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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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My Aunt and cousin have shunned me since my Mother's funeral

Customer Question

My Aunt and cousin have shunned me since my Mother's funeral almost 5 years ago. I tried to communicate with my aunt a number of times a few years ago. She has never spoken to me directly, just started acting very strange, making snide comments to me and refusing to talk to me. My cousin, her daughter is doing this as well. I believe it is my cousin who was saying things about me to cause my aunt to be this way. I was told by my other aunt, my mom's oldest sister (who is 96 and in Independent Living - very with it) that my aunt blames me for not seeing my Mom enough over the last year of her life.
It took me a long time to realize what was going on. My Aunt would not take my calls. I am a very open person and I thought she would call me if there was something I did that she was upset about. We had talked about this avenue in the past and she agreed.
I have always been very close to this Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins. My Uncle passed away a couple of days ago. They are having his funeral near where my parents and only sibling are buried. Our whole extended family are there and I was told not to come, that my Aunt did not want me to know he had passed away. I was very close to my Uncle. Last time he called and wanted me to come over my Aunt and Cousin told me "no." That was the last time I heard his voice.
If we are at our place of worship at the same time, my aunt and cousin turn their backs on me very obviously and face the wall so everyone can see their "shunning me" (my term).
In public they both look straight down at the table or in the other direction, at the same time. My Mother, before she passed away, said there was something wrong with my Aunt.
I did find out from my Older Aunt that my Mom's short-term memory had not been functioning, that she had told both aunts that she hadn't gotten out in a long time, when she had been out just that morning or day before.
I was working 50 hours a week (working some from home), my Mom and Mother-in-law were both living with us, we have two grown children and their families living close by, and we also have a grandson who was very young and had been diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. Very often he would spend the weekend with us to give my daughter and son-in-law a break.
I was able to see my Uncle the first couple of years after my Mom passed in 2011 because he worked as a Greeter at our local store into his 80's. He told the Rabbi he hated what had happened between me and my aunt but that she and my cousin would not listen to him and he had to live with them. My other aunt said the past couple of years have been hard for my Aunt, Uncle, and cousin as my Uncle started having Dementia problems. It was my older Aunt who called me to tell me my Uncle was on Hospice and was not expected to make it much longer. My cousin called me at work last Wednesday morning to tell me our Uncle had passed away.
Now, other people in our community don't talk to me as they do not know what to say. I am heartbroken and feel I cannot be at our place of worship because of how my aunt and cousins shun me and people look awkward. My aunt & cousins will be Tradition. I just do not know where to go with all of this. I cannot get my head around it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice in a Q&A format. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.

Hello and thank you for using JustAnswer. I am sorry that you are having this difficulty with your aunt and cousins, I can understand how distressing this can be for you. Given that you cannot control how your aunt and cousins treat you, have you tried to undergo any form of therapy to help you cope and move forward from their "shunning?" What has your immediate family and clergy recommended when you spoke to them? Have either of them spoken to your Aunt and cousins regarding their behavior towards you? Also you did not pose a question in your description, so may I ask what is your specific mental health question that you would like an answer to in regards ***** ***** situation?