So What's So Bad About Me, Anyway...?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DaisyFace, May 2, 2010.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Living with a difficult child can be very isolating. Certainly, I don't get out or invite people over in the casual way I would like to... Everything has to be planned--every contigency anticipated. So I don't have a lot of friends to visit or do things with.

    OK....I can accept that.

    But lately, I've been pretty isolated from my family, as well. Not only physically (we live quite a distance away)...but in EVERY way.

    No one calls me.

    When I call--no one returns my calls.

    I have not heard from my siblings since before the Christmas holidays!!!

    I called to say "Merry Christmas!"

    I called to say "Happy New Year!"

    I called to say "Happy Birthday!"

    Heck, I even called on Bubble-Wrap Appreciation Day!

    and nothing.

    No return call. No email.

    Nothing.

    So is it me? What's wrong with me that nobody can even return a call? They didn't even call for my birthday.

    What gives?

    :(

    Just feeling sad today after placing yet another call...
     
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hmmm....if you had been talking regularly before than I wonder if maybe someone is sick or something is going on that the family is trying to "protect" you from knowing since you'rve already got so much on your plate. If, on the other hand, it's a dysfunctional and toxic family- who knows- but I wouldn't bite anymore.
     
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{Daisy Face}}}

    This has to be the hardest part of gfgdom. There can be many reasons why family stops calling: life can be extremely busy, they could be scared of difficult child's behavior rubbing off on their family (the "cooties" effect), they could be upset that you didn't follow their advice (and you must not have followed it or difficult child would have been whipped into shape by now :wink:), they could not want to be enmeshed in difficult child's day-to-day drama (aka "sinking ship syndrome") or (and this is the most insidious, I swear) they don't want to admit that there could be a real problem in the family gene pool (the "ostrich effect"). No matter the reason... it hurts. It hurts to not be part of family celebrations and life and to be seen only as an extension of your difficult child's issues.

    I want you to know that you are valued. You are a strong and independent woman, not just a wife, daughter, mother or sister. YOU are important to us and I'm sorry that your family has lost sight of this. {{{Hugs}}}
     
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Daisy (aren't you glad we can use daisy and not confuse ppl anymore? lol)

    I have the same issue, also have the same toxic family issues. Although I don't think my family actually means to be toxic, it's just normal for them.

    I at least know why no one calls me, no one visits unless they're bringing my Mom over to visit (they live states away), I get no emails, no letters no nothing. Three are jealous, no, maybe envious is a better word. Jealous of a long lasting marriage, 3 kids (even the difficult children) who have turned out ok and are busy making lives for themselves. That our family is exceptionally close, support each other, genuinely care about each other, and enjoy spending time with each other. We aren't the perfect family by a long shot. (there is no such thing) And we have our ups and downs like everyone else, thanks to gfgdom sometimes it is extreme. But none of it changes how we feel/act toward each other.

    And those 3 sibs........due to their toxicity can't keep a spouse or SO for any length of time, their kids use/abuse them, full blown difficult children all of them with no treatment, nothing......grown into adults who barely function, are either in jail/prison, or scraping by repeating the mistakes, or making worse ones than their parents did.

    It's sad. But honestly, we have little in common with each other. And it has been that way for many years. We don't even think alike anymore, not remotely alike. When I moved away from my family it was a deliberate act to protect my kids from their toxicity and to give them a chance at as normal a life as possible with as little of that sort of drama as possible. It worked. It worked so well that I have a difficult time visiting with family. I'm not stuck up........hahahaha that would be funny as I'm poor as dirt myself. But one can be poor as dirt without being toxic or trash. My sibs don't seem to grasp that concept.

    As for my other sib.......she wants to reach out. But her husband has so alienated her from the family for so many years we're basically strangers to her now. Again sad.

    But I haven't fretted about it in many years. I have made my own family here. That is enough for me if it means that I don't have to get caught up in the toxic drama that surrounds my sibs and such.:tongue:

    ((hugs))
     
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Another reason I've thought of is guilt... survivor guilt to be precise. Perhaps your siblings managed to grow up in the same circumstances as you, had similar expectations and outlook. Things may have worked out relatively well for them... but it hurts to see your family's struggles. I know it hurts to watch my dear brother's family struggle and the contrast in our lives is very uncomfortable at times. I don't feel I deserve more or a happier, simpler life than my brother. Yet that is precisely the way it has been for many, many years. I'll sometimes take a mini-break because it just hurts too much... but we're talking a week or two. And I don't leave him or his family out of the loop when it's important because they are family. And I love them.
     
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    TM very good point to make.
     
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont have siblings so I really dont get that dynamic. I thought I was going to get them when my father married my step-mom and she had three grown kids but alas, we are kept quite apart. There is this big obvious wall there as in HER kids and HIS kid. We dont mingle.

    I have really lost touch with my dads family except for the few cousins I found on Facebook and they have stopped sending me messages. It was like one short blink and then they forgot me again. Makes me sad. I remember them so well. Certainly not as the adults they are but as the kids we were but hey, gotta start somewhere!
     
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Though my mom is here in town, and my brother lives about 45 minutes south of here, I don't feel especially close to them. My mom has gotten progressively more bitter and sour as she ages, and her disapproval of how I deal with Miss KT is obvious, but she tries to hide it. My brother and his wife are just too perfect to spend much time with people like me and Hubby. I have more contact with my brother's kids (13 yo girl, 12 yo boy) because they're Facebook friends, and they think I'm funny, so we talk back and forth.

    Friends are the family you choose for yourself, and I figure I have a great family right here, even though we haven't all met in real life.
     
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Daisy... I've never had a very large family, and we're not really close either. I'm an only child, and so was Mom. Dad was the middle of 3, but they lived in Colorado when we were in Texas so I rarely saw them. Even Dad's parents lived a 6-hour drive away. Not conducive to close relations. So it was just us 3 for years.

    When we moved to Ohio it was a bit lonely for a while. However... Now I have husband, Onyxx & Jett, and husband's mom, dad, sister, niece, nephew, & 2 great-nephews... E&H, and their 5 kids... and my parents of course. Plus husband has his oldest boy, who I've actually been talking to a little bit on facebook. (OK, the kid likes FarmVille... What can I say?!) So now my family has grown exponentially. But... Let me say this... mother in law, father in law, sister in law, and niece always seem to need something. Especially mother in law. Especially when we have other things planned. Hers are always urgent, too. She called once at 2 AM because she HAD to have her genealogical chart printed by the next evening. (WHY? Still do not know.)

    So there are good parts to being separated. Just remember - we are here for you. And we don't fail to return posts!!!
     
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I used to wonder how I could live less than 5 miles from my sister and only see her maybe at Christmas time and once or twice throughout the rest of the year for family functions - the rest of our sibs all live far away. I was talking to my therapist about it once/twice and she suggested that my sister is envious of my and my life. That really struck me odd at the time. I asked her why and she explained that despite all of my personal ups and downs, trials and tribulations, I managed to come out the other side and still be mostly sane, my house is a relatively calm place to be, and my kids are for the most part well adjusted and kind human beings not into drinking and drugging. Alternatively, her house is always chaos and her kids are big drinkers and druggers (one is in rehab as I write) and while I try to minimize the drama, seems my sister is always seeking it out.

    All my adult life I thought my sister was the 'together' one because her H made lots of money and they wanted for nothing, kids went to private schools and colleges, etc., while I always had to really work to make things happen like vacas, pay bills, and have a life. Seems I wasn't looking at the whole picture.

    As for my other sibs, we stay in contact somewhat, but I only speak with one sister and my brother when it's warranted - not for any other reasons except we're all so busy. And I have one sister who lives really far away who I feel closest to and we all seem to stay in touch over Facebook.

    I've learned to cultivate good adult friendships - I only have a couple - and cherish them, nurture them. We get to choose who we're close with on an emotoinal level and your family may not be your best pick. Friends are the ones I usually call when I need to vent (or come here) and rely on. I love my family, but my friends have been there more for me over the years and I appreciate that. I recall feeling guilty about being closer with my friends than family, but again, a therapist helped me to understand that being family does not provide instant security and closeness.

    Outside of CD board, do you maintain any friendships? I think it's important to have at least one good friend. And I know it is difficult to keep a friend when you have a difficult child that may seem nuts all the time, but I'm hoping that you're able to find or keep one person - Your Someone Special. Hugs~
     
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    No...I can't say that we were talking "regularly"...as in once a week or every few days...

    but who can't return your call to say "Merry Christmas"...?
     
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thanks, TM!

    I never thought about it from the other direction - but you may be on to something about the "cooties" or the "sinking ship". We probably DO look like a hazard to be steered clear of...lest our issues were to "rub off" or be contagious in some way....or worse yet, a sign in the newest generation of the mental illness that haunted past generations.

    Yes, you may be on to something there...
     
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thanks, Hound Dog. Good perspective.
     
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Janet--

    It hurts to feel invisible, doesn't it?

    KTMom--

    You said it! I'm this awful Mom because of difficult child....and since my sister's family is perfect--there's no point in visiting with me at all. I agree...my family here is better.

    Step--

    Thanks! Yes, I think if we lived closer we probably would be contacted more often to do favors for people...maybe even at 2am. So there is a good side to being "out of the loop".

    Hearts--

    You make some good points. Yes, we do have some things that others may envy. I had never thought about it before...but it may be a possibility.

    As for a good friend outside the board? Not really. I do need to make a point to get out more and meet people. Hard to do sometimes. Maybe after we move into our new neighborhood....I could join a group or something.
     
  15. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    My girlfriend and her two kids came over and they were the first persons to be in my house in three years. I am social, just not at home and not a lot outside but some. It is just too much for the whole world to see how I live. What I go thru. People who do not have a difficult child don't really understand the whole 'difficult child" they sometimes think that we whine a lot or complain but don't do what they suggest so we kind of deserve what we get, they also don't understand it because they are blessed with kids who would never do the same things. They are uncomfortable, I would be if my friends daughter was calling her mother a B for any reason. I certainly wouldn't want my child seeing it if they didn't do that sort of thing. I am the person that reaches out like you and I know it's hard to be rejected like that. Many hugs, and hang in there. Definately reach out and find a good friend though. It's kinda fun getting out and doing things that do not include difficult child. It is just fun to not let them ruin something for you. I go to the river and that is something I am not going to share with mine. It is really peaceful, and I am going to keep that place for me and good memories, not even one bad one to sour it. :D:D:D:D:D
     
  16. Hugs for you (((((((((((((DaisyFace))))))))))))) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I'm sorry that your family is not there for you! Hopefully they will come around eventually. Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen though.

    In the meantime make sure you get some "you" time.

    I know I'm overdue to pick up some of the interests I put aside years ago to parent my difficult child's!
     
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