Let’s face it.
Out of my almost 1,200 blog readers, I’d be willing to bet that 90% of you have a family or family member that just doesn’t care about you at all, cares about you in a way that doesn’t meet your needs, or is limited in how much care or love he or she shows you.
Most of us don’t have a perfect family. That fantasy was just some propaganda BS that television sold us all the way up to the early 80’s so we would reproduce like jack rabbits, and feel like crap about ourselves.
So what do you do when dear old Dad, Aunt, Grandma, Sister, Brother, or In-laws don’t give two poops about you?
Here’s what:If they’re an In-Law
If they’re an in-law, feel a bit less disappointed than if he/she was your blood relative.
In-laws are coming from different cultural, educational, and social backgrounds (most often), and so there’s going to be some disconnect off the bat that you might feel.
Plus, this individual or individuals may not see you as family.
As hard as it is, try to accept what is, and move forward. Be nice. Play the game. Keep your distance if the person is toxic. Remind yourself that it’s not you.
When it’s a parent
This is the hardest. How could a parent not love or accept you?
Therapy is my number one suggestion for dealing with this as well as…
Seeing your parent as a person and not a parent.
Forget that the person helped make you.
See how he/she interacts with others. Note the things that make them human: flaws, daily habits, and vices.
Don’t put the person on a pedestal. Acknowledge what this person does to hurt you and if confronting the person doesn’t help, bury it.
When I say bury it I don’t mean repress how you feel but instead, acknowledge the pain this parent has caused you whether through a written or verbal declaration to the parent or to yourself, and decide that you will move on.
I tried myself very hard to make one parent notice me and care about me. It never happened in the way I wanted. Does it hurt? Yes. Extremely. But I have to move on with my life and enjoy the people who do care about me.
I wanted these two dudes to be my daddies…
Choose another family
If you happen to have a whole family of deadbeats or a disconnected family, then go out and choose or make your own.
Does it suck when you hear how your friend’s Mom, sister, or X individual does things with him or her? Yes. But to me, blood might be thicker than water, but water is fluid and open.
The family you choose will be more apt to stick with you, rather than the ones bound to you by similar hair or eye color. Last name.
When a baby is born
When you have children, you’ll feel the family or family member disconnect more. It will be hard. Your child may ask you, “Why isn’t X a part of our life?” or “Why does X do this to you?”
This can also be the same when your in-law/in-laws don’t like you.
The best you can do is explain that this person doesn’t make good choices around you and makes you feel sad sometimes.
Allow the child to see the said individuals unless they’re just rotten folks, but explain that you just don’t play well together.
Expect to grieve this when your first child comes into the world…and the next.
It’s not easy, but remember not everyone is going to like you even if he or she was the person who thought giving birth to you was a great idea.
If it’s a sibling that says a silent or loud “Fuck you” to you, this can hurt, especially if the other siblings like each other more.
Unless you can do something to remedy this situation, try to ask yourself these questions:
–Is this person happy with her/his life? If no, maybe it’s jealousy or self-destruction that makes the sibling treat you this way.
–Are you just too different? If yes, try to find 1 common interest or simply make small talk in order to keep the peace.
–Don’t get parents involved unless it’s an emergency or the sibling is hurting you. It’s just painful for parents to know that siblings hate each other. That wasn’t the purpose of having siblings.
–Be the bigger person. Always. And always try to include his or her kids…it’s not your niece or nephew’s fault your sibling sucks, is it?
Hugs, Jello Pudding Pops, and Wagon Wheels,