This week I am asking you to explore the concept of estrangement. It happens to so many of us.
Funny when family feel like, and mostly are, strangers.
Close knit nuclear units are rare these days, and when I hear of one, it warms my heart.
Estrangement isn’t necessarily by distance, but when relationships are strained for whatever reason, it can make olive branches and doves of peace pretty much useless.
Growing up, I was often compared to my sister. Not just by family, but at school as we overlapped by a year, so obviously teaching staff expected me to be like her. Never encouraged in subjects I was good at like music, maths or written English, I was chastised for not being good at languages, needlecraft or sport.
We’ve never been close, certainly not like you see on TV shows like The Waltons or Little House on the Prairie, and I know it used to upset my Mum when we’d be bickering or arguing practically all the time. Things came to a head when a jelly, complete with glass dish was rammed in my face and I slapped her. I learned to keep my temper in check after that.
Things didn’t improve when we married, we had about a year of mutual commiseration over our prospective divorces but get on best when she’s Down South and I’m here.
I’ve had no contact from her since Christmas when she sent me her new address, not even for my birthday (Other Brother forgot too), and to be honest, I wasn’t surprised.
With Mum gone, there is no need for me to visit family there. They have my email, home address and phone number and I have their mobiles. I’m not on facebook, nor want to be, but got it in the neck when details of Mum’s funeral were posted on facebook and I didn’t get the memo.
I’ll never know exactly what I’ve done, but having received correspondence regarding Mum’s affairs signed off ‘Best regards’, I’m now indifferent and refuse to beat myself up over something I cannot change.
You could say I should make the first move, but I’ve been doing that for years and have grown tired of having my efforts thrown back at me or ignored completely.
Readers will probably think it’s a terrible way to feel about one’s siblings, but they have their own lives and social circle in which I don’t fit, and I have mine.
It works for everybody, and if someone wants to contact me (provided they don’t want to borrow any money) that’s fine.