As many have noticed, I’ve taken a break blogging about my estrangement. I’m still estranged from my family. My siblings still choose to demonize me & paint themselves as virtuous. Their passive aggressive, character assassination on social media has been aimed at dehumanizing me, promoting their enemy image of me online, & soliciting support. They refer to me as their ‘biological’ sister & still haven’t curtailed the tide of bitterness & anger towards me. However, I’ve made it very clear to them that I no longer want to be a puppet in their lives, strung along to whatever tune they’re playing.
Honestly, I wrestle with the challenges, struggles, & consequences of writing about estrangement. It’s hard to decide what to discreetly omit & what to disclose. The stakes are high & paying the price for transparency can strike hard. While many people are empathetic, some think I should bury the hatchet for the sake of peace & family.
For those in favor of reconciliation for the sake of family: While I’m no person’s judge, I don’t presume to know what others should or should not do in the same predicament, nor should you. I don’t have to explain or justify my decision to draw boundaries between me & my family to anyone. I don’t have to help others understand my position. I don’t have to defend myself or prove myself. Please don’t underestimate the power or long-lasting effect of emotional & verbal abuse. My family will never inspire a Norman Rockwell painting.
For those who are empathetic or suffer from their own estrangement: Thank you! I know estrangement is tough especially during the holidays, which promotes families and togetherness. It’s plagued by awkward moments where we dodge communication about our family & suffer in silence. While I’m never completely comfortable giving advice to others, here are three tips to get you over the holiday hump & starting a joyous new year.
- Remember – No two people view any event exactly the same, even within a family. We have different vantage points, shaped by our own perspectives & life experiences. Our different levels of awareness are impacted by our beliefs, ideas, fears, & motives. Quit trying to change your estranged family or trying to get them to consign to your perspective.
- There are NO completely innocent parties with estrangement. Reflect on your part. Don’t deprive yourself of the opportunity to learn about yourself. What responsibility do you accept for what happened? How could you have handled things differently? What will you do differently next time? Life hands us our pain & hurt to teach us lessons. Transform your wound into wisdom & learn from your experience.
- Focus on the healthy relationships in your life, built on the premises of mutual respect, support, & appreciation where you are loved for who you are and not what others want you to be.
Not everyone’s heart is engraved with warm images of unconditional love & acceptance from family, nor are classic holiday reunions possible for everyone. Always remember you are not alone. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.