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Why I Cut Out Half Of My Family

I’m not sure how to describe my dad. I would say he’s ‘insane’ but technically he (probably) isn’t. I would say he’s ‘unhinged’ but I haven’t spoken to him in years, so who knows. I would say he’s a generally horrible human being, but I know that a lot of other dads have been and continue to be a lot worse.

He hit my older brother when I was a baby in my mum’s arms (my mum kicked him in retaliation – go mum).

He told my neighbourhood friends that their dad had cheated on their mum just because he thought that they were responsible for a scratch on his car.
He told me he wasn’t going to pick me up after a school trip because the bus was coming back too late and he had to get up early in the morning for work.

He did emergency breaks on a dual carriageway with me in the passenger seat because the other car had cut him up.

He screamed insults at me because I wanted to eat my dinner in my bedroom, and then began a pity party in the living room, saying how he should kill himself.

He emailed my mum’s siblings to tell them she had been cheating on him because he found out my mum was friends with one of her ex’s.

Such behaviours led to a much celebrated divorce. Our family; my mum, three brothers and myself; lived in a much happier household and generally became a closer group of people.

My dad’s side of the family have always been trouble – for the most part I was too young to see it. My mum has since told me the drama of what happened throughout my parents’ eighteen years of marriage, and I’m not sure why she didn’t leave a lot earlier.

Even my nan gave my mum grief. Asking to be paid (more money than an actual babysitter) to look after her own grandchildren. Leaving my older brother outside the supermarket whilst she took her three ‘blood’ grandchildren inside to shop (my older brother is technically my half-brother, but to us it makes no difference. Unfortunately it was an unsaid issue to some).

My nan liked to cause trouble. She liked to be in the know before anybody else. She liked to gossip. She liked to point out when somebody “got fat” – her words when describing my newly divorced aunt who was a perfectly fine size 12.

You can probably tell that there has been more than enough drama from that side of the family for one lifetime. The divorce was messy and upsetting for my mum (my dad tried to get his hands on my mum’s money from her pension, money she had to release to fund my dad’s unemployment at the time). After a couple of the scheduled dad weekends I’d had enough. I didn’t want to spend any time with him, and so I told him on the phone that there would be no further contact from me because I thought he was not a nice person.

My nan got involved plenty, asking me why I wouldn’t see my father etc. Calling me names at one point and giving me the cold shoulder another day. Every time she would ask, I never really gave a straight answer. It was just another trap to get into more drama – besides, I wasn’t about to bad mouth her golden boy, and I didn’t want to ‘disrespect my elders’, so I held my tongue.

Unfortunately, or fortunately – none of my brothers are in contact with our father, and only one talks to our nan. We’ve all realised what negative people they are and how much better our lives are without their influence. It’s a shame really that they don’t make an effort because they feel that we are in the wrong – but that’s their grudge to clutch onto.

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I know already that when I get married and they don’t get their invitation that there will be a boat-load of drama to shipwreck my wedding, but that’s an inevitable that I can’t really control. Even if I were to invite them to my already-planned-in-my-head super chilled out wedding (there’s going to be a BBQ with no formal sit down), the stress of them coming will most likely ruin the day for me.

I just think that it’s important for people to cut out those who only give them negativity, ill-feelings, or generally bad days. Those sorts of people are not worth the time we give them. They are not worth the feelings of dread before seeing them again. Heck sometimes they are not even worth the words written about them.

Obviously not everyone can make you happy all of the time – you’re going to have a fall out every now and again. The thing is to realise which people are giving you way too many bad days rather than good ones.

Life is long – to make it feel better, keep the good people in your life and cut out the bad ones, you’re future self with thank you.

11 Comments

  1. Siobhan Salter

    It’s so great to see somebody speak out about this. I’m in a similar situation in that I no longer speak to my mom, and haven’t for the past 3 and a half years now. She’s an alcoholic and used me as her human punch bag for years, and one day I just had to say no more. As a result my Gran and uncles no longer speak to me too. I really want to speak about it on my blog one day as it’s had a massive affect on my mental health, but I think they all snoop about on my blog from time to time and right now I’m not ready for the backlash x

    1. laugraeva

      That’s awful, I’m so sorry you had to go through that.
      I’m a little nervous about my family stumbling upon this to be honest. I hope one day you feel that you can share your story – perhaps even anonymously?
      Thanks so much for sharing

  2. Marta Pulenčika

    Well done for writing this. I have very similar family situation, but this time it’s my grandad and his 2nd wife that caused me grief. One day I stopped calling them and it’s been 3 years now. Not a single call, email or letter from them even though they know where I live… Ah well 🙂

    thisissimplyme.com

  3. Laura Black

    A good reminder that we don’t have to like our families and we’re not obliged to keep them in our lives. I’ve been working hard on family boundaries and reinforcing my ‘family by choice’, my group of wonderful friends who are so much healthier for me than my relatives. Good for you, and stick to it. And for god’s sake don’t let them ruin anything that should be a happy occasion!

    1. laugraeva

      That’s awesome, having a family you’ve chosen – those are the kinds of families that also aren’t taken for granted.
      Thank you for the support! Don’t worry, nothing will wreck my super chill wedding!

  4. Sammie

    Wow, what a completely horrible half of your family & you have done well to cut them out of your life. My Dad left my mum when I was just 4 & we’ve never had anything to do with him, my mum made some very bad choices after that and well now I have disassociative seizures from everything that happened in my childhood. I am currently awaiting an appointment to see a neuro psychiatrist due to the physical affect the emotional trauma caused. Sometimes we have to out ourselves first. Thank you for being honest. Sammie x

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