Family and Abandonment: An Open Letter

A little back story about this open letter…

I will not be clear throughout this post as to who I am referring to out of respect and privacy for the family.

A few months ago, I received a text that one of my immediate family members passed away due to COVID-19. This was an estranged family member from my mother’s side, one of many estranged members, unfortunately. My abandonment issues run deep. A large amount of my mother’s side of the family turned their backs on me, since a young age. Not all, but a large amount. I think what has bothered me all these years the most is that I had no involvement or control in their reasonings. I did not have a fair chance. And although I cannot say I am exactly disowned, I would consider myself involved in a worse scenario- ignored and forgotten. I am not really acknowledged as a family member. I have no idea where my deceased family member is buried nor was I considered to participate in a remembrance of life. It is bad enough that I have not talked to this person for over 15 years. A lot of pain and resentment sits in my heart.

When I received the news, my reaction was spontaneous.

At first, I was too stunned to give a reaction and for a split second, I felt unbothered due to my lack of connection to this person. Practically a stranger at this point. But rather quickly, the anger set in. Most of my childhood memories involved this person. This person was a big factor in my upbringing. Why was I not enough? How could anyone watch a child grow and be involved in that child’s growth and then just up and leave and never look back? I could never understand it. Ever. The anger set in when I realized I will never have these answers. I decided I was going to confront my family and I had one member, particularly in my mind.

Below is THAT letter. And now months later, I am sharing it with you all:

Hi [name of family member],

Remember this child? Do you know how long it has been since you have spoken to her? Or visited her? Do you even care how she is doing and what she has been up to the past 15 years?

I wish this conversation was more positive but honestly, I was never given a fair chance. You and [name of deceased family member] decided to walk away and stop calling. Somehow you decided that I was not your [relation] anymore. I never did anything to you. I was a child. You three including my mother, are the main reasons I do not know how to form a strong family bond with any of my family members, my father’s side included. The damage your actions have done on me are borderline irreversible. Congratulations. You did one hell of a number on me.

I was informed that [name of deceased] passed away. I am sorry to hear this and offer my condolences. I was heartbroken and resentful when I heard the news. I realized despite being angry and hurt all these years because you both decided to discard me out of your life like I was nothing to you, I still loved her. Crazy, right? So, I think it is time that I am owed an explanation. What did I do to the both of you to make you decide it was best to turn your back on me? You cannot be that cold of a person. It must cross you mind from time to time. Seriously, why? If this year has taught you anything, I hope it has taught you that time is precious and short. Too short to abandon ‘loved ones.’ I want to make it VERY clear that is what you both did to me. So again, why?

I do not even want an apology. I see no point. But if you can do one thing for me, is to please give me an explanation. For my own healing and closure.

Not that you care, but I have done well for myself despite all the toxic damage that I had to grow up with. I have managed to become an intelligent, strong, and compassionate woman. I was able to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I have a career in Human Resources. I am a published writer. I have traveled around the world. I have an amazing fiancé and we plan to marry at the end of this year. And hopefully, God will bless me with a child who I can raise and love the way I have always yearned to be loved by my mother. I can build my own family.

I would be highly surprised if you respond to this but at least I have said my peace. If you do not respond, I wish you the best in life. I hope you come to terms with the mistakes in your life. And I want you to know that it is never too late. It is never too late to try to reconcile with me. It will not be easy and the way I feel, I most likely will not be welcoming at first. But efforts do not go unnoticed. It is never too late. Goodbye.

If you are wondering…

No, I did not send it. Call me a coward or acknowledge that I chose not to for the sake of my own peace, both explanations would be correct. I decided it was healing for me to write it and that was for me alone.

I often find myself wondering if I will ever truly heal from this situation and forgive my family. It is a long, long, strenuous road. You take 5 steps forward, only to take 10 steps back. I may never truly heal from it. I have thought about going to therapy to address it. I honestly feel like I need to. For the sake of my own future child and the generations to follow. Part of my healing process has been finding awareness that a lot of my damage came from my childhood. The generational curses. I am determined for it to end with me. I have no problem carrying that cross if it means that my lineage after me will be filled with love, compassion, and awareness. It is one of my ultimate goals.

You know, reading this letter again after a few months still stings.

So much anger and resentment in the tone. I find myself feeling guilty for being so cold, especially after a death. I feel all my mixed emotions burning in my stomach as I reread the letter. But I know that this is normal. One of the biggest steps of a healing process is truly sitting in your pain and wholeheartedly feel it. I know that brings me a step closer in my journey and I am learning to find peace in that itself. We all have skeletons in our closet. Family traumas that run deep. I happen to be a little more open about it but that does not mean you have to be. Whether you keep it hidden or open, just do yourself the favor and feel it regardless. Do not ignore it. As painful and difficult as it may feel, it is necessary. If you can relate to my situation, I feel for you. You are not alone, and I am sending you so much love. Be kind to yourself. Here’s to healing ❤

Author: Angie Soul

Like a lotus flower, I emerge from dark, murky waters to reveal my beauty. Feeling and healing on this journey of life; glowing and flowing. I have always loved writing, but it has taken me 29 trips around the sun before I had to confidence to share publicly. I hope my writing, which is near and dear to my heart, sparks light and love in others.

16 thoughts on “Family and Abandonment: An Open Letter”

  1. So sorry for your loss and your hard ache,I so understand what you’re going through I come to find out Monday my biological Father passed away 2018.
    Damn good job Angelique I love you and thank you so much for the great job you did but you always do a good job

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  2. There is power in words…especially the written word. This was a great exercise for you. I cannot tell you how many draft pieces of writing I have, never to be published. I wrote them in anger, in sadness, in rage, and everything in between. But I did not publish them (or not most of them)…there was healing power, catharsis, in that exercise. So I think it may have worked somewhat for you as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely helped. And although I contemplated for months if I wanted to publish, I ultimately decided I would to help others who may have gone through something similar, and show them that it is okay to feel emotions such as this; they are not alone. If my experiences can help others in any way, then it’s a win for me. Thank you for reading!

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    1. It’s not meant to make any one feel bad 🙁 I still have more love in my life than most. But it’s a deep rooted pain that I’ve never been able to really shake. Hopefully someone who has gone through this will read this post and know that they are not alone ♥️ thank you for reading 😘 love you!

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  3. I’m so sorry for loss. I relate to this post so much. Nothing hits harder than family abandoning you and it doesn’t make you a coward for not sending it. Surround yourself with new, encouraging people because just because people are blood doesn’t make them your family. You choose your family. Ever since I left my toxic family to live with my now husband, it’s been amazing and we’ve built an incredible life for ourselves. It always gets better and I wish you the best

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience with me ♥️ it’s definitely a deep rooted pain. You are absolutely right about choosing your family. I have friends who have shown me more love and happiness, and I consider them my family. I will be marrying my fiancé in December and although I’m sad that I won’t have much of my own family there, I am grateful to have a new extension of family. Thank you so much for reading!

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  4. Sheesh, these are times to where you reflect on what you been through and turn those lemons into lemonade.
    We all have a journey to go thru in this thing called life, I’m proud of you for sharing this with the world

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very hard-hitting. I’m sorry you had to go through what you did.

    Take the silver linings though, congratulate yourself for where you are now, despite the past!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just got a chance to read this and omg I cried. So sorry for your loss, it still hits hard when it’s as you explained someone who had part in your childhood. Toxic family is something you don’t need in life and you’ve come so far and done amazing for yourself. You created new family and friends who love and cares about you and will cheer and support your every achievement! 😘

    Like

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