I did not write this, but it resonates with me. I often wonder if I'm odd that since I was betrayed for the last time, I feel nothing for my FOO. No love...I can't lie. I'm past the lies I once told myself. They are like strangers. I do feel a certain resentment if I think of my mother, but that's it. No love mixed in. And I did not mourn her death. We had been estranged for at least ten years by then and had no really tender moments to look back at. Anyhow, here is what made me think. " My therapist once said that kids who are victims of abuse react in one of two ways; they either decide they don't belong and don't bond, or they bond and try to please the parents. The ones that don't bond end up better off in the long run. So I think what he's saying is that distancing yourself to the point of having no feelings is adaptive because the alternative is self-destructive. So it's a normal reaction in the sense that children will sometimes react this way. What might not be normal is continuing to have this reaction when you're an adult and have the ability to feel for them without getting involved. You might worry that you're not ready, and in a sense aren't grown up enough, and that's what happens to me. I start to have feelings for my mother, worrying about her health, and pretty soon I'm considering seeing her again. I get a severe stress reaction that I can't control right now, so I back down, shut down feelings again, and I can function. A long lasting bond only happens if you have an ongoing meaningful relationship with the person. I haven't seen my family members much over the years so how would I bond? We know nothing about each other and they show no interest. People may say things like "she's your mom" or "she's your sister" implying that you would naturally have some feelings towards the other person based on their role in your life. But I don't see people as merely a role. My sister isn't just my sister; she's also a human being. So not only do they not play their roles very well, frankly (no birthday cards for example, no signs of caring, etc.) but they are also not likeable as people that I might meet on the street. So now, as an adult, even if I were able to emotionally distance myself from the past and all of my childhood (as they like to say, "let it go already") I would still not want to be around them." I never saw anyone admit it before and was sort of afraid to admit it here. I have a deep capacity to love. I love my chosen family to death. My husband is the love of my life. My kids are my heartstrings. My closest friends are also in my heart. But not my FOO, except my deceased grandmother and my father, who has not been a part of the abuse. In fact, I know he hates t he shunning they have done, but it has been good for me that they shunned me. Anyhow, back so soon, huh? LOL!