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AgapeDoc
AgapeDoc, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 197
Experience:  Dr. W. D. Nicholas will help you find solutions to life's challenging issues.
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I have been given the silent treatment by my father my whole

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I have been given the silent treatment by my father my whole life. My mother played the enabler and has always denied the abuse. I am 43 and my father has never tried to make an effort to even call me ever. My siblings did not receive the silent treatment but have also cut me out of their lives and not included me. I am estranged from my family. My mother did send me an email once every several months only to tell me what she has been doing like gardening or trips to florida. She will not call me onthe phone or see me and my kids. This is because when came out with the hurt I was feeling regarding being ignored by an entire famly. I was the cut off forever for daring to bring up the issue and how I felt. Julie
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  AgapeDoc replied 2 years ago.

AgapeDoc :

Thanks for contacting me at Just Answer. Let's see if I can answer your question here...

AgapeDoc :

Well, I am so sorry that you are in the situation. Isolation is one of the most brutal forms of abuse - but I don't need to tell you that of course. I have read through your post a couple of times, as heartbreaking as it is. Can you tell me a specific question you would like me to answer for you? That would help us both move forward.

AgapeDoc :

I see that you are off line so I'll leave this post and and wait for you to respond. By the way I'm alerted by email when customers respond so if I'll get back to you quickly unless I'm with other clients - but I promise to make every effort to help you.

Customer:

I have no contact with any of my family except my mother, who chooses only to email me every few weeks. she will only discuss what she has been doing and ignoring my pleas for her to call me on the phone or even see me and my kids. That is ignored. Its as if she is trying to torture me by giving me just enough contact Via email to keep me in the loop. Nor will she answer my question of why she wont call me. Is she copying my dad or supporting his maltreatment of me. Not sure if I should continue this toxic relationship at all? julie

AgapeDoc :

I understand your question now. You want to know if you should continue this "toxic" relationship at all. Well, I imagine that you really already have your answer. You know that I can't really answer that for you, but as I said, I imagine you already have your answer.

AgapeDoc :

I can say this..... There is no reason for anyone to carry on at toxic relationship. The only reason for anyone to continue in a difficult relationship is if all parties recognize the problems, and are willing to work on the problems. Based on what you have presented, it sounds like others are don't recognize the problems, or are not willing to work on them.

AgapeDoc :

Let's face it - you are a 43 year old adult! If things haven't gotten better by now, when will they???!!!

AgapeDoc :

Here are some words that have helped others in similar situations are you are facing..... "You didn't break them and you can't fix them."

AgapeDoc :

I know that even with everything you have been through, it's still not easy. I would suggest getting a therapist or better yet a life coach to help you through which ever decision you make.

Customer:

Why does one person in a family get singled out, while the others live as if they are normal and you are not. I kind of lived like the boy called it, except no physical abuse just treated like my simple existance was intolerable to them. I am considered above average in looks and I do hold a degree in nursing. But I live like i am an orphan.Wondering what I ever did to deserve a whole family who treat me like i have the plaque. It bothers me as they are all highly rich and successful and popular but if i lay dying on the street they would not stop to even through me a quarter. I have no memory of my father or sister bothering with me. my mother had me on 14 drugs at one time to try and fix me.(she said I didnt listen well enough and wanted me to get higher marks. ( Igot c and bs) but still when i became a nurse I got all b's. she also put me in tutors on my lunch and after school. never told me she loved me or never hugged me. Just tried to fix me into something I guess.

AgapeDoc :

The reason that one person gets singled out in a family is a very good question and one that would take more space and time than we have in this forum. But you can read about things like this in professional literature - for instance you can read about alcoholic family systems and scapegoat children.

AgapeDoc :

Based on what you have posted here, it sounds very much like a dysfunctional alcoholic system (you didn't mention alcohol or drugs, but it sounds similar). In fact, based just on what you said, it seems very much like you were the scapegoat in an alcoholic system.

AgapeDoc :

As I mentioned above, you didn't break them and you can't fix them. You may do well to attend some Al-Anon meetings. These are meetings for (among others) adult children of alcoholics. It's not easy to take control back or to get your life back, but it can be done. In just about every case it takes willpower and the help of a therapist and/or a support group.

Customer:

I have seeked help with a therapist today. As far as my family goes there was no alcoholism or drugs or verbal abuse. or physical abuse. My parents came from a high class aristocratic british family. where they where sent off to boarding school at the age of 7. My parents are very well off and my dad started his own buisness when he came to canada that was extremly successful in the charted accountant profession. He still goes to church every sunday and lives a peaceful and harmonous life with his wife . My mother. but I am the dark secret and why I waS Singled out and treated like I dont exist i will not know.but my entire family has abandoned all contact with me. except for mymother who will email me only every few months. My siblings have NEVER called me on the phone or invited me to their homes. If i call them they will not call me back. but years ago they would sometimes tell my mother to tell me the answer as long as it was not to do with the above. I know my case is unusual and because of that I am eather not believed or no one knows what to say to someone like me. I guess I am the only one in the world that has lived this kind of abuse:( julie

Customer:

I just read some articles on scape goating and that does sound like my family. I have also read articles on targeted children and that too is like scapegoating. But there seems to be much more on scape goating than targeted children. This information has been helpful to me as there is nothing worse than feeling like you are alone and crazy in this with the others being right and you a misfit. thankyou. I would appreciate more advice as my longterm goal is to get to a place where i will feel like a normal person and can grow. julie

AgapeDoc :

Thanks for getting back to me. As for more advice and looking at your long term goal I can offer the following...

AgapeDoc :

I have some very positive things to say to you given your situation. I am happy to hear that you are seeking help with a therapist - that should be a big benefit to you (especially with your long term goal). Additionally, I would say that one of the most important things for anyone in a situation as tough as you are in is to have long term goals, which have already stated you have (you wrote that you want to feel like a normal person...) So this is good news. I would only suggest that you add some short term goals so you can feel some success on you journey. I would also suggest that you state your goals in behavioral terms - something you can

AgapeDoc :

- something you can "see" and measure. Your therapist will know exactly what I am referring to, so you may want to mention this idea. Other than that, I believe you have taken the first steps on a long, but very worthwhile journey. Even though it may take some time to get to where you hope to be, you will likely realize that that you soon feel better as you take the first steps on your journey.

AgapeDoc :

Let me know how it goes. I wish you all the best :)

Customer:

I have already come a long way in the last 6 months as before this I told know one in fear of the shock reaction they would look and also the fear of finding out that I was totally insane for this happening to me and would have my kids taken away and be locked up in a mental institute. I had to keep it a secret for so long in order to survive. Even though I had ongoing awareness of what was going on. I felt like a had been keeping a 10 foot wild monster locked up inside of me. Terrorfied that anyone would find out the truth. Somehow I blamed myself and thought I desirved tobe treated like an outcast. I concluded to myself that I was not only severlymentally ill but also that I must be stupid,autistic, and an evil person. That they my family where angels and kind and I wa the opposite. Not even as a registered nurse working in the icu did my mother let me ever feel proud of that she would undermine any knowledge i gave and disaggreed with it saying she knew more because she raised 4 kids. and that made her more medical than me. NOr would she compliment my home, rearanging some of the decorating I did. My father has never made an effort to EVER call me or see me in my whole like but is actively involve in his other 3 kids. My siblings also Never make an effort to call me, in fact . I have never been invited over to their homes or have they ever called me to say hi. All these years I believe that my mom was the one who loved me and cared. Now when I look back I do see some narcisstic traits in her and since she never ever made me feel good enough by her actions not her words. I see how she has maybe been the biggest bully towards me in a suttle way and maybe just maybe my dad was the enable not her. I hope my therapist is able to say something that will enable me to see and measure. julie

AgapeDoc :

As I said, you have your work cut out for you. But you have started to make progress already.

AgapeDoc :

Continue the good work. If I have been helpful, please click on the green accept button so I can get credit for my answer. I wish you much success.

AgapeDoc, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 197
Experience: Dr. W. D. Nicholas will help you find solutions to life's challenging issues.
AgapeDoc and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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