toddler in a dysfunctional family with estrangement High-res version

“My family puts the FUN into dysFUNctional.”


That’s the joke I make when people ask about my parents.


Otherwise, I don’t talk about them. I’ve muddled along like this for a long time – sometimes in contact, sometimes not, always keeping them at arm’s length, never quite trusting.


But things have come to a head. I’m no longer sure that the distance and fake civility that I use to deal with them is the right way to go. I’m contemplating going No Contact.


But there’s a complicating factor. I have children. And I always swore I would never do to them what was done to me: cutting off a grandparent.


How do you know when to let go?


Or do you need to find a way to forgive, or if not that – I don’t even expect that, cos I can’t at this point in time – at least understand?


I’ve decided to go back into the past and see if I can identify where this horrible pattern started.   It’s like a detective story,  except I suspect everyone in this tale is both perpetrator and victim.   I believe – and maybe I’m wrong – that this pattern started somewhere, caused by some event, or illness, or who knows what.  We know so much now that we didn’t know even 2 generations ago.  We know damaged people tend to attract each other.  We know trauma changes the brain, how genes express.  Maybe if I can find the reason I can find a way to forgive or at least find peace. Or maybe I’m kidding myself.


I’ve learned you can’t ignore the past.  You have to face it.


This blog is me trying to do just that.


Read more: Love means having to say you’re sorry