Wednesday, July 10, 2013

How To Get Disowned From Your Family

Act #191:  Be someone's chosen family.

I have two different friends, who are strangers in their own childhood homes.  The very people who brought them into the world no longer deem them to be worthy of their love.  The very eyes that once looked upon them with unconditional love and adoration, now look at them with shame and disappointment, maybe even regret. 

Their life "choices" are not only questioned, but rejected as defiant, and brazen.  Their children (and the promise of any future children) will never spend a summer week in the country with mamaw.  They will not know what it's like to run to the mailbox with eager anticipation of a birthday package from their grandparents. 

My friends have been forced to redefine the term family as something that one chooses, rather than something that one is born into.  What was once restricted to blood lines and ancestry, now encompasses those who do not demand ultimatums in exchange for love.  

My friends have taught themselves to exist separately from their own history, from their own stories of origin.  They have learned that they don't have permission to mourn their lost childhoods.  But every once in a while when the sun sets on Sunday evenings, they still do.

You may ask yourself, what they could have possibly done to warrant being purged from family albums and permanently excluded from Thanksgiving dinners. 

One is married to a black man.  The other is gay. 


  1. Same happened to me for being a Jewish Democrat in a family of Republican Teapartiers.

  2. I can't imagine a single thing that would make me ever reject my children. They're my kids!!

  3. As someone who has worked in higher education for more than a decade I have had this conversation with many students. They have discovered conditional love from their family and feel abandoned when they don't want to meet these conditions. My reassurance that you can create your own extended family and find unconditional love from people who didn't see you grow up is met with uncertainty. Fortunately I often hear from these students later on after they have discovered that I actually knew what I was talking about. This post just reassured me that I'm not alone in spreading this message.

  4. I had no place to visit today, Thanksgiving in spite of beinng raised Catholic, from a large family, tons of friends but not allowed any place. I'm happily married 30years, six great kids, 3 grown bio with advanced degrees then we adopted 3 amazing little ones over the last ten years each with special needs. I ended up the scapegoat for quietly living my life but not realizing how my sibs joined to make our parents angry I was different. I rescued each at times, but.their jealousy with narcissistic members, my reputation slowly attacked to push all my support away. A year ago two sisters filed false accusations that nearly took our little ones, putting us away for something we did not do. Now no one has the courage to be in our life. Our one daughter has been fighting a severe pain condition 3 years but my extended family cares not. To live knowing my parents do not see how this is slowly choking my life, I can't understand it. We tried to create a new family but they left too. It hurts so much hearing my little ones ask why we stayed home this year. We can only pray and move on. Abandonment