Family Dynamics

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    I have always felt like an outcast with my family and I think the birth of my child has made things a bit worse.

    I little background on the relationships:

    I have always had a hard time getting along with my mom. She never has been a very affectionate person and I have never been able to really express how I feel because it usually turns into me accusing her of being a bad mom and just a yelling match. Reason why I am having a hard time feeling like a good mother because I am so afraid of having a similar relationship with my daughter.

    My relationship with my siblings can also be troubling. The middle sister an I haven’t spoken since I got married (so about 4 years) because I have always felt that she tries to compete with me and can say and do things that are hurtful but she never thinks she has to apologize and the tension has built over the years that it just feels like we are at a point of no return. It has gotten so bad that I get really anxious when they are all around. My relationship with my younger is so hot or cold. I think she doesnt realize that she can be very harsh with words. For example, she said that she is just trying not to make me mad or she talks to me so that I won’t take my daughter away from her. And that just makes me feel like thay think im some sort of monster.

    My dad and brother are about the only people I can talk to and feel like they listen. I know I am on the sensitive side and at this point feel like we just all havea different way of communicating and they are able to say hurtful things to each other and then move past it without any type of dialogue or recognizing that they said or done hurtful things and I just don’t know how to deal with it all.

    I have had more anxiety attacks during all of this than my entire life and I am just so sick of it all but it is hard to put distance between us because I don;t want to put my daughter in the middle of it all.


    Dear Marce:

    You wrote: “it is hard to put distance between us because I don’t want to put my daughter in the middle of it all”- reads to me that it will be a good idea for you to put distance between you and your family of origin (parents and siblings), so that you are less anxious and mentally healthier.  A less anxious and mentally healthier mother I best for your daughter.

    In other words, a mentally healthier mother is a way, way better deal for your daughter than an anxious/unwell mother + an extended, troubled family.

    Don’t you think?


    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by anita.

    Hi Marce,

    This was the story of my life: Making nice with the extended family for my children.

    There is a Buddhist saying: Seek Sanctuary in Politeness. If a stranger was rude to you, you wouldn’t engage, would you? Of course not! You’d think, “Well that one is an odd duck,” and smile politely with a thousand yard stare.

    With your family be Open and Formal. Don’t get into it with them. Go to all the holidays and events. Once a year or so  unapologetically be unavailable. My family howled the first time I dared go on vacation during Christmas. But then they got over it because I was tacitly giving everyone else permission to take a break and do the same.



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