A Thread for Those Who Have Gone No Contact with Family: Does the Loneliness, Isolation, and Grief Ever Get Better?

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I can answer the original post question but only in the context of my own experiences. Does the loneliness isolation and grief ever get better? Which loneliness isolation and grief? the feelings caused by leaving my family or the feelings when I was still willing to try to earn their acceptance and failing?

It sets a lot of hackles up when I mention religion, but why not talk about one of the biggest causes of family separation in a thread for talking about separating from a family? No false representations here, it happened in my family the same way it has happened in countless families. Someone got religious, someone didn't and the judgements and resentment started in right away.

At 11 I lost my mother to disease and before she died she found comfort in the church she had been exposed to as a child. My father joined her in hopes of a divine intervention that never came. He made a bargain with the church that he would remain in their fold and raise his children to be members, he told me so. Didn't work, she died. Within 6 months of her death, my mother had been replaced by a woman raising two children of her own, all organized by the church through a singles dating service they ran (if you break families you can take the broken pieces and make families too). My life changed over the course of one spring and summer.

By 14 I was out of that house, escaping the isolation, the brainwashing they tried to run on me at their school and summer camps, and the loneliness of being the only person that wasn't drinking the kool-aid of their cult-like beliefs. I was being punished constantly, chastised, humiliated, and isolated from all connections with my old friends and my mother's family. They were literally being given instructions by the church in their efforts to break me and turn me into a member.

So yes, the loneliness isolation and grief get better. Much much better.

The problem lies in our desire as children to be accepted and loved by our parents and family. It's a survival skill. Even though sometimes it can't be done, we try and try to make it right, to understand what is happening and to assign blame. Guess where the blame goes? The only willing target: Ourselves.

Still working on that one. I hated them but I wanted them to love me. I took blame I didn't earn, they got to be right when they were sooo wrong. It is unsolvable and it has made me more susceptible to other traumas along the way and now i have PTSD that started when I was 11 and didn't go away just because I was able to leave them behind.

So no, it doesn't get better, the loneliness isolation and grief are still real, and I am 45 years older now.

On a first level, glancing blow thought across my mind, the memories of them cause me pain to this day. On a second round, do the math level of thought that is going to hang on until I hang up, I am so so happy that they didn't get their hooks in me and I didn't go down their rabbit hole. I truly feel sorry for them, they missed so much they missed their own grandchildren and now their great grandchildren. All lost in fear of angering their god. Thats the REAL outcome, the TRUE loss.

So, yes it does get better, but it still sucks.

It wasn't my fault, I did the best I could, I am better for it.
@enough Here's my take on belonging......as a child...you either belong or you don't. It doesn't take long to be labeled the "bad kid" for not keeping the family secrets or doing what they think makes a child a good child (not telling or discussing inappropriate parental behavior).....or opposing a religious doctrine that they think is right but you know isn't working for you- is just one way. It doesn't matter when everyone else is buying in , and you didn't, you didn't belong....you were different.....you saw the problem and didn't buy in. Do you think you ever, before that, belonged...I mean were accepted unconditionally....with love and warmth?

In my case.....I didn't belong....I saw my family's flaws and was verbal about it. My punishment was that I wasn't accepted....I was criticized by my parents, and my brother was the perfect child. I told my feelings when my father was three sheets to the wind and he put me in an unsafe situation.....I called him a sloppy drunk and proceeded to send myself to my room after I said it....before my mother had the time to tell me to go to my room........my mother was disgusted with me for being disrespectful..............I was an outsider....I didn't belong....I saw the flaws and didn't keep my mouth shut. Getting drunk and putting your child in a life threatening situation is much worse than disrespectful....it's irresponsible and uncaring. Yep....I wanted to belong more than anything but I woudn't lie and believe we were a great family when no one spoke to each other......we were not a loving family.....there was a price to pay if you were a child who didn't buy in and support dysfunction. It doesn't matter whether it is alcoholism, drug abuse, a cold family, and abusive family.....they all require compliance and the threat of not belonging is the key to trying to maintain the dysfunctional equilibrium and keep the family shit at home.........and pretending we were all normal. But did I want THAT kind of belonging...it was a lie and I just couldn't pretend that we were something we weren't.....didn't I already not belong.....yep. I never lost belonging.....because it was always hung over my head ...... I wasn't meant to belong to dysfunction. I have found belonging with others as an adult.....and peace....and happiness I never had at home from my parents. So belonging to the Dysfunctionals would have never worked out anyway.....they were too ill.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
@Mute , I'm not sure of the context either, but you are right there certainly can be enabling. But also little escape, albeit hopefully still mentally.

If someone is consistently harmful, I learned remember to respond not react. It's likely coming from their pain, though that doesn't help you. Let go who cannot or will not see 1+1 =2. Or more aptly, let go as much as possible of the abuse. I think of the saying, 'How many legs does a dog have if you call it's tail a leg? " And the answer is still 4.

Welcome to you.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
@TruthSeeker yes, and it can go the other way too, where a child who is responsible when others are acting out is labeled 'golden' or 'more loved', when they are trying to keep the peace and not add to the worry/ chaos. The others feeling they are not loved the same, whereas it's equal or even greater, but they are not wanting or being capable of having a relationship.

I used to say some siblings of mine were not family oriented, that still sort of rings true, though it's way beyond that. Family should bolster and love- well surely any good relationship should include that, it is critical. But I think you need health, boundaries, acceptance, respect and it has to be selfless enough to be 2-way.
 

Mute

Learning
@Mute , I'm not sure of the context either, but you are right there certainly can be enabling. But also little escape, albeit hopefully still mentally.

If someone is consistently harmful, I learned remember to respond not react. It's likely coming from their pain, though that doesn't help you. Let go who cannot or will not see 1+1 =2. Or more aptly, let go as much as possible of the abuse. I think of the saying, 'How many legs does a dog have if you call it's tail a leg? " And the answer is still 4.

Welcome to you.
I get it and sorry for the confusion.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
No @Mute , it's ok! You don't have to go on mute here. 😊

Something strange I wanted to add, but wouldn't have if this thread was not bumped up. Tomorrow is the anniversary of the death of a dear aunt, we always got along great- still fought sometimes, but I regret what I didn't understand and attributed to her as a reflection of her feelings (I know it definitely wasn't and I always unequivocally felt loved by her and we could have a (great) relationship- apart from I wish I knew then what I know now, for her sake/ happiness.

I have regretted that I wasn't able to more fully enjoy/ reconcile with a sister who died earlier. But now I realize, what was even possible later, simply was not possible before.

Hang in there.
 
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Mute

Learning
No @Mute , it's ok! You don't have to go on mute here. 😊
Thanks, sometimes I say things that only a crack head can understand. I like your name Rosebud, reminds me of one of my favorite tools. Its an attachment to a pressurized oxygen and fuel tank under pressure used to heat up metal red hot to manipulate it into the desired shape either in blacksmithing or repairing damaged metal.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
Oh! Thank you @Mute ! I love it! I could do with some re-shaping or re-creating! 😊 Though I'll leave the tools to you as that sounds pretty dangerous, tbh. 😃😮
 

Mute

Learning
Oh! Thank you @Mute ! I love it! I could do with some re-shaping or re-creating! 😊 Though I'll leave the tools to you as that sounds pretty dangerous, tbh. 😃😮
Its really not dangerous if you know how to use it and be safe with it. But it can definitely cause some serial pain and suffering if it's misused. Like a knife is dangerous but I think it's a safe to assume we all know how to use one and not get hurt by it to say slice a tomato.
 

Rosebud

MyPTSD Pro
Oh @muse, I grew up with dull knives.. you can guess the damage I can do with a sharp one. 😂 I believe you but I'll leave it to 'the Pro's'- don't take for granted anyone can learn, or anyone can do it well! (But it sure makes me feel like a toasted tomato sandwich. 😊 )
 

enough

MyPTSD Pro
@TruthSeeker
yes, before the religion, before the death of my mother, there was a time when I had a loving upbringing with cousins and friends of my choosing as peers and adults that all worked together to nurture us.
The religion wiped that ALL clean and replaced loving and nururing with judgementalism and reward for conformance and nothing else. The y with held love, hell they withheld contact with anything that came before. 100% freak show and I hated every minute. In my struggle to regain some of what had disappeared so suddenly I even got baptised and tried to fake it for a year. It just made it worse, it made me a liar and now I didn't even get reward for compliance. I was angry all the time and I wish I had known then that not only had my mother died, my entire knowledge of how this is all supposed to work was useless and dead too. If there is a hell it waits for them, not me.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
@TruthSeeker
yes, before the religion, before the death of my mother, there was a time when I had a loving upbringing with cousins and friends of my choosing as peers and adults that all worked together to nurture us.
The religion wiped that ALL clean and replaced loving and nururing with judgementalism and reward for conformance and nothing else. The y with held love, hell they withheld contact with anything that came before. 100% freak show and I hated every minute. In my struggle to regain some of what had disappeared so suddenly I even got baptised and tried to fake it for a year. It just made it worse, it made me a liar and now I didn't even get reward for compliance. I was angry all the time and I wish I had known then that not only had my mother died, my entire knowledge of how this is all supposed to work was useless and dead too. If there is a hell it waits for them, not me.
I know that this doesn't make sense....but you are now, in a much better place to know what "belonging" is supposed to feel like. I was adopted....didn't belong from the start and was the 2nd adopted child....always compared to the first adopted son......never had a chance to belong. I still struggle even with the concept of belonging because it was a lifelong emptiness kind of thing. I am so very glad you know the feeling of belonging and can remember it....and that your hardship with your family has made you have a really strong sense of integrity. I have had dealings with "cults" and lost both, a lifelong friend and a college friend to cult craziness and righteousness. I also had a seizure disorder and was deemed "possessed".....having them come to my door in the middle of the night wanting me to give up my seizure meds and pray with them for a healing. There were a group of us who were targeted. It is hard to be around people who won't accept you for who you are, unless you comply with their beliefs....but I'm proud of you for following your conscious.....good on you!
 
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