I have a dysfunctional family too

 It started with my parent's very bad marriage (physical and verbal fighting) in early childhood - that marriage ended thank god many years ago - and growing up with an verbally and emotionally and sometimes physically abusive father.   It continues today with my father's verbally and emotionally abusive nature, my stepmother whose hobby it is to talk/gossip incessantly behind people's backs (while casting many daggers there too) and my mother's bad marriage (now 25 years... after my parent's original marriage of 16 years) to a hopelessly neurotic and unpleasant man.  My brother also rather abusive too - the rest of the family it seems has grown a bit arrogant.

I've elected to make myself unavailable to my father and stepmother - my brother is not an issue really as I don't talk to him that much and he lives over 2000 miles away.  My mother is not an issue and has always been rather supportive - I just have to stay away from her and my stepfather's dysfunctional relationship. 

Avoidance of certain people is much better than verbally abusing them or "telling them off" - and while I have a lot of issues, I hope it does not come to that.  I block their email and I'm blocking a few phone numbers (I can't change my phone number at this time).

On a positive note - I think avoidance of my family goes a long way towards avoiding negativity in my life, something I'm really trying to reduce.  And I'm not really sad about it - I'm angry.  In particular, the last 6 months or so I've seen a lot of negative cutting email traffic and phone calls from my stepmother/father; On top of everything else - I've just had enough. 

MildMeToo MildMeToo
2 Responses Jun 20, 2009

It is good to hear your experiences.<br />
Being 40 yrs old now I just started to research my years as a child. Up to now I have not found much in the web about this. I found many complaints from a stepparents side about their "bad/ugly" stepchildren and only a few reports that are showing a good relation for the moment.<br />
For me it looks like that the "children" are suffering in a more silent but always same way. <br />
Hate and anger.<br />
And the feeling of cut with the family (avoidance). I cut for a few years after leaving home but came back and restarted the communication.<br />
Today I am at a point that I want to break again ...

Reading what you have written leaves one with mixed feelings but not derogatory ones aimed at yourself. Your ability to express yourself competently indicates a fair measure of intelligence which you would have inherited from your parents yet they seem to have lacked the perception to use this to their advantage. It sounds as if both your parents feel like victims and harbouring such feelings tends to attract others of a similar disposition. Regretfully, it is known to be a chain of reaction that is not easily broken.<br />
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I am almost tempted to say, 'join the club', as I too am the product of dysfunctional parenting and for a time in my life was also angry, very angry indeed, Often during my developing years I acted irrationally but never criminally.The only tactility one encountered was that of violence. What prevailed in the household was contempt, hatred, jealousy, arrogance, drunkenness, infidelity, wife battering, and gambling, to mention some. To commit murder was a near run thing but I survived!<br />
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The irony is that subsequently I had three daughters and was a good, supportive, loving, and loyal father, and also husband in a household that was full of care and love yet my daughters harbour the view that somehow I failed them! I do not seek to diminish the impact your family has had on you nor to contradict your feelings but from my experience the message that comes over with more than a resounding tinkle is that it is all relative! <br />
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Today, I enjoy solitude (but not loneliness) and this is designed to defend myself against the negativity that prevails in life and by doing this I find my happiness. My daughters keep in contact so long as there is no discussion of their upbringing. We sure do live in a cockeyed society.