Do you feel like you're not even a part of your own family?
I feel like I don't really have a family and like I'm not really a part of my own family. I feel like a complete outsider in my family. I neither fit in with them nor do they treat me like a part of the family.
My family (as in parents and siblings) don't talk to me much or spend time with me or tell me about anything that's going on in their lives or in the family. On the rare occasion that they talk to me it seems to be more like them just checking if I'm still alive or them being polite rather than showing actual interest in me or my life or caring.
If I visit them or meet them somewhere and there is some other person there (be it another family member, a distant relative, their friend or a mere acquaintance), I'm automatically ignored and excluded and they keep talking to each other and ignore me if I try to join the conversation.
I never know what's going on in the family because nobody ever tells me about it, even though I ask them if there is anything new. They always seem to assume that somebody else has told me about everything, but when I have no idea about something that has been happening they laugh at me for not being up to date and ask me what planet I've been on. How the heck am I supposed to know about news that nobody tells me about?
The rest of my family is really close with each other, but not with me. They are even a lot closer to various relatives than to me. It feels kind of weird to see them treat my cousins and second cousins more like a part of the family than they treat me, and them being closer to them than they've ever been to me.
My husband has noticed the same thing about me not really being treated like a part of the family and he's even more upset about it than I am, so it's not just my imagination. I tried for years to become more involved with the family, by showing interest in them, meeting them more often, trying to talk to them, asking what's new and so on, but it didn't change a thing, so I gave up trying.
Do any of you experience the same thing, like you're not considered or treated like a part of your own family?
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:00 pm
I don't feel like I'm part of my own family at all. The people closest to me are the ones who understand me the most and are most similar to me in personality, and my family are neither like me in personality nor do they understand who I am anywhere near as well as my closest friends. For example, I don't feel as if I could talk to them for ages on end about the things I'm interested in and I find a lot of the things they talk about mundane. You do have it worse of course, since what I'm going through is mostly because of who I am, while what you're going through isn't all because of you.
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:00 pm
Yea I feel the same way in my family. Particularly with being out of the loop on whats happening with the family. I find it really annoying when my cousin comes over and he and my parents are always having a conversation about what is going on in their lives and Im sitting there like, huh? really? I didnt know that (something about my parents). But I figured it out. He doesnt just ask whats new or some general question, he asks specific questions. Now, thats all good that I know to ask specific questions but I either cant implement it (cant think of what to ask) or I cant implement it correctly (meaning i make it seem like a Q&A session rather than a "converation"). I've accepted this apsie thing, but damn it, i still hate it at times!
We have very different personalities and interests in my family too. I feel like they don't know me at all, but I'd say I know them rather well. Even though their interests are very different from mine, I try to show interest in theirs, but they've never shown much interest in mine. They only come to me when they need to know something or need help understanding something that they know I'm good at or know a lot about. That's the only times they ever even mention my interests and if I mention my interests they usually change the subject or start talking amongst themselves about something else (and I don't talk excessively about my interests like some aspies do, so it's not that they've heard it all before or want to avoid a long monologue).
I feel like I can't talk to them about serious things either. Whenever I've tried to do that in the past I've had bad experiences. If it's about my health or disabilities they just brush it off or tell me it's all in my head and don't want to hear about it, and then get all surprised about me being hospitalized or they get embarrassed when somebody mentions something I've been diagnosed with and they didn't know that I had it because they didn't listen when I told them. If it's about major life decisions like getting married, buying a house, moving abroad, which major to choose at university etc., they try to control me and pressure me into doing what they want me to do rather than what I want to do or believe is best for me. If it's about problems or issues they get judgemental or assume I don't know how to deal with it and lecture me about it rather than just listen and be supportive.
As a result, there are many things that are important to me that I feel like I can't talk to them about. I've had to get used to never being listened to and being ignored all the time, and then people wonder why I don't talk much.
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:00 pm
Location: Kelowna, Canada
I feel the same way, when I was younger and didn't know enough I used to talk about my interests all the time to them, or anyone else for that matter, Even if it was a news item that took my interest I would try to engage them in conversation thinking that would work. They openly talked about me to my mom wondering when I would change and told me to my face that I was odd or weird.
Are there any area's in your childhood that you can think of that caused the estrangement and it might be a combination of many smaller things...
We have a small family not many at all and I have no siblings, I have however gone through times when one of my cousins stopped talking to me for two years, I never could figure it out. Our contact is very limited these days and I have resigned myself to not understanding why that is. I have tried bringing it up but never gotten anywhere with it. I understand what you are going through as it's very hurtful and so hard to comprehend.
You may have to just draw on your husbands support and focus on your lives together. As for family get togethers if your husband is there for support perhaps you socialize with him mostly if interactions with other fail and just don't stay too long. It's very difficult but don't let it destroy your family life, I wish you well.
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:00 pm
My family appears to be close and tight-knit to outsiders, but we never talk about anything that matters. I learn more about my family by listening to what they say to their friends and strangers than by what they say to me or to each other.
So it's not really me, it's all of us.
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 7:00 pm
Location: In a quiet and peaceful garden, where gentle Mick Avory-like Sweet Peas grow.
I don't feel like I'm a part of my famiy, either. I'm not on the same wavelength that they are. I also don't know how to join into their quick-paced conversations. I can only talk to them, one on one. My family and I have different opinions about everything and they've never gotten used to the fact that I'm an adult and they can't make me something that I'm not. I haven't talked to my family about my special interests since I was 10 and a half. They haven't earned my trust in that department, and they won't for along time after last summer.
I don't even look like my family.
The darling, unworldly Mick Avory with hands like shovels, who wouldn't dare choose to hurt a soul: I'm the cuddly, adorable Kink. Sweet Peas: http://s76.photobucket.com/albums/j37/C ... 20Smileys/ Blog: http://ramblingsofasuccessfula
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:00 pm
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:00 pm
I experience this within my mom's side of the family, definitely. Whenever they invite me to an outing I wonder if it's because they miss having someone to treat like crap. It's that bad. I haven't gotten together with any of them in years. I only keep in close contact with my mother and one aunt. The rest of them live kind of far. When relatives live a long ways off it's easier to lose contact.
What I think is the biggest factor in the estrangement is that I have an older brother who became seriously ill when I was less than 1 years old. He had to go through a couple of years of medical treatment that was at times difficult, and then his health had to be closely monitored for a few years after that. Of course the family had to focus a lot on him and his medical treatment during all this and I was kind of forgotten about in the meantime. I spent a lot of time being babysitted by various people who I knew very little. I think I never really bonded much with my family or anyone at all because of this. After my brother got well all the focus stayed on him, he was such a little miracle to everyone and people kept trying to compensate for the hard times he had been through. Even now, 25 years later, they are still doing that.
Another thing that I believe is a big factor is my Asperger's, which was undiagnosed when I was a child. I was different and had a limited ability to socialize, form relationships with other people, fit in with the family etc. With them not trying and with me being very bad at it, we never seemed to form a normal family relationship or bond like a family.
The same thing has happened a couple of times in my life with some friends. They just suddenly stopped talking to me and wouldn't tell me why. It's very hurtful and upsetting when people do that. Can't they at least give us a reason?? For a long time I was very confused about it and had absolutely no idea why they did that and whether I had done something wrong without realizing it. To my best knowledge I hadn't done anything to them. After years of torment I was able to think of some possible explanations, but I never knew for sure and none of it seemed like a valid reason for treating me like that. I wish people didn't do that. If somebody doesn't like me they can just say so. Why end it in such a mean way?
My husband is very supportive and he is my crutch in social situations. I socialize with him when other people ignore me. However, he's very upset with my family for the way they have treated me and he doesn't like meeting them or going to family gatherings (he is not very sociable anyway), so he only goes to some of those gatherings with me and sometimes I have to go alone. I usually don't stay very long and I make sure to leave before I feel overwhelmed or if people are being assholes.
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:00 pm
It's great that you have him in your life! It might be all you need. Just one person who is supportive and caring can get you through rough moments.
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:00 pm
i am close to my parents now, but i wasn't before. i had to deal with a lot of crap and put in a lot of effort. my older brother talks to me sometimes but not often, like at christmas and when he called to tell me he was getting married. my younger brother.....haven't seen him in years. he doesn't call. when i do see him he just torments me and says my kids are weird because i must be a crackhead or something.... they aren't 'weird' they are autistic. so i don't care much for him either because of the things he says to me. it's funny cause i think he has aspergers too and just doesn't know it, because he was so late learning to talk.
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 7:00 pm
Do any of you experience the same thing, like you're not considered or treated like a part of your own family?
The differences in the way your brain is wired set you apart from your family in the same way they set you apart from any other group of 'normal' people. They don't get the way you think, why you do things they way you do, why you have the interests you have, how you behave. Its all odd and kind of alien to them and they don't know how to react to it or what to say, much the way you probably feel about the rest of the human world. Its not that they don't care about you, they just don't understand you, so they avoid the awkwardness of trying to connect. It would only lead to disagreements and resentment anyway. You must be very young if you aren't used to this yet. Its just part of being an Aspie.
"Strange, inaccessible worlds exist at our very elbows"
- Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:00 pm
I was actually going to post about this. My parents arent involved that much in my life it's like they have their own life and don't bother much with me or my kids. My kids have autism too and they don't seem interested in wathcing my kids ever or even coming over to visit when i ask over and over for them to visit or for me to come visit them. I feel like giving up sometimes with family because they are never there and they also live only 10 minutes away too! My mom makes excuses that this dog she has acts vicious and that she would like us to come visit but it is probably better we don't cause of that. For Christmas my family didn't even get together with us and wanted to come up quick to my house on the day after Christmas to bring gifts up. I don't think that my family tries to hurt me or means to keep away on purpose but it still hurts for them to not be involved and avoid any contact with me and the kids. My mom only calls on the phone but tells me she has to go in a short amount of time every time she calls. I could say alot more but i dont have alot of time to post. I just want to say i understand and am going through the same thing here and it is with my own mom & dad.
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:00 pm
I don't feel like I am much a part of my family. Though, to be honest, I don't feel a part of much of any group. I can be there with a group, but I just don't feel like one of them. No matter where I am, I never feel like I truly belong. And, as far as family goes, it is very hard for me to connect to them.
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I have a daily blog that discusses my experiences on the autism spectrum, and a daily YouTube series to compliment it. Please check them out. I also have a podcast that is updated weekly including an Al
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