Social Question

writemyselfaletter's avatar

Is there anyone among your blood relatives who have totally separated themselves and refused to speak to or see a parent, a sibling, a child, an aunt or uncle or cousin?

Asked by writemyselfaletter (123points) January 21st, 2010

Over the years, I have encountered a number of families who have experienced this type of intentional relationship devastation, including one of my own children. I’m wondering how common this type of behavior is. I could not imagine doing it, but perhaps it is more common than I think.

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30 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

Yes. My grandmother’s cousin left her kids one day and no one has heard from her since. She’d be dead by now. No one knows why she left.

A few of my cousins refuse to speak to my sister, and my sister pretty much never comes around. We had to beg her to come see my mom before she died.

I know lots of people with similar stories.

rangerr's avatar

I refuse to speak to my birth father.

lilikoi's avatar

I also refuse to speak to my birth father.

Jude's avatar

When I came out to my family, they refused to speak to me for two years.

They eventually accepted my lifestyle and everything’s peachy now.

Darwin's avatar

I can’t say any blood relatives have self-separated, but my husband’s step-son has refused to contact us since he left us high and dry with a $900 electric bill. We told his wife that all he had to do was apologize, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it and lied to her about it. Oh, well, his loss.

I had forgotten my grandmother’s sister Mary. She refused to speak to my grandmother for over 70 years, no idea why. However, she did send me a sterling silver berry spoon as a wedding gift. She was shocked that I knew what it was.

ella's avatar

i have an aunt that has, her entire life, had someone that she’s “written off” ... some of them lasted for many years, some only lasted for a few months. i just do not understand it myself, but apparently she craves the drama.. i try to stay as far removed from that limb of the family tree as i can.

tinyfaery's avatar

@jmah You demonstrate a point. Many of those of the LGBTQ community are disowned and written-off.

casheroo's avatar

My grandmother gave birth to an “illegitimate child” prior to meeting my grandfather and having 7 children with him. She gave him up for adoption, unwillingly but that’s what happened back in the…50s I suppose. Apparently he had been basically stalking her anytime she moved, and in 2007 got into contact with one of my mother’s siblings, who fully accepted him but this tears my grandmother the guy has basically forced himself into her life. It’s pretty crazy.

Other than that, my mothers siblings go through phases of not talking to certain siblings…my mother didn’t talk to her twin for quite a while. The twin was also in a fight with another sibling a couple other times (currently as well). Makes me glad to have just one sibling lol

Sarcasm's avatar

My father’s brother, Joseph, has removed himself from the family.
When I was a kid, he was very distant (even though he lived close to the rest of the family), but we still got to see him. Once my grandma and grandpa died, he severed all connections with the rest of us.

I don’t remember why he had a problem with the rest of the family. We haven’t heard from him in probably about 11 years now.

He ran a comic book shop or something of that nature when I was a youngin. I remember he’d always have X-Men cards for us.

Svidrigailov's avatar

I have been the estranger and the estrangee with my father and grandparents, respectively. I don’t believe in the whole blood-is-thicker-than-water bit. I’d rather commit myself to people whose participation in my life fosters inspiration, regardless of whether they’re kin.

bigboss's avatar

My brother, the one i used to spend most of time with, moved out of the house in 2000 and i have not seen him since, i have spoken to him on the phone sometimes since then, about 3 or 4 times probably. but thats it…..10 years…..damn time flies.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I didn’t speak to my sister for abut 2 years. She did something over the top, but when she apologized for what she did, I started talking to her again. I cut off contact with her because it was easier for me not to speak to her than to deal with her drama.

My stepmother cut off all contact with us about two years after my father died.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

My mother (73) has not spoken to her mother (102) for over 25 years.
My children avoid their mother except when they can get some money out of her. She never really cared about them once they were weaned.
It is sad but they is little I can do about it.

elizabethmae's avatar

My dad’s side of the family stopped talking to me when I was 15. They blamed me for his death. He pushed me down the stairs and I had him arrested (he’d been abusive before that too) and I got a restraining order so that I didn’t have to live with him. His drug problem escalated shortly after that and he over dosed. They blame me for turning everyone on my moms side against him. I’m 25 and we haven’t spoken ever. At my dads funeral my my uncle said to my mom, “I can’t believe you let that little bitch come here” so yeah. I don’t talk to him anymore.

Sophief's avatar

Yes, my dad doesn’t speak to his brother. Simply because when I was about 5 my dads brothers daughter took home a black man, and my dads dad was racist to him and kicked him out the house. My dads brother went mad and my dad just took his dads side.

Confuscious's avatar

I personally did this. I cut off my biological father’s entire family completely. The day I finished my final year of school they, him included, were all dead to me. This happened 14 years ago and I have not looked back on my decision to do this, and never will.

Sophief's avatar

@Confuscious They must of done something really bad.

Confuscious's avatar

@Dibley They weren’t really to blame, but for me to get him out of my life, I had to get them all out.

Sophief's avatar

@Confuscious Do you ever wonder about him? Was it really bad what he did? The reason I am asking is because I have situation at the moment with my dad, and I really don’t know what to do.

writemyselfaletter's avatar

@Confusious @Dibley I can understand that. I was advised by a counselor to cut my mother out of my life completely. Her (the counselor’s) words to me were, “You can either die young or divorce your mother”. She was incredibly intrusive, more than you can imagine. I did that for 7 years until she got ill and her behavior changed completely. For me it was a matter of survival.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Nothing like that has ever happened in my family because as much as we hated everyone, we stuck together (not necessarily always a good thing) – when I was 13, I wrote my father off…but still had to live with him for many many years after that.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I grew up not knowing my father or his family at all. I was conceived from a one-time sexual assault. I was also barely acquainted with my birth mother’s family. The state took me from her at 4 due to severe abuse and neglect. Her husband and brother-in-law had tried to kill me several months before in her presence and she didn’t try to stop them; it was a neighbor who caught them and did something! The state transferred custody of me to her sister, who turned out to be a paranoid schizophrenic. BM never made contact with me on her own, and stopped contacting her sister when I was 11. I never heard from her again and have no idea where she might be today, or if she is alive.

My aunt/guardian didn’t keep in contact with her other siblings or parents, who in turn didn’t keep in contact with us, so I don’t know my cousins. We were rather isolated. My maternal grandparents are now both dead. I stopped talking to my aunt/guardian and cousin (her son) about 8 years ago, because I could no longer handle the issues surrounding her mental illness, their continuing emotional abuse and their demands that I leave my life and return to her home and support her. There has been so much physical, emotional, sexual and mental abuse among my maternal family members that I had to just leave them all entirely, and there is at least 100 years worth of abuse that has gone down the pike that I’ve learned about in dribs and drabs over the years, and it’s awful stuff. In my BM’s generation, 5 of the 6 siblings are extremely emotionally disturbed.

I have felt quite guilty over the years for not being able to “save” them and for not wanting to be a part of their lives, but there it is. I have no interest in being a part of their lives, as wicked as that may make me sound. I think the psychological term for how my guardian and cousin wanted to deal with family matters between us is “enmeshed”. I can’t live that way. There are a few relatives who know how to get in touch with me, but after reaching out, they haven’t returned the effort.

I can only hope that whomever I have a relationship with next will be understanding. My previous boyfriends weren’t. I’m not a horrible person, I just feel that I needed to save myself instead of sinking down into the mire. I have a surrogate family, who, while obviously not perfect, has a few members in it who treat me with love and kindness, and I’m very grateful for that.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@aprilsimnel wow, good on you for becoming a stable, eloquent, intelligent human.

Sweetie26's avatar

My niece doesn’t speak to her grandma and aunt anymore since my brother past away. (my brother was adopted so he was raised by a different family- long story) They don’t like her mom because she divorced my brother. I think it’s real shitty cause she’s only five.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Then it’s the other way round, isn’t it? It’s not your niece’s fault, surely. Children are never responsible for such decisions made by adults.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – Thanks. It’s so sad that there are millions of families in the world with the same sort of fucked-up dynamics. I’m glad to have people in my life I can call sister and brother, and who can call me sister (and auntie!) as well.

downtide's avatar

One of my mum’s brothers broke off all contact with the family some decades ago, for no known reason. He just stopped talking to anyone, and moved away.

writemyselfaletter's avatar

@aprilsimnel You are an inspiration for living through all that and bringing yourself out of it and for maintaining your sanity. God bless you.

slopolk's avatar

Yes! My mother and her sisters do not speak anymore I wish it weren’t that way but they have their reasons, however I dont think that any reason is so excusable. When a person is no longer alive, or In short when all is said and done, Was is worth it? Time is one thing you could never undo.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Absolutely. When a family member got cancer and no one helped her, I stepped up and since then basically have nothing to do with the rest of the family. They were non-responsive when I asked for donations for another family members tombstone and since most of them live in other states/ countries, I have decided they are not nice ppl and there is no reason (besides blood) why I would want to continue relationships with them. Unfortunately it happens more than you’d think from my experiences in life with friends and coworkers.

Nullo's avatar

I have an aunt who I don’t care to ever see again. We’re separated by geography, though.

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