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A broken family, should I keep trying?

Community Member

Hello, my mum and dad separated when I was young, and I lived with dad, my brother lived with mum.

Last year both mum and dad passed away far too soon in life, both only in their 60's.

Early this year I finally managed to track down my older brother after not seeing him for many years, 15+, not since I was a small boy.

I reached out to him, and my Auntie and Cousin who live around him, the response I received from someone on behalf of the family stated that my brother is not well, and with the grief over losing mum and years apart, they are not willing at this time to make contact.

A short time later I found out that dad had been in contact with that aunt in recent years, and thus in contact with mum, I even learned that dad was assisting mum financially with her medical bills in the year or so before she passed, he basically used all of his retirement and Super in assisting her.

Now obviously, my dad had every right to give money to mum, and although I had not seen mum for too long, I too would give all I have to help her.

This is why their refusal to make contact hurts so much, there had been some sort of contact between dad and that half of the family, and they knew dad passed as the letter expressed condolences.

So they know I am near, I am suffering, and I am alone, yet will not even reach out for a simple message to see if I am okay, I understand time creates distance, and I hold so much guilt that I was not there for mum when she was ill, but I did not even know she was so close, let alone ill, it is not my fault.

A friend of my father told me that mum was asked if she wanted to see me, but said she did not want me to see her in her condition, so she passed holding photos of me as a child, when I heard this I broke down.

I let mum down, now my brother is not well, I don't know how long he has, I cannot hold onto more grief, I have lost dad, I lost mum before I could make it up to her, now I am not even given the chance to even try to reconnect with my big bro before it is too late.

I cannot take much more, I have tried to reach out to them several times to no further response, I don't know if they think I am after dad's money, or what, but I am alone here, I have done nothing wrong, time has gone, but we are near each other now, why waste whatever we have left? Just to know my family is there would aid my healing so much.

I feel like giving up , too much.

Sometimes I feel angry, sometimes I feel sad, I wish it would all just go away. Drift into..

5 Replies 5

Hi pl515p1,

Thank you for sharing your story with us here. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for support, you also never know who will read this post and feel less alone in their own experiences. We are sorry to hear that you are going through so much right now with the loss of both of your father and your mother. We understand that this must be a very overwhelming time for you. Please know that you never have to go through this alone, and support is always here for you.

If you would like to talk to someone we would recommend that you get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals.

We also think it would be worthwhile to have a look around the forums and see if there are any other conversations that you feel resonate with you. 

Thank you again for being brave and for sharing here today. Please feel free to check back in and update the community on how you are going if you feel comfortable doing so. 

Community Member

Hi pl515pl

Gosh your post resonated with me as soon as I read it.

I'm so sorry for what you're going through.

My mum died when I just finished high school and I had sole responsibility for my father (who was 20 years older than her) for several years after that. My two older brothers had left home before my mother died so I was left alone to care for our father until he died.

Since then my brothers have never let me know where they live. One is married but I have no idea where he is or who his children - my nieces - are. I live alone. My parents were abusive and this seems to have resulted in my siblings and I being permanently estranged, to my great sorrow.

I reach out over and over again to one brother - I have an email address for him, nothing more - to no avail. I don't know where he or my other brother live.

Whatever happened between your parents has impacted on your life and your brother's life in a way that is heartbreaking for you.

I don't know if you are a son or daughter from your name here but I am so sorry you have tried to reach out to what family you have left and find yourself rejected.

The grief of this I know from my own experience is terrible.

Take heart that they may change with time. Are you able to keep any sort of contact at all, however slight? Do they know how to reach you if they change their minds?

Don't give up and please let don't think this is in any way your fault.

I cannot see how you let your mother down. You sound like a very caring person.

My experience is that difficulties with the parents impact massively on the children and you and your brother are suffering because of whatever happened between your parents. This has been my experience for sure.

Is there any way you can keep some kind of connection with your brother, however slight? In time his attitude may well change.

Please don't think the rejection is your fault. You have tried to reach out to what family you have left and the pain of their rejection is very clear from what you have said here. This is the result of whatever happened between your parents and other family members. It is not about you.

If you can keep some kind of contact, however slight, do. Don't despair as your brother may well come around with time. Do you have any supportive friends who can help you through this?

I told you a bit about my family to show you that your experience of family rejection is not unusual. It happens surprisingly often.

I'm happy to talk again if I can help.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Pl515p1, I am sorry for the position you are in and sometimes when you want to reunite with a family member is not so much by mail, email or text but actually fronting up at their door step, face to face has more attraction as you can see their facial expression and interpret their body language.

Start off by talking about something you are both keen on, just to try and lighten up the conversation.

Hope it goes well for you.


Community Member

I am moving, and I am torn, I have written a letter for my aunt and brother, I don't know if I should even bother to tell them my new address, if they cared, they have had several months to contact me, they have my address, email, and phone number, but not even a simple how are you going, well, maybe I should just consider me to have no family left anymore.

Mum, dad, two sisters, all passed too soon, my brother may as well not be here as he does not care, even though I know he won't be around very long as he is ill, so it is only me, such a cold feeling.

Community Member
Well today was a hard day, I had a long chat with my uncle, he is recovering from cancer, lockdown has prevented me from going to him all year, after losing mum and dad, if he goes without me seeing him, it will end me.

My brother, I wrote him a letter telling him my new address, I hope he contacts me,. but I have to face the fact that I am on my own, all of my family have passed, mum, dad, two sisters, now my brother may as...well, I don't know, pretty much nothing left.