I blocked my family on Facebook and other Social Media
My family is causing me great anxiety although I have not seen or spoken to my family in so many years. Even long before I started travelling the world and living the life of a nomad I did not have any contact with my family. But they keep showing up in my social media with unsolicited remarks causing too many trips down memory lane.
Let’s say my childhood nowadays would get a lot of attention from child care or child protection services. I was not raised to be a self-confident, happy teenager. I lived in the constant shadow of regular beatings, scoldings, and fear over what might happen next. My father was an alcoholic and my mother suffered from what might be diagnosed as a personality disorder and I had 2 little brothers much younger than me that I protected often by taking the blame for stuff I did not do.
I am sure my parents loved me and did the best they could, but love was conditional during my childhood
I grew up a troubled person, always in doubt about myself and with a strong longing for death or disappearance. Maybe that is why this nomadic undetached lifestyle fits me well. For it makes me feels safe, even when I travel through unsafe countries.
I went through years of therapy because once I was on the verge of ending my useless life
I was convinced by my upbringing that I was a complete failure and useless. It caused depression. And it became so strong I wanted to die. I went into therapy and overcame that feeling, although it always lingers in the back of my mind. But it is controllable.
Once, after a violent experience at work, I had to go to therapy again, EMDR was used to get passed the memories and triggers of that evening, my childhood came up again. The work-related violence triggered the memory of my father towering over me with a raised hand and my mum screaming and beating me. Long story short: my childhood traumatized me.
Once I made the mistake of talking to my parents about this trauma, and they denied it. I guess that was the biggest blow in my face. they said it all lived in my imagination.
I think that day when my parents denied my past and their influence on me, was the first crack in the relationship. I always was the obedient daughter even after growing up and leaving the house. I was the good daughter for all the wrong reasons, I just wanted them to love me and be proud of me.
After I left the house and got a life of my own, I felt a growing resentment towards their presence in my life
When the contact between me and my parents withered I realized they let it happen. Probably they were just as relieved as I was when we stopped seeing each other on a regular base. We could not fulfil each other’s needs:
theirs to have a perfect daughter that served their needs at every demand.
Mine to have that fairytale mum that supports me through thick and thin and is my best friend and a dad that is mighty proud of me and wants me to know it.
I felt left out on every occasion, even if I join in
I am sure that most of all this is caused by miscommunication and emotional burden that we never spoke of in my family. But whatever I do it never seems good enough to not get judged or cut off. And that exhausted me and brought me to a point where I simply gave up trying.
My emotions run dry on this subject, the guilt they put on me every time they comment n my social media sucks the life out of me and drains my energy. It kills my creativity and burdens my soul. I had to free myself from that constant guilt. And from the childish longing to wanted to feel loved by proud parents, for it would never happen.
If they were to say “we love you, we are proud of you” now, it would be just words, words spoken to ease their minds not mine.
I guess I am the one to heal before anything else can heal
The other day I broke over a message from my brother, it was my birthday, instead of just wishing me a happy birthday there was a lot of blame in the message. Another door opened to another guilt trip, while I knew his message was far from what happened the way I remembered it.
After the birthday message from my brother I blocked my whole family, I banned them from my page, I blocked them in all other social media.
their presence is a constant feeling of missing out, I see family reunions and meals I am no longer part of never was invited to and never will be in the future. They do not share that part of their lives with me, not even when I was in the Netherlands, they do not even speak to me other than comment on my social media.
I experience their comments on my posts as highly manipulative which causes a constant guilt trip, because of their choice of words
Once many, many years ago, a psychiatrist told me: to live a sane and happy life you might have to break with your family if they won’t meet you halfway in your suffering and healing. If you cannot be the person you want to be around them: self-confident and strong, you might need to break. Be aware of that!
He never urged me to break free, but it kept coming up during the sessions. I was always too afraid to cut the invisible cord that held me in my family circle. I wanted to be part of a normal family so badly, I needed my parents to love me. Until yesterday. I finally did break with them.
I think the refusal of last year to meet up, what might have been the last chance to see my parents alive, that refusal handed me the scissors to cut the cord. Yet, doubtful as I am about my own decisions, it took me another year to finally disallow them to comment on my lifestyle or use my social media to unburden themselves from guilt.
A family should be a safe place, a haven, a place where you can be your true self. My family never provided that haven. Not by a long shot! And I need to build myself a place where I can rest, away from the emotional torment.
Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.