monster and won't change their minds even when faced with evidence to the opposite, cut'em loose. 24 years is a long time to put up with that kind of crap. I wouldn't have taken for 24 hours. They obviously don't care about you and you're wasting your time trying to be friends.
Get them out of life. They're not worth it.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 06:57 AM
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I ranted, I ate a brownie, and I commented on the latest sadistic mom thing she tagged me in.

I wrote,
"Seriously, though I understand the sadistic evil sister myth might have been useful to you guys and my dad long ago, do you really need it now? It's like ____ (our bothers name removed for privacy) "brat" myth, which has no basis in reality, and really should be let go of by now. We don't need to justify our parents neglect anymore with such horrible false characterisations.

My brother carries around a sad idea that he was a very bad kid, that my mom got rid of because he was so badly behaved she couldn't handle him. She actually told him that is why she was giving him to our dad.
It wasn't true- my dad had been hassling her to give him up for a long time. She had tried to use him as leverage telling my dad he could have the brother if he also took my sister and I. He had refused and my mom finally gave in after a few years.

Had nothing to do with him- he was an adorable and sweet kid. We just had screwed up parents. But he still calls himself "the Brat" and has low self esteem because of it.
So that is the reference I made there. I hope I was balanced and clear. I don't want to be a bitch. I want to be honest and fair.

I keep thinking such family conflicts, if they never get worked out, talked out... we never reach understanding of each other, how horrible to think we just die with all those frayed ends for nothing.

I don't know if it is possible, but I think I don't want to walk away completely until I am sure I tried at least.
I once did that with my dad, telling him everything I felt and thought, and it allowed me to stop caring.
Maybe that's what I need to do now?
edit on 13-4-2016 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 07:39 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

You did not choose your family but you can select your friends.
If it bugs you that much, listen to your heart. We can only give advices, the decision has to be made by you.

What are they doing for you and do you benefit from those familyfriendships? With benefit, I don´t mean physical things, I mean love, having someone to talk to, being there in need. Because it reads like you´re all doing that for them, but instead you get branded just of hearsay.

I think the text that you sent them is written very good. It makes it clear, now you just have to await the reaction and maybe draw your conclusion.

But don´t be humble and used as a carpet to be walked on.
I broke ties completely with my sister and since then, all the drama brought through her was gone. Simply peace and no intrigues, talking behind my back and what not.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 07:56 AM
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"Scapegoating" and "Railroading" are dynamics seen often in dysfunctional families. They've got to blame somebody, and being away, you are an easy target for that.

Discard them, or fight back.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 08:27 AM
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originally posted by: verschickter
a reply to: Bluesma

You did not choose your family but you can select your friends.
If it bugs you that much, listen to your heart. We can only give advices, the decision has to be made by you.

What are they doing for you and do you benefit from those familyfriendships? With benefit, I don´t mean physical things, I mean love, having someone to talk to, being there in need.


I appreciate all the input you guys are giving me too.
Funny, I get more out of exchanges with strangers on a forum than my own family members.


Yeah... I can't really say I get much out of this part of my family, except that there is a sort of deep need to identify with a people... a clan, a group. Roots of some kind? Even if they are not solid or nourishing, the concept aids me when I feel especially isolated.

I actually am having fantasies about writing them all off. Perhaps with one letter sent to all of them-
If you are receiving this, it is because I have decided my relationship with you is not beneficial in any way.
Henceforth, all attempts at contact will be rejected. Have a nice life. Good bye.




posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 08:37 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

It reads like you´re a mother. You started your own family. Make it better than your parents, I´m sure you do already.
I understand what you mean with roots. But ask yourself, is it worth all the heartache?
Be your own and your kids roots.

If you break ties, I would not write anything. Just break up for good and okay. Nobody says they might not get better in the meantime. Maybe some day you get a call when they realized what they did to you.
But don´t count or wait on it.

If you write that letter, they´ll all agree on each other that you are as crazy/bad as they said you are. They´ll use it to excuse their own behavior, keeping up the status quo.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 08:40 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

Your family is supposed to love you and support you. If they don't do this, then they are not a family you should try to keep in your life. Period.

If it were me, I would cut the ties and move on - I'm worthy of a better family. But, I was raised by parents who gave me high self esteem, so it's easy for me to say this. If you were raised not to have high self esteem, it will be harder for you to stand up for yourself and say "enough!".



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 09:27 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

I am from a relatively small family, but my wife's family is quite large, and has many bad apples in it (not necessarily criminal types, but always negative, hypocritical, lazy, needy, etc.).

After over 30 years or so of always trying to be the one that fixes everything and helps everyone (getting no gratitude or help in return), she finally came to the conclusion that it's not worth the toll that it takes on her and our family, so she basically just walked away. She is friends on FB and such, but as far as communication and visiting and whatnot, that has pretty much ceased--and it's been great for her and our relationship.

My point being, I guess, is that being family is no excuse to stress over toxic people in your life. Negativity is negativity, regardless of the familial connection, and at some point, you have to do what's best for you.

It appears that you have put forth the effort to deal with this, and without any acceptable solution. Short of having them come do an extended visit with you (you said that they can't afford it) in order to actually get to know you, I would say that you have done your due diligence.

I would take appropriate steps to limit your exposure to their negativity and apparent ignorant view of who you are, and just go on with your life and focus on you, limiting your exposure to toxic views of you from people who know little about you.

Honestly, that's like people here on ATS who jump down someone's throat, acting like they know them, based on something as simple as, say, if they approve of socialized medicine. They don't know you, and you certainly don't seem to know them very well, so I'd just ignore them unless it's something that actually matters, and other people's opinions of you are meaningless if you're comfortable with who you are.

Best regards.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 11:14 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma
There is no easy answer on how to fix your problem, because you can't fix other people. You can only fix yourself.

I am blessed and cursed with a huge family. I have 5 brothers and 4 sisters. I am the oldest. In a family we each have roles to play. Circumstances in life will mold those roles, and time will set them, like concrete.

Time will also wear the edges until they are rough, sharp, and can cut to the bone. In situations where the molded one is hidden from the world elements, and frequently caressed, the edges are usually round and smooth, but it doesn't make the molded one any less deadly, if you are bludgeoned with it.

Family members are different because it is a grab bag. As other have already said; you don't get to choose your family members. You can choose which family members you embrace and which ones you reject. It might make you feel better for a while, but rejected family members don't just disappear, and like an ignored infection, they can create a toxic environment for you and everyone else, eventually.

Just remember one important thing, it is not about you. Again as others have already said; it is about the person's "idea" of who they think you are, based on how the information affected them.

My relationship with my older siblings comes from a place of safety and sustenance. I was the oldest, I protected them, and I fixed them meals when they were hungry. I was the second Mom, when my parents were away, which was often, they both worked. My younger siblings know me by the stories they heard about me when I was away at college, then the military, and with the brief encounters they had with me, when I came home to visit.

Their memories are based on half truths, lies, and embellishments, and it has caused some hard feelings along the way, on occasion. I found out years later, and I do mean years later, that one of my younger siblings held a grudge, secretly, for years because she misheard a comment that was made. It went like this; someone said something like she looked warm, and she thought they said she looked like a worm. It crushed her and she carried that with her for years. Being the middle child it formed her view on life, and caused her more pain than it should have, and played a huge role in the person she became, and is now trying to rebuild herself, from a false memory.

I understand how you feel. It is like trying to remove a part of you. As a nurse I saw many people that held on to a diseased body part until it nearly killed them. It didn't matter that it no longer resembled anything recognizable as a body part to anyone else, or that it was purulent and smelly. It was a part of them, and removing it was more painful than enduring the ugliness, pain, and stench.

It is has nothing to do with what is logical, what makes sense, what is right, or what is wrong. It has everything to do with how it affects you on a level that is so deep, it is spiritual and almost mystical. Much of what you feel will fluctuate like the waves and tides of the ocean. Your decision will travel like those waves, and because families are usually generational, they may touch far and distant shores, beyond your lifetime. You can't fix people, but you can give them the tools and the support they may need to fix themselves.

My mother was able to mend fences with her sister-in-law a gazillion years later, again over a stupid misunderstanding. My sister and my cousin did an intervention. We all knew that they didn't get along, and neither would be open and honest about why, to anyone else. My sister knew my other would be the easiest to break, because she knew which buttons to push. After she got the story from my mother, it was easy to break the rest of the mystery, because my Aunt had to have her rebuttal.

Imagine the surprise from both of them when they realized that the whole affair was just a stupid misunderstanding, which neither wanted to bring up, and both thought they were respecting the wishes of the other.

Communication is the simplest, yet the most complex resource, known to man. It can be sweet, bitter, calming, healing, toxic, volatile, life sparing, disastrous, and deadly; but it is always essential.

In your time, when you are ready, you might want to just pick up the phone and make a connection. Or you might decide not to. Only you can make that choice. Good luck in whatever you decide.



edit on 13-4-2016 by NightSkyeB4Dawn because: Word fix.



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