Losing contact with family

by Hannah Adele 15 days ago in grief

When you choose to let go

Losing contact with family
Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash

Losing contact with family is difficult no matter what the reasoning behind the lost connection is. When I first shared with my close family about one of my abusers, it was taken in various ways. Some immediately believed and told it actually makes a lot of sense, some immediately believed me but struggled with accepting this abuser could do what I said, some defended my abuser and some questioned my memories. I also have experienced each of those reactions towards myself.

One of the things I first told my close family, was to not question my memories since I struggle with questioning it myself. Because some still questioned me, I chose to limit my interactions with them. They no longer felt safe, as they breached a fairly big boundary I set. Those who defended my abuser, I dropped all communication with. As you can imagine, that didn't feel safe to be around at all.

Dropping or limiting communication with family members, even for keeping myself safe, still hurts. They're still family and we still have many positive memories that I often look back on. It's been a form of grief, letting go of these family members, though I still look back knowing I did the right thing to protect myself. The person I was during the time I shared my memories, was an extremely fragile version of myself. I felt like I was blacked out, as I hardly remember most of the interactions. I just have journals and emails to look back on. I was in a horrible place, and questioning my memories felt like a huge attack on the few bits of me that were still put together.

Earlier this year, I got in a fight with a loved one over me not supporting them in a really tough time. I used to be someone who extended myself in every way possible to reach out and support everyone I know. I've since learned that this is a trauma response, and overextending myself is not healthy. So, I've limited my help response to (at a minimum) people who actually reach out for help. I was never asked for help, so I let it be as something that's not my place to pry into. Now, this is the same loved one who questioned my memories, so my contact was already limited. They're also someone who invited me to take a flight and visit them but then canceled last minute saying me visiting would be too triggering for them. So, basically, someone who has not supported me at all. I don't ask for support, ever. Like literally ever, this was a first. To have that request denied repeatedly, hurts. We ended up deciding that communication should be stopped until we're able to do a therapy session together.

One of my loved ones, coincidentally one who questioned my memories, voted for Trump. I've never hidden the fact that a vote for Trump is a trample on everything that I am and who many of my loved ones are. I don't believe that you can vote for Trump without turning a blind eye to white supremacy. Turning a blind eye to white supremacy is just not okay in my book. I understand that as a white person, I have white supremacy issues inside my own bits of who I am that I will always need to work on. However, a vote for Trump is not even trying, actively not even trying. I can't ignore that. It hurts.

Anyway, both of those two loved ones deleted and blocked me on social media. There are a lot of feelings I have towards that. One loved one left without saying anything, the other said they were leaving social media altogether; even though they just deleted/blocked me and stayed on social media.

What I have to remember is that I limited contact without saying anything, so I can understand why someone would do that. It's often not even a second thought, because it seems so obvious why. I get that, and that was easy enough to accept. When the other one lied, that hurt. I would have much rather have just been told they were taking a break from me. Honesty always trumps a lie, plus I can understand needing a break from someone. This loved one lies frequently, so it wasn't really a surprise, but that didn't make it hurt less.

Regardless of their personal reasoning, I have to find a way to accept the lost contact. I know that in the heat of emotional turmoil, the how is often not well thought through. We're trying to protect ourselves as quickly as possible, so how we protect ourselves isn't considered as important as getting it done.

The loved one who lied about leaving social media, left communication via phone open. I'm currently struggling with what to do with that. I was lied to, and that's a huge trust violation. I want to tell them that, but what's the point? They should already know that. If I were to keep our communication going, we would just talk about light stuff... and if anyone knows me well enough they know I like the deep stuff. We disagree on much of the deep stuff.

Losing contact with family hurts regardless of which side of the fence you're on, what the reasoning is, and who the family member is. There's always a reason though, and from my experience, that reason needs to be respected even when it hurts.

So, I choose to let go and release the emotional turmoil losing contact with family members has caused. This doesn't release all the pain, but it allows me to feel like I have some control over what I'm feeling.

Hannah Adele
Hannah Adele
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Hannah Adele

I am a survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA). I have CPTSD, Bipolar Disorder type 1, OCD, PMDD, PCOS, OCD, and fibromyalgia. I'm passionate about the foster care system, homelessness, and mental health. - @HealingsWithHannah (instagram)

See all posts by Hannah Adele