Repairing Strained Family Relationships
#1
Over the past decade I’ve blazed my own trail and in the process became estranged from my family. I never felt like I had a place in my parents home or that they had much interest in my well being when i was growing up, so at 18 I basically shipped out and haven’t spoken to many family members more than a handful of times in the past decade.

This is something that weighs heavy in my mind and heart. My grandma is ill so i’m flying across the US to see her and my parents at the end of this week. I’ll be in my hometown for six days before traveling south to see another relative for a few days, then i’ll fly back to the west coast.

My goal for this trip is to forgive the family members that i’ve resented for so long, and to seek their forgiveness for me being so distant. I want to clear the air and start fresh. It’s important to me that I do this before I jet off for long term travel around the world within the next 7-12 months.

I’m wondering if anyone else here can relate to the tendency to withdraw from close family relations. How do you keep in touch while you’re traveling? Do you find yourself going months or years without talking to your parents/siblings/ extended family?
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#2
(08-27-2019, 02:47 AM)Crazy Horse Wrote: I’m wondering if anyone else here can relate to the tendency to withdraw from close family relations. How do you keep in touch while you’re traveling? Do you find yourself going months or years without talking to your parents/siblings/ extended family?

Yes and yes. Basically when they don't contribute to my life and I don't contribute to theirs there is no need for contact. When paths cross at family gatherings, just act normal and be polite... like you would to someone's friend at a dinner party or restaurant.
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#3
(08-27-2019, 02:47 AM)Crazy Horse Wrote: My goal for this trip is to forgive the family members that i’ve resented for so long, and to seek their forgiveness for me being so distant. I want to clear the air and start fresh. It’s important to me that I do this before I jet off for long term travel around the world within the next 7-12 months.

I've found with girls that it isn't good enough to tell them clearly that they can't expect anything serious. You have to show it with your actions (i.e. never seeing a girl more than once a week).

Same goes for other relationships. A verbal apology has very little value. It's actions that count. If you're serious about restoring ties with family members, you need to make arrangements to spend more time closer to home each year.

(08-27-2019, 02:47 AM)Crazy Horse Wrote: How do you keep in touch while you’re traveling?

Skype calls, phone calls, emails, occasional visits home, sharing photos on Facebook, instant messaging, texting, etc.

(08-27-2019, 02:47 AM)Crazy Horse Wrote: Do you find yourself going months or years without talking to your parents/siblings/ extended family?

Depends on the family member. My older sister resists any efforts to stay in contact, except her preferred method (in-person visits), but my younger brother (by two years) is often available on GoogleChat for a conversation (even hours long), my younger sister is open to periodic phone calls and emails, as long as I'm OK with interruptions from her very young and demanding kids and my younger brother (by 7 years) can be cornered into the occasional phone call.

My dad emails once a week and both he and my mom are responsive to the emails I send. I call my mom regularly (she never calls me).
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#4
My family was literally like a Jerry Springer episode with Jewish Dwarf KKK members. When I was late teens, up until early 30s. I tried to wade through al of the disfunction, manipulation and heart break. I eventually had to break ties and walk away from every one.

I have had instances where I have had second thoughts to regain contact. The time or two I did, it was like nothing had changed. It went right back to the shit I had enough of and had to walk away from.

Deep down, I used to want to some how change the past. Maybe if only you could do one thing differently? And everything could start over. But at least in my case...it will not.

The few close friends I have know my situation. Other aquaintances have tried to guilt trip me on numerous occasions. And no amount of soul searching conversations have been able to get these certain people to at least see why I did what I did.

So, you have to do what you have to do. And fuck any one else that tries to tell you differently.
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#5
(08-27-2019, 02:47 AM)Crazy Horse Wrote: Over the past decade I’ve blazed my own trail and in the process became estranged from my family. I never felt like I had a place in my parents home or that they had much interest in my well being when i was growing up, so at 18 I basically shipped out and haven’t spoken to many family members more than a handful of times in the past decade.

This is something that weighs heavy in my mind and heart. My grandma is ill so i’m flying across the US to see her and my parents at the end of this week. I’ll be in my hometown for six days before traveling south to see another relative for a few days, then i’ll fly back to the west coast.

My goal for this trip is to forgive the family members that i’ve resented for so long, and to seek their forgiveness for me being so distant. I want to clear the air and start fresh. It’s important to me that I do this before I jet off for long term travel around the world within the next 7-12 months.

I’m wondering if anyone else here can relate to the tendency to withdraw from close family relations. How do you keep in touch while you’re traveling? Do you find yourself going months or years without talking to your parents/siblings/ extended family?

I never really even knew my extended family. My parents saw to that.

Finally came to the conclusion my parents were toxic and havent seen them in a couple years.

Still reasonably close with my sis but only talk to her once every few months. Being on the other side of the world doesnt help. It takes a lot of effort to maintain relationships with that distance. I don't really have any close friends back in the States.

Does it weigh heavily on me at times? Sure.

But I think it's a pretty common experience as a man charts his own path in life, especially if that includes living abroad. Seems pretty normal in the U.S for people not be that close with their family. I'm not saying it's a good thing (probably isnt) but it's common nonetheless.

Now when I tell Vietnamese people this they just can't wrap their heads around it. Family is everything to them. There's no "going at it alone" here. And I respect that.
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#6
(08-27-2019, 02:47 AM)Crazy Horse Wrote: Over the past decade I’ve blazed my own trail and in the process became estranged from my family. I never felt like I had a place in my parents home or that they had much interest in my well being when i was growing up, so at 18 I basically shipped out and haven’t spoken to many family members more than a handful of times in the past decade.

This is something that weighs heavy in my mind and heart. My grandma is ill so i’m flying across the US to see her and my parents at the end of this week. I’ll be in my hometown for six days before traveling south to see another relative for a few days, then i’ll fly back to the west coast.

My goal for this trip is to forgive the family members that i’ve resented for so long, and to seek their forgiveness for me being so distant. I want to clear the air and start fresh. It’s important to me that I do this before I jet off for long term travel around the world within the next 7-12 months.

I’m wondering if anyone else here can relate to the tendency to withdraw from close family relations. How do you keep in touch while you’re traveling? Do you find yourself going months or years without talking to your parents/siblings/ extended family?

There are times where I don't speak for months with my brother. My Mom died several years ago, and I wish I would've drawn a line in the sand and spoken with her less — over the years, she became contemptible in many ways that I wish I wouldn't have looked past.

I've come to see it this way: you don't owe your family anything, but to not be a burden on them.

If I don't get a sense of mutual respect, fundamental decency, and familial affection from a family member, I'd rather remain cordial and keep my distance.
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