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Lonely, family estrangement, few friends

Tia12
Community Member

It's been a tough week. I realise I don't have many friends and it seems definite my siblings do not wish for me to be a part of their life.

I'm not sure if I want to continue my friendship with my closest friend. It feels scary as we share everything but I feel like he doesn't respect me. He never apologies when he has made an error but actually blames me - I said or did the wrong thing to cause him to react the way he did and therefore it's my fault. We have the same sense of humour, share everything and most times things are good. However in the past couple of weeks he has openly abused me in front of our work colleagues (yes we work together as well) and failed to turn up on a lunch date that was pre organised. I feel like he is trying to control me. If I do something that doesn't meet his standards or doesn't comply with his moral beliefs, then I'm a hypocrite or a fraud or he just gets angry with me. I haven't spoke to him since he swore at me at work 4 days ago even though we were suppose to go out yesterday. I'm sick of making the first move all the time to reconciliate the friendship. I feel if he doesn't make the effort this time, then we will no longer be friends. I'm just not sure if I can make a clean break.

The other issue is that today my mum invited me to brunch with two of my siblings. My siblings organised to have brunch with mum and then mum later invited me without forewarning my siblings. I actually didn't think it was an issue as I thought my relationship with my sister and brother was ok even though we aren't close anymore. It turns out my sister told my mother she doesn't want me there, when she saw me she didn't say hello but told me we are going out, and then my mum sided with her. It was very hurtful. I really don't know why she felt that way and I don't know what I've done. We had coffee together in November and I invited her to play board games with us on Christmas Day. It now feels like my three siblings have all sided together against me. My relationship with my siblings has been good and bad over the years but it has gotten worse since my Dad passed away 6 years ago and Mum now has moved into a nursing home. I actually was trying not feel stressed and tense when I'm around them but this has just made it worse.

It's obvious that most people close to me don't treat me with respect (including my teenage daughter). I'm not sure how to turn this around.

5 Replies 5

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Tia, welcome

In my virw there is two possible remedies- time and self assessment.

Time because time can heal. Whatever the reason for you being off side from your siblings, attitudes change over time. Allow them that time. Visit your mum alone.

Self assessment. There must be some underlying issue that your siblings and friends are cheesed off about. Be brave and face it. We often grow up with behavioural issues that others cant find arduous. If you could find a fair, compassionate associate that will tell you what aspects need addressing that will be beneficial.

Eg. I had a school friend that never asked a question about me. When we met as adults he'd talk away about his adventures but never ask me anything about my life. To me that proved he wasnt inyetested in me. It was a one way friendship. I let him go.

As for your friend/work colleague even though you might need some internal reflection, there is no justification for treating you as he is.

The saying goes- "familiarity breeds contempt". That means you are seeing too much of each other. Drift away, find new friends, take up a new hobby/sport and dont absorb undue criticism without standing up for yourself. If we dont defend our honour, they dont honour us.

Well done in posting here.

TonyWK

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Tia12~

Welcome here to the Forum. Your life sounds pretty difficult at the moment, being a single parent is hard enough, and when you add in difficulties with your daughter, friend and family it can seem very overwhelming. You need support, not corrosive behavior, in your life

Actually to raise a child by yourself is a huge task, and for you to have done this is a tribute to strength, perseverance and love. All that plus holding down a job to.

Looking at your problems what do you think is the most important for you? The way your daughter regards you, your relationship with your friend - or your family?

Just in passing I do know that many parents in a home themselves feel vulnerable and have the threat of isolation always hanging over them, making it difficult to take firm sides. Not a good thing but it happens.

When you are not treated with respect and consideration sometimes that seems to be catching , with more people going the same way over time. One's child or children can see this and for some reason many tend to adopt the same attitude.

Often when tired or in limiting circumstances one can feel trapped and not make an issue of rudeness or lack of consideration. If the person is a fellow-worker it raises other considerations too. His behavior does sound very selfish, one-sided and controlling, and your decision not to talk for a while is most probably a wise move.

Trying to turn all this round is hard. I'd suggest that making boundaries, particularly with your daughter, is something to aim for. Trying to get a balance so things don't escalate too far but achieved a more respectful relationship calls for a lot of judgment, energy and even bravery. It is difficult and if it was me I'd try to get outside experienced advice.

Apart from the friend you mentioned who seems part of the problem is there anyone who you can rely upon to care and offer suggestions?

Organizations such as Relationships Australia (1300 364 277) may offer advice on who to talk with. I know that you only have limited finances however not all services cost. Another starting point is our own Help Line (1300 22 4636) which may be able to advise what's best in your area.

I hope you keep talking here, it is often hard to maintain perspective and realize your own very good qualities and see what options are open to you

Croix

Tia12
Community Member
Thank you both White Knight and Croix. You have both given me sound advice. As much as I want to phone my friend/work colleague to talk about the issues I think this time I won't make the first move. You are right in saying familiarity breeds contempt. I realise I do need to invest more time in making other more positive friendships. I also won't set myself up in the same situation again with my mum. I will just keep doing things together - just between my mum, daughter and I. I'm not sure if my relationship with my siblings will be the same but its less stressful seeing them but hard as family is important to me. I had started doing some a parenting course for teenagers. I think I will revisit this and ask for more help. The funny thing is that I was being served at a hearing assessment place and the woman asked how old my daughter was and she said she remembers that age very well and how she answered her mum back, didn't do as she was told etc and then said for her it lasted 2 years and then she grew out of it. I hope that's the case for my daughter.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Tia12~

That sounds a very sensible set of plans, letting you freind work at the relationship - if there is to be one - for a change makes things less one-sided and easy. If things are too easy they can of course have little value.

Trying to see your mum when alone also sounds good. Obviously at this stage too much contact with your siblings just adds to your stress. Hopefully just the two of you together will mean happier times.

There is another advantage of course. You were talking about you daughter growing out of her current phase. If she no longer sees people treating you with disrespect I suspect her own attitude might change. sometimes kids can be very influenced by bad examples.

That parenting course sounds good

Croix

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Yes, good sensible ideas. Well done.

Repost anytime.

TonyWK