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Contact with relative causing Anxiety and Depression

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

I have had no contact with my siblings and extended family for 30 years. I have major depression, GAD and Cyclothymia. Recently my niece Dxx contacted me via social media. I last saw her 35 years ago. She is now grown with children of her own. I doted on her until my sister stopped me from seeing her. My sister wanted to control me and this was the only way she could do it. I refused to be docile and decided I was better off away from her. We all grew up with my violent alcoholic father so I understand why she was like this. The problem is I am finding it difficult to be in contact with Dxx without remembering all the horrible things my sister did and said to me. It is interfering with my daily life. My niece says her mother would have had her reasons for stopping me seeing her. I am trying not to be negative about her mum to her but she has no idea of the pain she caused me. Dxx sees it as a rejection of her. Has anyone else been through this? How did you cope?

2 Replies 2

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Anicca,

I hear you, I have had a similar situation with my sister as well. I deal with dysthymia and major depression and have lost all of my family except her. Unfortunately family can sometimes be either a blessing or a curse.


I am not sure I agree that your sister behaves the way she does because of your upbringing, you grew up in the same environment and you ended up here.


My sister and I grew up in the same dysfunctional family but she became a narcissist and was very toxic to be around. I ended up moving far away and left no forwarding address and I believe it was the right move for me. She had turned her daughters against me, probably by distorting the truth as she always has, so I have no contact with them either.


I have a niece and nephew who are my brothers children and we get along fine. My sisters son contacted my niece many months ago to ask how to get in touch with me and she took his number and has left it up to me if I want to contact him or not. Honestly, I have not been able to make that move for two reasons.

1. I don't know what his motive is because he has never tried to contact me before (he is now in his 40s)

2. I don't want to do anything that might invite that kind of turmoil back into my life


So I do understand your dilemma, your sister sounds a lot like mine, it's a very difficult decision to make. I guess it depends how much you want a relationship with your niece. Maybe you need to ask your niece to give you some time to process this situation. Make sure she knows it is not because of her that you have reservations but also make sure she knows that there is a truckload of pain and damage due to the dysfunctional relationship with her mother that you are trying to deal with. If she really wants a relationship with you, I would expect that she will allow you some time to process your feelings.


I hope this helps a little.

I will be here if you want to talk more,


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Indigo,

My niece has always wanted a relationship with me but I was not up to it while she was under her mother’s care. She’s 40 now and I’ve told her I’m having difficulty. She said she’s ok with that but went on to tell me about her mother and my two other siblings. It was too much and I said I needed to step back. She saw this as another family rejection of her. None of the siblings are in contact with each other. I explained that it was not and it was the dysfunctional upbringing of the generation before her. I said that I was trying not to say anything negative about her mother. She was the one who stopped me from seeing her on two different occasions when she was little. My niece replied that she didn’t know why her mother did what she did but she would have had her reasons. This just hurt me and now D has agreed to keep it to chatting on social media. I haven’t contacted her for a week. Christmas has always been a reminder of my childhood and I just enjoy being alone at this time. My niece loves Christmas, especially now she has children. I’m completely unsettled and unable to get back into my daily life. I honestly don’t know if I can have contact with her but I don’t want to be hurtful to her. 
Thanks for reading.