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Uncle Trying to Contact Me

Discussion in 'General' started by batgirl, Nov 18, 2006.

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  1. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Last night, I found out through a childhood friend of mine, that my uncle, my father's older brother who is also in the military, is looking for me and wants to see me. I guess he approached her asking where I was... he's been looking for me ever since I took off 5 years ago. He almost found me 3 years ago, but I moved again and changed my name. He and my aunt are not bad people, in fact, they were always very good to me, like a second set of parents almost, but up until now I have not wanted any contact with my family or people from my past. It's been too painful. Plus he is still in the military, so that's another trigger for me.

    The last time he tried to contact me, I was really angry with him and couldn't move fast enough to "escape"... now however I feel kind of guilty for running away from him and everyone else. I guess I'm wondering if I should meet with him or let him find me or whatever. I'm very very afraid though, I don't want to fall to pieces.

    I know obviously this is a decision I have to make for myself, but if anyone has thoughts on it, please share them.
     
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  3. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    It is family you have hidden from, you may very well fall to pieces. I really do not know what to say here. But I am willing to bet they just want to make sure you are OK, and you are not. But they may very well expect that and be able to give you support needed.

    Why were you angry last time, just because he was trying to find you? You will learn in time you can't hide forever and sad as it is and as fresh as it will be for us, to those around us they move on...

    If you fall to pieces it may not be such a bad thing for family that loves you to help catch you.

    Maybe a brief contact via e mail or something to test the waters if you find it impossible face to face and see where they are emotionally and what their attitude about all of this is? Again like I said I do not know what to say, and certainly a choice you have to make yourself like you said.
     
  4. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Well, it's kind of hard to explain. Ever since the shooting, I get afraid and then angry, and have an urge to run away, if anyone acts like they care about me too much. The anger is kind of a reaction to being afraid. I get pissed off at people who scare me, even though it's not really their fault. And I think I was angry with him because I just wanted to be left alone, and to be alone... and I didn't want him to interfere with that. At that point too, I actually wanted be someone else, I sort of created this fantasy in my mind of being a different person with a different family and experiences, and my aunt and uncle coming after me was kind of like facing reality I guess. And I didn't want to do that.

    Part of me knows that seeing them and/or re-establishing a relationship with them would likely be very good for me. They would be very supportive, and honest with me. My uncle has been sober in AA since before I was born, my aunt is in Al-Anon, and they really live the principles of the program in all areas of their lives. They are pretty healthy people emotionally. I guess that kind of scares me too because I don't want to be the sick one. I don't want anyone taking care of me or trying to tell me what to do.

    I'm also terrified of losing it. Crying or whatever. I don't do that in front of other people. And I'm not their niece anymore, at least not as they knew me. I'm a different person and I don't want them to be disappointed or whatever that I'm not the same person.

    Actually I feel really really guilty too, for having run away and breaking off contact. In the last year or so, I've thought about how I did that, and I was 19 at the time, never lived on my own, and suddenly I just disappear ... how scared and worried people must have been. Like maybe they even thought I was dead. And that makes me ashamed of myself. Ugh.

    Yes I'm debating email or maybe a phone call. I'm supposed to get back to my friend about it, my uncle gave her his contact info, hoping that I might respond. He told her he had considered hiring a private investigator to track me down, but he didn't want to scare me. So I think he does realize that I have fears. Anyways thanks veiled, I really appreciate it and it was good for me to get my feelings out about it. Now I'm really tired again and feel like going to bed. That is my way of dealing with stuff that's too difficult... sigh.
     
  5. JoannaG

    JoannaG Active Member

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    Trying to deal with family or being in the towns where your trauma happened is so hard for me as well. Sometimes we just get so wrapped up in ourselves that we feel safer keeping the distance, self protect mode if you know what I mean and I am sure you do. I still have three sisters and two brothers left and all have 100% different opinions of how my trauma's have affected my life and theirs. Only one sister and neice will talk with me anymore. That is their choice and mine,
    I relate how you feel about being a different person now and being angry and scared at the same time. No one says you have to discuss your trauma with them unless you want to. I chose to personally contact mine as I had to know for myself if I was the only one abused.
    It is a hard choice for you, but if there is love and support there for you the contact may be good for you and your family. Maybe for them to visit you, not the other way around with a request of civilian garb only during the visit.
    Email or a phonecall is a good start you can always hang up or not reply if you are not comfortable with how the contact is going. I am sure they have fears too.
     
  6. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

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    batgirl, if you need a rest take it, it is going to be a very emotional decision for you and I can't imagine how it would not be!

    But the AA thing. Now my hubs has been sober for about 13 years?? He went the AA route. I think him doing that has been very beneficial in helping me and give understanding to me even though PTSD is not the same as being an alcoholic.

    The getting too much care would be hard for you. Look what happened with your father who loved you and was never unkind. It is very understandable why you would want to keep family at bay. It scares you, how it couldn't it?

    I really doubt they will see you as sick. Nor the "sick one". Alcoholism is scary and carries a stigma too. And like my husband you don't stop being one just because you learn to stop drinking. Once an alcoholic always one... That is how he sees it any way.

    I don't think they would expect the same girl. Or that they would have hard feelings about you splitting, I think anyone with half a brain would get it...

    The way you describe them it sounds like it could actually be healthy in the long term to just let them know you are alive and what issues you are addressing, like PTSD. That way they could have a chance to be educated on it, maybe suggest a book for them to read and go from there. Just tossing out ideas. You and how you feel is what counts and if you feel ready for such a leap.

    I am not certain those tears you would shed would be all bad, but more of a chance to grab a part of you that was lost and has shown up. Uncle knows you have issues honestly. Why on Earth would he be afraid of scaring you with someone locaating you? I think he is hip already to what you think you are hiding.

    Just my opinion, at least drop him an e mail so you can hit back space as many times as you want, no responses needed that second as in talking does. That way they digest it and any response you get to do the same. Suggest that book to them. Give them the tools to know how you need to be handled. I think you and them deserve that.

    Curious is this dad's brother or mom's? I am reaching out for dad's... but still applies to either. He has a lot of pain and guilt he may be carrying too... Why he did not see it coming and so on.

    Good luck on what ever choice you make and know we won't knock you for it. You are just getting your feet wet healing.
     
  7. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Thanks for responding, Joanna. My whole day seems to have become consumed with this issue and I'm having trouble concentrating on much else, so it's nice to be able to write more, even if I feel like I'm blathering on and on. I was able to nap for about an hour and a half, but I woke up with a stomach ache (related to this I'm assuming) and I'm really anxious. Tried doing the puff pattern breathing thing I learned, but it's not helping. Went to the basement to do laundry, and got badly startled by my landlady who was "just saying hi". Bleah. So now I'm shaking all over, too.

    Anyways yeah I can't imagine going back to the base where it all happened. Luckily though my uncle and his wife don't live there; they live in a different part of the country. Actually a fair distance from here as well. So I don't think they're going to be showing up on my doorstep anytime soon, even if I decided to give them my address and phone number.

    Anyways thanks again for the support. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who's had issues like this.
     
  8. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Yes that's sooo true! I have had some CBT, and was told that stuff like what happened to me is rare, but a "normal" family life still really creeps me out. I still worry about people snapping without warning.

    I hope you're right that they will get it and not see me as sick. The book is a good idea. I never thought of that.

    See and that scares me too. That he KNOWS. God everything scares me.

    Yes he's my dad's older brother. And I'm sure he does feel badly about it all. He and my aunt were crying at the hospital when they visited. Ugh.

    Thanks, I appreciate that. I'm thinking about giving my friend my contact info, email or phone number or whatever, and let my uncle make the first move. At least, that seems easier to me at this point. But I'm not going to decide tonight, as I've got myself way too worked up and my stomach is killing me. Blah. Think I will go to bed again soon.
     
  9. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Well, tonight I gave my friend permission to give my phone number to my uncle. So, now I'm just going to wait and see what happens...
     
  10. kimG

    kimG Well-Known Member

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    Batgirl,

    I was just faced with this very same thing, after being out of touch with any of my extended family for almost 14 years.

    When I look back, the only reason I can find to explain why I stayed out of touch is fear. After my dad and mom died, I figured my brother would go and live with one of the relatives. And THAT made me no want anything to do with them ever again. I couldn't risk them letting him know where I was. Every time I spoke with one of them on the phone they wanted to know how he was doing. I tried to explain that I didn't know, didn't care, and didn't want to talk about him, but they always "forgot" my little "didn'ts". So I did one of the things I do best: I avoided them at all costs.

    About 6 weeks ago, my husband and I had to make a trip to my parents' hometown, where almost all of the relatives live and where my parents are buried. It was a brief trip (getting there took longer than the time we spent there), but not only did we get what we went there for, but I also visited my parents' graves for the first time since my mother was buried. It was something that was important for my husband, one of his goals in life in helping me, and it was VERY good for me, healing in a way. However, when we got to the town, I had no idea of the name of the cemetery where they are buried, so I found my aunt & uncle's phone number and my husband called them to ask about it. He didn't tell them we were there, but he and my uncle talked a long time about what my life growing up was like and what my brother did to me - and I was sobbing in the background.
    One of the things my uncle mentioned to him was an upcoming family reunion, about 2 weeks after we initially went there. My husband told me about it and while part of me thought it was something that I needed to do, a bigger part of me was scared to death. My mind was telling me that if I went, my brother would either be there too or would somehow find out where I live. No matter how much my husband talked to me about it, I wouldn't give the go-ahead to make plans to attend.

    I finally agreed to let him call my uncle again and be on the other phone, listening in. My husband agreed to let me just listen until I felt comfortable enough to talk. They talked for about 20 minutes and then it was my turn. It turned out to be a very good, long talk.

    Oh, and I did go to the reunion (the story is posted somewhere on this board). It was good to see every one once again. It was good to be down there. And, it was good to hear how no one wants to see my brother again. I did tell them that I can't ever see him again and they all said, "Yeah, we know he did bad things to you." I wanted so badly to say, "You only THINK you know what he did to me!!!", but I couldn't. Perhaps one day I'll be able to...

    I tell you my story to let you know that my mind made it out to be worse than it was (as is usually the case with me). It was good for me. It was good for them. It was good for my kids to connect to relatives on my side of the family and to hear other people validate my feelings towards my brother.

    BUT...your decision has to be yours. I suspect that it would be good for you to see them. But I also understand the trepidation in not wanting to see them. However, your uncle may understand the PTSD part of it all, seeing as how he is in the military himself.

    I wouldnt suggest just showing up; instead email or call them first to re-establish the connection. Gauge the meeting/reunion on that phone call. If it goes well, then perhaps you can meet. If not, then you won't ever have to have anything else to do with them.

    Good luck.
     
  11. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    Thanks so much kimG... I could really relate to the feelings you described, especially not wanting to see your relatives because they might ask you about your brother. I have a very similar fear... I don't want my uncle or other relatives to talk to me about my father. And that's part of why I've avoided them. Thanks for making me realize that!

    As I said, tonight I gave my friend permission to give them my phone number. I'm kind of anxiously waiting to see if they will call tonight. I do hope it goes well, but like you say, if it doesn't, at least I won't have to feel I am hiding from them anymore.
     
  12. anthony

    anthony Renovation Aficionado Founder

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    I personally think you should contact him, so you can control the degree of contact, but don't cut him off. He obviously loves you dearly batgirl, because he is trying to contact you and see how you are, not hurt you. I think you need family now more than ever, to really help you face so many of the past demons batgirl. I think this is one of those things in life that could really help you, and then you have them to support you when you need it.

    You said it yourself, they are not bad people... which means they really care about you and are concerned for you. They are hurting.... and I think the most you could do is maybe control the contact, not wait for them to find you. Pickup the phone and make a phone call.... and don't be scared to break. Breaking down is not a sign of weakness batgirl, don't think it is. It is your body telling you it needs to release the pain... just allow it too do its job. Your uncle and aunt are not going to think your any less a person by breaking down in front of them or whilst on the phone... you might just find that they are suffering similar pain in relation to what has occured.
     
  13. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

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    OMG I actually spoke to my uncle and aunt late last night!!!!!! I waited for them to call for about 2 hours, but my nerves and my stomach couldn't take it anymore so I ended up calling them first. Actually they had planned on waiting until the next day, since it was already late for me. Anyways we talked for a long time... over 2 hours. It was weird, when I called I was like, thinking to myself, okay I am going to tell them I'm fine, etc. Then I get on the phone and I just started bawling my eyes out.... which I NEVER do, even with my psychiatrist I never cried like that. I think I really freaked them out. They were both on the phone at the same time, and my aunt kept asking, "what can I do? tell me what to do." Bleah. So I really made a fool of myself. I feel like a big baby. And I think I've made them worry more, by being so upset.

    We talked for a very long time, and I apologized to them for running away. Then they gave me some really shocking, sad news... my other uncle, my dad's other brother who is also in the military, was killed while on deployment overseas, just over 2 years ago. I am just sickened by this. I feel so terribly guilty for having taken off. My now 17 year old cousin, son of my uncle who was killed, has been getting into a lot of trouble since his dad's death, drugs, etc, and he was forced into a treatment program for teens. His mum didn't know what to do with him really, so after he got out of the residential treatment program he went to live with my uncle and aunt. He's doing better now apparently, still living with them. They have kids too, my 3 cousins, all boys... but they are all grown up... the youngest is just slightly older than me. They are all scattered round the country now, one in Ottawa, one in Alberta, one in Newfoundland. And they are all married!!!!! It's so weird, having to catch up with 5 years of news all of a sudden. Like veiled said, life goes on for everyone else.

    They want to see me, of course. They want me to come to them for Christmas. They just bought a new house and my aunt was blathering on about how there is a bedroom for me with no carpet (I have asthma and allergies). Apparently 2 of my cousins are also coming home for Christmas with their wives, one of whom is expecting a baby, and well... I think the whole thing would be very overwhelming for me. Not sure I could handle so much excitement all at once, and at Christmas time, too!!

    I should not have told them, but in the couse of our long conversation I did mention that I am not working, do not have a psychiatrist at present (I am on a waiting list for one), and don't really have any friends locally. So of course they think I should just up and leave everything, move in with them for a while and then get my own place close by. This is what I was afraid of. I feel really overwhelmed now. I was able to say though that change scares me a lot, and that I would have to think about everything. I told them I *might* be able to come see them in the new year, but I don't want to come right away and definitely not for Christmas. They were accepting of that but still kept talking about my special allergy-free bedroom being there whenever I wanted it... even TODAY if I wanted to come right away... just hop on the plane! As if it's that easy. Ugh.

    Phew... well, I'm not sure how I feel now. More than a little overwhelmed. And that familiar bad feeling of having said too much all at once. I'm going to give it a rest for a couple of days, try to sort out all the information in my head. Whatever happens, at least I can be happy that I talked to them and didn't die as a result!
     
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