Anyone else here estranged from their families?

On the running tally of my family, at 26:

-My dad’s side has no animosity toward me, but doesn’t want to be bothered;
-My grandmother, aunts, and uncle (mom’s side) have nothing to do with me and I will likely never speak to any of them again
-My sisters don’t speak with me.
-My nieces and nephews don’t speak with me.

Most of it due to lies my pathological liar sister told and spread about me. It’s sad to see them all close - and it’s as if I’m dead or don’t exist.

Anyone in a similar boat?

Ohhh, wow. I’m sorry to hear about your situation – that sounds horrible.

While I’m not in anything like this sort of situation, I’m close to several people who are.

My wife’s stepfather (so, my stepfather-in-law) was married, and divorced, before meeting my mother-in-law. He’d had two daughters with his first wife, and, as I understand it, when he announced that he was remarrying, his daughters (who were, at that point, teenagers) decided that this was a betrayal of their family (despite the fact that it’d been their mother who had instigated the divorce), and they completely severed ties with him.

Now, my stepfather-in-law is one of the sweetest, gentlest, most caring people I’ve ever known. I obviously wasn’t there when he was getting divorced, but I cannot imagine that he would have ever done anything to warrant such treatment. It’s now been 30 years or so since his first family cut ties with him; I know that, some years back, he somehow learned that one of his daughters was getting married, and not being able to be part of it deeply hurt him.

One of my best friends grew up in Ireland; her mother was her father’s second wife (he’d divorced his first wife, a rare thing in Ireland in the 1960s). Her mother was a vain woman, and as her two children grew older, from what my friend has told me, she became increasingly resentful of them – having teenaged children meant that she, herself, was getting older, and thus, less desirable.

By the time that my friend married, at age 24, she was barely on speaking terms with her mother (who was, by then, divorced from her father). My friend and her husband moved to the US soon after, and she has had no contact with her mother since. She tells me that she’s tried to reach out a few times, but there was no interest whatsoever on the part of her mother, and she finally gave up. My friend is still in contact with relatives on her mother’s side, and does get the occasional update on how her mother is faring, but she’s resigned herself to the fact that she’ll never have a relationship with her.

I’m not estranged from my whole family, but there are family members I haven’t spoken to in over 15 years.

I haven’t spoken to either my psycho father or his equally, but differently, psycho mother (my grandmother) since 2001. And I think that’s been best for everyone.

My father got married several years ago. I wasn’t invited to the wedding, haven’t met his wife, and have nothing to do with any of them whatsoever.

Our dysfunctional family has come apart. There are five of children and there isn’t anyone who talks to all of the other siblings. It used to bother me more, but now it just seems easier. We don’t have a choice in who we’re related to, but we have a choice in who we associate with.

I became estranged from my family in 1959 over desegregation - they were passionate segregationist and I was a student enjoying the risks and thrills of integrating things that did not want to be integrated. About 30 years later I phoned them briefly, they had become really obnoxious screaming white power sorts. I’m glad to have gotten rid of them when I did.

I’m in regular communication with my mom’s side of the family, and Dad’s side, I don’t happen to have much contact with, but we’re on good terms.

Dad himself, though, I became estranged from about a year before his death, and never patched things up with him. And he’d managed to estrange himself from my mom and from my sister years before that.

For my sister, the last straw was when she asked for a power tool for Christmas, and he couldn’t bring himself to give a power tool to “a gal”, and so instead labeled it as being for a grandson that wasn’t even conceived at the time. For my mom, it was when, out of pity, she helped him out with some of the fine points of how to go grocery shopping for himself (I’m not even sure how grocery shopping has fine points), and he started referring to it as “a date”. For me, it was when I was urging him to accept the VA’s offer of mental health services (which, you might guess, he very much needed), and he told me that he would instead take the advice of men who he respected.

I have a mother who is a lying pathological narcissist and probably addict, a father who is beholden to his jealous, controlling wife who makes her unbridled opinion of my worthlessness clear to everyone, and a smattering of aunts, uncurls, and cousins and other distant relatives who I’ve never had close relationships with because of various family disputes. After my paternal grandmother died over two decades ago I’ve had little enough reason to attempt any kind of relationship. To be quite honest, I don’t understand why people engage in destructive relationships with predatory or destructive family members, and I have a hard time imagining myself in any kind of family.


I am. Not everyone, but a bunch. I get most of the blame for not being a doormat and no one can really believe that the main instigator of drama creates drama. It’s just me being sensitive and I’m “just that way.” Plus the drama instigator loves to run and tell everyone their side of the story and I just keep quiet so by the time I mention things, everyone has their mind made up. Simple, stupid people who believe the first thing they hear. It’s easier for the problem to be me than anyone else.

I am avoiding a few relatives because they can’t keep their ignorant, racist, sexist, homophobic (etc) opinions off of facebook. No, I don’t want to come over because you’re all dumber than a box of rocks and I don’t have the strength to keep those words from exiting my mouth any more.

It’s lonely and sad that we all can’t get along (and truly, it’s not me), but it’s also way better than dealing with bullshit. As the late, great Whitney said, “I’d rather be alone than unhappy.”

No real contact with family members other than 3 of my 4 siblings.

Most my mother and mothers side of the family is 2000miles away, I never really knew that side of the family. My mothers been barely on speaking terms with me for the last 20 years.

After my father passed away and I didn’t see much reason to keep in contact with his side of the family, they are all mostly take and never give type people.

My only family contact:
Older sister I’ll probably have to get a protective order against. She’s crazy and nothing can be done to help her.
Older brother I’m on good terms with we talk a few times a month, occasionally get together.
Younger brother I see a few times a year not much communication otherwise
Younger sister and I talk as things come up, we can go extended periods without contact.

I’m a lone wolf.

I don’t talk to a single person in my family anymore on both sides.

I also don’t have any real friends that I hang out with in person. I talk to a couple people online, one guy lives in South Korea.

My sister went to Harvard Law School, my stepsister to Princeton and Berkley, my stepbrother to Yale, my other stepbrother to Stanford, my mother is an optometrist, my stepdad went to MIT.

I became really tired of the competition, it’s terrible.

There’s the tribe you’re given, and then there’s the tribe you make. Value the one that values you. Leave the rest be.

These are words I live by, and have had a much happier life, as a result!

(Mental illness, addiction and dysfunction don’t just run in my family, they frolic, dance and pirouette!)

About the time I got my BS degree my family all up and moved out of the state. We were all born a raised in Michigan but for some reason they all decided to up stakes and move to the southwest (parents and 3 sisters). I had a smattering of contact after they moved until I met my now wife. After our marriage it became clear that unless I made the effort we never spoke. Because I now had better things to do I stopped reaching out and nobody put forth the effort to contact me.
So I guess I am estranged but there was no great drama that led to this, we just stopped talking and are unlikely to start again. A complete lack of interest on both sides.

Yup. My mother’s a monster, and she has always been the linchpin of communication with immediate and extended family.

The tribe you make: My wife (who is not estranged, but her family has never been big on holidays) and I have been doing “Displaced Thanksgiving” and Christmas with various friends who are also estranged. Great group of people, about 80% of whom are gay (go figure).

I have been reestablishing contact with my sister in recent years. It’s slow going. She lives near Mom, and doesn’t have a very high or realistic opinion of me. But she called me to let me know my father died a few years back, during which she let slip that I have a nephew. I’ve been calling/emailing a few times a year, and sending presents for the little guy. My sister still seems shocked that I can do things like afford presents, not be homeless, and carry on a conversation without devolving into a screeching maniac (my mother’s a monster). My nephew’s really cool, and has excellent taste in toys and books.

I’m estranged from everyone except my mom and dad.

Have only seen one person on my mom’s side since 2010 and my dad’s side is full of self centered, racist, super religious people who worship at the “Alter of Grandma”. Grandma being my dad’s step mother.

My wife no longer speaks with her mother or other siblings (her father passed away when she was a teenager). I thought she might reconcile with her mother a few years ago, but there was no real interest on either side, so it never happened.

In contrast I am on good terms with almost everyone in my family.

I’m estranged from my two siblings, who are the only family I’ve really ever known. Talking with them by phone was just becoming more and more of a slog. They treated me like I was a free therapist and unloaded all their medical and financial woes onto me and I’d be depressed for days after a phone call.

So I haven’t made much of an attempt at contact for the last year or two. I feel much better for it, too.

I used to be fairly close with the relatives on my mother’s side (she had 3 brothers), and had nearly no contact with those on my father’s side (not due to any issues, just physical distance, from his 1 brother). After my parents were gone, I found it more difficult to stay current with her side, and easier to reconnect with my father’s side. I have been in somewhat regular contact with my father’s brother and my cousins on that side over the past several years.

On my mother’s side, I lost touch with 2 uncles years ago, and never had any contact with my cousins over there (I doubt we’d know one another if we sat next to each other on a bus). And the remaining uncle, aunt, and cousins - well, a couple years ago I went to visit them, and learned first-hand what my dad warned me about with them - their judgmental, “do it my way or you are wrong”, “oh, your kids are not going to an Ivy League school?”, and other demeaning posturing was a real put-off, and an eye-opening realization that I no longer need them in my life since I was not worthy.

I also keep my brother at arm’s distance to protect my sanity. I always go back to reminding myself that I would not allow a friend to treat me poorly, so why should family get a pass on crummy behavior?