My family has been a mess since day one. My parents were divorced when I was a baby b/c of my fathers drinking. I was then raised by my mother until 10th grade, when I moved in with my Dad. My sisters are so jealous of me its sickening. I have not had a good relationship with them my whole life. The oldest sister creates more DRAMA than anyone in the world and steadily stirs it up (which keeps our family in turmoil). She has been married 4 times, and is in the midst of a child custody case with her 3rd husband. She sends me harrasing, vindictive emails and text messages attempting to hurt my feeling. My father is best buds with the oldest sister and my mother is best buds with the middle sister. So I have no one in my family. (My grandmother is also “teamed up” with my oldest sister) My middle sister and I had a decent relationship for a short time period until my older sister came back in the picture. Then they joined forces against me. Am I just being a pity party? It hurts to not have anyone to truly trust in. I feel my family has ruined me when it comes to trusting anyone. Im so lost, I just need a direction to follow. I wish I had a family.
A: Not everyone is blessed with the loving, stable, wonderful family they long for. Your birth family is full of conflict, blaming, and taking sides. I don’t know why this all started or why it keeps going but you don’t have to stay in the thick of it. Since it seems like they aren’t interested in making things better, it may be time for you to “make” a family that’s more to your liking. Stop wasting your time trying to get a family out of the group you were born to. By all means, do what is required to maintain contact and be civil but put your energy, time, and love where it will pay off.
Some people are lucky enough to fall in love with someone who has a great family that welcomes new members. If that’s your situation, accept it as a wonderful gift and become a full participant. If you haven’t found a family through love, nurture the friendships you have and add more with an eye to finding people who are admirable in the way they conduct their lives and who are supportive of their friends. Be sure to include some older people whose own families may be at a distance from them. You will benefit from their wisdom and they will appreciate your interest. Also look for younger people whose families are far away and who would appreciate your mentoring. Then work on getting all these good people connected by introducing them to each other and inviting them to share in some get-togethers. Do your part by doing random acts of kindness for individuals and hosting group fun.
Real friendships (and families that care) require attention and effort. In time, you will find yourself surrounded by people who care about each other. As far as I’m concerned, that’s what life is all about.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Apr 2009
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). I wish I had a family. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 4, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/04/06/i-wish-i-had-a-family/