What do you all think of this approach!


#1

I will try to make this short and to the point. In spite of my feelings of loss I had a really beautiful Christmas. My story goes like this I am the oldest girl of 9 and when I was almost 18 my father was murdered and with that my college hopes went down the drain, because I stayed home with mom to help with the kids. I did almost everything for them and that is where I seemed to have lost my place among them. That was 26 years ago and along with that we lost our mother 16 years ago, both of my parents where gone while in their forties so needless to say that for some of us in our forties it almost seems like the end is near. I pray and stay close to Jesus for my sanity. I have spent the best part of my like trying to keep this family together and while I am not a perfect person I have come to accept all for each of them are and it has helped alot, the problem seems that they cannot accept me as one of them. No stops by or calls or invites me anywhere, except showers and weddings etc… At the risk of sounding like a martyr I am really on interested in maybe a weekly coffee conversation or maybe a monthly dinner thing going instead I get whatever. There is much more to this story I just cannot get into it because of it’s length.
I decided that I would cease attending all of my immediate family functions and disconnect. I am thinking that I need to get away and think while outside of the box and maybe that would help me help them. You see God has graced me with not needing them He has given my many good friends and extended family, my problem is that I love them and want to be a part of what was once my family. I have alot of very hurt feelings inside of me and wanted to leave them at the foot of the cross, but I don’t know what exactly that means, and that is where I need your help. So if anyone out there can add to this I would greatly appreciate it.

PS: I guess the bottom line is I don’t feel very loved by them and I know that is not true and I want to get rid of that feeling.

Thanks and God Bless
Kathleen


#2

God will surely bless you for the sacrifices you made for your family. I assume they are all grown now, and out of the house, so you would seem to be experiencing the same feelings that we parents do as “empty-nesters”. We had a couple of threads on that topic in the Family forum a while back that might help you.

As a parent who now lives geographically separated from my children and grandchildren, and who contemplates these kinds of feelings, all I can say is that at some point you have to live your own life, and detach from your family. Not that you write them off or cease to be interested in their lives etc,. but that you no longer draw your emotional satisfaction, affirmation, reason for existence by focusing primarily on filling their needs.

You did a mammoth job in holding your family together, but as adults, they must have the freedom to go their own way, to form other attachments with spouses, in-laws etc. Like many of us parents, you might never have had the chance to form your own network of friends outside the family and now is the time to start doing it. some of us do this “artificially” as RV-ers or residents in retirement parks or complexes (you are not that age yet, but it will be coming). some of us find that in a career change, going back to school, moving to another part of the country, travel with tour groups etc.

Now is also the time of life to turn attention to your own spiritual growth, which you are already doing. find a way to be active in your parish, a charitable outreach, volunteer etc., this is another way to form new “family ties.”

don’t sit around waiting for gratitude or recognition from you family, you won’t get it until your dead, or until they want to borrow money, in my experience.


#3

Puzzleannie told the truth. Sometimes, people think telling the truth is ‘harsh’. It can sound that way, but the reality is Jesus does not want us to depend upon creatures for our happiness. He wants us to depend upon Him, through the teachings of His Bride - the Holy Mother Church - and devotion to His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. That is where we need to place our dependence and that is where we find our true happiness.

I know that I fall short in that area a great deal. I find myself turning to creatures, both human and animal, for love and acceptance and understanding when in reality all of that can be found only in the arms of my Lord and Savior.

What I have tried to do (gee, and sometimes it really works!) is this: when I find myself wishing someone in my family or someone I have helped in AA would stop by and see me, or take me to lunch or coffee or just call me up to see how I am doing, I purposefully do what I wish was being done for me for someone I know has no one at all doing anything for them. I call a newcomer in the program, an elderly person in the parish or go by a neighbor’s house on my way home from work and just say hello.

I do a lot of writing, I have increased my prayer life in an effort to deepen it and I look for the day when I will no longer be working full time so that I can do more study and volunteer work.

Your family may never be what you want them to be - but you can continue to walk toward holiness.

You are in my prayers.


#4

Just wanted to say thank you and also Happy Birthday to LSK I also will be doing the dance of joy at my 50th mostly because my mom and her mom didn’t make it I have 6 more years. Anyhow you and puzzlanne gave me much to think about and for that I am truely grateful. I can always count on the good people here to lift my spirits.

God Bless You Both
Kathleen


#5

[quote=puzzleannie]God will surely bless you for the sacrifices you made for your family…
…don’t sit around waiting for gratitude or recognition from you family, you won’t get it until your dead, or until they want to borrow money, in my experience.
[/quote]

This is sooooooooo true. As hard a lesson as it is for me to learn, it is nonetheless true.

                        ~ Kathy ~

#6

PuzzleAnnie really worded her post very well. I feel these same feelings about my adult children. They are now focused on their own lives after I gave them the best years of mine, and sometimes I despair that it was all for naught, because I never had any carefree days all my life. Life is bittersweet, and so is letting go…

I advise you to read the Psalms which express the full range of human emotions, they have it all and are a great solace.


#7

Hi, Bobkat…

I lost both my parents while in my 20’s, but unlike you, I was at the younger end of the family (second youngest of 9). My sister-in-law said that their deaths would either tear our family apart or bring us closer. With that in mind, we have tried very hard to keep our family together. Sounds like you did that for your family. We have over the years developed traditions that bring us all together at certain times of the year. We have a yearly family reunion in July, a Christmas party for just the “brothers and sisters and spouses” which we love (seems to solidify the original family unit a bit) then a Santa party with all the kids and extended family and whoever else comes along. It took several years to get these off the ground, but we kept at it and kept inviting everyone to attend. Some chose not to come, some couldn’t because of work or other family obligations, but at least we can count on at these these times to all get together if we want to. I live away from my family and I find that very few of my “older” brothers and sisters call or visit. However, if I make the first move in calling, they are more than happy to hear from me. Sometimes our lives get so busy and hectic that family gets put on the back burner. I think we all take for granted that we still love each other and that we don’t need to talk every week to reinforce that. Kinda like when you’re in the car with your husband…we don’t need to talk to each other but are comfortable with just silence. How about you make a schedule of phone calls, call one sibling one week, another sibling the next week, and so on, just to check in and reconnect, but with no expectations of meeting. Just start with “Hello, how are you? Haven’t heard from you in awhile so I thought I’d check in.” Ask the Holy Spirit to be with you as you make the calls. When I have a difficult phone call to make or a conversation that I’m dreading, I ask my guardian angel to “talk to” their guardian angel to help make things to smoothly. A little juvenile, yes, but makes me feel better! Your brothers and sisters may be sensing your resentment a bit and not want to make the first move. I wouldn’t go full on into having a weekly coffee appointment just yet, or even suggest it until you have comfortable phone conversations for awhile. Go slowly and let something evolve by itself. It will. You may find that one particular sibling has been wanting the same thing and you two could meet, then invite another one, etc. and over time you may have your own traditions set. By having the desire to be with them and by extending yourself initially, the rest will come. My guess is with 8 other individuals in the mix, at least one of them will be willing to reconnect with you and perhaps wants exactly what you do but doesn’t know how to go about it. It’s a start. Start slow and don’t expect great things to begin with. Great things will come later. God’s plan is always perfect!

Pray for peace and joy :thumbsup:


#8

You have posted a beautiful testimony to the power of love, Jesus Christ and why I rely upon my guardian angel (though he may need a retirement home soon…poor guy).


#9

farmbabe1, Thankyou, that was really beautiful. I am in the process of letting go with every intention of doing just that. I do pray for my family and I know some of it is me and my expectations. It helps to know that someone out there knows what I am going through. Spiritblows I don’t understand kids I spend alot of time with my husband parents just because and I want my kids to know them personally just as I knew my grandparents. This is one busy world and it will take God to slow it down. Thank you all

God Bless
Kathleen


#10

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