Child's side of estrangement
I am estranged from my family except my mother and that is only a recent development. I have been accused of being a drama queen, selfish, influenced by my husband, have a mental illness, etc and all the other reasons some have supposed.
In some cases I do believe that any of these reasons may be the factors that have led to the estrangement but I have come to believe that just because you are related by blood does not mean you HAVE to have someone in your life. Sometimes forcing a relationship is worse than no relationship at all. In the end I find my quiet life with my husband and children more satisfying than life with my difficult extended family.
For example, my brother is constantly without money for food for his kids, diapers, etc but he always has money for other things. For years I "helped" him for the sake of the kids as did my mother who he literally drained financially. When I stopping paying to have a relationship with him, he stopped coming to see me. After all the problems and drama he caused me- I feel relieved that he is out of my life.
With my mother I had really clear boundaries that I asked her to follow regarding my children. My son has asthma and I asked that he not be around smoke- when he started smelling like smoke and need to use his nebulizer I knew that she was not taking that seriously. After months of trying to work with her and asking her nicely I found another daycare provider for my son. She said I was trying to take him away from her- NO I was trying to protect his health. I would ask he not watch certain shows and she would say- Oh it's okay you don't have to listen to your mother..He would get upset and tell me when he got home. When a grandmother tries to come between a parent and child-it's time to cut the grandparent out.
I am from a family of bullies and they feel that they should be able to say and do anything they want regardless of how it makes you feel. I am not going to raise my children in an environment where adults think it is funny to make children cry or to speak badly about their parent to them......
For many years my mother simply felt I was too sensitive or serious but now that she has moved away from her brother, sister, mother, son, etc and is remarried to a man with a wonderful family she agrees with me and we have restored our relationship and it is fantastic. I don't think we could have come to this place without an estrangement ( lasted about two years).
I haven't seen the rest of my family in four years. I feel really at peace with the decision. I pray for them and love them. I love them enough to remove myself from the cycle of making up- getting angry- extrangement- trying to make up, etc, etc that is too painful.