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Old 03-04-2018, 04:00 AM   #1
FlyingPeanuts
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Severing Contact with Family

Hey, everyone. It's been a while since I've had to make a thread, but really, I just want some advice, because, as some of my friends have told me, the decision that's bothering me has been a long time coming.

Growing up, I never really recognised that the way my family treated me was abusive, and it only really started to sink in when I was about 17 or 18. I've recently turned 21, am now in my first year of university, and have a wonderful partner and group of very supportive friends. I've recently started acknowledging just how much my family have hurt me throughout the years, as it's become more noticeable as I've been away from it for periods of time, and I'm not sure what to do.

I think that the best decision for me right now is to have less contact with them and decide from there, but I don't want to hurt my family or make things difficult for them. My friends have told me that I'm too kind and that my family are no good for me, and I know this, and I doubt my mother, who is the worst one, will ever change, but I'm still trying to be hopeful because all I've ever wanted is to have a loving family that genuinely care about me and respect me as a human being.

Does anyone have any kind of suggestions, because the stress of trying to decide what is the best course of action, alongside the act that I'll be visiting "home" for a few days, is giving me nightmares and generally making it difficult for me to cope.

Also, if anyone's okay with it, I wouldn't mind being PM'ed so that I can talk specifically about things my family have done - I don't feel comfortable talking about it here, but would like to talk about it.



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Old 09-04-2018, 09:18 AM   #2
Pi.R^2
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Heya,
I'm pleased to hear that things are going well for you at university and that you've got a supportive network of friends around you.

I guess the first thing is to think about the practicalities. Are your family supporting you financially at all? If you were to decide to cut all contact, do you have somewhere to stay during the holidays?

I'm not great at replying to PMs, but feel free to message me on facebook if you want to talk about the other stuff there.



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Old 11-04-2018, 10:24 PM   #3
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My family are sending me money occasionally when things get really tight, but I'm currently looking for a job, so hopefully I won't need to be reliant on them anymore. I've spent most of the holidays at university, and will be staying here all summer, so a place to live shouldn't be a problem. The only problem would be my cats, as I have no way to keep them with me.

I'll send you a message there, then.



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Old 12-04-2018, 12:00 PM   #4
Pi.R^2
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It sounds like you've got some good plans in place for supporting yourself should you cut ties with your family; that's a good starting point!

How would you feel about leaving your cats with your family?



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Old 12-04-2018, 01:46 PM   #5
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My mother doesn't care about the cats at all - she barely pays any attention to them, and they're pretty much stuck in a room all day. I wouldn't want them to be left there, because it isn't good for them. I don't mind finding a new home for my younger cat, but my almost 6 year old has been my rock and has been the only person that's been consistently there for me, so even though I know she'd be better off elsewhere, my own selfishness won't allow that to be a possibility.

On a slightly irrelevant note, I'm currently very stressed out because I'm being assessed for dyslexia tomorrow. My mother's been rude about it, and told me that if reading's that hard, I should just drop out of uni.



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Old 13-04-2018, 11:12 AM   #6
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I hope the assessment goes OK today.

That's a bit of an issue with the cats then. Do they live at home while you're at uni? Perhaps if she was rehomed somewhere near you there could be an arrangement for you to visit her occasionally.



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Old 13-04-2018, 09:48 PM   #7
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The assessment went well. I'll get the report in about a week, but the guy said I'm definitely dyslexic, which is a relief because I was scared that if I wasn't, I was either making everything up or just stupid.

They do live back with my mum. I don't really know how much of an option that is, as I'd find it awkward and weird and also probably really hard. It's all the small things I know I'd miss, like sleeping with her curled up next to me. I think visiting would make that harder.



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Old 04-05-2018, 08:04 PM   #8
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Hey, I don't really know what to say other than that you're not alone. I was treated very harshly too at home. Although I knew it wasn't very nice or even normal, I didn't recognise it as abuse as such. It's only now, in my late 20s, that I'm looking back on my past (apparently a common thing to do after a late diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome) and realising just how horrible my 'caregivers' were to me as a child. It was constant shouting, constant criticism, no praise/obvious love, etc. But because there was minimal physical violence, I didn't realise it was abuse until I attended a domestic violence workshop and was told that constant, harsh criticism counts.

I'm considering going into counselling for this; maybe that's something you should think of? Universities often have a counselling service that is quicker to get an appointment with than on the NHS.

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Old 17-07-2018, 09:34 PM   #9
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Hi Peanuts,

While I'm not able to go into detail openly, I too know how it feels to be treated badly by family.

It's a hard thing to deal with, because you're brought up believing that your family are the ones you can rely on, the ones that will always be there for you and the ones you can always trust but in reality, sadly sometimes that's not the case and you're left wondering why.

I'm not great with the advice, bit you're more than welcome to message me if you'd like to talk - listening I'm definitely good at!

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Old 20-07-2018, 08:16 PM   #10
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Hi! First off, it's so great that you're facing the fact that your family has been abusive at such a young age. I was in denial for years and didn't really start to face up to the fact that I was emotionally abused for much of my childhood until I was well in my 40's. It's also awesome that you're doing so well in school and you have a great boyfriend and supportive friends .

I can totally feel your dilemma about whether to go no contact or not. While I have limited contact with my parents (including living in another country), my sister decided to go no contact in 2001 with the whole family. She and I came back into contact (again, limited) in 2011 but she is still no contact with my parents and likely to stay that way for the rest of her life. It would a really tough decision for her to make but she is thankful she made it and has never regretted it (this is based on everything she has told me and things I observe). Although I made a different decision (limited contact), I support her in her decision and do everything I can to respect it. I think she also came to the conclusion that my parents would never change (and since they are mentally ill, this is true).

I think you have to make the decision that is right for you. There is the option also of going limited contact but you would want to define what that means for you (living in another place far away from your parents, only emailing, calling every so often, visiting once a year, etc). Yes, they will probably be hurt and they will probably be in denial that they have done anything to warrant your decision. But this is not about THEM. It's about YOU. You have the right to take care of yourself emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. And if going no contact or limited contact will do that, then go for it!

Djuna

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