My FOO issues

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
It's tough to know where to begin. My family of origin issues are so bizarre that I have yet to meet someone else with a similar problem.

I had a fairly typical stay-at-home mom, and a dad who worked. When I was 6, we moved to a fairly large house and my baby brother was born. Perhaps my mom suffered from post-partum depression. Suffice it to say, she lost it.

I remember being terrified of her. Her anger was intense, violent, and all directed at my dad. They attended like 2 therapy sessions, but mom was adamant. Dad had to go. I remember thinking that it was a good decision. I hoped life would be calmer.

Both my parents became clinically depressed. Neither was seeking therapy. No one paid much attention at all to the three of us kids (2 younger brothers.)

Mom and Dad both began dating. Dad, at least, found some pretty nice girlfriends.

Mom was a different story. This was the early 70's and no one in our world had divorced yet. We were shunned by the church. My mother's parents were livid. They blamed my mother for the divorce and were supportive of only my dad. I think if they had taken a more neutral stance, life wouldn't have taken such a twisted turn.

Enter the troll. That is the name that I gave my step-"father" many years ago. It's at this juncture where you are going to think: this can't possibly be true. I wish. I wish my mother had chosen someone with an ounce of sense. I wish she had not fallen off the deep end, but she did.

Troll moved in with us. In one small way it was helpful. Troll actually cooked us dinner. That is where his care for us ceased. Troll is one messed-up individual. Along with him came the drunks. Our suburban home turned into party central. Not every night, but most nights. All kinds of people. Some were young parents who only drank. Others were wild young men. There were a lot of bikers. There were some KKK members. There was one guy who was supposedly a corrupt cop. It was absurd.

I still remember the day I realized that I couldn't believe anything troll said. He was telling all his drinking buddies a story about something that happened when I was present. I noticed that about 25% of the story was true. The rest were embelishments. Lies. The whole purpose in him telling the story was entertain the drunks.

My middle brother and I were sucked into the culture surrounding these people. Most of them were harmless, if misguided and addicts. A few were dangerous. I guess that I'm lucky that my brothers witnessed what happened. I think if I had been the only person effected, I would probably think I imagined everything.

When I was 25, I married a man who fit into that world. It took me years to realize that I didn't want to live that way. That I really didn't fit the addict lifestyle. That I wanted something more stable for my own children.

I made a run for it. That is yet another long and difficult story. But I got away. I left and didn't look back.

My mom, however, is still married to the troll. She still sees all those people from my past. My ex-husband is best friends with troll's son. I realized recently, that if troll dies, I cannot go be supportive of my own mother. It is still dangerous for me to be around them.

I am accepting of the awkward relationship that I have with my mother. I struggle with the chasm between me and my brothers.

My middle brother got sober years ago and built a comfortable life for himself. He lives close to our mom and helps her often. I've tried to reach out to him, but he has made it clear that he does not have time for me or my children. I don't think there is really any animosity, perhaps it's just a matter of him having a busy life.

My youngest brother moved up North years ago. I see him once or twice a year for brief periods. I know they care about us, but the contact is infrequent.

They're both good men. I'd like for us to have a closer relationship but I'm at a loss as to how to make that happen. I particularly need them to spend time with Ferb. That happens maybe once a year.

I wonder if I am just a piece of the past that both need to leave behind them. As if long ago a bomb hit our family of origin, and we will never be able to reconnect. The past is too painful and insurmountable.


Well-Known Member
Perhaps the problem is that they have their own lives, hard-won at high cost, and really aren't interested in more drama. It's less the FOO and more the current (better) status quo that holds them where they are.

Just my guess.

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
Insane, you are probably right. My life has always been filled with drama; I can't seem to escape it. I can see how my brothers who have both married stable women and have little drama in their lives would want to steer clear of the multitude of issues in my life. It makes me feel incredibly sad, but I have to let it go. There is no sense in hoping for a change at this late date.

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
It makes me feel incredibly sad, but I have to let it go. There is no sense in hoping for a change at this late date.
Pigless, no matter what, you are you, I can see from your posts that you are a kind, intelligent, loving and caring person. Our history in FOO had a lot to do with the choices we made (some regrettable). How the heck did we know when we were younger, any better? It is what we lived and were taught by actions.
I made a run for it. That is yet another long and difficult story. But I got away. I left and didn't look back.
Good for you Pigless, you made a choice to live a better life. I am glad you got away and are here with us now.
They're both good men. I'd like for us to have a closer relationship but I'm at a loss as to how to make that happen. I particularly need them to spend time with Ferb. That happens maybe once a year.
I live 6000 miles away from my sibs. There is no family of mine here. We were all raised to be different, and we are. I, too have had a life of drama. It is what it is. I think the distance and the times we live in play a big part of not having that closeness. Everyone is busy making their way.
Have you thought of Big Brothers, Big Sisters for Ferb? Does he like sports? I volunteer coach for kids and know some wonderful men who do the same and have made a big difference in kids lives.
I gently tease the gaming addicts, telling them to get off the screen and get out and experience life. Organized sports can play an important role.

I am sorry you are at a loss for your brothers companionship, that is hard. If only they could see the goodness they could offer your boy........sigh.

You are a good person. Keep up the great attitude and stay with us. I am glad you posted in FOO, it makes a great difference I think, to examine our pasts, learn from it and rediscover ourselves.

You have come through the fire of a difficult childhood.
Life filled with drama, but still standing strong.
You go fellow warrior sister!

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
I can see from your posts that you are a kind, intelligent, loving and caring person.

Thanks, Leafy.

I had a friend who told me years ago that I was born into the wrong family. I've always needed more contact than my FOO can provide. I let go of the idea of having a close relationship with my parents years ago. Now I need to let go of the idea of having close family relationships with my brothers' families, too. We see each other one time per year, and it is amicable. I think that is the most I'm going to get.

Ferb is not interested in sports. I offer differing ideas to get him involved in physical activities. He never wants to participate. He does take guitar lessons. He is working a steady part-time job. I think I have to leave finding a mentor up to him.

We all used to be close with another family in our neighborhood. Sadly, after my husband's suicide, their family disintegrated. Ferb was close to the father, and we remained friends with him until he had to move to another state. It was another loss that my kids really did not need to experience, but life happens.


Well-Known Member
I found with my own family that because it was a dysfunctional upbringing none of us siblings understood how to get along like normal sibs. I have two sisters and no contact with either. I was close to the younger one for some years but because dad always pitted one of us against the other, that relationship died. It's sad but I've given up hoping that things would change.

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
Hi, Nancy. So good to "see" you. Maybe it isn't so much giving up hope as it is being realistic. We didn't learn how to be close when we needed to, so as adults it's easier to go our separate ways.


Well-Known Member
The past is too painful and insurmountable.
I do not believe this but I understand how it feels this way. Your brothers can choose for themselves, and you can choose differently. Nobody knows how all of this will turn out. Everybody's story is still mid-way in the telling and the making.

I see your task as both simple and hard: To own the valor and meaning and incredible sweetness of the life that has been your own, not because it was especially sweet, but because it is your story. And the wonder who is you, was present throughout, even amidst the ugliness. It is only to acknowledge her and to remember her and to give her now your strong voice.

Because your voice and you are very, very strong.

There are several of us who have chosen to look at our lives as a whole.

I came to CD after my mother had died, and still almost two years later I was grieving her loss and the loss of my self and my whole life I felt after she died.
The grief I felt combined with my fear and anger about the life my son was choosing had come to define me. Nothing else anymore of anything I had been or done was of value.

I know this can be done. In 9 months, I am approaching the other side. A smile on my face, contentment, and oh so proud and grateful to be here.

We are heroes Pigless. It is only to decide to organize the parade and climb on the float.



Well-Known Member
Hi pigless, it was nice to "see" you too. I love seeing old friends pop in. I like your comment, It isn't giving up hope, it is being realistic. My daughter asked me recently if I wished I had a relationship with my sister who I haven't seen in 20 years. I said no, that we were so different and since we were never close growing up there is no foundation to build on and I don't miss what never was.

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member

My parade is rather a jumbled mess at the moment. I'm quite sure my brothers view me as the family screw up. I'm not slamming the door on a relationship with them, but I have to recognize that the distance between our families is there on purpose. I knew it 3 months after my husband died, and no one offered support.

I will be okay without them. Maybe it will change one day, but I think we have all moved our lives in different directions.

I am fortunate that my step-sister, and I have developed a close relationship. We find our true family, and those people aren't necessarily blood relatives.