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Author Topic: Trying to reconnect with extended family - is it worth the risk?  (Read 900 times)
pinksarah
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« on: August 03, 2015, 11:06:06 AM »

I've written once here about my experiences with my Mum. That was last December and since then I think I've been processing and digesting the things I've learnt. I'm nearly 40 and all this is both a relief and distressing. On the Survivors Guide I'm still in 'remembering' I think... .The bigger picture is I have to find a path to move forwards but I think I'm still working out how to make the steps to recover.

So for years my Mum has made an excellent job of poisononing my immediate family towards me with her tales of my selfish, cruel and abhorrant behaviour. I've seen the looks on their faces and the way contact has declined. They have occassionally reached out to ask me 'how I could behave like this' towards my Mum and to criticise me on her behalf. Thinking about it makes me so angry sometimes. They were so happy to believe her and so quick to condemn me when I was just trying to survive and cling on to my sanity. I have been lost in self doubt, self loathing and sadness for a very long time and now I have that tiny sense that maybe it wasn't all me, I can feel anger welling up too.

Anyway, I would very much like to reach out to my godparents, my aunt and an old family friend, all of whom I really care about and all of whom have pretty much stopped speaking to me or keep a polite distance in the last few years. I'm not sure how to go about this. I'm thinking about just dropping them a friendly email and saying hi, nothing heavy, but if they continue to reject me I'm not sure if I could take it emotionally. Their opinion really matters to me and I will be very upset if I can't work this out somehow. They are all still in touch with my mum regularly so are bound to mention any contact from me which will immediately stir the hornets nest. Is there any hope of me having an honest and open relationship with these people again? Can I even take the risk as further rejection would be devastating.

I would appreciate any insights or experience any of you may have. Thanks
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Kwamina
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2015, 12:25:19 PM »

Hi pinksarah

Welcome back here

On the Survivors Guide I'm still in 'remembering' I think... .The bigger picture is I have to find a path to move forwards but I think I'm still working out how to make the steps to recover.

What would you say are the most important issues you are currently dealing with? What are the areas in your personal life that you feel you might need to work on?

So for years my Mum has made an excellent job of poisononing my immediate family towards me with her tales of my selfish, cruel and abhorrant behaviour. I've seen the looks on their faces and the way contact has declined. They have occassionally reached out to ask me 'how I could behave like this' towards my Mum and to criticise me on her behalf. Thinking about it makes me so angry sometimes. They were so happy to believe her and so quick to condemn me when I was just trying to survive and cling on to my sanity. I have been lost in self doubt, self loathing and sadness for a very long time and now I have that tiny sense that maybe it wasn't all me, I can feel anger welling up too.

I definitely understand your anger. It's very unpleasant to have your own mother spread lies about you and then to have others believing those things. I am glad you are starting to see that it wasn't you. It was your mother and I would say it also was all those other people that choose to believe your mother. Because no matter what your mother says or does, it's still their own choice to believe her. There are always two sides to a story and the fact that they just assume the stories your mother tells about you are true without verification, also says a great deal about them. Why is it do you think they just choose to believe your mother's stories about you?

Anyway, I would very much like to reach out to my godparents, my aunt and an old family friend, all of whom I really care about and all of whom have pretty much stopped speaking to me or keep a polite distance in the last few years. I'm not sure how to go about this. I'm thinking about just dropping them a friendly email and saying hi, nothing heavy, but if they continue to reject me I'm not sure if I could take it emotionally. Their opinion really matters to me and I will be very upset if I can't work this out somehow. They are all still in touch with my mum regularly so are bound to mention any contact from me which will immediately stir the hornets nest. Is there any hope of me having an honest and open relationship with these people again? Can I even take the risk as further rejection would be devastating.

It's never pleasant to know that people you care about and were once close to are now viewing you so negatively. Do you perhaps feel like you need their approval to truly feel good about yourself? I understand your desire for wanting to reach out and work this out. Regardless of what you decide to do, I think it's important to tell yourself that no matter what they say about you, no matter how they might view you, they most definitely do not determine your worth.

Take care
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